Category Archives: Swamp

Rivers bigger and more important that previously thought 2018-06-28

Rivers and streams cover more of the earth’s surface than previously thought, and likely interchange more CO2 and other gases with the atmosphere than previously thought. WWALS Science Committee Chair Tom Potter found this paper.

George H. Allen and Tamlin M. Pavelsky, Science, 28 Jun 2018, DOI: 10.1126/science.aat0636 Global extent of rivers and streams,

Abstract

The turbulent surfaces of rivers and streams are natural hotspots of biogeochemical exchange with the atmosphere. At the global scale, the total river-atmosphere flux of trace gasses such as CO2 depends on the proportion of Earth’s surface that is covered by the fluvial network, yet the total surface area of rivers and streams is poorly constrained. We used a global database of planform river hydromorphology and a statistical approach to show that global river and stream surface area at mean annual discharge is 773,000 ± 79,000 km2 (0.58 ± 0.06%) of Earth’s non-glaciated land surface, an area 44 ± 15% larger than previous spatial estimates. We found that rivers and streams likely play a greater role in controlling land-atmosphere fluxes than currently represented in global carbon budgets.

Fig. 1. Global River Widths from Landsat (GRWL) Database, Figure
Fig. 1. The Global River Widths from Landsat (GRWL) Database contains more than 58 million measurements of planform river geometry. The line plot on the right shows observed river coverage as a percentage of land area by latitude, and the bottom insets show GRWL at increasing zoom. The rightmost inset shows GRWL orthogonals over which river width was calculated, with only every eighth orthogonal shown for clarity.

You can see the lower Suwannee River in the above figure.

The authors zoom in on the Amazon River Basin in Brazil, but those last two zooms could easily be Continue reading

Ockolocoochee, Little River 1889-01-29

Who knows the Ockolocoochee River? No, not the Ochlockonee River; that’s a bit to the west. You do know the Ockolocoochee River as the Little River, of the Withlacoochee, of the Suwannee. Here is news from 1889 that also includes the boat that didn’t survive from Troupville to Ellaville, which was apparently not a paddlewheel steamer.


Irwin County, 1885a, GeorgiaInfo, Rand McNally Map of Georgia, 1885

Atlanta Constitution, January 29, 1889, Pg 12., quoted in Ray City History Blog, 18 October 2010, More About Troupville, GA and the Withlacoochee River,

THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER.

VALDOSTA, Ga., January 19. -[Special.]- Away up near the northern limit of the great wiregrass section there is a big cypress swamp. They call them bays there. From this bay emerges Continue reading

SELC against proposed suspension of Clean Water Rule 2017-12-13

Yesterday, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) submitted a sixteen-page letter against the EPA’s proposed suspension of the Clean Water Rule, on behalf fifty-six organizations including WWALS.10

Struggling to eliminate, Letter Much of that letter could as easily apply to today’s foregone vote to eliminate the FCC’s net neutrality rule. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s “‘unalterably closed’” views should have been enough for him to recuse himself. The three FCC Commissioners for the elimination of net neutrality made it clear they were not paying attention to the millions of public comments, despite requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act to do so. Chairman Pai with perhaps unintentional irony even argued that there was no need to hold public hearings since far more people commented online, which of course is only possible through an open Internet. Nevermind that the FCC appears to be ignoring those comments.

Similarly, the EPA does not seem to be paying attention to the “more than 680,000 public comments” on the Clean Water Rule repeal beyond taking only six days to come up with a two year delay in implementation of that rule.

The SELC letter to the EPA even cites two cases against the FCC when it says: Continue reading

One alligator, some turtles, many birds: cold and clear Okefenokee Outing

If you weren’t among the small but hardy group of paddlers yesterday, you missed more birds than I’ve ever seen in the Okefenokee Swamp on a sunny cold December morning. We did draw the winner for the kayak raffle; we’ll announce that once we get a return telephone call.

