Suwannee Bioregion Coalition?

Related to population centers in the Suwannee River watershed, someone asked, “Do we need an interstate Suwannee Bioregion Coalition to guard the waters that feed into the Suwannee River?” We’ve got pieces of it already cooperating to some extent in opposing the Sabal Trail pipeline. There are many other even larger issues that everyone in the Suwannee River basin faces.

In south Georgia and north Florida we have WWALS Watershed Coalition for the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River System, plus the New River and the Alapahoochee River, as well as Okapilco Creek and many others.

On the main tributary of the Suwannee in Florida, there’s Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) and on its tributary there’s Ichetucknee Alliance. see Our Santa Fe River and Ichetucknee Alliance for water conservation.

On the main body of the Suwannee, there’s Save Our Suwannee, Inc., which last posted in 2013 on its blog and on its YouTube channel, but is quite active on twitter and ffacebook.

The only organization Georgia River Network lists for the Suwannee is the long-defunct Upper Suwannee River Watershed Initiative.

There used to be something called Suwannee Riverkeeper but the last post on its blog was in 2010.

All these organizations have been opposing to various degrees the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline: WWALS and Our Santa Fe River entirely oppose that pipeline, Ichetucknee Alliance wants the pipeline off its river, and Save Our Suwannee frequently reposts pipeline opposition items the others post. Plus there’s the Ichetucknee River Estates Landowners Association opposing the pipeline.

But opposing that pipeline is a temporary event in terms of the lifetime of rivers or springs or our Floridan Aquifer, and there are many other common issues, such as a water flow study being done by Florida and a proposed flooding study by the Army Corps of Engineers, not to mention we could construct a connected Georgia version of the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail.

Plus the Florida Department of Health is used to issuing alerts whenever Valdosta, Georgia’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant overflows or Lowndes County, Georgia has a sewer line leak. Valdosta does have a funded plan its implementing to fix its wastewater woes.

And of course Georgia’s Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council and Florida’s Suwannee River Water Management District cooperate all the time.

Maybe these disparate groups can cooperate for the good of our aquifer and our common Suwannee River basin.