Category Archives: Aquifer

The Floridan Aquifer is our main drinking water source under our entire WWALS watershed, east to south Carolina, west through Alabama to Mississippi, and under all of Florida.

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

Nutrien (PCS) mining phosphate and water in Hamilton County and soon in Columbia County? 2018-07-11

Thanks to Jim Tatum of OSFR for spotting this op-ed in the Lake City Reporter yesterday by WWALS member and Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida about Nutrien (PCS) mining phosphate and water in Hamilton County and likely planning to expand to Columbia County.

Dennis Price explains, Down to a sunless sea
Photo by John S. Quarterman of Dennis J. Price at the Dead River of the Alapaha River, 2018-01-27.

To the Editor:

Much has been written in the last year about Sam Oosterhoudt’s mitigation bank. I was involved in permitting the bank through the Army Corps (ACOE) and The Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. It took about 5 years to get all the permits. Now, 9 years after work began on the project, the phosphate company (then PCS now Nutrien) petitioned the state to shut down the mitigation bank.

I do not know for sure, but, Nutrien may tell you that during the recent sale of PCS and the review of mineral interests owned, they discovered that the mitigation bank had snuck in there and set up shop over their minerals. This probably has some truth to it but I think there is a much more involved reason.

In Hamilton County, Nurtrien/PCS is planning to run out of phosphate to mine in about 10 years, give or take a few years either way. I do not believe they are planning on shutting the doors and leaving. Occidental Chemical Company started mining in Hamilton County Continue reading

Phosphate Mine on Bradford BOCC agenda this morning 2018-05-07

The HPS II proponents don’t want to pay for consultant work on future effects of their phosphate mine. Why should the county (the taxpayers) be stuck with all or part of $53,265.00 to consultants about a for-profit mine that would adversely affect the waters on which the whole county depends, not to mention downstream on the New, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers and perhaps beyond in the Floridan Aquifer? Mine proponents also complained that one subconsultant had “articulated a position of opposition to the HPS application”. If the consultants were uniformly in favor of the mine, what would be the point of hiring them at all?

Map: HPS II Mine Site, Packet
A map as clear as mining mud. Legend: Union Project Boundary (5,421.91 Acres); Bradford Project Boundary (5,262.92 Acres)

I sent Chairman Ross Chandler the the Resolution Against Phosphate Mines in Florida by several Waterkeepers across Florida.

Cost

In the agenda sheet for agenda item 4.B. Direction to staff regarding scope-of-work/subconsultants for Onsite Environmental Consultants (OEC) — Review of application for Special Permit for Mining (Section 14.6, LDR): Continue reading

Help stop two bad Florida water bills: HB 1149 and SB 1308

Remember the Florida bill with the bad amendment, withdrawn because you called? Well, the bill itself, HB 1149, is bad enough, and near to a vote.

Please sign Margaret Tolbert’s petition against that and another bad bill, HB 1308.

Saturday crowd at Madison Blue Spring,
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, from the Suwannee River, of Saturday crowd at Madison Blue Spring, 2017-06-24.

According to a March 1, 2018, Tampa Bay Times article:

“Cynthia Barnett, the author of three books on water and an environmental fellow in residence at the University of Florida’s Bob Graham Center for Public Service, said the bills are based on a faulty assumption concerning how much water Florida needs for its future growth.

The bills say that Florida will need Continue reading

Fossil fuels are a far bigger threat than the Russians

Leaks of hazardous materials, explosions, land takings, sinkholes, frac-outs: these are far bigger threats than Texas Rep. Lamar Smith’s Committee report “that states Russian agents were attempting to disrupt U.S. energy markets and using social media to purportedly stir up protests against pipelines such as Sabal Trail,” as a reporter asked me about recently. Smith’s report doesn’t mention that solar and wind power are growing far faster than his favorite, fracked methane gas.

Energy source growth by sector
Business Council for Sustainable Energy by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, February 2018, 2018 Sustainable Energy in America.

Elsewhere I already looked behind Lamar Smith’s fossil fuel smoke and mirrors, and found I post more on social media than the tiny Russian numbers that horrify him.

His actual examples are seriously rolling-on-the-floor laughable, such as this: Continue reading

WWALS at Suwannee Spring Reunion at the Music Park 2018-03-22-25

Come down to the Suwannee River with Suwannee Riverkeeper, listen to music, and talk about the rivers and the aquifer, outings and advocacy, education and fun. If you want to come all four days, we have a deal with camping if you help out at the WWALS booth. If you want to help just one day, we have a way for that, too.

