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        Apalachicola: A River and Bay in Crisis | In the Grass, On the Reef

        The Apalachicola watershed is one of the most biodiverse regions in the United States, but one that is threatened by water withdrawals upstream of it in Georgia and Alabama. Apalachicola Bay is home to a world-renowned oyster fishery, but severe drought crippled Florida’s largest oyster producer in 2012. Its recovery is ongoing. While the bay gets a large part of the media attention, management of freshwater flow in upstream Georgia and Alabama and the engineering of the Apalachicola River channel have had impacts throughout the river basin.

        Learn more about ecology in North Florida by visiting the WFSU Ecology blog.

        Paddling the Apalachicola on RiverTrek 2012, Part 1 | In the Grass, On the Reef

        Eleven paddlers set out on a five day kayaking adventure on the Apalachicola River. Their goal is to raise funds and awareness of the river basin, and its adversity in the face of extreme drought and the water withdrawn upstream.

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        Paddling the Apalachicola on RiverTrek 2012, Part 2 | In the Grass, On the Reef

        The Army Corps of Engineers come to Apalachicola Bay for a demonstration of the severity of the collapse of its oyster fishery. The RiverTrek Paddlers continue to explore and learn about the issue affecting the river basin.

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        Apalachicola Bay Oyster Reef Survey | In the Grass, On the Reef

        After the declaration of a fishery disaster, Dr. David Kimbro’s crew begins surveying Apalachicola Bay oyster reefs to get a closer look. They find (and show us through underwater footage) that the bay is heavily depleted.

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        Apalachicola Bay Monitoring Experiment | In the Grass, On the Reef

        As part of their new Apalachicola Bay initiative, Dr. David Kimbro’s graduate student, Hanna Garland, adapts techniques and experiments used on intertidal reefs for those that are permanently under water. This is much more challenging.

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        Oystermen and Researchers Fighting for Apalachicola Bay | In the Grass, On the Reef

        Shawn Hartsfield, an oysterman helping David’s crew, is tasked with finding oysters for one of their experiments. The difficulty he has in finding the amount they need illustrates the severity of the crisis.

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        RiverTrek 2013 Preview: A Year in Apalachicola | In the Grass, On the Reef

        In 2012, the winter oyster bars of Apalachicola opened to reveal a severe lack of oysters as paddlers prepared to raise funds and awareness through RiverTrek. We look back at a turbulent year for one of our area's most important natural resources.

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        RiverTrek 2013, Part 1: Upper River | In the Grass, On the Reef

        We revisit the Apalachicola River for RiverTrek 2013. In our first video, we kayak a higher river than last year, and hike the woods and bluffs around it, but this doesn’t mean things are better for the river and bay yet.

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        RiverTrek 2013, Part 2: The Apalachicola's Bluffs and Tupelo Swamps | In the Grass, On the Reef

        In part 2 of our RiverTrek video, an Apalachicola River icon has a new facial scar and we kayak into Sutton Lake, the "quintessential" backwater swamp.

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