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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Florida fights plan to restrict water to Apalachicola Bay

Published in print June 6, 2008
In a Thursday meeting at the Capitol, members of Florida's congressional delegation told the Army Corps of Engineers general in charge of the Southeast that restricting flow into the bay to 4,500 cubic feet per second, below historic low-flow levels, will put wildlife, the bay's ecosystem and commercial fishermen at risk.

Water flows into the Apalachicola Bay, a key oyster-producing area, from Lake Lanier in the foothills of northwest Georgia. Water released from the lake provides Atlanta's drinking water. Under the Corps of Engineers plan, water managers can slow the flow in the Apalachicola to ensure adequate water upstream.

The Corps plan only considered the impact upon federally protected species, not other wildlife like shrimp and oysters. "The only voice that the oysters have are us," Nelson said

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