Tag Archives: Sara Jay

Video: Drift in your song, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

You can send in your song by the deadline of July 8, 2020, for the Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center for the Arts in Valdosta, Georgia:
wwals.net/pictures/2020-08-22–songwriting/

Photo: Sara and Scotti Jay for WWALS, of Norene Olsen singing Driftin Down the Suwannee at the 2019 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.
Photo: Sara and Scotti Jay for WWALS, of Norene Olsen singing Driftin Down the Suwannee
at the 2019 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

Any genre of music is fine. Any lineup of musicians is good, from full bands to single musicians, to a capella, to even spoken word if you’re really brave.

See the 2020 Official Rules.

And here’s the 2020 Entry Form.

[Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest]
Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Yes, we do have a plan in case stay-at-home for the novel coronavirus pandemic is not over by August. We will take the contest virtual, with finalists playing from their places, judges judging from home, and you watching it all from where you are! But so far we’re planning on being all in one place.

Here’s a video from last year: Continue reading

Song submissions open April First (no fooling!): Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Update 2020-04-01: Here is the entry form.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (see also PDF)

Song submissions open April First (no fooling!): Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Hahira, Georgia, March 30, 2020 — Bigger and with a new venue, the Turner Center for the Arts, the Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest seeks songs. Submissions open Wednesday, April 1, 2020, yes, no fooling!

[Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest]
Third Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

“Georgia Beer Co. is back as our top-tier sponsor, which helps us get these new songs about our rivers, swamps, springs, and sinks,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman.

Finalists will play at the Contest, 6-9 PM, Saturday, August 22, 2020, judges will judge, at the Turner Center for the Arts, 527 N Patterson St, Valdosta, Georgia, 31601. There will be food and a cash bar, as you watch and listen, and you can browse the artworks at the Turner Center. There will also be a kayak raffle and a silent auction, as well as a range of buttons, stickers, hats, notecards, signs, shirts, and posters for sale: this is a fundraiser for WWALS Watershed Coalition.

Photo: Sara and Scotti Jay for WWALS, of Kyle Chamberlain and David Rodock playing Alapaha Laphogs at the 2019 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.
Photo: Sara and Scotti Jay for WWALS, of Kyle Chamberlain and David Rodock playing Alapaha Laphogs
at the 2019 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

“I heard so many good things about last year’s Contest when I was in Newfoundland, that this year I’m the organizing committee chair. I’m thrilled at how well it’s all coming together,” said Tom H. Johnson, Jr.

So you’ll know what you’re supporting, there will be talks about WWALS advocacy, from water quality testing to opposing pipelines and mines and plastic water bottles, to promoting water trails and a Troupville River Camp.

“It’s a fun time for a worthy cause!” said 2018 winner and 2019 headliner Laura D’Alisera, scribe for the organizing committee.

Submissions can be songs about any Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee, Okapilco Creek (mostly), and Little River 2020-02-02

Update 2020-02-08: Clean Withlacoochee River; dubious Okapilco Creek; and rain 2020-02-05.

Even better news: clean everywhere WWALS tested Sunday on the Withlacoochee River, Little River, and Okapilco Creek. If this keeps up, eventually we, and presumbably Lowndes County, will remove our warning signs. We’ll make some inquiries in Quitman while waiting for Lowndes County’s data upcoming this Wednesday.

At least weekly ongoing testing is still needed. What Lowndes County keeps seeing in Okapilco Creek illustrates that while Valdosta is chronically the biggest problem, and Valdosta has some remediation to do, it’s not the only source of contamination. The only way to tell when our rivers are clean or not, so we can market eco-tourism and gradually lift the reputational stigma on our rivers, is regular, weekly, water quality testing.

You can help.

[With reference dog]
Photo: Suzy Hall, of the Withlacoochee RIver downstream of Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, With reference dog.

Suzy Hall tested the Continue reading

Much cleaner at Knights Ferry and State Line in Georgia; Valdosta Sewage is in Florida 2019-12-30

Suzy Hall’s results from Monday samples at Knights Ferry and Nankin are now within Georgia state limits, lower than when I tested there three days earlier, indicating Valdosta’s record-largest sewage spills has indeed moved on to Florida.

[Look what we bagged!]
Photo: Suzy Hall, who wrote, “Did a clean up at KF. Probably 40-50 lbs collected by 2 adults and 2 very involved little girls.”

Suzy’s E. coli results for Monday, December 30, 2019: Continue reading

Valdosta sewage in Florida 2019-12-26

Update 2020-01-01: Much cleaner at Knights Ferry and State Line in Georgia; Valdosta Sewage is in Florida 2019-12-30

Apparently the biggest slug of Valdosta sewage passed the state line on December 26, 2019.

[Testing locations]
Testing locations

Thanks to Chris Mericle for forwarding the December 25 and 26 data from the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD), which I think is getting from from the Florida Department of Health (FDOH). I’ve combined those data in a table with the numbers from December 24, and ordered them from north (upstream) to south (downstream).

Here are the preliminary Continue reading

Water Quality: Hagan Bridge to State Line, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-27

Update 2019-12-30: Valdosta sewage in Florida 2019-12-26.

Maybe the two inches of rain last weekend are finally flushing the Withlacoochee River and diluting Valdosta’s record-largest sewage spill. E. coli counts from Friday’s testing are down from previous tests. Looks like the contamination is probably mostly in Florida now, so dilution would be good.