When: March 22-March 25, 2017

Where: Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
3076 95th Dr, Live Oak, Florida 32060

Event: facebook, meetup

What: Suwannee Spring Reunion, featuring The Infamous Stringdusters, David Bromberg Quartet, Donna the Buffalo, Larry Keel Experience, Dar Williams, Billy Strings, Amy Helm, Jim Lauderdale, Verlon Thompson, Shawn Camp, The Grass is Dead, Rev. Jeff Mosier and Biscuit Tragedy, Jon Stickley Trio, Front Country, Roy Book Binder, Grayson Capps, Ralph Roddenbery, Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, Nikki Talley, Quartermoon, Sloppy Joe, Big Cosmo, Suwannee Spirit Kids, and Tania & Magic Moon Traveling Circus.

WWALS banner, Thursday

It looks like all but four of the acts from last year Continue reading

Florida fracking ban passes Senate Committee, needs to move in House 2018-02-07

One of our goals Wednesday in Tallahassee was accomplished: the fracking ban is moving in the Florida statehouse! You can help: call your Florida state Representative or Senator and ask them to vote for the fracking bills. If you don’t know who they are, you can use Florida’s Find Your Legislators.

Gale Dickert, ban fracking, Sen. Montfords office
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Tallahassee, 2018-01-31. Do Gale Dickert and these people look like they’re going to give up easily?

Monday SB 462 was uananimously approved by the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee, thank you Committee Chair Senator Rob Bradley, whom many people intensively lobbied last Wednesday to schedule a vote in that committee. The indefatigable Continue reading

Staten Road to Langdale Park, Withlacoochee River, 2018-03-03

A leisurely five mile paddle in about two and a half hours through a surprisingly wild section of the Withlacoochee River, much of it actually inside Valdosta, the biggest city in the Suwannee River Basin, on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

When: 9 AM, Saturday, March 3, 2018

Put In: Staten Road Landing, 4556 Staten Road, Valdosta, GA 31605, Lowndes County, GA. 7.1 miles north of downtown Valdosta. Beware: it’s a long rough dirt road access, then a scramble down the riverbank.

GPS: 30.9328, -83.28227

Take Out: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602, Lowndes County, GA.

Free: This outing is Free! And we recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

VALORGIS, Route
Map: VALORGIS. White is Valdosta inside grey city limits, yellow is recharge zones for the Floridan Aquifer, green is Langdale Park.

We start in Lowndes County, cross over the county’s expanded sewer and water lines at Bay Branch (those lines head for Stafford-Wright Road). Then the City of Valdosta is on our left briefly before back to county both sides, and Sermons Branch (is that its real name?). Into a Floridan Aquifer recharge zone, passing on our right the Shadrick Sink, notorious for Continue reading

A Resolution Against Phosphate Mines in Florida –Florida Waterkeepers 2017-12-18

Update 2018-08-01: Five additional signers: Suncoast Waterkeeper, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper, Indian Riverkeeper, St. Marys Riverkeeper, and Collier County Waterkeeper; see (PDF).

Delivered via email as PDF to the Union BOCC before their phosphate mine workshop of Monday, December 18, 2017.


A Resolution
Against Phosphate Mines in Florida

WHEREAS, Waterkeeper Alliance Members are obligated and dedicated to protect the water resources, citizens’ interests, and related benefits in their jurisdictions; and

WHEREAS, Resolution WHEREAS, phosphate mines have been shown to threaten and cause actual harm to these resources, interest, and related benefits; and

WHEREAS, there are several phosphate mine projects in various stages of permitting in local, state, and federal agencies including county and city governments, Water Management Districts (WMDs), Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); and

WHEREAS, there seems to be no public list of current phosphate mines and related facitlities, which include at least

Continue reading

Barber Pool, early 20th century

Floridans worried about springs drying up: it already happened to this one. A sad channel with no flow in Saunders Park once was a large and famous spring-fed pool, remembered by many in Valdosta, Georgia, both those who went there and those who were refused.

Flow channel, 15:45:07,, Former artesian spring 30.8288170, -83.3018410 The man who built Barber Pool at that spring on River Street, E.R. Barber, was the first Coca-Cola bottler outside of Atlanta, an inventor, and also the builder of the current home of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. The Barber-Pittman House is on the National Register of Historic Places. That big house on the main drag, Ashley Street, just north of downtown Valdosta, was willed to the citizens of Valdoosta by his daughter, Ola Barber-PIttman.

Here’s what Barber Pool looked like in its heyday.

Slide, Spring-fed

Slide, Spring-fed

Thanks to Continue reading