Tag Archives: quality

Stop Coal Ash Pollution in Georgia

Please contact your Georgia state legislators to ask them to back two bills that will help keep coal ash off our lands and out of our waters.

Mercury from Coal Plant Scherer north of Macon goes up in the air and comes down in our Alapaha River. Coal ash from Tennessee and Florida is in the landfill in Lowndes County, Georgia that is a quarter mile uphill from the Withlacoochee River. Even the landfill owner doesn’t want any more coal ash, because it costs extra to keep it separate from other waste to prevent chemical reactions.

Stop Coal Waste in Georgia

Here’s an easy way to send email to your Georgia statehouse Representative and Senator.

There’s more about the bills below. Continue reading

Hahira passed resolution supporting Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail 2018-02-01

Many thanks to the Hahira Mayor and Council for passing a resolution in support of the water trail for the rivers that run less than six miles west (the Little River) and east (the Withlacoochee River) of the Hahira Courthouse where they met.

Clear view, City Council
Left to right: Council Patrick Warren (District 3) Mayor Pro Tem Kenneth Davis (District 2), Mayor Bruce Cain, Empty Chair for City Attorney Rob Plumb, City Manager Jonathan Sumner, Council Terry Benjamin (District 1), Council Mason Barfield (District 4), City Clerk Lisa Mashburn.

I spoke briefly at their Work Session, Tuesday, January 30, 2018, outlining the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) and the resolution, and I invited them to upcoming WWALS outings. Several of the Council had positive comments.

Council Patrick Warren also mentioned his fear of Continue reading

No coal ash in our rivers or landfills: GA Coal Ash bills introduced 2018-02-08

For property rights and clean water, you don’t want coal ash seeping through groundwater, so please contact your state legislator to support the two coal ash bills now in the Georgia House of Representatives:

HB 879, “Water resources; notice to local governing authorities prior to the dewatering of coal combustion residual surface impoundments; provide”
Georgia Power is retiring many coal plants (good, although they’re mmostly replacing them with natural gas plants; not so good), and this involves dewatering coal ash ponds near those plants;

HB 880, “Solid waste management; safe disposal of coal ash in municipal and commercial solid waste landfills; provisions”
Georgia Power wants to ship that coal ash to local landfills. Georgia Water Coalition’s policy on that I think is OK with appropriate regulation. WWALS goes beyond that and says no coal ash in landfills in the Suwannee River Basin.

coal plant and ash ponts

Please call or write: your Georgia state representative.
Thanks to the six bill sponsors, but none are in the Suwannee River Basin. Let’s see if we can fix that. Continue reading

FDEP Water Quality Monitoring Plans 2018

Thanks to Jay Bushnell for the heads-up on this FDEP notice of February 6, 2018:

Impaired Waters Rule (IWR) Notification

The department announces the availability of the 2018 Strategic Monitoring Plans. These plans represent the water quality and biological monitoring needs identified by the department in preparation for basin assessments as part of the watershed management approach.

Esri-map, FDEP MAT

The Watershed Assessment Section developed Continue reading

Hahira is sixth resolution supporting GA HR 158, now in statehouse 2018-02-01

HR 158 may be scheduled for a vote in the Georgia House as soon as tomorrow. Help dedicate state fees to their intended purposes: please contact your Georgia House Representative or Georgia State Senator (follow the links for contact information) and ask them to pass HR 158. If you don’t know who your Georgia Representative or Senator are, see Georgia My Voter Page.

Hahira is the most recent of six local governments representing the majority of the population in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia, in five Georgia House districts and two Senate districts, that have passed a resolution supporting Georgia HR 158 against state fee diversions, with five stories and an editorial in the biggest circulation newspaper in the Basin. More local resolutions passed elsewhere in the state, but that ain’t bad for the Suwannee River Basin.

Camera, City Council

  1. 2018-01-08 Lanier County, House District 176 (Jason Shaw), Senate District 8 (Ellis Black) Continue reading

Five Holes Cleanup and Site Exploration, Suwannee River 2018-02-10

Update 2018-02-10: It’s a Go!.

Join us to clean up and scout a chain of springs and sinks next to the Suwannee River. If it looks good, we may plan a bigger outing later in the year.

No boat required; we’re going by land.

This 5 Holes site exploration is immediately after the Organizing Committee meeting for the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest; you can come to either or both.

When: 3PM, Saturday, February 10, 2018

Where: CR 141 Boat Ramp, aka Florida Campsites Ramp, in Suwannee River State Park.

GPS: 30.414, -83.159167

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members. For non-members, it is $10.00, per decision of the WWALS board at its 14 January 2018 meeting for all WWALS outings scheduled since then. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today! If you want to pay for membership or the outing at the site, please bring cash.

Event: facebook meetup

The waters fine! at Five Holes
Photo by John S. Quarterman for WWALS, along with many more, from August 15, 2015.

Bring: swimming gear (suit, goggles, etc.), and a change of warm clothes. A rope wouldn’t hurt. Trash pickers and trash bags: this is a cleanup. Most of us do not plan to paddle, but if you want to, you can put in at the boat ramp and paddle upstream to 5 Holes; in that case bring Continue reading

Gornto Road, Valdosta, access to Withlacoochee River 2018-01-24

It could use some markers to keep people on it and off private property, and maybe some loaner kayak wheels, but there is public access to the Withlacoochee River off of Gornto Road in Valdosta.

Tea-colored water, 16:22:37,, Withlacoochee River
Tea-colored water, 16:22:37,, Withlacoochee River 30.8623900, -83.3224600

And a very nice blackwater river it is. Continue reading

Biggest city in Suwannee River Basin passed resolution for dedicated state fees @ VCC 2018-01-25

Hear it from the Mayor, Acting City Manager, and Council of Valdosta, Georgia, and just in time for them and the Lowndes County Chairman, Manager, and Commissioners to attend their annual Bird Supper in Atlanta to discuss it with state legislators: fees collected by the state of Georgia should be dedicated to the purposes for which they were collected. Below are LAKE videos are from the Valdosta City Council, Thursday, January 25, 2018, including a few words I said about which local governments already passed this resolution.

Lowndes County Chairman speaks for stopping state fee diversions 2018-01-22

The Lowndes County Commission votes tonight, 5:30 PM, on a resolution Chairman Bill Slaughter put on the agenda yesterday morning in support of stopping diversion of state fees, just after a report about a tire amnesty that was apparently funded by the Georgia Solid Waste Trust Fund, which has had fees diverted upwards of $50 million. Valdosta and Hahira also have that resolution on their agendas, after Lanier County, Adel, and Atkinson County passed it recently. If you can attend one of these meetings and thank these elected officials for doing this, I’m sure they would appreciate it.


      Chairmanr: Add to agenda resolution supporting GA  H.R. 158

Video. Chairman Bill Slaughter said Continue reading

Georgia Adopt-A-Stream

First in a series of Where is the existing water quality data? In Georgia, it’s in Georgia Adopt-A-Stream’s database, online maps, charts, etc. And Adopt-A-Stream is not just for Georgia anymore.

Suwannee River Basin, Maps

The data record for the Suwannee River Basin is embarrassingly empty.

Suwannee River Basin, Maps

TN, SC, GA, FL, Maps

However, it turns out there’s data in Tennessee, South Carolina, and in Florida way down to Key West. So Georgia Adopt-A-Stream is a candidate for keeping Suwannee Riverkeeper data. Of which there turns out to be quite a bit already for Florida, Continue reading