Confirmed today by telephone: FDEP is analyzing DNA and human tracers such as sucralose monthly at at least three stations: on the Withlacoochee and Alapahoochee Rivers at the Georgia-Florida line, and at the Withlacoochee River Confluence with the Suwannee River at Ellaville. Those are the top center left blue stars on this map.
Confirmed by: Darlene Velez, Water Resources Chief, Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD).
This is what Waterkeepers Florida (WKFL) heard in Orlando on April 15th from Tom Frick, Director, Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration (DEAR). I thought FDEP said four stations, the other being at the confluence of the Alapaha River, but perhaps I misheard.
At my request, Chief Velez sent me the slides she used in her presentation to the Florida Counties Rivers Task Force in Lake City, Florida, on April 25, 2019. I was not there, but Jim Tatum of OSFR sent a report.
Since those slides were mostly about SRWMD’s water quality monitoring efforts, they do not explicitly mention the new DNA and tracer monitoring by FDEP. Nonetheless, Chief Velez confirmed on the telephone today that FDEP is doing that monitoring monthly at the three indicated locations.
How to actually get that FDEP data sooner than their standard four-month delay is an ongoing issue, but we have some ideas on that.
Chief Velez said she will not be presenting at tomorrow’s May 14th SRWMD board meeting, where Tom Mirti, SRWMD Deputy Executive Director for Water and Land Resources, will be giving an overview of the April 10th meeting of Valdosta with the Florida Counties Task Force and the above-mentioned April 25th Lake City Florida Task Force meeting.
I will be at SRWMD tomorrow with the video camera and a few questions.
Photo: still from WWALS video of FL Rivers Task Force in Lake City 2019-02-28.
Center Table, foreground to back: John S. Quarterman (Suwannee Riverkeeper, behind camera), Darlene Velez (Water Resources Chief, SRWMD), Tom Mirti (Water Resource Director, SRWMD), Dan Harley (Rep. Chuck Brannan).
SRWMD’s Tom Mirti reported on the preceding SRWMD Board meeting of 2019-02-12.
Meanwhile, tomorrow morning WWALS Science Committee member and VSU Geology Profressor Can Denizman will represent WWALS at the FDEP Triennial Review Public Workshop in Tallahassee.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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