Monthly Archives: February 2014

WWALS January 18-2014 outing review.

20140226-232013.jpg The WWALS outing was location in Statenville, Georgia DNR boat ramp on the Alapaha river. The water level @ the time of the outing was around 9 ft, but the river was within the backs. But the weather was sunny but cool day with a moderate wind. So the participants for this outing Continue reading

Poster, BIG Little River Paddle Event, 22 March 2014

One month from now! Paddle at your own leisure, or race for prizes Saturday, March 22nd, at the Second Annual BIG Little River Paddle Event, at Reed Bingham State Park, Adel, Georgia. Proceeds to benefit Friends of Reed Bingham State Park and WWALS Watershed Coalition. You can sign up and pay online or you can do that at the event.

Bret Wagenhorst has prepared a poster suitable for hanging up at your place of fun or business: PDF. Comment on this post if you want a paper copy.

Looking forward to seeing you there! Continue reading

WWALS February outing is cancelled.


WWALS February outing scheduled for tomorrow the 22nd has been cancelled. It was planned to be on the Alapaha River. The launching point would have been from the HWY 84 bridge near Naylor to the landing point at Mayday bridge on Howell Rd. near Howell. It is an 11.1 mile section of the Alapaha with rapids and a small waterfall. We hope to enjoy this trip sometime in the future. At this time, the water levels on the Alapaha River are rising. The level at the HWY 84 bridge is currently over 11′ with a fast moving current. Unfortunately, high water and fast currents are not safe for recreational canoeing and kayaking. It would be great to see all WWALS members at our scheduled outing for next month! The Second Annual Big Little River Paddle Event scheduled for March 22nd at 9:30AM. -CLG

Second annual BIG Little River Paddle Event

Update 15 Feb 2014: You can also apply to Sponsor (Gold, Silver, or Bronze) on the event page.

A fundraiser for nonprofits Friends of Reed Bingham State Park and WWALS Watershed Coalition, this is a scenic three mile flatwater paddle on the Little River from Red Roberts landing (at Rountree Bridge, 31 11 32.05 N 83 31 13.25 W) in the north end of the park, to the boat ramp on the Colquitt Co. side of the park lake (park map).

You can do it as a race, or as a scenic leisure paddle. Cost is $25 per boat if you register before March 15, and $30 per boat after that (registration includes park day pass/admission). You must either provide your own boat or rent one at the park (separate fee). Participants get a free shuttle and lunch. Fastest boats in various categories win a prize. Registration is at Red Roberts landing between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. (to allow time for a shuttle). Mass start at 11 a.m.

You can sign up and pay online. Continue reading

Two bad water bills and six good ones in the Georgia legislature today

Flint Riverkeeper has a handy legislative update about water bills in the Georgia legislature, one bad one before committee today: SB 299.

SB 299 Natural Resources; provide flexibility for establishing watershed protection standards

This bill would actually do away with the riparian buffers that currently keep mud and sewage out of rivers and streams. It’s up for a vote today in the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and the Environment. At least one Senator on that committee is in WWALS watersheds: Tyler Harper, (404) 463-5263, (404) 463-4161 fax, Ocilla, District 7, (229) 425-4840. You can contact him or your state Senator. Here are many reasons SB 299 is a bad bill.

More reasons, by Camo Coalition, of the Georgia Wildlife Federation, starting with:

Siltation kills streams. Siltation can fill lakes making boat access difficult or impossible. Silt destroys the habitat of aquatic invertebrates—caddis flies, mayflies, stone flies, and such. Pollutants can kill fish and these aquatic animals directly. Destroy the food chain; destroy the fishery.

SB 213 Flint River Drought Protection Act

This bill is not anything like its name. It’s actually a water grab that would stuff Flint River water into our fragile Floridan Aquifer and during droughts take it back out, but not for downstream use, rather for shipping to Atlanta. Even though it’s a Senate bill, it’s currently in the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee, which has not yet convened this session, so now is a good time to contact your state rep. Those in WWALS watersheds include at least:
  1. Ellis Black, Valdosta, R-174, 404.656.0287,
  2. Amy Carter, Valdosta, R-175, 229.245.2733, 404.656.6801,
  3. Buddy Harden, Cordele, R-148, 404.656.0188,

The Flint River, #2 on American Rivers’ most endangered rivers list, is the next watershed to the west of us. If this bill passes, when will they come for the waters of the Little River, too?

Good Bills

Here are some good bills that need support, with descriptions from Georgia Water Coalition’s current legislative update, which covers the same bills as Flint Riverkeeper’s update.

Extending the Ban on Aquifer Storage and Recovery

Continue reading

Georgia Rivers Environment Issues.


Georgia’s environment regulators urged keep hog waste out rivers.This article is by Jennette Gayer who work with Environment Georgia Advocate. Georgia’s Environmental Regulators have proposed serious rollbacks to existing rules that protect Georgia’s waterways from pollution created at large industrial hog operations. At a public hearing held by the Enviornmental Protection Division on October 25th, 2013 Environment Georgia’s State Advocate Jennette Gayer offered the following as public testimony. “Water quality in Georgia will continue to suffer if the swine and hog threshold is increased from 3000 to 5000 animal units as proposed, and those facilities are not required to obtain individual National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits (NPDES). If we know – and we do know based on historic examples – that these operations can discharge to and impair waters, why is the state making it easier for these operations to function with less oversight? In addition to being charged with regulating CAFOs, EPD is also charged with assessing the water quality of our state’s waterways, identifying the impairments, and where impairments exist – addressing those problems to clean up the streams and creeks Georgians fish in, swim in and drink from. I want to provide a few quick examples of water segments and reaches where permitted swine operations have been determined by EPD studies to be negatively affected by animal production facilities. I’ve pulled this information from Georgia EPD’s 2012 305(b)/303(d) List Documents, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation Plans, and permitting data.[1] Seven swine operations that had individual NPDES permits were immediately upstream or adjacent to state waters in the Savannah, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Ogeechee, Canoochee, Oconee and Ocmulgee basins that do not support their designated use. The designated uses of these streams is fishing, and the primary reason for impaired waters is fecal coliform contamination, low dissolved oxygen levels, or non-point sources. In these watersheds, that fecal coliform and non-point sources are typically associated with agricultural operations. Rather than rolling back safeguards for Georgia’s waterways we should be investigating these examples of pollution near existing Hog CAFO’s and working to solve them. I urge you to act in the best interest of Georgia’s waterways and not move forward with this rule change.” [1] Georgia Water Quality Standards are connected by three components. Every water body in Georgia has one of six designated uses: fishing, drinking water supply, recreation, coastal fishing, wild river, and scenic river. And each of those designated uses must meet specific water quality criteria (such as dissolved oxygen or bacterial levels). Finally, the Clean Water Act has an anti-degradation component which is designed to protect existing designated uses and water quality. In other words, water quality is not allowed to degrade and threaten the designated use. And a downgrade in designated use “is prohibited if it would remove protection from any existing use.” (River Network) EPD is required by the Clean Water Act to assemble a list of creeks, streams, rivers and lakes that do not meet water quality standards. EPD uses the list – which is created every two years – to target areas for restoration and to remove water bodies from the list (de-list) where water quality has improved. If a water body is impaired and the designated use is threatened, EPD can place the water body on the 305b/303d list of waters. EPD can develop plans – such as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) – to improve water quality. Furthermore, the data can help EPD assess the state of a specific water body that is or might be affected by a new or renewed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, water withdrawal permit, or other permit that might affect designated uses and water quality standards. -CLG