Category Archives: River

Pictures of all the BLRPR paddlers 2018-04-28

You’ve seen who won the eleven awards. Now here are the rest of the paddlers in the 6th Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race, from more counties, states, and watersheds than ever before. Also more Solo Female Kayaks than Solo Male Kayaks, and several whole families of paddlers.

[Finish]
Finish

Statistics: 2018 BIG Little River Paddle Race

43 Boats 
37 kayaks
6 canoes

49 Paddlers
29 male
20 female 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

A week on the Withlacoochee River in June?

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 on the 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.

Troupville to Suwannee River Rendezvous
Troupville to Suwannee River Rendezvous

Here’s some history of the Withlacoochee River: fishing weirs, shoals, ghost towns, and springs.

Here is a list of access points on the Withlacoochee River with recommended water levels.

Troupville Boat Ramp, Hahira GA 122 Little River Gauge, 137-144′ NAVD88

Your first put in will actually be on the Little River, slightly upstream from its confluence, at Troupville Boat Ramp.

27 April 2016, GA 122 Hahira Little River Gauge 70.9′ (140.6′ NAVD88).
Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA) fixed the Troupville access road back in April 2016.

Boatramp
Photo: Julie Bowland

21 April 2018, GA 122 Hahira Little River Gauge 7.2′ (140′ NAVD88).
WWALS did a cleanup at Troupville, in which you can see our water trail signs. See also some history of Troupville, the previous county seat of Lowndes County, Georgia.

Scouts and all, Sign
At Troupville Boat Ramp, by the signs for the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) that Phil Hubbard planted yesterday (2018-04-20).

Georgia Springs on the Withlacoochee River

Three of the six second-magnitude springs in Georgia used to be in Brooks County, Georgia, before somebody apparently tried to Continue reading

Landowner wins over Sabal Trail in jury trial, jsq on Scott James radio 2018-06-29

The just compensation for property takings required by the Fifth Amendment is not “just” compensation, said Scott James. And a jury of peers of a landowner told Sabal Trail to pay up five times what it offered for an easement for its fracked gas pipeline.

“…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
—Fifth Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Scott said this jury award was big news and asked if it was just compensation. I said yes, front page in the Valdosta Daily Times.


VDT front page

And five times is more just than before. But how is a one-time payment Continue reading

WCTV: Celebrating victory against Sabal Trail

Emma Wheeler, WCTV, 27 June 2018, Landowners, environmentalists celebrate ‘small victory’ over Sabal Trail,

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 compensation.’

Eminent domain

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.

Sabal Trail is now ordered to pay five times that amount, more than Continue reading

Valdosta spilled 300,000 gallons Tuesday 2018-06-26

For a year and a half, Valdosta had no major sewage spills. Until yesterday. The 300,000 gallons Valdosta spilled uphill from the Withlacoochee River is far more than the 90,000 gallons Albany spilled into the Flint River a month ago, and far more than the 36,000 + 5,400 gallons Tifton spilled into the New River a few weeks ago. It’s even more than the 250,000 gallons Tifton spilled into the Little River last September during Hurricane Irma.

New WWTP site near Withlacoochee River

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

Quarter million dollar upgrade to Lowndes County Land Application Site 2018-06-25

Lowndes County Utilities Director Steve Stalvey wants about $20,000 for impellers and wear rings for the pumps in the Francis Lake Lift Station and about $275,000 to improve the Land Application Site (LAS), where they spray sewer waste onto a field which they then rent out for hay production (the county does not have a wastewater treatment plant).

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.

Parcels 0172 119 and 0204 001
Parcels 0172 119 and 0204 001, Lowndes County Tax Assessors.

Parcel 0172 119, 537.84 acres, no location address given, but Continue reading

Videos: Songwriting Contest on Scott James Radio 2018-06-22

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 Scott James. 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.

You can even paddle 9AM this morning down the Withlacoochee River into Valdosta to get to the Salty Snapper.

Scott James Talk 92.1 drive-time radio show

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.

Here’s a LAKE WWALS video playlist:


Videos: Songwriting Contest on Scott James Radio 2018-06-22
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS),

Once festival season is over today, we noted we’ll get on with the programs WWALS fundraising pays for. Such as water quality testing: Continue reading

Songwriting Contest on Scott James Radio 8:00AM 2018-06-22

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman will be on the radio 8:00 AM this morning, Friday June 22, 2018, with Scott James on his Talk 92.1 drive-time radio show, out of Valdosta, Georgia, talking about:

Scott James Talk 92.1 drive-time radio show

When: 8:30 AM, Thursday, April 26, 2018

Where: You can listen on the air, or through the radio show’s own website, or through several online listening services.

Tickets: To listen to new songs about the rivers Saturday, don’t forget to get your tickets, $10 online, or $12 at the door.

Event: facebook for the radio show;
facebook and meetup for the music Saturday.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Videos: Gretchen Quarterman about Songwriting Contest on Steve Nichols radio 105.9FM WVGA 2018-06-18

Steve Nichols said on the radio yesterday morning:

“It sounds like a wonderful time, to sit there in a great atmosphere, and listen to some good, original music.”

That’s the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest coming up 1-5PM, this Saturday, June 23, 2018 at the Salty Snapper, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602.

“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 judges

  • 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.

Gretchen also showed Steve copies of the metal signs WWALS Outings Chair Phil Hubbard made and planted at Troupville Boat Ramp. She said those would be at all the landings on the Alapaha Water Trail (ARWT) and the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) as we raise money to put them there.

She showed the metal Sheboggy Boat Ramp signs Phil made to sell so people maybe won’t keep stealing them off the GDOT signposts for their man cave or woman cave.

Here’s a LAKE video playlist:


Videos: Gretchen Quarterman about Songwriting Contest on Steve Nichols radio 105.9FM WVGA 2018-06-18
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS).

I’ll be on the radio Friday morning; stay tuned for a post about that.

For more WWALS outings and events, see the WWALS Calendar or the Outings and Events list.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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