Mayor Heather Carruthers

Commissioner Sylvia Murphy

Commissioner David Rice

Commissioner Michelle Coldiron

Commissioner Craig Cates

Re:        Updating the Public on Pump-Out Services in the Florida Keys

Dear Mayor and Commissioners:

Last Stand is requesting that at the September BOCC meeting, staff presents the County’s efforts regarding marine pump-out services.  We would like to be informed of the status of hiring a pump-out service vendor, negotiations with municipalities in providing pump-out services, and the number of public marinas in compliance with the County requirements to provide pump-out services.

Water quality in the Florida Keys has been and continues to be a major concern for the citizens of Monroe County.  Last Stand has supported the County in its efforts to improve water quality, but it was disappointing to learn that the County was unable to come to agreeable terms with the last mobile pump-out vendor, resulting in the discontinuation of this service.

Monroe County is a paradise for boaters and is home to many marinas and growing anchorages. Liveaboards and cruisers flock to the Keys to experience our island lifestyle.  We cannot lose sight of the impact this population can have on our water quality.  We encourage the County to continue to pursue a permanent solution to providing Keys-wide marine pump-out services.

The County’s Comprehensive Plan (Section 202.3) recognizes the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary as a No Discharge Zone and has adopted policies requiring marinas to provide fixed pump-out facilities. Last Stand encourages and supports the County in its efforts to move forward with bringing all marinas into compliance with this policy.

Partnering with the municipalities to provide mobile pump out does serve certain areas of the Keys, but there are still large areas that will be left out and need to be addressed.

While the County has made huge progress in eliminating sewage from finding its way into our nearshore waters, let’s continue to work towards eliminating marine sewage as well.

Thank you,

Last Stand Board