Tag Archives: Tupelo Tree

How do Tupelo Trees and Crawfish Help Apalachicola Bay?

Perhaps no swamp tree captures the imagination more than the ogeechee tupelo.  But altered river flows on the Apalachicola River are causing a decline of this critical plant in the river floodplain.

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Rob Diaz de Villegas WFSU Public Media

I have to state, for the record, that it was Georgia’s idea to do a segment where she learns to drive the Riverkeeper boat.  Georgia Ackerman is one of the most experienced people I know out on the water.  In a kayak.  But as the new Apalachicola Riverkeeper, she needs to drive the boat.

I wanted to cover the transition between herself and Dan Tonsmeire, and I had two requests.  First, take me (and the WFSU viewers) somewhere we’d never seen before.  Second, I wanted some last nuggets of wisdom from Dan, as he handed the reigns to his successor. Continue reading How do Tupelo Trees and Crawfish Help Apalachicola Bay?

Kent Mayer squeezes through a narrow space to advance further into Sutton Lake.

(Video) RiverTrek 2: The Apalachicola’s Bluffs and Tupelo Swamps

Video: Kayak adventure in the upper Apalachicola, where we find Florida’s tallest river bluffs face a decades old man made threat.  Also, higher water lets us deeper into Sutton Lake, a back woods swamp where the oldest and largest tupelo and cypress trees of the Apalachicola basin are found.

Plan your own Apalachicola River Adventure.
Rob Diaz de Villegas WFSU-TV
Alex Reed inspects rubble from the Alum Bluff landslide.
Alex Reed inspects rubble from the Alum Bluff landslide.

It’s amazing to see how much can change in one year on the Apalachicola River.  I’ve previously mentioned the smaller sand bars and higher water.  But the most striking visual difference is in the face of Alum Bluff, probably the iconic image of the upper river. In part 1 of this adventure, we approached it from land to be rewarded with possibly the best view of the river and the forest around it.  In part 2, we kayak up to it.

Last year, we camped at the Alum Bluff sand bar across the river, and had activities in the evening and following morning that kept me from just being able to hang out and enjoy the bluff from my boat.  As I did so this year, Alex Reed, our co-captain as well as a geologist, was inspecting the rubble from a landslide that occurred earlier in the year.  Some of the rocks unearthed were millions of years old. Continue reading (Video) RiverTrek 2: The Apalachicola’s Bluffs and Tupelo Swamps