The water was a bit high at the Withlacoochee River Hagan Bridge Landing, east of Hahira on GA 122.Skipper Bridge USGS Gauge showed about Continue reading
Received 6:57 PM 26 March 2020. For the data on which this decision was based, see Cleaner downstream with no rain 2020-03-24.
March 26, 2020
HEALTH OFFICIALS IN HAMILTON,
MADISON COUNTY LIFT ADVISORY FOR
THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER
Contact: Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (PDF)
Earth Day Cleanup Postponed due to pandemic: WWALS, Georgia Power, Valdosta, and Brooks County, GA, Madison County, FL
Hahira, Georgia, March 4, 2020 — We are postponing the Earth Day Cleanup and Paddle previously scheduled for April 18, 2020, at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River. http://wwals.net/?p=51816 The organizers, WWALS, Georgia Power, Valdosta, and Brooks County, Georgia, remain committed to holding this event in the future, as does , and Madison County, Florida. Meanwhile, WWALS plans a virtual outing by livestreaming a few people at the site on the original day, six feet apart, of course.
WWALS and Lowndes County signs at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp.
“The City of Valdosta remains committed to this cleanup event and its partnership with Georgia Power and our area Suwannee Riverkeeper and will work with all to find an agreeable date down the road,” said Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson.
“We are looking forward to a later date for this cleanup and paddle, so we can assist with promoting the event on our Brooks County FB page, and to recruit some participation to represent us,” said Jessica J. McKinney, Brooks County, Georgia, Administrator.
“Madison County has postponed our river cleanup until a later date,” said Madison County, Florida, Chairman Donnie Waldrep, Sr., referring to a cleanup planned for that same day in Madison County on the Withlacoochee River. He added, “I’d love to see this be an annual event.”http://wwals.net/?p=51877 While a cleanup might be possible by simply keeping everybody spread out, we’d rather be safe than sorry,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Before that, we had Continue reading
Gainesville Sun, 12:01 AM, Monday, March 16, 2020, John S. Quarterman: More testing needed to track river pollution (see also PDF),
Fecal bacterial contamination from Georgia probably reached the Gulf of Mexico about March 3, 2020, according to the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD).
The good news: we know about that, because of much more water quality monitoring being done since I wrote a column about the issue last year for The Sun.
This recent testing was provoked by a spill of 7.5 million gallons of raw sewage into Sugar Creek near Valdosta, Ga., in December. With no rain, the sewage sat there for a week, and then moved down the Withlacoochee River in about three weekly globs, at least once reaching the Suwannee.
This Valentine’s Day, Valdosta exceeded our request, testing not one but Continue reading
Update 2020-03-14: Much better water quality: Withlacoochee River, Okapilco Creek 2020-03-11.
Joe Brownlee is bringing Georgia Power people and a grill to the Earth Day Cleanup, 8AM, Saturday, April 18, 2020, at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp. This WWALS cleanup is co-sponsored by Georgia Power, the City of Valdosta, and Brooks County, Georgia. Madison and Suwannee Counties, Florida, will be holding Earth Day cleanups that same day downstream on the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers. The cleanups are free. The paddle is $10 per person, or free for WWALS members. No reservation necessary, but please check Going on the facebook event to encourage others to come.
We also discussed fecal bacteria in the river and the novel coronavirus. But first, we reminded people not to go on the Withlacoochee right now, because it’s Continue reading
Update 2020-03-14: Radio TV, and unfortunately the novel Coronovirus may curtail the paddle, but the Cleanup is still on.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (PDF)
Earth Day Cleanup at Knights Ferry, Withlacoochee River: WWALS, Georgia Power, and Valdosta, April 18, 2020
Hahira, Georgia, March 4, 2020 — Celebrate the fiftieth Earth Day by helping clean up Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, Saturday morning, April 18, 2020. Afterwards, those who want to can paddle with us down the Withlacoochee River to Nankin Boat Ramp, cleaning up on the water and when we get to Nankin . This event is the first ever sponsored by WWALS, Georgia Power, the City of Valdosta, and Brooks County, Georgia.
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, During Paddle Georgia 2019-06-16.
