Category Archives: Agriculture

Marion County Comprehensive Plan to reject Coastal Connector? 2019-01-15

Maybe you’d like to show up 2PM tomorrow, Tuesday, January 15, 2019, and encourage the Marion County, FL, BOCC to adopt into the county’s Comprehensive Plan a Resolution they passed June 5, 2018, which would help head off future road boondoggles. The resolution opposes any Coastal Connector highway routes through Marion County.

[DRAFT Areas of Opportunity, 4/6/2016]
DRAFT Areas of Opportunity, 4/6/2016

When: 2PM, Tuesday, January 14, 2019

Where: McPherson Governmental Complex,
601 SE 25th Ave., Ocala, FL 34471

What: Item 14.B.4. on the agenda is adopting the resolution into the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

Event: facebook

As juries recently decided about easement for the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline (which Marion County also opposed), “full compensation” is not the same as “just compensation” for road rights of way, either:

J. It must be recognized that the issue is not simply the payment of “full compensation” to owners of the most valuable equine and agricultural properties in Marion County. Rather, it must be recognized that as a result of any of these corridors, the required right-of-way acquisitions and resulting construction of the proposed facility will not only damage, but may destroy many of these important operations in Marion County, and consequently, negatively impact the economic vitality and long-range growth of Marion County; and

Gouging pipelines or highways through farm or horse land or under rivers destroys what they traverse. No amount of compensation would be sufficient.

If you’re nearby, this would be good opportunity to stand up for water, environment, and property rights.

Janet Barrow Letter

WWALS member Janet Barrow sent them this letter. EAR is Continue reading

Waterkeepers Florida signs Resolution Against Phosphate Mines in Florida 2018-12-19

In one of its first actions at its first official board meeting, WATERKEEPERS(R) FLORIDA voted to sign the Resolution Against Phosphate Mines in Florida, December 19, 2018.

This opposition throughout Florida to phosphate mines anywhere in the state is especially timely, with public hearings and a vote coming up in January soon in Bradford County on the HPS II phosphate mine application.

A dozen of its thirteen members had already signed for their individual organizations. According to its bylaws, all members of WATERKEEPERS Florida are now signed on with the organization. Besides, the thirteenth member, Continue reading

State geologist Greenhalgh says BMPs don’t work to solve BMAPs

Someone inside FDEP has been brave enough for years to say the emperor has no clothes regarding contamination in the Suwannee River Basin.

Suiting up, Thomas Greenhalgh
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, of Thomas Greenhalgh suiting up at the Alapaha Dye Test, 2016-06-22.

Dinah Voyles Pulver, The Daytona-Beach News-Journal, 24 November 2018, State geologist challenging springs action plan raised questions before, Continue reading

Radioactive well water, coal ash, fertilizer, and Tifton superfund sites 2018-10-29

Best to test for arsenic, and maybe lead, radon, and uranium, in your well and hot water heater water. In March 2013, South Health District and the Georgia Department of Health recommended testing for arsenic. That was three years after Janet McMahan discovered the arsenic problem after her family members and pets got cancer. As we wrote a few months before the Health Departments finally made their recommendation, after Janet got Erin Brockovitch involved, you may also find lead and uranium. The problem has not gone away. Also, you may find radon.

Uranium and Lead, Well water

Janet wrote Monday:

This Water is from Well on private property 3 miles from Willacoochee. Sample taken from Water Heater. Lady says she uses all of the hot water when taking a shower each morning. Looking for her Radon Level now.

Radon, Well water

Janet added:

Radon sample collected at Same Well. Continue reading

Pictures: Berrien County Harvest Festival 2018-09-29

Except for being a very unseasonable 102 degrees in the shade, it was a very fine day at Berrien County Harvest Festival in Nashville, Georgia, Saturday, 29 September 2018, next to the Withlacoochee River and in a county bordered on the east by the Alapaha and Willacoochee Rivers.

He likes wwals.net so much he wanted to be on it, and now he and she are, shown here with Gretchen Quarterman.

He wanted to be on wwals.net, Booth

Continue reading

California court requires higher ag. runoff controls

If California can do it, so can Florida. The petition deadline for FDEP’s Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) got pushed back to January 2019, so we shall see.

