Holton Creek River Camp Overnight Outing 2019-09-21

Join us for an overnight two-day paddle on the Suwannee River, staying at Holton Creek River Camp.
Day 1: 5.5 mile paddle from Deese-Howard Ramp to Holton Creek River Camp. Spend the night in a screened platform.
Day 2: 6.4 mile paddle from Holton Creek River Camp to Gibson County Park.

When: Day 1: Gather 10 AM, launch 12 PM, Saturday, September 21, 2019
Day 2: Gather overnight, launch 9 AM, Sunday, September 22, 2019

Put In: Deese-Howard Boat Ramp

GPS: 30.41439, -82.96292

Take Out: Day 1: Holton Creek River Camp. If you don’t want to camp, you can make it a one-day outing by paddling on to:
Day 2: Gibson County Park

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) a day for non-members. So that’s $20 for the two days, or $10 for non-members who go only one day. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today! Individual membership is only $25 and family $40, and then the outings are free to you for a year.

Event: facebook, meetup

Continue reading

Swamp more important than miners under Consent Order in Florida

A resolution supporting the TPM mine is on the agenda for the Charlton County Commission meeting, 6PM this Thursday, August 15, 2019, 68 Kingsland Drive, Folkston, GA. Especially if you live in Charlston County, please go to that meeting and object. Even better, contact your County Commissioner before the meeting.

[Suwannee Riverkeeper op-ed 2019-08-13]
Suwannee Riverkeeper op-ed 2019-08-13

Suwannee Riverkeeper op-ed in the Charlton County Herald, yesterday, August 13, 2019:

Swamp more important than miners under Consent Order in Florida

Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) promises jobs, taxes, and low impact to mine for titanium between Moniac and St. George, on property that extends up to the Okefenokee NWR.

People from Baker, Bradford, and Union Counties, Florida, say they don’t know any locals who have the mine jobs promised by Chemours. The TPM application for Charlton County promises Continue reading

Consent Order, FDEP v. Chemours involving Twin Pines Minerals 2019-02-07

Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) is cited in a consent order on Chemours mines, for failure to collect data, spilling waste through silt fences and not cleaning it up, and being out of compliance on numerous counts, including radium and iron, in the Suwannee, St. Johns, and St. Mary’s River basins in Florida.

[Four times spelled out]
Four times spelled out, on four different pages

This is the same TPM that has applied to mine titanium in Charlton County, Georgia, near the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Mary’s Rivers.

[TPM, GA and Chemours FL mines]
TPM, GA and Chemours FL mines

You can read the Consent Order yourself: Continue reading

Bring pictures of people, animals, plants, and mining to Charlton County

Please bring pictures (not costumes) and stories of people to the miners meetings this week in Charlton County, Georgia, about the proposed Twin Pines Minerals titanium mine southeast of the Okefenokee Swamp on Trail Ridge.

Little gator on the shore, 09:43:42,, Starting
Little gator on the shore, 2017-12-10.

Here are some types of pictures that would be good:

  • People fishing, paddling, hiking, birding.
  • People holding binoculars and gazing through high-powered spotting scopes and telephone lenses.
  • People just looking at gorgeous landscapes of swamps and trees and animals: cypress, longleaf, gators, bitterns, sand hill cranes, gophers, bears, and all the others.
  • People hunting the waterfowl that fly from their Okefenokee habitat to hunting seasons elsewhere.
  • All the types of folks who make up the hundreds of thousands who visit the swamp or benefit from it every year, spending the million of dollars and generating the tens of millions of economic effects every year, in a stable and economic fashion.

Bring pictures of other titanium mines and the areas surrounding them to show what this area and around it would look like with such extractive misuse.

[Closeup]
Closeup of Chemours mine dredging in Baker County, Florida, on Trail Ridge, viewed from CR 228. More pictures on the WWALS website.

No costumes, just pictures, signs, stories, and handouts.

A few people are proposing this mine to extract profit at everyone else’s expense, threatening all those things people care about in the swamp and the rivers.

Many people involved all these ways with the Okefenokee and the rivers can stop the mine. Continue reading

Finalists selected for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2019-08-24

These are the seven Finalists who will play live at the Second Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, 1-5 PM, Saturday, August 24, 2019, for you and the Judges to hear, so the Judges can select the winners, at The Salty Snapper in Valdosta, GA.

“We got another awesome line up. Glad I’m not a judge,” said Sara Squires Jones, one of the Committee that selected the Finalists.

