Rep. Gwen Graham Rallies Florida Delegation To Save Apalachicola Bay
Today, Representative Gwen Graham (FL-02) announced the Apalachicola Bay Restoration Act to save the North Florida bay famous for its fresh oysters. The legislation has 21 Florida co-sponsors, an unprecedented sign of unity and statewide support to save the bay.
The Apalachicola Bay has historically been one of the most productive bays in the country, but recently has suffered from a lack of fresh water flow which hurts the bay’s ecology, oyster industry and local economy. Rep. Graham’s bill will require the Army Corps of Engineers to consider fresh water flow to the Apalachicola Bay in their water management plans.
“The Apalachicola Bay represents the heart and soul of North Florida. This isn’t just a fight over water – we’re fighting to save a way of life,” Rep. Graham said. “This legislation is an important step to restoring fresh water flow and restoring our bay.”
At the press conference, Apalachicola Riverkeeper Dan Tonsmeire added, “Representative Graham has been at work on the Apalachicola since the early days of her campaign and has not slowed down since. We have a lot to thank her for and here today she has brought us together to further consider the path forward.”
Rep. Graham announced the legislation after performing a Workday shelling the bay and harvesting alongside local oystermen. Graham’s Workdays are a family tradition her father, Senator Bob Graham, started while running for governor in 1977.
Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL-16), the bill’s lead Republican co-sponsor, said, “Apalachicola Bay is a critical part of Florida’s environment and economy. With the right management and conservation efforts, we can save it from total collapse. This bipartisan bill represents an important part of that solution.”
The legislation is also cosponsored by Representatives Jeff Miller (FL-01) ,Ted Yoho (FL-03) ,Corrine Brown (FL-05), Ron DeSantis (FL-06) , Alan Grayson (FL-09), Richard Nugent (FL-11), David Jolly (FL-13), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Dennis Ross (FL-15), Thomas Rooney (FL-17), Patrick Murphy (FL-18), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Ted Deutch (FL-21), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Debbie Wasserman Schultz ( FL-23), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Mario Diaz Balart (FL-25), Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27).
“Members of the Florida delegation from across the state are rallying to save the bay,” Rep. Graham said. “This shows how much we can achieve as a united delegation with a bipartisan attitude.”
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