[SL, Nankin, KF, SB, US84, HB, Control, 19:48:15]
SL, Nankin, KF, SB, US84, HB, Control, 19:48:15

If E. coli counts continue to drop, and river levels stay up, we will paddle from Troupville Boat Ramp to Spook Bridge on January 18, 2020. You are invited to join us.

Only Knights Ferry Boat Ramp still showed an E. coli count at a worrisome level. Here are the results, followed by some commentary on each site.

Hagan Bridge at GA 122 133 cfu/100 mL
U.S. 84 Bridge 0 cfu/100 mL
Spook Bridge 33 cfu/100 mL
Knights Ferry Boat Ramp 300 cfu/100 mL
Nankin Boat Ramp 133 cfu/100 mL
State Line Boat Ramp 100 cfu/100 mL

[Hagan Bridge to State Line]
Hagan Bridge to State Line on the
WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

This is not the whole story, because I did not collect test water at the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River, at GA 133, nor at Sugar Creek. A neighboring landowner tells me the Withlacoochee River just below Sugar Creek still smells like sewage. If there are still pockets of sewage there, they could flush loose in later rains and run downstream. We will investigate.

133 cfu/100 mL Hagan Bridge

Continue reading

E. coli at Troupville, Little River Confluence, and Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-21

2019-12-25: Even filthier E. coli counts at Knights Ferry on Withlacoochee River 2019-12-24.

The Withlacoochee River is still filthy with Valdosta’s record-largest raw sewage spill. Please don’t even touch the river water from Sugar Creek in Valdosta all the way to the Florida state line and beyond into Hamilton and Madison Counties, Florida. If you have a well near the Withlacoochee River in that area, there is free well testing available from Lowndes County (and maybe Brooks County), Georgia, and Hamilton and Madison Counties, Florida.

[Green at the Confluence]
Photo: Scotti Jay, Green at the Confluence, with Sara Jay preparing to test, 2019-12-21.

Slightly upstream from the Little River Confluence, Sara Jay tested Saturday and got 533 cfu/100 ml E. coli. This is in between the numbers she got a bit upstream at the GA 133 Withlacoochee Bridge, 633 last Tuesday and 433 on Thursday.

[Sugar Creek via Ga 133 to US 84]
Sugar Creek via Ga 133 to US 84, Withlacoochee River with the GA 133 bridge highlighted,
on the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

As reported yesterday, Saturday Suzy Hall saw 4,966 cfu/100 ml at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, which is up in the ranges of Continue reading

E. coli at Little River Confluence, Spook Bridge, and Knights Ferry, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-21

2019-12-24: E. coli at Troupville, Little River Confluence, and Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-21.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, Monday, December 23, 2019 — At Knights Ferry Boat Ramp Saturday Suzy Hall tested 4,966.67 cfu/100 ml E. coli, far higher than anything previously recorded there, and almost five times the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream alert level. There were still no warning signs, not at Knights Ferry, and not at State Line Boat Ramp, where Suzy Hall got 100 cfu/100 ml, when all our previous readings were zero (0).

“It appears that Valdosta’s record-largest wastewater has caused a public health emergency in the Withlacoochee River and Valdosta is not even warning people about it at river access locations,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Florida is being proactive; what is Valdosta doing? How about Lowndes Health? Lowndes County (didn’t cause this problem, but needs to help deal with it). GA-EPD? EPA? Statehouse and Congressional delegations? This report will go to all of them today.”

[Knights Ferry & State Line Ramps]
Photo: Suzy Hall, of her Petrifilms of water samples taken from the Withlacoochee River at Knights Ferry & State Line Boat Ramps.
Method: count blue dots with bubbles (E. coli colonies) on each plate.
Add the counts, divide by three, and multiply by 100, to get colony forming units (cfu) per 100 mililiter of water.

The Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Bacterial Monitoring manual says: Continue reading

Still dirty at GA 133 Bridge, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-19

Update 2019-12-22: Raining now, sending Valdosta sewage downstream; Florida warns; Valdosta does what? 2019-12-22.

As of Thursday, the Withlacoochee River was still dirty at GA 133 with E. coli, presumably from Valdosta’s record-largest sewage spill. Sara Jay’s reading went down from 633 to 433 cfu/100 ml, but that’s still way above baseline, which is below 100.

[Linegraph]
Linegraph in Georgia Adopt-A-Stream for Site: [S-6593] Withlacoochee River at GA 133 (from the bridge).

WWALS is testing there again, and downstream, at US 84, Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramp, to track the progress of this contamination, as it makes its way towards Florida. Continue reading

Valdosta sewage at GA 133 on Withlacoochee River? 2019-12-17

Update 2019-12-19: Still dirty at GA 133 Bridge, Withlacoochee River 2019-12-19.

It looks like Valdosta’s record raw sewage spill may finally be washing downstream after the recent small rains.

[Sugar Creek via Ga 133 to US 84]
Sugar Creek via Ga 133 to US 84, Withlacoochee River with the GA 133 bridge highlighted,
on the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

Valdosta’s numbers went way down at Gornto Road on Sugar Creek on Sunday, December 15 and Monday, December 16, in this table the Valdosta City Clerk sent this data today in response to my open records request: Continue reading