Dunn introduces crucial legislation to protect Apalachicola River and Bay

APALACHICOLA, FL – Today, Dr. Neal Dunn (FL-02) announced that he has introduced H.J. Res 77, a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval to halt the implementation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers revised Master Water Control Manual for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin.

“This crisis and the fight for our right to river water goes back many years, but the challenge is urgent for us, today,” said Dr. Dunn. “If implemented, this rule would have even more devastating effects on the ecosystem in Apalachicola and the economy in the Second District than the current water control plan that led to the unprecedented collapse of our oyster fisheries in 2012. This legislation will permanently halt the harmful revised Master Water Control Manual and allow the states involved to continue working towards an equitable agreement.”

H.J. Res 77, is currently cosponsored by several members of the Florida delegation, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Rep. John Rutherford (FL-04), Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05), Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06), Rep. Bill Posey(FL-08), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Rep. Dennis Ross (FL-15), Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL-16), Rep. Brian Mast (FL-18), Rep. Francis Rooney (FL-19), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26). Congressional Review Act resolutions permit Congress to overturn Administration rulemakings by a majority vote of both houses of Congress and the signature by the president. Congress has been passing CRAs in the last few weeks, and the first one was recently signed into law.

“As elected officials, we owe it to the families and fishermen who live and work here to do everything we can to fight for their livelihoods and their communities. And we will,” added Dr. Dunn.

“The Apalachicola Riverkeeper organization wholeheartedly supports the action that Representative Dunn proposes to undertake, if necessary, to STOP this unfair and unsustainable action that the Corps has incorrectly arrived at to favor the State of Georgia over our interest,” said Mark Friedman, treasurer of the Apalachicola Riverkeepers, Inc.

“As Franklin County Commissioner and Chair of the Franklin County Tourist Development Council, I applaud Congressman Dunn’s insight into the problem and commitment to finally resolve this conflict and preserve this community’s God given right to use the resources he has so graciously provided,” said Cheryl Sanders, District 5 Franklin County Commissioner, Chair of the Franklin County Tourist Development Council.

“We’re grateful to have a Congressman who is fighting hard for northwest Florida and its communities like Apalachicola, and we applaud Dr. Dunn for this bold measure,” said George Roberts, the Chairman of the Northwest Florida Water Management District.

Last week, Dr. Dunn questioned the Army Corps about the ACF River Basin. He also led a letter, signed by the entire Florida House delegation, to the Army Corps calling for it to halt implementation of the Water Control Manual immediately and meet with stakeholders. Dr. Dunn unveiled the crucial legislation at an event in Apalachicola that was widely attended by local leaders and waterman.