Tag Archives: Apalachicola River

Water War: Florida and Georgia to blame for oyster loss

apalachicola oystersThe 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster threatened to spread oil from Texas to Florida and kill every shrimp, snapper and oyster in the Gulf of Mexico. Oystermen in Florida freaked out and, joined by fishermen from as far away as Texas, scraped every possible oyster — legal-sized or not — from the bottom of Apalachicola Bay. The still-poor condition of the bay and the oyster industry serves as the crux of the water war trial underway in this coastal New England town. Ralph Lancaster Jr., the special master assigned by the U.S. Supreme Court to remedy the 27-year-old interstate dispute, will ultimately decide who is to blame for the industry’s collapse. The trial’s first week ended Friday with a detailed examination of oyster fishing and Florida’s role in allowing the long-term degradation of the industry. It resumes Monday with the same focus. Florida says a lack of freshwater coming down the Apalachicola River from Georgia is to blame for the bay’s poor health. Georgia counters that over-fishing and lax management of oystering rules caused the damage. Read the story here 18:54

Georgia asks the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out of the latest legal battle in its 24-year fight over water rights with neighboring Florida.

Georgia filed its response last week to Florida’s request for the high court to intervene in deciding how they share water that flows across the state line where the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers merge to form the Apalachicola River. Florida officials said in an October complaint their state needs immediate relief as growing water consumption by metro Atlanta threatens Florida’s oyster fishery. “Florida has brought its case against the wrong party, in the wrong court, and at the wrong time,” the Georgia lawyers wrote in their legal response. Read [email protected]  16:45

U.S. Senate hearing offers ‘unprecedented opportunity’ – Apalachicola River water woes take center stage

Florida Congressional leaders will be in Apalachicola on Tuesday for a U.S. Senate committee field hearing on the impact of historic-low freshwater flows that have left the Apalachicola River parched and its famed oyster-producing bay devastated. [email protected]

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is laying the blame – Oystermen React to the Report

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is laying the blame for the oyster crisis in Franklin County, squarely on the US Army Corps of Engineers. In their final report this week to the National Marine Fisheries, wildlife experts say the lack of fresh water coming out of the Apalachicola River is killing the oysters in Apalachicola bay. @wghj

APALACHICOLA, Fla: A Fight Over Water, and to Save a Way of Life

NYT – “This bay would be filled with boats,” said Mr. Shiver, 36, whose father and grandfather plunged nets, set traps and dipped tongs into the water along this stretch of the Florida Panhandle. “There used to be oysters everywhere in here, and now there is none.” In a budding ecological crisis, the oyster population has drastically declined in Apalachicola Bay, one of the country’s major estuaries and the cradle of Florida’s prized oyster industry. continued