WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTXL) - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio welcomed the announcement made Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce to provide relief to the struggling Apalachicola Bay oyster industry.

The Senator from Florida released a statement praising the agency's $6,316,533 disaster assistance funding.

“Today’s announcement will bring much-needed relief to the small business owners and families in the Apalachicola community whose way of life depends on the health of the oyster fishery,” said Senator Rubio.

“Every bit of this disaster assistance will be a good first step in helping the local communities, industries and businesses severely impacted and that have suffered immense economic damage because of a preventable, man-made disaster. These small businesses and hard-working Floridians still deserve a permanent solution, and I remain committed to fixing this problem until Florida’s oyster fishery is once again vibrant.”

 The area's oyster industry has been adversely impacted in recent years by water shortages, as a result of ongoing interstate water disputes between Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.

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