“Through this clean up effort we think we’ve found a way to create synergy around environmental stewardship with groups such as Continue reading
Tuesday data from Lowndes County, Georgia, shows much better water quality in Okapilco Creek upstream from Quitman and in the Withlacoochee River downstream. Remember, Lowndes County has its own sewer system, which did not spill. And one of Lowndes County’s results for the previous week is very interesting.
The most recent data we have from Valdosta and Florida is for Monday. WWALS has not tested this week because of rain, but soon. You can help.
Yesterday and today, five inches of rain fell on Tifton, and all that water is washing downstream, with the Withlacoochee already in flood at Pinetta.
Map: Quitman to Withlacoochee River.
In the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.
In the above map, northeast of Quitman near Okapilco Creek, are the Quitman sewage settling ponds, which Continue reading
Update 2020-03-02: Suwannee River contamination running downstream to the Gulf 2020-03-01.
Still bad water quality all the way to Luraville and Mayo, according to FDOH Friday for the Withlacoochee River and SRWMD Saturday for the Suwannee River.
A couple days ago I remarked that nobody knew the water quality of the Suwannee River downstream from Dowling Park, because nobody had tested that. Saturday SRWMD did test down at the Hal W. Adams Bridge on FL 51, between Mayo and Luraville, and the result was above the alert level of 1,000, while at Dowling Park it was back below the too-high level of 410. Apparently something was moving down the Suwannee River.
We still don’t know what’s going on downstream of FL 51, for example at US 27 (Branford) or CR 340 (Rock Bluff Ramp). This is more evidence that we need regular, frequent, testing at all these locations, not just after a spill or other upstream alert.
Thanks to Katelyn Potter of the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) for forwarding the Florida updates late Sunday evening. Thanks to SRWMD and Madison Health for testing on a weekend, and to Florida Department of Health (FDOH) for helping. Thanks to Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and Julie Espy for posting results on an FDEP web page. No update on Valdosta’s results website for Friday yet.
WWALS testers Conn and Trudy Cole got Continue reading
The good news: both Valdosta and FDEP are posting testing results on their websites. There’s a catalog of those and WWALS’ results at wwals.net/issues/testing/.
The better news: Valdosta is testing three times a week, FDOH once a week, and FDEP is testing again, after saying it wouldn’t.
The really bad news: Thursday test results say stay off the Withlacoochee River at least from Knights Ferry on down, and the Suwannee River from the Withlacoochee Confluence at least down to Dowling Park.
The WWALS results from my Monday samples may help explain this contamination, and it looks like you can see it flow from Crooked Creek through Okapilco Creek to the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee. You can help.
But Valdosta’s Wednesday results also show contamination at US 41, upstream of Valdosta. And FDEP shows a spike at Dowling Park again. So there are multiple sources, not only in Brooks County, Georgia, but also elsewhere. The good news for Valdosta is it doesn’t seem to be coming from Valdosta.
WWALS continues to work on locating sources of contamination. For example, two of us visited the Quitman Land Application Site Wednesday. More on that in another blog post. WWALS testers will be sampling this weekend.
I took samples on Crooked Creek again Continue reading
A leisurely paddle on a very seldom-paddled stretch of wild south Georgia blackwater river, the Little River below Reed Bingham State Park, between Adel and Moultrie.
When: Gather 10 AM, launch 11 AM, Saturday, May 16, 2020
Put In: Adel-Moultrie Landing, 2 GA 37, Adel, GA 31620, in Colquitt County, on the west side (right bank) of the Little River.
GPS: 31.16253, -83.54123
Take Out: Antioch Road Landing, Southwest of Adel, NW side of Antioch Road, NE side (left bank) of river, in Cook County.
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) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
Route on the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.
Burt Kornegay started out here in March 2018:
The Little River turned out to be well named. At the SR 37 bridge, where I launched, just downstream from Reed Bingham, its channel was only 3 to 4 canoe-lengths wide—necking down to not much more than a canoe-width in places. But, though small, the Little turned out to be big with beauty. It was bordered by loblolly pines and live oaks, with water elm, river birches and willows on the banks, and with large cypress and Ogeechee tupelos growing in the channel itself. The trees were hung with Spanish moss, and some of the oaks supported gardens of resurrection ferns on their big branches. Under the trees, swamp azalea was in full bloom, its blossoms ranging from white to pink. Occasionally I’d glimpse a farm field in the distance, but the farther I went downstream, the more stately the forest became, protected in a widening swamp.