Local Officials Discuss RESTORE Act; Focus on Apalachicola River

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Leaders from the region and the state met at Florida State University's Panama City campus Saturday afternoon to discuss the best use of RESTORE Act funds.

One of the big topics of discussion was the dwindling oyster and fish population around Apalachicola Bay, something that effects the livelihood of many residents in Franklin County.

Officials from Franklin County made sure to attend the meeting to show state leaders how serious the problem is.

"The river, the flood plain, the bay, the river in particular though and those whose livelihood and their way of life depend on a healthy river and bay are facing a crisis of proportions and breadth that really cannot be overstated," said Apalachicola Riverkeeper Dan Tonsmeire.

With flows on the Apalachicola and Flint rivers at the lowest levels seen in recorded history, officials are working hard to raise awareness of the problems being faced in the area and how they feel they can be fixed.

"Today we have resources that will be available to being the process of restoring the river," said former Governor and State Senator Bob Graham, "to stop the current bleeding and begin to reestablish this national treasure."

"You look at the Everglades, we're gonna spend 8 or 9 million, thanks to Senator Graham, to clean those up," said Former House Leader Allan Bense, "but we have a chance for just a fraction of that to save the Apalachicola River."