SEPT. 19, 2014 UPDATE: The time-frame for the Oct. 1 workshop in Apalachicola has been adjusted. The workshop will start with sign-in and discussion at 2:00 p.m. and last until 4 p.m.
SEPT. 18, 2014 UPDATE: The format for the Oct. 1 workshop in Apalachicola has been updated to accommodate a two-step process that will provide more complete and specific answers to the most pressing questions of the community. The process will involve
- a listening session workshop on Oct. 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Community Center, and
- a subsequent workshop where questions and content from the listening session will be addressed and answered.
The first workshop, on Oct. 1 will be organized and moderated by the University of Florida Oyster Recovery Team, UF/IFAS Extension and Florida Sea Grant. These programs focus on gathering information from communities and the environment about pressing issues and helping to find solutions.
The second workshop (date to be announced) will be organized collaboratively by the University of Florida Oyster Recovery Team, UF/IFAS Extension, Florida Sea Grant and the state agencies that provide management and oversight for the Apalachicola Bay resource: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The topics of the second meeting will include responses from UF and agency experts to provide answers to the main questions and concerns raised at the listening session.
Please join us on Oct. 1 so that we can gather broad input and representation from the community.
(Begin original post. Please note the information below is an earlier post and is no longer entirely correct. It has been left in place for reference purposes. Please refer to the update above for the current accurate meeting information.) The University of Florida Oyster Recovery Team will host an information sharing session on the state of the oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay on Wednesday, Oct. 1, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Apalachicola Community Center.
According to Karl Havens, director of Florida Sea Grant and the leader of the oyster recovery team, the meeting will address four specific areas:
- the current status of the oyster population, based on the most recent data and observations of scientists and oystermen
- the status of the Bay Management Plan that is being developed by the state of Florida
- the plans for spending the monies from the Fishery Disaster declaration, NRDA, NFWF and other sources that have been provided to the state to support rehabilitation of the oyster fishery and the community
- options available for oyster fishermen if they are out of work in the near future due to lack of oysters to harvest
“Recently, our extension agents and scientists have received questions from constituents regarding the state of the oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay,” Havens said. We are responding by hosting a workshop where experts will provide information based on the best available information.”
Representatives from UF and pertinent state agencies will attend and present updates, Havens said.
For each topic there will be presentations and dialogue with the audience. In the last hour, there will be a facilitated open discussion about any of these issues, Havens said.
Light snacks, water and soft drinks will be provided at the meeting.