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Analysis of wastewater management in the Florida Keys

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Maintaining water quality in the Florida Keys is vital to the area’s economy. However, the lack of sewage infrastructure has degraded nearshore water quality. The Monroe County Year 2010 Comprehensive Plan outlines strategies to improve sewage infrastructure to meet the State of Florida’s 2010 effluent standards. This paper assesses the progress of the Monroe County Year 2010 Comprehensive Plan in the context of Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) by means of surveys, semi-structured interviews, and secondary data. Monroe County’s plan included aspects of ICM and emphasized a community-based approach for incorporated and unincorporated areas to meet effluent standards. However, areas throughout the Florida Keys faced financial constraints and lack of resources in executing public work initiatives. Variability in management plans developed by municipalities demonstrated the need for a top down approach. The State of Florida and Monroe County could have provided more guidance and resources, and facilitated communication between the various entities to help complete objectives by the 2010 deadline.

Keywords: Finance, Florida Keys, Integrated Coastal Management (ICM), Monroe County 2010 Master Plan, Public works, Wastewater

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