WWALS Watershed Coalition advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, and Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities.
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.
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 →
Somebody asked recently whether it is possible to paddle a week on the
Withlacoochee River in Georgia in June.
Sure, as long as you start not too far upstream
Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT),
you can paddle past shoals and little-known Georgia springs
into the Florida springs heartland, and then continue a day or two on the
Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (SRWT).
WWALS has paddled many of the most interesting stretches multiple times,
often in June.
The Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline was granted eminent domain in
order to run through some of the private properties along its path.
In doing so it was required to offer what the defense calls ‘just
One Moultrie land owner was offered around $20,000 for an easement
on his property. This week a jury, siding with the land owner,
decided that was not enough.
Sure, 300,000 is less than the
millions of gallons Valdosta spilled in January 2017.
And sure, Valdosta has spent tens of millions of dollars building
a whole new Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)
uphill out of the flood plain, and a force main, and mamy other improvements.
Sure, the situation is better than it used to be,
as I’ve been bragging about on the radio and in this blog recently.
But it was that same new WWTP that spilled yesterday.
Sure, what spilled was mostly rainwater.
But people in the seven Florida counties downstream (or in Lowndes and Brooks
Counties, Georgia downstream) are not Continue reading →
The agenda for this morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session and tomorrow evening’s voting Regular Session doesn’t say where the LAS is,
but apparently it’s these two parcels nestled between Moody AFB’s Grassy Pond and the private Pike’s Pond Fishing Club, west of I-75 and Lake Park.
Come hear good music this afternoon, new songs about the Suwannee,
Withlacoochee, and other rivers, said
Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman
on the radio yesterday morning with
The M.C. for today’s finals of the
Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest,
WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman, explained the raffles (kayak, swag,
and silent auction), and we mentioned
the buffet and cash bar at the
at the Salty Snapper, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602.
We listed the finalists in the
Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest,
and described the format: speeches (especially by Will Eason of the Salty Snapper), finalists play new songs about the rivers, judges score on music, lyrics, history, etc., and finally
the results of the raffles, and the prizes.
We showed off the First Prize plaque, just handed to us by WWALS
Board Member Phil Hubbard, who made it.
“Finalists will play, and will be judged. The prizes will be awarded, and of course the acknowledgment of the sponsors.”
Plus a buffet of snacks prepared by the Salty Snapper,
including some vegetarian,
all for $10 in advance online,
and there will be a silent auction and kayak raffle tickets.
Gretchen Quarterman was on the radio with Steve Nichols, WVGA 105.9FM
(I was scheduled, but the flu said otherwise; I’m better now).
Gretchen said you don’t need to write a song, just come listen
to the finals this Saturday afternoon, with
Cindy Bear from Jacksonville,
Dan Crews from Live Oak, and
J.J. Rolle from Valdosta
Plus the Outings Committee has organized a paddle 9AM Saturday morning
from Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Landing,
just across the railroad tracks from the Salty Snapper,
so you can paddle to the songwriting contest.
Steve Nichols remarked:
“As a kid, I used to go down that stretch of the river with my friends.
When I say as a kid, I was in high school in the early eighties.
It would be fun for me to do that trip as a nostalgic trip,
and going back and look at that beautiful stretch of river right there.”
Gretchen said the water is high so probably there will be no dragging,
and the river is different every time.