Money For Apalachicola Bay

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By: Elizabeth Nickerson
May 21, 2013

Apalachicola, FL - Fishermen in our coastal communities have been struggling since the oil spill in 2010, which tore their livelihood apart.

"It's been very tough," said Stan West, Owner of Riverside Cafe. "Not as many of them have been able to fish, which means it takes away jobs."

Now, Governor Rick Scott is hoping to fix that. He approved 5 million dollars to the Apalachicola Bay for water quality restoration and oyster research.

"There is a lot of money that has been laying out there since the BP oil spill and it will be interested to see how the money actually flows and does it get into the hands to the people that need it."

One group hit hard was the Oyster men. Gulf Specimen Marine Lab owner Jack Rudloe says, droughts and the spill nearly destroyed the industry.

He believes the money given to research will help find healthier areas for oyster men to harvest.

"It definitely a good thing," said West. "Oysters are a part of this county and a part of this state."

But Jack also sees a negative side.

"Put the grant money aside," said Jack Rudloe from the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab Aquarium. "I often find that grant money is negative and hurts rather than helps."

In the end, it will be up to the Northwest Florida Water Management District to decide where the money goes within the Bay area.

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