|Apalachicola RiverKeeper Office on Water Street|
In a round about way I was introduced to a couple of the dedicated environmentalists working for the non profit organization The Apalachicola River Keeper. We talked about the condition of Apalachicola River and Bay over a few beers and fresh snapper dinner. To put it simply, the Apalachicola Bay is dying. I not only heard this from the environmentalist, I overheard it from the cities residence with statements like "I can't find any oysters to buy in town", and saw it walking down Water Street in the idle oystermen. The nutrients that nourish and produce one of the most productive estuaries in the world come from the Apalachicola River. In the last decade the river's flow rate, measured in cubic feet per minute, have diminished due to climate changes and increased usage upstream. The Apalachicola River Keeper organization is working to save the river. Not just for the sake of the worlds finest oysters it produces, but for the tourist that eat them, the restauranteurs that serve them, and the oyster men that still harvest them by hand using tongs, the last of oystermen to harvest oysters using this method. But its a daunting task. The Apalachicola River has a huge drainage basin consisting of around 19,000 square miles. There are many entities that have interests in the river including industry, agriculture, and potable water supply systems. Efforts of the Apalachicola River Keeper to coordinate a plan that balances the interests of the many users of the river is not an easy task. But they have made progress and from the energy I saw in these dedicated environmentalist, it will continue. I wish them well. This is certainly an environment worth saving.