Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Blog Apalachicola Bay Oystermen Future

apalaghicola bay oystermen futureApalachicola Bay Oystermen Future

Governor Rick Scott,

Since January of this year I have come to you with my own
personal problems and concerns. I have asked you to consider my
own unique situation here at Eastpoint on Indian Creek. To date I
have no assurance of your response to those issues. Although I have
stated it, perhaps you have misunderstood my reasoning. I am 74
years old and have had an established business on East Apalachicola
Bay for 37 years. I have a wife, children, and grandchildren living
here. Over the years I have worked continuously for the economy
and business of the Eastpoint community. The center piece of that
community has always been the true “working people,” the oystering
men and women of Eastpoint. I have at my own expense over the
years done all I possibly could to support and forward them. The
Sportsman’s Lodge property and Indian Creek Marina has been a
vital point of unity to that community. So even though my stated
problems may seem personal they include my heartfelt labor to
support and sustain the unique culture and economy of oyster
harvesters. But as you will realize more and more with age we are
not truly owners, we are only caretakers. My time is limited and my
care taking must be passed on to the generation to come. In that
passing on I am and have been determined that the Oyster Industry
here must be supported. Am I concerned about pollution from the
sewage plant? Yes, because it is a threat to our whole way of life
here. Am I concerned when it seems government agencies go beyond
limit to regulate someone out of business? Yes, because it threatens
our whole way of life.

You need to understand what it is like to have a struggling
oysterman with wife and children who though working harder than
anyone should can not feed and house those children. Housing was a
problem here so I built an R. V. park on the south side of my
property. Nearly every oyster family in Eastpoint or their children at
one time or another during hard times found a roof over their head
and food there. After being flooded during Hurricane Dennis I could
not rebuild. So turning down many high dollar Real Estate deals I
sold that property to you and the State of Florida. I received a
fraction of what I could have made. WHY? Because this property is
vital to the oystering and crabbing community. At a time when the
economy was at rock bottom I could not imagine after so many years
of relationship denying them that vital access. As happens , the credit
for that decision turned into a personal loss of revenue and being
regulated out of a building by DEP.

When you came here and asked for help to get into office I shook
your hand. I told you I would stay in the background and help. I
have kept my word to you and your family. I am still keeping my
word in support of you.

Our Motel the Sportsman’s Lodge is hosting people from all over
Florida and the Nation. Every guest who comes here sees the signs
pictured below:

The Summer Bars for Oyster harvest opened June first. Every
Sport Fisherman and Seafood Worker as they come in and out
Indian Creek see the sign below.

These signs remain up because I believe with the people you have
to work with especially those in Franklin County, you are doing a
fantastic job for our future. Your campaign slogan of “let’s get to
work” has also been my slogan. Over the years we have employed
hundreds of people. During times of hardship we have always
reached out to the “working people,” the Seafood Workers of
Franklin County.

Though I feel to some degree my personal petitions to you have
not been fully answered. I will now from the heart petition you to
come to the aid of one of the hardest working people I have ever
known: The Seafood Workers of Franklin County. Please understand
that the unique location and only marina on Apalachicola East Bay
make this property a vital necessity for the future of the Seafood
Industry. With the current economy and regulations this is a crucial
time which can either make or break this million dollar industry. You
believed in it enough to come and eat an oyster in Apalachicola. You
believed in it enough to tell the whole nation our product was the
best in the world. But, I remind you that at the same time we had our
first cholera outbreak which was directly linked to a sewage spill
from the Treatment plant which has by clear proof dumped sewage
into OUR Indian Creek. I remind you also that at the same time the
FDA was putting in place regulations that are now threatening to
decimate this industry unless creative and alternate answers are
found. It is in the interest of such an answer that I petition you and
your agencies to support this proposal as a model to extend the life
and culture of this industry. It is crucial that we have the full support
of the State in this effort to revitalize and restore resources that will
extend the profit of the everyday oysterman.

PLEASE, read this proposal and respond. Regardless, after 37
years I am going to use this property and my assets to aid this
industry. As the “jobs Governor,” please understand not to respond is
to withhold a vital support to a million dollar industry and thousands
of men, women, and children who are the backbone of this industry.
The choice is yours, but by the promise of our handshake and your
campaign pledge I will believe better things and look forward to
your reply.

Again I ask that you or your representative come at your
convenience and discuss this proposal with us.

For Immediate Release

The Honorable Rick Scott
Governor of Florida
Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
Robert D. Allen
Owner and Operator of Sportsman’s Lodge
99 North Bayshore Drive
Eastpoint, Florida 32328

source: Apalachicola Bay Oystermen Future

This entry was posted in Apalachicola, Apalachicola Bay, Eastpoint, Florida, Oysters and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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