Thursday, October 4, 2012

Florida governor visits Resource Fair and meets with seafood interests

Florida Governor Rick Scott was in Eastpoint Wednesday to meet with seafood workers and groups that are providing assistance to many local people who are suffering because of the poor state of the oyster crop in the Apalachicola Bay.

In August, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued a report with bleak projections for the 2012-13 oyster harvest; reports of oyster declines have also come in from Dixie, Levy, Wakulla and Bay counties.

When Florida’s oyster season opened Sept. 1, Apalachicola Bay oystermen found few harvestable oysters and are currently having a hard time finding enough oysters to make a living.

The governor made a stop at the Resource Fair at the Eastpoint Firehouse, where he met with local officials, seafood dealers and seafood harvesters and got a firsthand account of the current status of the bay. 

The governor said through a press release that “Florida is working with the Army Corps for a long-term plan to address the needs of Franklin County, while also helping to address short-term needs through worker training and food banks.

He added that “The Apalachicola Bay is critical to the State of Florida.  It is home to the world’s best oysters and fisheries, and the hardworking residents here rely on the Bay to provide for their families.  State agencies and community organizations are coming together to ensure families in this area can get back on their feet quickly.”

The resource Fair itself was well attended with a number of state and local groups offering assistance to people who need it.

The groups included Franklin’s Promise, the health department, the literacy office, Gulf Coast State College, the department of Children and Families, and Disc Village.

There was also food available for impacted families.

This was the second resource fair held at the firehouse; the Governor announced another upcoming resource fair scheduled for October 12th. e-mail with comments