Category Archives: Outing

Gone virtual: Banks Lake Full Pink Moon Paddle, 2020-04-08

Due to the virus pandemic, WWALS is cancelling the next Full Moon Paddle at Banks Lake, formerly scheduled for sunset, Wednesday, April 8, 2020, with that lunar-monthly series to resume later.

But we have livestreams, videos, and online events, as well as outings and events planned for months from now, while WWALS advocacy continues. You can help.

Shelby Miller will livestream from Banks Lake at the originally-scheduled date and time for the Banks Lake Full Pink Moon Paddle, so you can see as if you were there.

[Sunset behind paddlers]
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, Sunset behind paddlers, Banks Lake, 2020-02-09

It probably would be possible to hold this Full Moon Paddle, since there is no shuttle so no cramming into vehicles, people could put their boats in one by one, and on the lake everybody is far apart, but we’re not going to do that.

Lakeland and Lanier County have declared a 9PM curfew, as I believe have Nashville and Adel, Georgia, in Berrien and Cook Counties, and there is a case confirmed in Clinch County. Lowndes County and all its cities have issued a “voluntary” stay-home order prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people, as has the state of Georgia. Madison County, Florida, similarly is trying for no groups of 10 or more. While some of these orders currently expire on April 6, don’t be surprised if they get extended.

WWALS does not want to provide any opportunity for anybody to violate any of those things.

So, please stay home and help stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease it causes.

We’re not postponing this outing: we’re cancelling. Whenever the curfews and the like are clear enough, we will resume our series of lunar-monthly WWALS Full Moon Paddles on Banks Lake.

While you’re home, please post your pictures and videos of your outings on lakes, rivers, creeks, swamps, springs, etc. Here are some from the Full Storm Moon Paddle on Banks Lake, February 9, 2020.

[Paddlers golden in sunset]
Paddlers golden in sunset

Feel free to get a ticket to the WWALS kayak raffle of an Emotion Stealth 11 Sit-On-Top Kayak with Carlisle Paddle.

WWALS Kayak Raffle 2020-07-12

You can attend some of our virtual events, such as Continue reading

Postponed: Eighth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race

Due to the pandemic of the novel Coronavirus, and to help prevent the spread of the virus-caused disease COVID-19, WWALS and FORB are postponing the Eighth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race (BLRPR), until a date to be announced later.

Anyone who has bought a BLRPR ticket and wants a refund, let us know. Otherwise, all tickets will remain valid at the eventual rescheduled date and time.

If Georgia state parks are open at the originally scheduled date and race start time of 9:30 AM, Saturday, April 25, 2020, one or two WWALS members will livestream from the BLRPR site and race course; six feet apart, of course. Stay tuned for details.

[Closer]
Closer

For more Continue reading

Earth Day Cleanup Postponed due to pandemic: WWALS, Georgia Power, Valdosta, and Brooks County, GA, Madison County, FL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (PDF)

Earth Day Cleanup Postponed due to pandemic: WWALS, Georgia Power, Valdosta, and Brooks County, GA, Madison County, FL

Hahira, Georgia, March 4, 2020 — We are postponing the Earth Day Cleanup and Paddle previously scheduled for April 18, 2020, at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River. http://wwals.net/?p=51816 The organizers, WWALS, Georgia Power, Valdosta, and Brooks County, Georgia, remain committed to holding this event in the future, as does , and Madison County, Florida. Meanwhile, WWALS plans a virtual outing by livestreaming a few people at the site on the original day, six feet apart, of course.

[WWALS and Lowndes County]
WWALS and Lowndes County signs at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp.

“At Georgia Power our focus during this challenging time is to ensure uninterrupted power so you can keep your daily life running,” said Joe Brownlee, Southwest Region Director for Georgia Power. “We are currently taking preventive measures to keep our teams healthy as spring storm season approaches. Hopefully we’ll be past this soon and can again join in fun times on the river.”

[GA Power H Rgb]
GA Power H Rgb

“The City of Valdosta remains committed to this cleanup event and its partnership with Georgia Power and our area Suwannee Riverkeeper and will work with all to find an agreeable date down the road,” said Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson.

