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Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 4:41am

Report Could Give FL. Leverage In Water Wars

A resurgence of the endangered fat threeridge mussel in the Apalachicola River could give Florida more legal leverage in a water dispute with neighboring Georgia.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists plan to issue a new report Aug. 1 that investigates the effects of water flow on the endangered fat threeridge mussel.

In September, scientists reported finding mussels at elevations higher than expected in a 2008 report that helped the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates a dam, decide how much water it should release into the river. The scientists said last year that they found many dead mussels when the water level dropped.

An appeals court earlier rejected Florida's argument that its needs more water to protect endangered and threatened species. The state of Florida has appealed.

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