Oystermen and officials in Franklin County are crying out for help as they face what they're considering the worst season for oystering in years.
Although no one is sure of the cause, some are pointing fingers at the BP oil spill, saying that recent storms have stirred up remnants of the oil, while others say that it's a combination of environmental issues that no one has the power to control. No matter the culprit, residents in the area say the problem needs to fixed immediately.
Franklin County commissioner Joseph Parrish understands the pain that many oystermen are feeling and is one of many hoping to receive help from the federal or state government to reseed the Apalachicola Bay. He warns that while many are assuming RESTORE Act funds will be used to help fix the bay, there's no way to know when those funds will become available.
It seems that help may be on the way.
Gov. Rick Scott sent a letter to Rebecca Blank, Acting Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Secretary of Commerce, on behalf of Florida's oyster industry. His letter requests that an official fishery failure be declared due to a resource disaster of Florida's oyster harvesting areas in the Gulf of Mexico--particularly Apalachicola Bay.
For many this move is good news, but until action takes place, many in Franklin County are worried saying that the problems oystermen are facing can only lead to a domino effect which could bring the entire economy of Franklin County to ruin.