$2.7M Grant to Provide Jobs for Fla. Oystermen

By: AP
By: AP

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Gov. Rick Scott says Florida has obtained a $2.7 million federal grant to provide temporary jobs for beleaguered Apalachicola Bay oystermen.

Scott on Friday announced the grant that will pay 200 dislocated oystermen for a project to re-shell the bay in the Florida Panhandle to help it recover and re-open to harvesting.

An insufficient amount of fresh water flowing into the bay due to drought and upstream diversions, as well as over-harvesting, have put the Apalachicola oyster industry into near-collapse.

Spreading shells on the bay bottom will provide places where oyster larvae, known as spat, can attach themselves and grow.

The U.S. Department of Labor is providing the grant. The work will be supervised by the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and a local seafood workers association.

AP-WF-11-30-12 2250GMT

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