Category Archives: Swamp

Cherry Creek & Stillhouse Branch, Lift Station, Sinks, Withlacoochee River

Why should anyone downstream care about an obscure creek north of Valdosta? Because it runs past sinkholes that leak into the Floridan Aquifer, into the Withlacoochee River, then into the Suwannee River, then into the Gulf of Mexico, going by all seven of the downstream Florida counties that passed resolutions asking the state of Florida to do something about Valdosta wastewater, not to mention neighborhoods and wetlands closer to the recent Cherry Creek Lift Station sewage leak, which was at least smaller than previous spills.

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

The orange red-circled disk shows Continue reading

Cherry Creek and Grand Bay Creek

Does Cherry Creek come from Grand Bay? This question came up about Valdosta’s Cherry Creek Lift Station Spill. No, but you weren’t alone if you didn’t know that.

Watershed Divide between Withlacoochee and Alapaha Basins
Cherry Creek (lower left) and Grand Bay Creek (right)

Cherry Creek runs into the Withlacoochee River, and comes from very near Grand Bay, but not Continue reading

West Mims Fire completely out; update tomorrow 2017-08-07

The biggest fire in the country, that started April 6, 2017 in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, has been out for about a month now, put out by rains, after massive containment efforts by fire crews from many counties and states. Apparently Lowndes County, Georgia, sent some assistance, since they have a special presentation about that fire on their agenda for this week. Their agendas never say whether such presentations are in the Work Session, which was this morning at 8:30 AM (it wasn’t) or in the Regular Session, Tuesday evening at 5:30 PM (must be then). Gretchen Quarterman was there this morning, and says they said the presenter will be someone unnamed from Charlton County. Gretchen will video the presentation for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

InciWeb West Mims Fire Incident Updated 7/11/2017
Map: InciWeb West Mims Fire Incident Updated 7/11/2017.

The fire within a week burned north into the Suwannee River watershed. A party of people we know, including Continue reading

Where nobody lives in the Suwannee River Basin

Obviously nobody lives in most of the Okefenokee Swamp or the Osceola National Forest, but also most of Clinch County is unpopulated west of the Swamp, as is much of the Gulf coast along the Suwannee River Estuary, from Cedar Key north to Horsehoe Bay, plus large parts of Dixie and Lafayette Counties west of the Suwannee River.

Screenshot 2017-05-12 13-15-46
Nobody Lives Here: Unpopulated U.S. Census Blocks, screenshot by jsq from interactive map by mapsbynik.

Update 2017-06-20: As someone pointed out, rangers do live in the Okefenokee Swamp, presumably in the white area along the access road.

Cedar Key is the island at the bottom of the map, and from a bit north on the Gulf Coast you can follow Continue reading

Suwannee River: standard for dissolved organic matter

A primary objective of the WWALS Science Committee is to compile published scientific literature for the Suwannee basin. We are doing this using online search engines including the University of Georgia System Galileo program and Google Scholar. Remarkably, our searches have identified thousands of published scientific papers and reports that link to the keyword, “Suwannee”. Examination of many revealed that they describe research using dissolved organic matter isolated from the Suwannee River near Fargo, GA. This is the material that gives the water its special color.


Photo: Richard T. Bryant, in Pamela P. Holliday, Sherpa Guides, unknown date, The State of the Swamp: The Suwannee River Sill and DuPont’s Mining Proposal Grab attention and Concern in the Okefenokee

Digging further Continue reading

More than 100,000 acres and Billy’s Island in West Mims Fire 2017-05-03

We got smoked here in western Lowndes County yesterday and this morning 60 miles from the West Mims fire as it went up to 107,846 acres in and around the Okefenokee NWR. Many of the fire-fighting numbers went down since last post: remember, the goal is not to put the fire out, rather to contain it. As I write, a big storm just went over here heading that way, so maybe mother nature will take a hand today.

The Valdosta Daily Times has been covering this fire right along, most recently by Terry Richards, VDT, 2 May 2017, Rain barely felt at massive swamp fire,

FARGO — A mild rainfall Monday had little to no impact on the West Mims Fire burning through the Okefenokee Swamp, according to a firefighter.

The blaze, which had burned more than 100,000 acres by Tuesday afternoon, received about a tenth of an inch of rain from a weak cold front that moved through South Georgia Monday.

“It didn’t help,” said Leland Bass, a firefighter and public information officer for the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Maybe they’ll get more rain in the swamp today. Continue reading

All the way to GA 177: West Mims Fire 2017-04-30

Well, this keeps escalating, now 96,248 acres, including some on Billy’s Island, opposed by 499 personnel, 6 helicopters, 57 wildland fire engines, 6 dozers, 37 tractor plows, and 2 interagency hot shot crews, according to InciWeb today. Some crews came from as far away as Denver, according to CBS Denver 26 April 2017, and the smoke has spread as far as North Carolina.

Fire Map, InciWeb, 2017-04-30
InciWeb map, West Mims Fire, 2017-04-30

Today’s InciWeb release does claim Continue reading