U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, today announced the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a field hearing in Apalachicola, Florida to examine the impacts of decreased water flows on the Apalachicola Bay and surrounding industries.
The hearing, titled, "Effects of Water Flows on Apalachicola Bay: Short and Long Term Perspectives", is scheduled to take place on August 13, 2013.
Earlier this year, Rubio sent a letter to Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Ranking Member John Thune (R-SD) requesting the field hearing due to the worsened conditions the drought and low water flows have caused for the bay and its dependent industries, especially the oyster industry. The Apalachicola Bay produces 90 percent of Florida's oysters and 10 percent of the nation's supply.
Following the announcement, Rubio issued the following statement:
"I want to thank Chairman Rockefeller and Senator Thune for supporting this important field hearing next month in Apalachicola. It is extremely important to the people of Florida that my colleagues are able to see firsthand the dire impacts the decreased water flows have had on what was once a vibrant, healthy bay, which is home to a booming oyster industry. Understanding the effects of this disaster on the local community, supporting industries and regional economy are key to appreciating the significance of the Apalachicola Bay and its situation. I look forward to examining the situation further in August so that we might determine an appropriate and effective solution."
Information provided by Sen. Marco Rubio's Office