Tag Archives: conservation

Banks Lake Full Corn Moon Paddle 2019-09-14

Join us for a Full Moon paddle and star gazing at Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge. This is a leisurely paddle around the refuge that lies in the Grand Bay–Banks Lake ecosystem. This will also be nine days before the Fall Equinox, so day and night will be almost as equal as they ever get.

When: Gather 6:30 PM, launch 7:00 PM, Saturday, September 14, 2019

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635.

GPS: 31.035097, -83.097045

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

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.
And a light! It’s going to be dark.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

[Almost]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, sun setting at Banks Lake, July 16, 2019.

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Suwannee Riverkeeper at Our Santa Fe River Board Meeting 2019-08-28

Thanks, OSFR President Mike Roth, for the invitation. Jim Tatum, OSFR, 31 August 2019, Suwannee RiverKeeper Quarterman is Guest at OSFR Board Meeting,

John S. Quarterman at OSFR Board 2019-08-28

Guest speaker at the August OSFR board meeting was Suwannee RiverKeeper John Quarterman from Georgia.

John gave a detailed run-down of the benefits and responsibilities of a riverkeeper, of which there are around 350 scattered around the globe.

What does John do?

Actually he does quite a bit. A brief search ended up on the WaterKeeper Alliance website which had Continue reading

Training, Water Quality Testing 2019-09-14

Update 2019-09-07: Link to signup.

Volunteers for testing, you can get trained at this chemical and Bacteriological water testing training for Georgia Adopt-A-Stream standards by our local trainers. Already-trained trainers, here’s your chance to get a refresher to extend your certification for another year.

Yes, we can test in Florida and put the results in the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream database. For results to be actionable in Florida does require additional Florida training.

When: 9AM, Saturday, September 14, 2019

Where: SGRC, 327 W Savannah Ave., Valdosta, GA 31601

Event: facebook, meetup

[Julie, rope, Bobby, bucket]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, Julie Shutters, rope, Bobby McKenzie, bucket, Onemile Branch in Drexel Park, Valdosta, GA, 2018-09-16

If you want to get trained, please sign up so we will know how many are coming.

Please be prepared to start testing regularly after you are trained.

Thanks to Julie Shutters of Golden Triangle RC&D for previous trainings. Since we got local trainers trained back in May, they will be conducting this training: Continue reading

Nobody needs Nestle water bottles from our river and spring water –Suwannee Riverkeeper on RT.com 2019-08-29

RT carried a surprisingly long objection to Nestlé’s water withdrawals from Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, interviewed via skype from London on Wednesday, posted Thursday.

[No need for water in plastic bottles]
No need for water in plastic bottles

Remember to send your comment to the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) asking them to deny Nestlé’s request to withdraw more water from the Santa Fe River at Ginnie Springs.

RT, YouTube, 29 August 2019, Nestle seeks to extract millions of liters of water from Florida’s ‘fragile’ Santa Fe river, Continue reading

Brooks County landowners challenge NextEra solar exception 2019-08-29

Clearcutting of upland forests, due process failures at the public hearing, spot zoning, violations of local ordinances, and failure to adhere to the Brooks County’s own Comprehensive Plan are among the grounds on which landowners are going to sue to overturn the Commission’s unanimous decision at the beginning of August to approve a Special Exception for NextEra Energy of Juno Beach, Florida, to build a 150 megawatt solar farm on wooded wetlands.

[Movie: No jury trial, but unanimous approval (1110M)]
Brooks County Commission hearing NextEra won’t agree to any jury trial, yet unanimously approving NextEra’s Special Exception, 2019-08-05

Here is the press release from their attorney, Jonathan Perry Waters of Macon, Georgia (see also PDF).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 29, 2019

LANDOWNERS CHALLENGE SOLAR EXCEPTION

Quitman, Georgia— August 29, 2019 — On Monday of this week, Brooks County Superior Court Judge Richard Cowart signed a Sanction for a Writ of Certiorari allowing a group of landowners in Brooks County to file a petition in the Superior Court of the County challenging the granting of a Special Exception Zoning permit by the Brooks County Board of Commissioners to Quitman II Solar, LLC to construct a 1,700 acre solar site in the an Agricultural Zoned area of the County. Quitman II Solar, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of NextEra Energy, of Juno Beach, Florida.

