Category Archives: River

Video: River Gauges @ Lowndes County Commission 2019-10-21

Flood Inundation Maps (FIM) are related to Lowndes County taking over funding from Valdosta of the Skipper Bridge Withlacoochee River gauge, said EMA Director Ashley Tye.

[19.7feet]
19.7feet

Joint funding of $135,000 from Valdosta and Lowndes County started work on FIM for Skipper Bridge in 2016, with completion announced 22 May 2018.

The item about joint funding with USGS and SRWMD to fund the Skipper Bridge Withlacoochee River Gauge, in addition to the Folsom Bridge Little River Gauge, was the longest item at five minutes yesterday morning. Continue reading

WWALS Boomerang paddle race, sponsors, silent auction, on Talk 92.1 FM Radio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

More sponsors, silent auction, and radio for WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia into Florida and back again this weekend

Valdosta, GA, October 22, 2019 — You don’t even have to paddle to enjoy the WWALS Boomerang, 11 AM this Saturday, October 26, 2019, at State Line Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River, on Madison Highway south of Valdosta. You can bid in the silent auction on a nice fishing pole from Fishing Tackle Outlet, or some training from SBMS Crossfit, among many other items, plus get tickets for a kayak raffle. NWXpeditions and VSU CORE will have free boat rental.

Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie said, “Paddlers who race will get a voucher for a free beer per boat at Georgia Beer Company, and winners will get a big tumbler with the Boomerang logo.”

There will be competition. Last year’s winner, Dr. Tom Potter, said, “I’m back! This time in a tandem.“

[River Radio]
River Radio; Photo: Jay Blanton, Georgia Photography Fanatic.

WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman said, “I’ll be broadcasting on Talk 92.1 FM radio, 7:30 AM this Friday, October 25, about the Second Annual WWALS Boomerang paddle race, from Georgia to Florida and back again.” Boomerang on radio show facebook event

How to get tickets, and everything else about the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, from Georgia to Florida and back again:
wwals.net/pictures/2019-10-26–boomerang/ Continue reading

Floridan Aquifer withdrawals affect the Okefenokee Swamp, so how could TPM’s withdrawals not? 1995-04-11

Water withdrawals from the Floridan Aquifer affect water levels and quality in the Okefenokee Swamp, a pair of researchers concluded 24 years before Twin Pines Minerals of Alabama proposed to withdraw 2.4 million gallons per day from the Aquifer for a titanium mine within a few miles of the Swamp:

Abstract. A rapid response is observed between water level fluctuations in the Okefenokee Swamp and water levels in the underlying Floridan Aquifer. A lag of approximately one month is common, and a hydraulic diffusivity of 3.83 x 10-3 m2 s-1 best matches the calculated aquifer response to the swamp water level perturbations. The magnitude of leakage between the swamp and the aquifer is uncertain because of a lack of knowledge about the specific storage coefficient in the aquitard separating the swamp and the aquifer which has not been explicitly measured. An intermediate value of specific storage within the likely range of values results in a down- ward vertical flow of 1.2 meters of water per year. This induced recharge can significantly alter the natural water balance within the swamp. Such a large loss of water from the swamp may be responsible for observed pH and water level changes, and increased beavy metal accumulations in aquatic organisms in the swamp.

We cited that study[5] on page 4 of the Suwannee Riverkeeper comments to USACE about TPM, just after noting Twin Pines application to withdraw 4.32 million gallons per day (mgd) of Floridan Aquifer water much closer to the Swamp than any other permitted withdrawal. TPM’s own hydrology study in that withdrawal application shows a cone of depression in the Floridan Aquifer extending under the Swamp:

[Figure 8. Drawdown 2930 days]
Figure 8. Drawdown 2930 days

How could that not affect Swamp water levels and content?

As pointed out to the Corps by Okefenokee Swamp Park (OSP), any change to the water level in the Swamp would Continue reading

Four Freedoms Trail, Withlacoochee River, Madison County, Florida 2019-10-17

Here’s the Withlacoochee River from the only public access near State Line Shoals: the Madison County, Florida, Four Freedoms Trail. It’s on the former right of way of the Valdosta Railway, formerly Valdosta Southern Railway (VSO), formerly Georgia and Florida Railroad, built in the late 19th century as Florida Midland and Georgia Railroad. The same Valdosta Railway is still in use from Valdosta to Clyattville, Lowndes County, Georgia.

[RR Trestle, 2019:10:17 15:59:24, 30.6294432, -83.3186451]
RR Trestle, 2019:10:17 15:59:24, 30.6294432, -83.3186451

You can paddle down the river to the Four Freedoms Trail from Nankin Boat Ramp, about six miles, past McIntyre Spring.

Or upstream about four miles from State Line Ramp, although that could be challenging right now with the Withlacoochee River this low.

All these points are on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT). Continue reading

Videos: Chemours titanium mine expansion, Bradford BOCC 2019-10-17

Here are videos of all the speakers, for, against, staff, and Commissioners, at the Thursday Bradford County Commission about Chemours expanding onto SRWMD land in a new Trail Ridge South Mine.

