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Salt and oysters

July 20, 2020

Because of the urban demands for the fresh water that feeds the Apalachicola river, heightened by recent drought, that beautiful bay has become a bit saltier. Which is less friendly to its famous oysters. Which has forced the state to close harvests for five years. Which might mark a permanent shift in both the local ecology and a local industry that depends on it.

Of course, I think about the proposed desalinization plant here in Corpus Christi when I read this. (Carolyn Vaughn wants to rethink that.) Increased salt is good for some species, bad for others. In the ideal world, no such project would get to first base without its proponents first funding an environmental impact study by a third-party chosen by some public process. For environmental protection, alas, the gulf coast states are pretty far from the ideal world. Industrial proponents would do better if, instead of pretending concern about the environment, they supported legal changes to protect it. Yes, that would cost investors money. On each and every project affecting the local waters. When you love something, it often costs money.

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