I know it's late on the east coast, and so late it is early morning but I have got to make one last post. This is to my friends and family in Florida, specifically Franklin County.
I know Franklin County and I know many of you are either dependent on the seafood industry or just love to go fishing. I want to tell you right now that Donald Trump and his EPA are about to ruin the Apalachicola Estuary. How? While people may think relaxing EPA standards are good for industry they are not for the fishing industry at all. Lifting restrictions on pollution control means that industries will not have to worry about increased pollution reaching rivers. I know most companies try to avoid polluting rivers but with relaxed standards they may not be as concerned about a slight increase in certain chemicals reaching the Flint, and more importantly, the Chattahoochee River. Both of these Rivers form the Apalachicola River. We know there is a dispute between Georgia and Florida about how much water Georgia can take from the Chattahoochee for Atlanta and other cities. When Georgia takes a lot of water there is less freshwater flowing into Apalachicola Bay and that throws the ecosystem out of whack which hurts Oyster production. Now imagine an increase in various pollutants like heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs, and even phosphorus and nitrogen based fertilizers. All of these can cause a problem that have a negative impact on wildlife. Heavy metals like mercury and lead can build up in fish making them unsafe to eat. The bigger the fish, the larger the contamination. Dioxins, PCBs and other chemicals can cause numerous problems for fish and people who consume them such as cancer, birth defects, poisoning in general. Increased phosphorus and nitrogen based fertilizer runoff can cause, actually does cause, algae blooms that are toxic which make things like oysters toxic to people. Without EPA restrictions on pollution Apalachicola Bay will become a wasteland beneath the waves. Further from the shore will be affected too. The Gulf of Mexico currently has a dead spot caused by agriculture runoff into the Mississippi River, but without regulations and restrictions you will see more pop up and the Northwest Coast of Florida will be one. Franklin County does not have beaches the size of Panama City and west of there. And though St. George Island is a tourist draw it is not a large enough of one to sustain the economy of Franklin County? What industry will Franklin County turn to when the whole fishing industry is wiped out? Logging? Not sustainable over the long haul. What other resources does it have that can take the place of the seafood industry? I love the County but without the seafood industry its economic future is bleak. I remember back in the 1980s where people were concerned that the development of St. George Island into a place with condominiums like those in Panama City would have a negative impact on Apalachicola Bay, especially the oyster beds. No one wanted to risk having increased septic system run off ruining the Bay. Heck, people were upset that Bobby Bowden had invested in the development project. As I recall he got out of it because of that.
Now Apalachicola Bay and Franklin County face a greater threat to the environment that can destroy the livelihoods of people who live there now. Can Franklin county afford to lose the seafood industry to increased pollution caused by other industries to the north? It appears it may have to because Trump and the EPA head Pruitt do not think regulations concerning the environment and pollution are good for business. Do you know what they forgot to consider in making that decision? The Florida Seafood industry like that in Franklin County and the people who depend on it to live.
And for you freshwater fisherman, there is just as much of a danger to that fishing industry too so you can say goodbye to bass fishing in a few years. You may catch some kind of fish but it will more than lively be an Asian Carp or Tilapia.