I especially recommend the Commissioner Comments, in which each Commissioner explains his position before the vote.

You’ve already seen the 3 to 2 Bradford BOCC vote for the Chemours Trail Ridge South titanium mine on SRWMD land.

Below are links to each WWALS video of each speaker, followed by a WWALS video playlist. The videos are unedited. The only gaps are Continue reading

Chemours titanium mine expansion, Bradford BOCC 2019-10-17

Update 2019-10-19: The rest of the WWALS videos of the entire Public Hearing.

Bradford BOCC voted 3:2 for the Chemours Trail Ridge South titanium mine on SRWMD land. Commissioner Chris Dougherty (District 3) made the motion, Kenny Thompson (District 2) seconded, Frank Durrance (District 5) aye, Danny Riddick (District 4) nay, Ross Chandler (District 1) nay.

[Commissioners and staff]
Commissioners and staff

Here’s the WWALS video:


Chemours titanium mine expansion, Bradford BOCC 2019-10-17
Video by John S. Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS), Bradford County Courthouse, Starke, Florida.

I will post more videos later of the two hours of public comment, including numerous specific citations of faults with the mining application, as well as the very professional-seeming Chemours slide show, which nonetheless omitted important features such as the FDEP Consent Order and whether Twin Pines Minerals is involved.

This is not the end of the story. Several speakers warned them they were setting themselves up for lawsuits about the improper notice of last night’s Public Hearing. According to Chemours, they still need many permits: Continue reading

Still $20 until midnight tonight: WWALS Boomerang 2019-10-15

Today, October 15, 2019, is the last day for $20 early bird tickets for the WWALS Boomerang Paddle Race from Georgia into Florida and back again. After midnight, the price goes up to $30.

Everybody cropped, Everybody
Photo: Jay Blanton of Georgia Photography Fanatic. Everybody still at WWALS Boomerang after the awards, 2018-11-03.

Everything about WWALS Boomerang 2019 is here:
http://wwals.net/pictures/2019-10-26–boomerang/

Continue reading

Pictures: Cleanup, Alapaha River, Lakeland and Pafford’s Landing 2019-10-12

A fun couple of hours and a truckload of #Rivers Alive trash picked up in and around the Alapaha River at Lakeland Boat Ramp and Pafford’s Landing, on the Alapaha River Water Trail, yesterday, October 12, 2019.

[WWALS #RiversAlive Alapaha River]
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, WWALS #RiversAlive Alapaha River

Continue reading

Winner Tumbler for WWALS Boomerang and last call for early bird tickets 2019-10-26

Tuesday, October 15, 2019, is the last day for $20 early bird tickets for the WWALS Boomerang Paddle Race from Georgia into Florida and back again.

If you are one of the many lucky winners, you will get one of these tumblers with the Boomerang logo on it:

[Boomerang logo on tumbler]
Boomerang logo on tumbler

Thanks to Fishing Tackle Outlet on Madison Highway for becoming a sponsor. You or your organization can also sponsor the WWALS Boomerang. Sponsors get their name and logo on a banner, in announcements, and in flyers, with various other perks at different levels of sponsorship.

Everything about WWALS Boomerang 2019 is here:
http://wwals.net/pictures/2019-10-26–boomerang/

Continue reading

A Bill of Rights for Nature

Does it seem most of the agencies, laws, and rules are rigged for big corporations and against local private property rights, against local fishing, swimming, boating, and hunting, and against organizations like Riverkeepers and Waterkeepers?

Turbidity curtains and black pipe from the north bank
View from the south bank of Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline turbidity curtains and pipe, collecting drilling fluid frac-out from pilot hole, taken from the north bank of the Withlacoochee River, about 2000 feet upstream from the US 84 bridge.
Photo: John S. Quarterman, October 22nd 2016.

One approach to change that is a Bill of Rights for Nature (BOR), to change the legal structure so rivers, swamps, aquifers, lakes, etc. presumptively have rights that corporations have to prove they are not violating.

For example, Suwannee Riverkeeper is helping oppose a company that wants to mine titanium within three miles of the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Mary’s Rivers, and above the Floridan Aquifer, from which all of south Georgia and north Florida drinks.

http://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining/

[Tribal Grounds west along GA 94 to TPM equipment, 12:38:38, 30.5257540, -82.0411100]
Tribal Grounds west along GA 94 to TPM equipment, 12:38:38.
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, on Southwings flight, pilot Allen Nodorft, 2019-10-05.

We shouldn’t have to get more than 20,000 comments sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (you can still comment) pointing out that the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge contributes far more jobs (700+) and other economic benefits (more than $60 million/year) to the region and to Florida and Georgia than even the wildest promises of the miners (150-200 as in the application? 300? 350, as they told some reporters?), and the mine would risk all that, including boating, fishing, and birding in the Swamp and hunting around it. We should be able to point to the rights of the Swamp, Rivers, and Aquifer, and the miners should have to prove beyond a shadow a doubt that they would not violate them.

When the Georgia House of Representatives overwhelmingly refused to grant easements for the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline to drill under Georgia rivers, Continue reading