[City of Valdosta]
City of Valdosta

“We are looking forward to a later date for this cleanup and paddle, so we can assist with promoting the event on our Brooks County FB page, and to recruit some participation to represent us,” said Jessica J. McKinney, Brooks County, Georgia, Administrator.

[Brooks County]
Brooks County

“Madison County has postponed our river cleanup until a later date,” said Madison County, Florida, Chairman Donnie Waldrep, Sr., referring to a cleanup planned for that same day in Madison County on the Withlacoochee River. He added, “I’d love to see this be an annual event.”

Madison County, Florida, Board of County Commissioners

“Joe and Scott and I already discussed on the radio last week that we probably could not do the paddle part of this event, due to the shuttle requiring crowding people into a few vehicles. http://wwals.net/?p=51877 While a cleanup might be possible by simply keeping everybody spread out, we’d rather be safe than sorry,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Before that, we had Continue reading

No WWALS booth at festivals rest of March 2020 due to virus

Due to the many health considerations of our volunteers and their families, WWALS, exercising an abundance of caution, will not send the information booth to festivals for the rest of March 2020.

Preparing for Community Mass Gatherings --GA-DPH

This means we are cancelling our appearances at:

While we are sorry to have to do that, the risk is beyond simple infection of our booth volunteers, which would be bad enough. The novel coronavirus is airborne, causes a disease that Continue reading

Video: Earth Day Cleanup and Paddle –Suwannee Riverkeeper & Georgia Power on Scott James Radio 2020-03-12

Update 2020-03-19: Earth Day Cleanup Postponed due to pandemic: WWALS, Georgia Power, Valdosta, and Brooks County, GA, Madison County, FL.

Update 2020-03-14: Much better water quality: Withlacoochee River, Okapilco Creek 2020-03-11.

Joe Brownlee is bringing Georgia Power people and a grill to the Earth Day Cleanup, 8AM, Saturday, April 18, 2020, at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp. This WWALS cleanup is co-sponsored by Georgia Power, the City of Valdosta, and Brooks County, Georgia. Madison and Suwannee Counties, Florida, will be holding Earth Day cleanups that same day downstream on the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers. The cleanups are free. The paddle is $10 per person, or free for WWALS members. No reservation necessary, but please check Going on the facebook event to encourage others to come.

[On Air]
On Air

We also discussed fecal bacteria in the river and the novel coronavirus. But first, we reminded people not to go on the Withlacoochee right now, because it’s Continue reading

Earth Day Cleanup and BIG Little River Paddle Race on Scott James Talk 92.1 FM Radio 2020-03-12

Update 2020-03-13: Video.

8AM this Thursday morning, Georgia Power Southwest District Director Joe Brownlee and Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman will visit Scott James on his Talk 92.1 FM radio, to talk about an Earth Day Cleanup on the Withlacoochee River co-sponsored by WWALS, Georgia Power, the City of Valdosta, and Brooks County, Georgia.

When: 8AM, Thursday, March 12, 2020

Where: Talk 92.1 FM Scott James drive-time radio show.
You can listen on the air, or through the radio show’s own website, or through several online listening services.

Event: facebook

[WWALS and Lowndes County]
WWALS and Lowndes County signs at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp.

All about the WWALS Earth Day Cleanup and optional paddle, which is co-hosted by Georgia Power, the City of Valdosta, and Brooks County, Georgia, at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River southwest of Clyattville, April 18, 2020.

And all about the Eighth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race (BLRPR) at Reed Bingham State Park, between Adel and Moultrie, Georgia, April 25, 2020.

For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times newsletter.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

WWALS, Georgia Power, and Valdosta: Knights Ferry Cleanup, optional Nankin Paddle, Withlacoochee River 2020-04-18

Update 2020-03-19: Earth Day Cleanup Postponed due to pandemic: WWALS, Georgia Power, Valdosta, and Brooks County, GA, Madison County, FL.

