Atlanta can seem like it’s a very long way from the oystering communities in Florida’s Panhandle. There are, in fact, hundreds of miles between them. But there are ways even distant places are intimately connected, perhaps more intimately than you’d guess. And when one of those places is in trouble, those connections get revealed.

This is the story of what’s happening to the oysters in Apalachicola Bay, and why that has inspired interstate legal battles—even a Supreme Court lawsuit. It’s also the story of what a place whose whole identity revolves around seafood does, when that seafood is threatened.

Apalachicola Harbor.
Apalachicola Harbor.

If you’d like to read the complaint Florida filed against Georgia in the Supreme Court, you can find that here.

The audio you heard of oysterman A.L. Quick was gathered in 2006 as part of the Southern Foodways Alliance oral history project on Florida’s Forgotten Coast. You can listen to that oral history and more than a dozen others with oystermen and other residents of Franklin County here.

CORRECTION: Hurricane Dennis was in 2005, not 2007, as reported at the end of the story. We regret the error.