Windom, H.L. and Palmer, J.D., 2023. Fluvial transport of suspended sediments in the Apalachicola Basin to Apalachicola Bay: Implications to salt marsh sustainability. Journal of Coastal Research, 39(6), 1105–1113. Charlotte (North Carolina), ISSN 0749-0208.
Modifications of the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint (ACF) River Basin, including construction of dams, reservoirs, and navigation channels, were made prior to 1960. This, along with increased water withdrawal occurring primarily in Georgia and Alabama to meet increasing agriculture and municipal water supply demands, has significantly affected the fluvial transport of water and suspended sediments to Apalachicola Bay, located along the Gulf coast of Florida. Using suspended sediment load (SL) data from the most down-basin U.S. Geological Survey gauging, suspended-sediment input to the Apalachicola Bay during the 21st century was estimated to be 0.51 metric tonnes per year. At the present time, this supply is sufficient to maintain the vertical integrity of Bay salt marshes at the rate of sea-level rise. Based on historic SL data for river reaches in the lower ACF Basin, the suspended-sediment discharge to Apalachicola Bay will likely decline.