The Apalachicola Bay System Initiative
The Apalachicola river and bay system is one of the more ecologically diverse and significant natural areas in the southeastern United States. It has for centuries served as the central economic pillar of Franklin County, Florida. It is now a system imperiled. The Florida State University is dedicated to reversing this trend through a new initiative, the Apalachicola Bay System Initiative (ABSI). ABSI, funded in part by the Triumph Gulf Coast Inc., seeks to gain insight into the extent of deterioration of the bay ecosystem, particularly the oyster reefs, and the causes of their decline.
This will be accomplished by understanding the trajectory of change in physical structure and water flow over time, monitoring oyster recruitment and survival, and conducting laboratory and field experiments that inform predictive models of oyster productivity and ecosystem health. The ultimate outcome will be a plan – a treatment plan of action, if you will – for the management and recovery of the oyster reefs and the health of the Bay. Thanks to the generous funding by Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., FSU will be able to develop such a plan in concert with the agencies responsible for the management and conservation of the region, the stakeholders whose lives are tied inextricably to these waters, and the natural and social scientists whose research will help inform the resulting policy decisions.
The scientific and logistical hub of ABSI is the Florida State University Coastal & Marine Laboratory located in St. Teresa, Franklin County, Florida.