Update 2020-03-14: Radio TV, and unfortunately the novel Coronovirus may curtail the paddle, but the Cleanup is still on.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (PDF)

Earth Day Cleanup at Knights Ferry, Withlacoochee River: WWALS, Georgia Power, and Valdosta, April 18, 2020

Hahira, Georgia, March 4, 2020 — Celebrate the fiftieth Earth Day by helping clean up Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, Saturday morning, April 18, 2020. Afterwards, those who want to can paddle with us down the Withlacoochee River to Nankin Boat Ramp, cleaning up on the water and when we get to Nankin . This event is the first ever sponsored by WWALS, Georgia Power, the City of Valdosta, and Brooks County, Georgia.

[During Paddle Georgia 2019-06-16]
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, During Paddle Georgia 2019-06-16.

“Through this clean up effort we think we’ve found a way to create synergy around environmental stewardship with groups such as Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Pink Moon Paddle, 2020-04-08

Update 2020-03-25: Gone Virtual. Stay home and watch Shelby Miller livestream at the original date and time.

Leisurely sunset paddle and watch the April Full Pink Moon rise over the lake.

Don’t forget there’s still a Full Worm Moon Paddle in March, and the first-ever WWALS Gear Swap earlier that same day.

Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge is in the Grand Bay–Banks Lake ecosystem. We usually see birds, bats and alligators. Sunsets are usually spectacular, and the full moon over the tree tops reflected in the lake is a sight to see.

When: Gather 6:45 PM, launch 7:15 PM, Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Moon and sun: Moonrise 8:46 PM, Sunset 7:51 PM

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.035097, -83.097045

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

[Front coming in]
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, Front coming in, 2020-02-09.

Continue reading

Little River Paddle, Adel-Moultrie Landing to Antioch Road 2020-05-16

A leisurely paddle on a very seldom-paddled stretch of wild south Georgia blackwater river, the Little River below Reed Bingham State Park, between Adel and Moultrie.

When: Gather 10 AM, launch 11 AM, Saturday, May 16, 2020

Put In: Adel-Moultrie Landing, 2 GA 37, Adel, GA 31620, in Colquitt County, on the west side (right bank) of the Little River.

GPS: 31.16253, -83.54123

Take Out: Antioch Road Landing, Southwest of Adel, NW side of Antioch Road, NE side (left bank) of river, in Cook County.

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

[Route]
Route on the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

Burt Kornegay started out here in March 2018:

The Little River turned out to be well named. At the SR 37 bridge, where I launched, just downstream from Reed Bingham, its channel was only 3 to 4 canoe-lengths wide—necking down to not much more than a canoe-width in places. But, though small, the Little turned out to be big with beauty. It was bordered by loblolly pines and live oaks, with water elm, river birches and willows on the banks, and with large cypress and Ogeechee tupelos growing in the channel itself. The trees were hung with Spanish moss, and some of the oaks supported gardens of resurrection ferns on their big branches. Under the trees, swamp azalea was in full bloom, its blossoms ranging from white to pink. Occasionally I’d glimpse a farm field in the distance, but the farther I went downstream, the more stately the forest became, protected in a widening swamp.

Continue reading

Gear Swap at Banks Lake: find a new boat, maybe try it out, or get rid of an old one 2020-03-07

Sent to the media Wednesday (see also PDF):

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gear Swap at Banks Lake: find a new boat, maybe try it out, or get rid of an old one

[2020-02-26--gear-swap-pr-0001]
2020-02-26–gear-swap-pr-0001

Lakeland, Georgia, February 26, 2020 — Here’s something new: a fun-filled day of promoting paddle activities and trying various boat designs, at Banks Lake on the first Saturday of March. This new event by WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) should help paddlers find a new boat or get rid of an old one. If the owner permits, you can try out a boat right there on Banks Lake. This should help get everyone ready to kick off a new paddling season in the great Suwannee River Basin.

[Bret Miller, NWXpeditions, outfitting a paddler]
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, of Bret Miller of NWXpeditions, 2020-02-09

WWALS Outings Chair Bobby McKenzie, who thought up this Gear Swap, says, “Many thanks to Continue reading