Apalachicola River

The people and businesses that depend on the Apalachicola Bay just got a break from the U.S. Supreme Court—keeping a long running lawsuit over water use alive.

Army Corps Gives Input In Florida-Georgia Water Battle

Aug 9, 2017

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a key player in Florida's decades-old legal fight with Georgia over water flow in the Apalachicola River, has weighed into the pending case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rubio, Nelson Target Apalachicola Water Standards

Feb 20, 2017

Following an adverse legal decision, Florida's two U.S. senators have joined forces to urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to not finalize water-control standards for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin.

Sen. Nelson Wades Into Apalachicola River Water Battle

Feb 16, 2017

With an adverse legal decision in the ongoing "water war" with Georgia, Florida congressional members on Wednesday began taking steps to reassert Florida's claim that regional water policies are hurting Apalachicola Bay.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fl., said he has filed a bill to require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to increase the freshwater flow from Georgia south into the Apalachicola River and Apalachicola Bay.

Wikipedia Commons

A judicial official sided with Georgia in a decades-long dispute over water rights with Florida on Tuesday, recommending that the U.S. Supreme Court refuse Florida's high-stakes request to cap water use by its neighboring state.

Oysters are the sea's version of fine wine: Their taste varies with the water they grow in. And slow-growing oysters from northern waters — like the briny Wellfleets of Massachusetts and the sweet, mild Kumamotos of the Pacific Northwest — are among the most coveted.

That may be changing now. An oyster renaissance in the Southeastern U.S. is underway — from Virginia all the way down to Florida's Apalachicola Bay. The region is adopting the aquaculture that restored a decimated oyster industry in the north, and it has led to a huge boost in oyster production.

Florida, Alabama Senators Wade Into River Battle

Nov 8, 2015

In a move that could help boost recovery of troubled Apalachicola Bay, U.S. senators from Florida and Alabama have asked a Senate panel to intervene in what they call "the Army Corps of Engineers' ongoing mismanagement" of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin.

Georgia Subpoenas Putnam in Water Dispute

Oct 14, 2015

In 2013, Florida sued Georgia in the Supreme Court claiming that water use was killing oysters in Apalachicola Bay. Putnam was subpoenaed, according to court documents posted last week. Alabama, Florida and Georgia have been battling in court since 1990 over water from the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers.

Apalachicola Bay is taking a long time to recover from a 2012 collapse that also severely damaged the local economy.

Roughly 100 seafood workers have left the Franklin County area to find work. And financial stress is tempting the remaining workers to harvest oysters smaller than the legal size --- a practice that seafood industry leaders call a roadblock to restoring the bay's signature oysters.

"It's taking longer because we haven't taken the right steps yet," said Franklin County Commissioner Smokey Parrish, whose day job is managing Ward's Shrimp House in Apalachicola.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Amid an ongoing legal fight the governors of Florida and Georgia met behind closed doors on Tuesday to try to resolve a long-running water dispute.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott met for an hour Tuesday with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal at the governor's mansion located about a mile north of the state Capitol.

The meeting comes as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear a challenge from Florida seeking to limit Georgia's withdrawals from the Chattahoochee River.

Deal requested the meeting with Scott.

Georgia Governor Seeks Talks in Apalachicola Water Dispute

Mar 30, 2015
Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has tried to kick-start negotiations with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to try to reach agreement in the long-running battle over a river system the three states share.

Deal's effort follows decades of litigation over the amount of freshwater flowing from the top of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system, in north Georgia, downstream to the Florida Panhandle's Apalachicola Bay.

U.S. Supreme Court Wades into Fl-Georgia Water Battle

Nov 3, 2014

After years of battling between Florida and Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said it will consider a lawsuit about increasing the amount of freshwater flowing into Northwest Florida's Apalachicola Bay.

The decision was at least an initial victory for Florida and for Franklin County residents, who argue that the area's economically vital oyster industry has been damaged by Georgia siphoning too much water upstream from a river system that flows to the bay.

State Attempt to Reopen Medicaid Case Draws Fire

Oct 30, 2014

With a federal judge possibly close to ruling in the case, plaintiffs' attorneys are objecting to a state attempt to offer new evidence in a lawsuit about whether Florida has adequately provided care to children in the Medicaid program.

The lawsuit, which has been spearheaded by the Florida Pediatric Society, was filed in 2005. A trial ended in 2012, and federal judge Adalberto Jordan is expected to issue a ruling soon, according to court documents.

Feds Approve $6.3 Million for Apalachicola Oyster Industry

Feb 27, 2014
Scott Bridges

The U.S. Department of Commerce on Wednesday approved $6.3 million in disaster-assistance funding for the struggling Apalachicola Bay oyster industry.

The money can be used for economic recovery efforts, including job training and oyster bed restoration.

Jacksonville explored the idea of oyster farming in 2013.

The river system is threatened by a lack of freshwater coming downstream from federally controlled dams on the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers in Georgia. The two rivers merge at the Florida state line where the Jim Woodruff Dam rises in Chattahoochee to form the Apalachicola. The low freshwater flow — which has been the subject of 20 years of litigation — has contributed over the last 30 years to the loss of 4 million trees in the river’s flood plain and to the recent collapse of the oyster population in Apalachicola Bay. The economic impact to local economies has been devastating, officials said.

Florida charged ahead Tuesday with a lawsuit against the state of Georgia that accuses its northern neighbor of consuming too much fresh water from a river system that serves three Southeastern states.

The legal action filed directly with the U.S. Supreme Court is an escalation in a legal dispute lasting more than two decades.

The lawsuit is not a surprise since Gov. Rick Scott announced in August that the state was preparing one.