[2019-06-23]
You’ll have to wait until the Contest to see the finalists, so here’s a picture of the Committee that picked the Finalists: l-r, Tom H. Johnson Jr., Laura D’Alisera, Scotti Jay (Chair), Sara Squires Jay, Mary Carolyn Pindar, Eileen Box, John S. Quarterman

In the order we received their songs, with what they wrote about themselves: Continue reading

Animals opposing titanium mine near Okefenokee Swamp 2019-08-13-14

Update 2019-08-11: What to bring: pictures and signs (not costumes).

Come early to see the animals assembling on the sidewalk before the miners’ public meetings Tuesday and Wednesday in Folkston and St. George, Georgia. Think of it as Early Okefenokee Halloween!

Alligator

You can bring an animal costume picture and help oppose the mine, also by distributing information outside and asking questions inside. There will be reporters from near and far.

Locals especially please come to the Charlton County Commission meeting Thursday, but no demonstration there, please, just listen and speak. Continue reading

WWALS Boomerang: Paddle and a Pint, from Georgia to Florida and Back Again 2019-08-08

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Valdosta, GA, August 8, 2019 — Join us for a fun filled day of paddle racing and leisurely paddling on the idyllic blackwater Withlacoochee River. Plenty of water, no deadfalls, plus shoals! We will paddle from State Line Ramp in Georgia, with staggered starts for turnarounds in Florida at 1, 2, and 3 miles, then back to where we started. Tickets are $20 until October 15th, then $30.

“Sign up to race and get a beer for participating!” said Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie. “Thanks to Georgia Beer Company!”

Vendors vested in conservation or stewardship of our waters already signed up include VSU CORE, Boy Scouts, and TNT Hot Dogs. Nonprofit vendors are free, and $20 fee for for-profit vendors.

“This is good ecotourism for Lowndes and Brooks Counties, Georgia, and Hamilton and Madison Counties, Florida,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Maybe we can get a little friendly state-line rivalry going on!”

McKenzie added, “Also another fun opportunity to wear your Halloween Costumes!”

Sponsors get their name and logo on a banner, in announcements, and in flyers, with various other perks at different levels of sponsorship.

[Simple Flyer]
Simple Flyer

Everything about WWALS Boomerang 2019 is here: Continue reading

Nestle water supply @ SRWMD 2019-08-13

Nestlé’s permit request to with draw even more massive amounts of water from Ginnie Springs on the Santa Fe River does not explicitly appear in next Tuesday’s SRWMD board packet.

Nonetheless, you can go ahead and ask SRWMD not to approve that permit: OSFR explains how.

Nestlé has long sucked up water next to Madison Blue Spring on the Suwannee River, paying nothing per gallon, and now Nestlé has bought the bottler at Ginnie Springs on the Santa Fe River, Seven Springs Water Co., which is applying for a new permit to pay nothing to withdraw even more water for nothing; see Cindy Swirko, Gainesville Sun, 1 August 2019, Permit sought for bottled water from Ginnie Springs. Gilchrist County already approved the permit, but the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) has not yet.

[Location Map]
Location Map
PDF

This is in Tuesday’s SRWMD packet: Continue reading

Valdosta sewer spill into Onemile Branch, Drexel Park 2019-08-03

Why do we get to find out in the newspaper Tuesday about a Saturday sewage spill that just “occurred”, and didn’t even show up in GA-EPD’s online Sewage Spill Reports until after the newspaper was printed and distributed? Rest assured it’s not Valdosta’s responsibility, according to Valdosta.

[Pipe under bridge by apartments]
Pipe under bridge by apartments

Katelyn Umholtz, Valdosta Daily Times, 5 August 2019, Sewer spill occurs near Drexel Park, Continue reading

Videos: Decision, NextEra Quitman Solar II, Brooks County, GA 2019-08-05

Update 2019-08-17: WWALS videos of the speakers for and against.

The Public Hearing was so packed more people were standing outside. There was a decision, finally, but first…. The speakers against were eloquent and numerous, despite the initial confusion about could they give their 5 minutes to opposition attorney Jonathan P. Waters.

[UGA can confirm --Jonathan P. Waters]
UGA can confirm –Jonathan P. Waters

Answer: no, but the Chairman let several opposition speakers have the attorney speak for them anyway.

Various people spoke for NextEra’s proposed special exception for their 150 megawatt Quitman Solar II project in wooded wetlands.

[Economic developiment --Sherry Davidson, SGRC]
Economic developiment –Sherry Davidson, SGRC

Then the Brooks County Commission made the still-overpacked house wait through their regular agenda. Finally, Patrick Folsom moved Continue reading