June 16, 2014
Florida elected officials disagree about whether a major water-resources bill that President Obama signed this week will accomplish much for the Apalachicola Bay, which is still struggling to recover after the collapse of its oyster fishery in 2012.
Members of the state’s congressional delegation praised the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 for funneling money to other Florida projects, from restoration of the Everglades to a deepening of the harbors at Jacksonville and Cape Canaveral.
“The Florida projects we were able to include were important for either the environment or the economy,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who attended the bill-signing at the White House, in a statement afterward.
But the water bill did not include new money for the Apalachicola Bay, which U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker declared a federal fishery disaster last fall.