Mismanagement of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) river system by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is starving the Apalachicola River and Bay of the freshwater they need to survive. Water levels in the Apalachicola River are so low that the floodplain is completely disconnected from the River's flow for much of the year. As a result the floodplain has lost more than 4 million trees, and fish and fish habitat are being drastically reduced. Lack of freshwater reaching the Apalachicola Bay has caused the Bay’s oyster, shrimp, crab and fish populations to collapse, devastating the regional economy and causing untold harm to the many people who rely on a healthy River, Floodplain and Bay for their livelihoods and way of life.
The ACF river system has been managed primarily to the benefit of upstream states and at the expense of Floridians and the Apalachicola River, Floodplain, and Bay. The states and Army Corps have tried to find a solution, but have not been able to. In such interstate conflicts, it is appropriate and necessary for Congress to step forward and act.
The undersigned call on Congress to act now to pass legislation requiring the Army Corps to operate the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system to ensure that the Apalachicola River, Floodplain, and Bay receive the freshwater flows they need to support, restore, and reestablish healthy populations of fish and wildlife and the vibrant resource based economy that relies on a healthy natural system.