Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers met with Florida stakeholders’, oystermen and politicians on Monday to discuss the effects of reduced water flow into the Apalachicola Bay.
While recent rain in our area makes the water wars of last year seem like ancient history, the fight is alive and well in the ACF River Basin, as business owners and representatives from all over the south took aim at practices upstream in Georgia. Some even pointed, and that’s where emotions took over.
Franklin County Commissioner Joseph Parrish said, "Excuse me; you've never seen anything like this before. You don't have to be a scientist to see and understand this."
An array of people spoke at the congressional forum to Congressmen Allen Boyd from Florida and Heath Shuler from North Carolina; they spoke on the declining health of the southern parts of the river basin to what they attributed to greed in Georgia.
"Georgia and their lack of water planning and the Atlanta metro areas extremely rapid and unbridled development have exacerbated this situation," Florida Congressman Allen Boyd said.
North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler said, "We're also going through this same thing in North Carolina; that area is where Georgia wants to move the state line. That's not going to happen."
Brigadier General Joseph Schroedel, commander of the South Atlantic division of the Army Corps of Engineers said everything he had heard from the group was nothing new, and the states need to work together on a solution.
"There's no reason that the 16 states should not work together to form a regional water council, it's too vita," said Brigadier General Schroedel.