A massive pile of sand dumped along the Apalachicola River is going to be removed as part of a state restoration project.
The restoration site was one of 10 large dump sites used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for sand that was dredged to maintain the river's shipping channel. There also are 114 smaller disposal sites along the river.
The Northwest Florida Water Management District will pay Gulf County $1 million to remove the sand. The county will use it for road projects, according to the district.
Removing the sand pile will allow trees and wetland vegetation to grow there again and will allow flooding that benefits fish and wildlife, agency officials said.
"We are going to take the material out, then let the vegetation naturally come back in itself," said Douglas E. Barr, the agency's executive director.
The Corps of Engineers was permitted to remove sand from the river bottom to maintain shipping until 2004. The state denied a permit renewal application in 2005.