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Oyster Havest Resumes in Apalachicola

FLORIDA - Oyster harvesting has resumed in Apalachicola Bay after test results confirmed that the water was safe and of good quality.

Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services closed the bay on tuesday evening due to bacterial concerns. It follows heavy rainfall in the Florida Panhandle and South Georgia which caused surges in the Apalachicola River, says the Pensacola News Journal.

Apalachicola Bay provides 90 percent of Florida's oysters and 10 percent of the nation's oyster supply. Closing the bay puts approximately 1,000 oyster harvesters out of work and sends a rippling effect through the area's economy.

Some seafood workers were struggling already as some wholesalers dropped prices they pay for the shellfish, said Linda Raffield, secretary of the Franklin County Seafood Workers Association.

Meanwhile, officials from Alabama, Florida and Georgia are continuing to negotiate a possible water-sharing agreement in advance of a Friday deadline, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Sole said Tuesday.

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Ellen Hardy

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