Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

22 members of Florida congressional delegation call on feds to reconsider plans for Apalachicola River

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Most of Florida’s 29 congressional representatives in Washington, D.C., signed a letter to a high-ranking U.S. Army official on Tuesday calling for federal action to help revive the ailing Apalachicola River.

Some 22 members of Congress — an evenly divided 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats — wrote Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy to express their concern over newly released federal documents regarding the ecologically sensitive Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin.

The bipartisan group of senators and representatives told Darcy an environmental impact report on the region and a Master Water Control Manual — a set of guidelines used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains several massive water projects in Florida — amounts to “mismanagement” of a key natural resource.

“We are very disappointed that this latest plan falls short of fixing the long-running failure of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to properly operate the dams and reservoirs along the ACF river basin,” wrote the group in an open letter penned Wednesday. “The Corps’ recommended changes will do nothing to protect the health of the full ACT system.”

“After years of being shortchanged from the freshwater it needs, the Apalachicola Bay’s oyster populations totally collapsed in 2012,” they wrote, adding that “many more Bay residents may lose their way of life” if federal inaction persists.

The members of the delegation — including Democratic senior U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, Republican junior U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and several notable House members like Gwen GrahamVern Buchanan and Alan Grayson –– implored the Corps’ leadership to redirect course.

“We strongly urge you to reconsider the proposals in the draft EIS and to remedy them in the future,” the missive concluded.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

Latest from Statewide

Go to Top