Monthly Archives: February 2015

Anti-fracking on the agenda Tuesday in Hamilton County, Florida

Chris Mericle reports an anti-fracking resolution is on the agenda for the the Hamilton County, Florida Board of Commissioners Tuesday 3 March 2015.

The agenda for the March 3rd Hamilton Co BOCC meeting is published in the Jasper News this week. Listed Item #6 reads:


The meeting starts at 9am, Room 112, Courthouse, 207 Northeast First Street, Jasper, FL 32052.

It is unclear whether Continue reading

Withlacoochee River sewage spills, Suwannee River Basin flooding study, and Valdosta’s funded plan to fix its problem

Someone referred to the mid-February Old Statenville Road spill in asking:

What’s happening in your watershed? This is the most recent of several sewage overflow issues I’ve been reading about.

Brief answer: this flooding issue is one of many reasons WWALS Watershed Coalition was formed; we’ve been on it since then; the City of Valdosta is being fixed the immediate problem; however there’s a much bigger problem throughout the entire Suwannee River Basin that the Army Corps of Engineers is studying.

Long answer: This has been going on for years, especially starting with the 700-year flood in 2009, which overflowed the City of Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and backed up sewage out of manholes, in addition to rivers and streams running over roads and bridges; see this USGS two-pager on that.

Larry Hanson, Valdosta City Manager, presented to Continue reading

Shadrick and Cherry Creek Sinks on the Withlacoochee River near Valdosta

300x225 Don Thieme and Dan Chapman at Shadrick Sinkhole, in Sinkholes near the Withlacoochee River, by John S. Quarterman, for, 18 February 2015 Yesterday Prof. Don Thieme, WWALS member Dan Coleman, and I showed a reporter around some sinkholes near the Withlacoochee River, including one that’s been there for decades, leaking into the Floridan Aquifer, and one that opened up within a couple of months only a few years ago.

Dan Coleman says Shadrick Sinkhole has been there probably at least Continue reading

No fracking in Hamilton County, Florida?

Chris Mericle reports from last night’s (17 Feb 2015) meeting:

Tonight at the Hamilton Co. BOCC meeting the chairman, Josh Smith, directed the county attorney to get copies of the Senate and House bills to ban Fracking in FL to supply to the board at the next meeting. Josh also asked the board to consider a resolution of support of those bills just as Alachua, Union and Miami-Dade Counties have done. This should be on the agenda for the next scheduled meeting.

-Chris Mericle

For those bills, see this WWALS blog post. For ongoing updates on Florida anti-fracking resolutions and laws, see the fracking category on Our Santa Fe River, which also leads you to reports on the Alachua County and Union County resolutions. And if you’re near Tallahassee today, there’s the noon rally on the steps of the old Capitol.


Floridians for Clean Water & Amendment 1 Rally tomorrow in Tallahassee

Tomorrow in Georgia it’s Capitol Conservation Day in Atlanta, and in Florida it’s Floridians for Clean Water & Amendment 1 Rally tomorrow in Tallahassee. That’s 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM on the steps of the Old Capitol, 400 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399.

See Our Santa Fe River, Sierra Club Florida, and


Capitol Conservation Day 2015

It’s the annual Georgia Water Coalition Capitol Conservation Day, Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

Save the date for the Georgia Water Coalition’s Capitol Conservation Day on Feb. 18, 2015. While there, you can meet with your state legislators and tell them what you expect them to achieve during the 2015-2016 sessions. Bring your fellow members and other friends with you to support environmental and conservation causes!

The day will begin at 8:00 a.m. with Continue reading

Updated WWALS Brochure with Alapaha River Water Trail

Plus Chris Mericle has joined the WWALS Board, the board now meets quarterly, and much of the work is done through Committees, but the big addition is a map and access points for the Alapaha River Water Trail. Here’s PDF for printing, and images are below, all thanks to Karan Rawlins.

Update: 2015-06-08: See the new Alapaha River Water Trail Brochure, Map, and Card all in one!

300x232 Cover, Donations, SEEDN, in WWALS Brochure, by John S. Quarterman, for, 12 February 2015 300x232 Alapaha River Water Trail, FAQ, in WWALS Brochure, by John S. Quarterman, for, 12 February 2015 Continue reading

WWALS supports Florida fracking ban

WWALS supports the proposed ban on fracking in Florida, by unanimous vote of the WWALS Executive Committee last night. For our Floridan Aquifer, our springs, and our rivers that run into the Suwannee to the sea. The Sunshine State can do what WWALS has helped Georgia do: turn to solar power for new energy.

Here’s some background on the bills in the Florida Senate and House and a petition you can sign. Plus you can help pass fracking bans by Florida counties, and there’s a rally at the old capitol in Tallahassee next Wednesday.

This ban would also contribute to WWALS long-standing opposition to the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline by opposing the fracking that drives new pipelines and LNG export. New York State already banned fracking, as have the entire countries of France, Bulgaria, Germany, and Scotland. Florida can be next.

Florida Senate

Continue reading

Naylor Park and Boat Ramp aerial plan map

300x186 Naylor Boat Ramp aerial, in Maps from board packet, by John S. Quarterman, 10 February 2015 Thanks to the Lowndes County Commission and staff, here’s a look at what they’re planning for the new boat ramp and park on the Alapaha River just north of US 84. Below are videos of discussion about these plans in several recent Commission meetings. This boat ramp and park is already on the map for the Alapaha River Water Trail, and I have thanked the Commission for moving along to get it established; see below. Continue reading

WWALS Goals for 2014

A surprising number of the Board’s nine goals for 2014 have been accomplished, and some new ones have already been added. What goals should WWALS have for 2015?

Goals accomplished include becoming an IRS 501(c)(3) and raising money for and purchasing insurance. Some we’ve been doing right along: cleanups, including Rivers Alive. Some are so much the core of what WWALS does that we didn’t even list them as goals, but we’ve been doing them anyway: monthly outings and indoor events.

The later-added goal of the Alapaha River Water Trail is Continue reading