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Need EIS, public hearings –Okefenokee Swamp Park to USACE about titanium mine 2019-08-22

Excellent comments from Okefenokee Swamp Park, requesting at least three public hearings by the Army Corps, plus independent research, in addition to a full Environmental Impact Statement. When I received them from Dr. Clark last night, he asked me to circulate them widely; see also PDF.

[About OSP]
About OSP

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WWALS at VSU Happening 2019-08-29

Thousands of college students will come by the WWALS booth today on the front lawn of Valdosta at The Happening 2019.

[Gretchen and Sara]
Gretchen and Sara

When: 1PM to 4PM, Thursday, August 29, 2019

Where: VSU front lawn, 1500 N Patterson St, Valdosta, GA 31698.

Event: facebook Continue reading

Hurricane Dorian expected this weekend 2019-08-31

Update 2019-08-29: All Amtrak trains and Greyhound buses from Virginia to coastal Georgia cancelled for Sunday and Saturday, and flights even if not canceled are absurdly expensive at this late date, so I’m not leaving for Virginia today; I’ll be staying here for the duration. And these cancellations indicate Amtrak and Greyhound at least are considering Dorian something to worry about.

Hurricane Dorian is expected to be category 4 (130-156 mph winds) when it lands Monday somewhere on the east coast of Florida, and we could see tropical storm winds (39-73 mph) in Cedar Key Saturday and in Valdosta Sunday.

[Winds, Tropical Storm Force, Earliest Reasonable Time of Arrival]
National Hurricane Center: Hurricane Dorian, Winds, Tropical Storm Force, Earliest Reasonable Time of Arrival

The storm could go right over Valdosta like the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane, Continue reading

Okefenokee overflight with GA Rep. John Corbett 2019-08-24

Flying over the affected area appears to have made at least one elected official think harder about whether the supposed titanium mining jobs could be more important than the effects on the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, both its economic importance and the potential environmental detriments to the swamp, to the Suwannee and St. Mary’s Rivers, and to the Floridan Aquifer. You can still write to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking for denial or at least an Environmental Impact Statement.

Gordon Jackson, The Brunswick News, 28 August 2019, Getting the aerial perspective on a titanium mining project,

[WC6170, 22:40:34]
Photo: Jim Tatum, of the Chemours North Maxville Mine, Baker County, Florida. This is the mine pictured in the Brunswick News article.

…The mining company Twin Pines Minerals, LLC [(TPM)], said it plans to employ 150 people, but [Georgia State Representative John] Corbett acknowledged most of the employees will not come from Charlton County.

Corbett went on a two-hour flight Saturday Continue reading

No more promiscious issuance of water withdrawal permits to Nestle –Suwannee Riverkeeper in The Independent, U.K. 2019-08-26

“Suwannee Riverkeeper is opposed to continued promiscuous issuance of permits to withdraw water from the Floridan Aquifer, which is already overtaxed and sinking. The Suwannee River Water Management District not only should reject Nestle’s application to withdraw water from the Santa Fe River at Ginnie Springs; it should also revisit Nestle’s permit to withdraw water from the Withlacoochee River at Madison Blue Spring.”

That’s what I told a reporter yesterday, and SRWMD does have statutory authority to revoke permits in addition to refusing new ones. You can tell SRWMD these things.

[BLUE SPRING, MADISON COUNTY, FL]
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS. Note “BLUE SPRING, MADISON, COUNTY FL” and “NESTLE WATERS NORTH AMERICA INC., STAMFORD, CT 06902”. Why should a Swiss company with North American headquarters in Connecticut get to take our water for free and pollute our waterways with its plastic bottles?

Lily Puckett, The Independent, 26 August 2019, Nestle attempts to to pump 1.1m gallons of water per day from fragile US spring: The water system has been officially “in recovery” for years, Continue reading