After nearly 30 years of litigation between the states, the plight of the Apalachicola River and Bay was finally heard by a Special Master appointed by the Supreme Court of the United States. This long-awaited decision is a watershed moment in our history. The Special Master’s recommendation and report to the Supreme Court were made public on February 14th, 2017.

Here is the Special Master’s Executive Summary of the recommendation:

“In sum, the Report recommends that the Court deny Florida’s request for relief because the Corps is not a party to this original jurisdiction proceeding. Because the Corps is not a party, no decree entered by this Court can mandate any change in the Corps’ operations in the Basin. Without the ability to bind the Corps, I am not persuaded that the Court can assure Florida the relief it seeks. I conclude that Florida has not proven by clear and convincing evidence that its injury can be redressed by an order equitably apportioning the waters of the Basin.”

Read the entire Special Master’s report

Apalachicola Riverkeeper responds:

“The recommended order by the US Supreme Court special master is a setback in terms of immediate action to help the Apalachicola River and Bay. But the fight is certainly not over and Florida now has an even more compelling case based on the findings. The special master affirmed conclusively that Georgia’s overuse of water – and the Corps’ mismanagement of the basin – has caused incredible economic, social, and environmental harm to our state. The Corps’ documented failure to safeguard this resource is cause for the relevant federal and state agencies to work together to adopt a water management plan that sustains all the users in the basin, including the Apalachicola River and Bay.

We strongly encourage Florida’s elected and appointed leaders to view the special master’s findings as a guide to push for meaningful corrective action immediately as Senator Nelson and Congressman Dunn are actively pursuing with their respective filings in Congress.”

We need your support and the Apalachicola River and Bay need YOU now, more than ever!
JOIN US and become a member of Apalachicola Riverkeeper today!

More information on the FL v GA trial:

On behalf of the Apalachicola River and Bay, Apalachicola Riverkeeper, along with our partners, National Audubon Society; Defenders of Wildlife and Florida Wildlife Federation filed an Amicus Brief with the court in support of the need for freshwater to protect the river, floodplain and bay. To read our Amicus Brief filing (see exhibit #524) and other documents associated with this milestone case, click here.

To read the State of Florida’s post-trial brief, click here.

Since 1998, Apalachicola Riverkeeper and our partners in conservation have been front and center in the fight for fairness in water use, allocation, and management and you, our members have been right there with us. Your financial support has made it possible for Apalachicola Riverkeeper to work very closely with key stakeholders across state borders in agriculture, development, business and Gulf fisheries, including the independent fishermen of Apalachicola Bay.  We know the opportunity to share water in a socially just and equitable way exists between all of these competing interests and we are not giving up until we find that path forward.

Learn what’s at stake! Meet the Riverkeepers of the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee & Flint Rivers and understand why they share a profound passion for protecting this magnificent river system: The Florida Channel


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Apalachicola Riverkeeper Dan Tonsmeire, along with national and state leaders respond to the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River(s) designation as “Most Endangered River”
Read the press release now


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