In addressing the threats to the Apalachicola River and Bay we seek to:
GOAL 1: Secure an Equitable Allocation of the Freshwater in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) System – We have been fighting in the trenches of the “water wars” for 11 years. We have taken our work to the communities, governments, and organizations from Apalachicola to Washington, DC. We advocate for a science-based comprehensive assessment of the ecological needs and capacity of the ACF and the allocation and management of the ACF that will sustain the Apalachicola throughout time. We helped create the ACF Stakeholders group, www.acfstakeholders.org, to promote stakeholder led solutions to the water wars.
The river has not been dredged since 2001. We continue to fight for the protection of sensitive habitats within the Apalachicola ecosystem, including through our opposition to the biomass power plant in Gulf County, Florida.
GOAL 2: Protect and Restore Floodplain Habitat: One of our great successes was leading a coalition of stakeholders in convincing the state of Florida to deny the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers a permit to continue dredging the middle reaches of the Apalachicola River.
Protect and Restore Water Quality – We spent the summer of 2010 responding to BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster and created a Seedstock Sanctuary Plan and the OSPREY citizen-scientist video-monitoring project. We continue to work on issues related to the disaster.
GOAL 3: In our Apalachicola Bay Shoreline Restoration Project we are: 1) creating opportunities for landowners to use environmentally sound methods to protect their waterfronts from erosion; 2) creating educational materials for boaters and the public; 3) marking shallow, sensitive sea grass beds to prevent prop scarring; and 4) conducting an ongoing scientific assessment of water and habitat quality.
Goal 4: Promote Balanced Growth – We are working with citizens, planners, conservation organizations, elected officials, and government agencies throughout the watershed to promote growth that does not degrade ecological health, quality and viability. In 2009, we succeeded in convincing the Franklin County Board of County Commissioners in rescinding and repealing four large scale land use amendments that would have allowed the St. Joe Company to increase densities on 6,800 acres from one unit per acre to up to 4 units per acre.