MARTIN COUNTY, FL - - A $4 million federal grant announced Tuesday should mean restored oyster beds, cleaner water and about 100 jobs in Martin County.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has allocated $4,024,969 to the Martin County Commission. At their meeting Tuesday, commissioners are scheduled to award a contract to build about 200 acres of oyster bed reefs in the St. Lucie River between the Roosevelt and Evans Crary bridges and in the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River near Tequesta.
The money for the project comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, part of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package. More than 800 applications for grants were made and 50 approved. Of the four projects funded in Florida, Martin County's was the largest.
To qualify for the stimulus money, said Kathy FitzPatrick, a Martin County coastal engineer, the project had to be shovel-ready.
FitzPatrick said bids from contractors are expected Wednesday.
If the commissioners award the bid on July 7, she will be out on July 7, 8 or 9 doing surveys on the St. Lucie and Loxahatchee rivers to see exactly where to put the oyster beds.
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