Tag Archives: canoe

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

WWALS to FWC BAC against paid permits for paddle boats 2017-11-27

Sent today. See also PDF, and previous posts about what you can do. -jsq


To: Nick Wiley, Executive Director
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL  32399-1600
850-488-2975
nick.wiley@MyFWC.com
Emily Herschman Davis:   850-617-9577
emily.herschman@MyFWC.com

Colonel Curtis Brown, Chairman
Boating Advisory Committee (BAC)
Curtis.Brown@MyFWC.com


Captain William Griswold, Chairman
Non-Motorized Boat Working Group (NMBWG)
WSGriz@aol.com

Re: Paid permits for non-motorized boats

Dear E.D. Wiley, Chairman Brown, and Chairman Griswold,

As the head of an organization that holds many paddle outings in Florida, I thank you for holding a public meeting tomorrow of the Boating Advisory Council that could finally put to rest the ill-advised idea of charging permit fees for paddle boats or boards. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend, so I am sending this letter.

population density map of Florida
Stean Rayer, Ying Wang, Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), University of Florida, 30 October 2014, Measuring Population Density for Counties in Florida

Thank you, FWC Executive Director Wiley, for saying back in February Continue reading

NMBWG and BAC going for paydirt of paid paddle permits

Remember, you can object to paid paddle boat permits before the Tuesday morning meeting of the Florida Boating Advisory Council (BAC). More below on what you can do, plus still more apparent term limit overruns, paddle boaters represented by a yacht business owner, the last NMBWG meeting, the paydirt of paddlers pay (for marinas), and what that would cost.

After a decade of BAC attempts to charge people for paddling (see yesterday’s installment), in 2015 the BAC decided it needed a sub-group:

“The Non-Motorized Boat Working Group (NMBWG) was created by the Boating Advisory Council at its May 18, 2015 meeting. The purpose of the working group is to address four core areas of non-motorized boating: access, education, safety, and user pay/user benefit.”

It doesn’t take much reading of the NMBWG minutes to infer that the whole goal of this group was not access, education, safety, nor (non-motorized boater) user benefit, but “user pay”.

Yacht Octopus by Peter Sleeckx, 2 December 2006
Yacht Octopus by Peter Sleeckx, 2 December 2006, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Term limits apparently don’t apply

Continue reading

More than a decade of attempts to charge permits for paddle boats

Remember, you can object to paid paddle boat permits before the Tuesday morning meeting of the Boating Advisory Council.

For more than a decade, at least half its lifetime, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Boating Advisory Council (BAC) has been trying to find a way to charge permit fees for registration of non-motorized boats. Here’s the story so far, which will make clear there’s no reason to believe such efforts will stop. Also including not one, but two BAC members mysteriously serving longer than state-mandated term limits would seem to allow. Is it really about the children? Or is it about marinas, that paddle boaters don’t use? With a special appearance by the Florida state rep. who sponsored the law that expedited WWALS vs. Sabal Trail & FDEP.

BAC logo

The Boating Advisory Council (BAC) was created Continue reading

Paid permitting of paddle boats and boards Tuesday? 2017-11-28

One group wouldn’t do it, so its parent may: require paid permits for paddle boats and boards in Florida.

When: 9AM, Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Where: Mission Inn, 10400 County Road 48, Howey-in-the-Hills, 34737
That’s a golf club resort halfway between The Villages and Orlando, rooms $179 to $246 for Monday night.

Who: Boating Advisory Council (BAC) of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)

Event: On the agenda under “Unfinished Business / Updates”:
“Non-Motorized Boat Working Group Recommendations Review — William Griswold”

TripAdvisor, Mission Inn Resort & Club, 10400 County Road 48, Howey in the Hills, FL 34737-3000
TripAdvisor, Mission Inn Resort & Club, 10400 County Road 48, Howey in the Hills, FL 34737-3000

How to Comment: Continue reading

Florida may require licensing of paddle boats and boards

Here’s a bad idea that doesn’t seem to die: making people pay to register non-motorized boats in Florida.

Kevin Spear, Orlando Sentinel, 29 January 2017, Florida may require licensing for kayaks, canoes, paddle boards,

USCG Vessel ID Sticker
No registration or permit needed for this U.S. Coast Guard Vessel ID Sticker

A citizens panel assembled by state-boating authorities will meet in Orlando on Wednesday to explore what could become a path to adopting registration and fees for small boats powered by humans, wind and currents.

“That sounds like Continue reading

Suwannee Riverkeeper Vessel 2017-01-14

Heading downstream On the Suwannee River on a fine Saturday afternoon, advocating for our rivers and the Floridan Aquifer and against the Sabal “Sinkhole” Trail fracked methane pipeline. The Waterkeeper Alliance requires each member to have a vessel. Here’s the Suwannee RIVERKEEPER® vessel.

Thanks to Tom H. Johnson, Jr. for paddling and for taking the picture. Thanks to Bret and April Huntley of Paint and Body Concepts for putting the name on the sides. Thanks to Phil Hubbard for the paddles and other assistance. And thanks to Lynne Buchanan for riding along, photographing, and helping paddle.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Heading downstream

Continue reading

Expert paddle on the Alapaha River from US 82: WWALS Outing 2015-01-17

Help check the Alapaha River for deadfalls! Expert paddlers wanted; inquire within.

Update 2015-01-17: Some pictures and videos by John S. Quarterman and an outing summary by Bret Wagenhorst.

300x225 Pointing, in Alapaha River upstream from near Willacoochee, GA, by Gretchen Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 19 January 2013 Meet at the Alapaha River boat ramp at the Hwy 82 bridge just east of the town of Alapaha at 09:30 AM. Boats and gear will be unloaded and some vehicles will be driven to the take out near the Gaskins Forestry Education Center south of Alapaha to allow the shuttle. One vehicle will then bring the drivers back to the put in and the trip will hopefully get started down river at about 10:00-10:15. Facebook event.

This event is FREE! All we ask is that you are a current member of WWALS Watershed Coalition. If not, its easy to join online today at http://wwals.com/blog/donations/. You do not have to be a member to come on this outing. If you like the experience, we recommend that you join to support the efforts of WWALS.

The trip may take 4 hours, but it may shorter or longer depending Continue reading

1970s Canoe Trail FAQ

The rivers may be the same, but technology and the cast of characters have changed, as indicated by this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list from the 1970s. The acronym FAQ hadn’t been invented yet, for that matter.

This Canoe Trail FAQ is courtesy of John Leonard, Executive Director of the Southe Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC). I’ve added some links and clarifications.

QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE CONCERNING THE CANOE TRAILS

  1. 300x388 One typewritten page, in 1970s Canoe Trail FAQ, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 0  1979 Days to float entire trail (Alapaha) 4 days-normal water; (Withlacoochee) 3 days-normal water.

    That’s for the 83 miles of the 1970s Alapaha Canoe Trail brochures, and the 65 miles of the 1970s Canoe Guide to the Withlacoochee River Trail brochures. Those distances are shorter than the current Continue reading

Canoeing Guide to the Alapaha River c. 1979

300x601 Cover: Georgias Cleanest River, in Canoeing Guide to the Alapaha River, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 0  1979 Here’s a different guide to the Alapaha River from the one WWALS previously received; this one is courtesy of John Leonard, Executive Director of the Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC). The Alapaha River Water Trail WWALS is currently developing is merely a continuation of this more than three decade old Alapaha Canoe Trail.

John Leonard said that when he started at the predecessor of the SGRC in 1980, calls came in frequently asking about water levels on the Alapaha River. It took him a while to realize why: the Alapaha River Trail had been written up in Southern Living! He did not have Continue reading