Sara Rubin, Monterey County Weekly, 20 September 2018, Victory for Monterey Coastkeeper as court rules regulations for ag runoff fall short,

Even California’s water quality law, the Porter-Cologne Act, recognizes the challenge. A 2004 addendum about nonpoint source pollution put it this way: “Current land use management practices that have resulted in nonpoint source pollution have a long and complicated physical, economic and political history… Therefore, it is expected that it will take a significant amount of time for the [regional water boards] to approve or endorse nonpoint source control implementation programs.”


Photo: Nic Coury, “Otter Project Director Steve Shimek stands near the Monterey County Water Resources Agency’s Blanco Drain, which conveys ag runoff exceeding state water quality standards to the Salinas River,” in Court slams Central Coast farm runoff rules as too weak, orders water quality improvements, by Sara Rubin, Monterey County Weekly, 14 August 2015.

That time, according to the Court of Appeal for California’s Third District, has come. A Sept. 18 decision Continue reading

WWALS at Berrien County Harvest Festival 2018-09-29

Join WWALS back again at the eighth annual Berrien County Harvest Festival in downtown Nashville, Georgia. Music, art show, craft and food venders, featuring The Puppies of Penzance.

When: 9AM – 3PM, Saturday, September 29, 2018

Where: Downtown Courthouse Square, Nashville, GA 31639

Free: No entrance fee.

Event: facebook

Poster, 2018 Berrien County Harvest Festival
Flyer: Berrien County Chamber of Commerce.

Berrien County PR, unknown date, 2018 Berrien County Harvest Festival,

Harvest Festival activities will also include Continue reading

Cyanobacteria infecting Florida political races

We are fortunate in the Suwannee River Basin in not having this bad a problem, but are similarities. Greg Allen, NPR, 7 September 2018, Toxic Algae Seeps Into Florida Congressional Races,

For months now, mats of algae from Lake Okeechobee have been flowing down the river, bringing toxins that can affect people and animals. In beach communities east of the lake, the algae have had a big impact on tourism and businesses.

With more toxic algae blooms on Florida’s west coast and a red tide algae bloom causing massive fish kills in the Gulf of Mexico, water quality is increasingly having a big impact on key midterm races in Florida. While Democrats tend to be more outspoken on environmental issues, Republican candidates are also speaking up because they’re feeling the heat.

Outflows from Lake Okeechobee

Seems to me all the candidates are dancing around the real issue, which is Continue reading

Florida Waterkeepers United visit FDEP 2018-08-01

Seven of the fourteen Florida Waterkeepers visited the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to express our serious concern and a sense of urgency to protect and restore Florida’s rivers, coast, bays, estuaries, lakes, springs, and aquifer, especially about resiliency after hurricanes, harmful algal blooms, BMAPs, and phosphate mines. I congratulated Noah Valenstein on his meteoric rise: only two and a half years ago he was just starting as head of the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD), and now he’s the head of FDEP.

L-R: Andy Hayslip (Tampa), Georgia Ackerman (Apalachicola), Marty Baum (Indian), Jen Lomberk (Matanzas), Drew Bartlett (FDEP), Whitney Gray (FDEP), Rick Frey (St. Marys), Lisa Rinaman (St. Johns), Noah Valenstein (Sec., FDEP), Shannon Blankinship
L-R: Andy Hayslip (Tampa Bay Waterkeeper), Georgia Ackerman (Apalachicola Riverkeeper), Marty Baum (Indian Riverkeeper), Jen Lomberk (Matanzas Riverkeeper), Drew Bartlett (Deputy Secretary for Ecosystem Restoration, FDEP), Whitney Gray (Administrator, Florida Resilient Coastlines, FDEP), Rick Frey (St. Marys Riverkeeper), Lisa Rinaman (St. Johns Riverkeeper), Noah Valenstein (Secretary, FDEP), Shannon Blankinship (Advocacy Director, St. Johns Riverkeeper), John S. Quarterman (hat, Suwannee Riverkeeper), Tom Frick (back, Director, Division of Environmental Restoration, FDEP); Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS

Press Release: Florida Waterkeepers Unite at FDEP

Continue reading

Benefits must outweigh harms –WWALS to FERC Re: Pipeline Certification NOI 2018-07-25

Here’s the WWALS response to FERC’s Notice of Inquiry (NOI) about “Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Facilities”. A few excerpts:

FERC should approve no more pipelines without comparing not just coal plants to natural gas plants, but also comparing sun and wind power. If that means no more pipelines, so be it….

In one of the most egregious cases, Sabal Trail commenced construction on the land of the Bell Brothers in Mitchell County, Georgia, and when they countersued, Continue reading