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Water War Heads to DC

November 1st, 2007 by flanews

Governor Charlie Crist met with Alabamas and Georgias governors and members of the Bush administration Thursday morning to try to settle a 17-year-old water war. Because of severe drought, Georgia wants to limit the flow of Lake Lanier, which flows down into the Apalachicola. As Chris Casquejo tell us, people who depend on the Apalachicola Bay seafood industry have little sympathy for their neighbors to the north.

Hear it here: Water War Heads to DC

In Apalachicola, David Jackson and his friends are readying their tent for the 44th annual Seafood Festival. 18 to 20 thousand are expected to attend. But Jackson worries about the future of Apalachicola Bays seafood.

We can import it in from China,” he said. “But thats not what Franklin County is known about. Its fresh, local seafood.”

The industry brings in $134 million each year. The mixture of the rivers fresh water and the bays saltwater is ideal for fish and shellfish. Florida gets 90 percent of its fresh oysters from the bay.

Georgias governor believes drinking water is more important than preserving a good breeding ground for oysters. But people from the area say, without oysters, their entire livelihoods are in danger.

James Silva has lived in Apalachicola all his 71 years. He worked on a shrimp boat for 21. Hes seen changes on the river and bay, but nothing like this.

You catch saltwater fish and sharks 10 miles up there,” he said. “Where you would have never caught one 20 years ago.

David Jackson has little sympathy for Georgias governor. He believes water is not something to fight over.

He dont have it right now,” Jackson said. “But it might be six months down the road from now he might be griping and complaining hes got too much water.

The people of Apalachicola will be watching this water war like their livelihoods depend on it.

Some environmental groups like Apalichicola Riverkeeper expect this water war to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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