Getting out, 12:59:19,, Minnie Lake

Before even entering the Stephen C. Foster State Park, we saw a great blue heron, the bird on the WWALS banner, plus a wild hog. Inside, we saw Continue reading

Last chance before kayak raffle drawn at Okefenokee Suwannee River Outing 2017-12-10

You may have seen this kayak at the Brooks County Skillet Fest, the Berrien County Harvest Fest, the Alapaha Station Celebration, the Hahira Honeybee, or Suwannee Hulaween, and now there are only a few days to get a raffle ticket for it, before we draw the winner 9AM this Sunday in the Okefenokee Swamp on the monthly WWALS paddle outing.

Raffle kayak, Hulaween

You can put your donation in online and get your kayak raffle tickets. All proceeds go to support the work of WWALS Watershed Coalition, because Malibu Kayaks generously donated the kayak.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Okefenokee Suwannee River Outing 2017-12-10

Update 2018-02-10: Pictures of the outings.

Update 2017-12-12: And the winner is…

Update 2017-12-11: We drew for the kayak (stay tuned for the winner), and here are some pictures.

Update 2017-12-07: Also last chance to get a kayak raffle ticket before we draw the winner at the beginning of the outing.

Paddle upstream to Minnie’s Lake and back to see the Okefenokee Swamp after the West Mims Fire. Gators, birds, and fish!

When: 9AM, Sunday, December 10, 2017

Put In: Stephen C. Foster State Park, Fargo, GA

GPS: 30.8282, -82.361

Take Out: Same as Put In. This location is on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (SRWT) and the path is on the Okefenokee Wilderness Area Canoe Trails.

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! And we recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Minnies Lake, Floyds Island, Big Water, Canal Run
On our previous Okefenokee outing we went to Billys Island.

Duration: Continue reading

Cherry Creek & Stillhouse Branch, Lift Station, Sinks, Withlacoochee River

Why should anyone downstream care about an obscure creek north of Valdosta? Because it runs past sinkholes that leak into the Floridan Aquifer, into the Withlacoochee River, then into the Suwannee River, then into the Gulf of Mexico, going by all seven of the downstream Florida counties that passed resolutions asking the state of Florida to do something about Valdosta wastewater, not to mention neighborhoods and wetlands closer to the recent Cherry Creek Lift Station sewage leak, which was at least smaller than previous spills.

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

Cherry Creek, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, Gulf of Mexico

The orange red-circled disk shows Continue reading

Cherry Creek and Grand Bay Creek

Does Cherry Creek come from Grand Bay? This question came up about Valdosta’s Cherry Creek Lift Station Spill. No, but you weren’t alone if you didn’t know that.

Watershed Divide between Withlacoochee and Alapaha Basins
Cherry Creek (lower left) and Grand Bay Creek (right)

Cherry Creek runs into the Withlacoochee River, and comes from very near Grand Bay, but not Continue reading

West Mims Fire completely out; update tomorrow 2017-08-07

The biggest fire in the country, that started April 6, 2017 in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, has been out for about a month now, put out by rains, after massive containment efforts by fire crews from many counties and states. Apparently Lowndes County, Georgia, sent some assistance, since they have a special presentation about that fire on their agenda for this week. Their agendas never say whether such presentations are in the Work Session, which was this morning at 8:30 AM (it wasn’t) or in the Regular Session, Tuesday evening at 5:30 PM (must be then). Gretchen Quarterman was there this morning, and says they said the presenter will be someone unnamed from Charlton County. Gretchen will video the presentation for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

InciWeb West Mims Fire Incident Updated 7/11/2017
Map: InciWeb West Mims Fire Incident Updated 7/11/2017.

The fire within a week burned north into the Suwannee River watershed. A party of people we know, including Continue reading

Where nobody lives in the Suwannee River Basin

Obviously nobody lives in most of the Okefenokee Swamp or the Osceola National Forest, but also most of Clinch County is unpopulated west of the Swamp, as is much of the Gulf coast along the Suwannee River Estuary, from Cedar Key north to Horsehoe Bay, plus large parts of Dixie and Lafayette Counties west of the Suwannee River.

Screenshot 2017-05-12 13-15-46
Nobody Lives Here: Unpopulated U.S. Census Blocks, screenshot by jsq from interactive map by mapsbynik.

Update 2017-06-20: As someone pointed out, rangers do live in the Okefenokee Swamp, presumably in the white area along the access road.

Cedar Key is the island at the bottom of the map, and from a bit north on the Gulf Coast you can follow Continue reading