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Graham Pushes Freshwater Plan

Rep. Gwen Graham (D-FL2) digging deep for oysters.
Nick Evans

Panhandle Rep. Gwen Graham (D-FL2) took to the water Tuesday with members of the Apalachicola Bay oyster industry.   The freshman Congresswoman is highlighting legislation to help support the flagging industry.

Graham’s father, former governor Bob Graham, became known for holding so-called work days on the campaign trail.  In an echo of that tradition, Gwen Graham hopped on an oyster boat Tuesday morning to help with reshelling efforts in Apalachicola Bay.  She even tried her hand with the scissor-like rakes used to harvest oysters.  The shellfish need freshwater to flourish, but Florida Georgia and Alabama have been at odds for years over how to divvy it up.

“I know that I can work with members of the Alabama delegation, with the members of the Georgia delegation,” Graham says.  “I look forward to hopefully talking with the governors of all three states, and bringing people together.  We’ve been fighting this for two and half—for twenty, twenty five years—over two decades.”

The Army Corps of Engineers maintains dams upstream controlling the flow of freshwater.  Graham’s legislation would allow the Corps to release more of it.  There are 20 members of the Florida delegation in the U.S. House backing her proposal.