Monthly Archives: April 2015

Florida pro-fracking bill failed

Photo: Jeff Burlew, via Tallahassee Democrat.

Thanks to Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson of Our Santa Fe River (pictured in blue shirts on left) and many others, a pro-fracking anti-open-records bill failed in the Florida legislature yesterday. WWALS helped persuade both its Florida counties, Madison and Hamilton, to pass anti-fracking resolutions, like so many other Florida counties did as OSFR tirelessly travelled the state. Bills in the Florida House and Senate to ban fracking outright did not pass. But neither did the fracking industry’s bill that would have exempt it from disclosure of its toxic chemicals, and would have prohibited local governments from banning fracking. No doubt the fossil fuel industry will be back next year with a Florida pro-fracking bill, but so will the opponents, with bills to ban fracking. And in another year, maybe Florida will catch on that when the Georgia legislature unanimously approved a solar financing bill, it’s time for the Sunshine State to put fracking behind it and get on with clean, safe, renewable sun, wind, and water power.

Orlando Sentinel, 29 April 2015, Florida fracking bill won’t pass this year, Continue reading

BIG Little River Paddle Race in Tifton Gazette 2014 2015-04-26

300x197 FullSizeRender, in BIG Little River Paddle Race in Tifton Gazette, by Bret Wagenhorst, for, 26 April 2015 The Tifton newspaper carried the press release Sunday April 26th about the May 16th BIG Little River Paddle Race at Reed Bingham State Park. You can register online. Continue reading

Third Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race PR 2015-05-16

PDF, Registration


Charity paddle event to take place at Reed Bingham State Park

Valdosta, April 27th, 2015 — You are invited to paddle in the third annual BIG Little River Paddle Race on Saturday, May 16, 2015. Bring your canoe or kayak or Continue reading

Draft map of Alapaha River Water Trail

What do you think of the April 26th 2015 draft map of the Alapaha River Water Trail?

How about the table of access points?

And water levels? What do you think is too high or too low on each gauge for paddling?

Here’s your chance to help tune the materials before WWALS goes to press in the next week or two with maps, brochures, and cards for the Alapaha River Water Trail.


WWALS at Earth Day by S.A.V.E. at Drexel Park near VSU today

Update 2014-04-25 11:AM: Unfortunately the whole event has been cancelled.

300x225 Earth Day 2015, in Earth Day by S.A.V.E., by John S. Quarterman, for, 25 April 2015 Come hear from Students Against Violating the Environment (S.A.V.E.) about fossil fuel divestment and other environmental issues, 1-4PM today in Drexel Park, NE corner of Patterson Street and Brookwood Avenue; Facebook event. Rain location: University Center, just south of Brookwood.

WWALS will have Alapaha River Water Trail brochures, flyers for the Third Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race 2015-05-16 and other WWALS events, plus news about opposition to the Sabal Trail pipeline.

WWALS and S.A.V.E. have long been allied in opposing the Sabal Trail pipeline, and in proposing fossil fuel divestment. WWALS sent a letter to the VSU Foundation 18 October 2013 quoting S.A.V.E.: Continue reading

Tannin tea color of blackwater rivers

A major feature of coastal plain blackwater rivers is their tea color, ranging from yellow to red, from tannins from oak trees. Pretty close to it is the background color of this paragraph, RGB #FF9933, or 0 40 80 0 CMYK, or Pantone Solid Coated 1375 C. Here are some examples from three of WWALS’ rivers.

Come see for yourself at upcoming WWALS outings, such as:

Alapaha River Rise, Suwannee River, and Sabal Trail Pipeline, WWALS Outing 2015-08-15

Update 2015-07-27: Pictures and new pipeline information at this link.

After the Alapaha River sinks into the Florida Aquifer, some of it comes back up at the Alapaha Rise, which actually flows into the Suwannee River, a bit upstream from the Alapaha Confluence. Come with WWALS to the Alapaha Rise, then down the Suwannee River past the Confluences of both the Alapaha and the Withlacoochee Rivers, seeing the proposed site of the Sabal Trail Pipeline on the way.

This is a pretty easy outing, but the Suwannee is deep, so as always bring your personal flotation device. If you need a boat, let us know, and we can find you one.

When:8AM Saturday, August 15th, 2015
What: 8 mile paddle from Gibson Park to Suwannee River State Park, with a side trip upstream first to the Alapaha Rise, then downstream past the Alapaha-Suwannee confluence, the proposed Sabal Trail Pipeline crossing, and ending at the Withlacoochee confluence, taking out at Suwannee River State Park.
Duration: 4 hours, after a 30 minute shuttle.
Directions: Florida Highway 6 in Hamilton County, Florida, west to CR751 South to park just before the river.
Responsible party: Chris Mericle

This event is FREE! All we ask is that you are a current member of WWALS Watershed Coalition. If not, it’s easy to join online today at /donations/. You do not have to be a member to come on this outing. If you like the experience, we recommend that you join to support the efforts of WWALS. Continue reading

Pictures: Rowetown Church to GA 135 –Bret Wagenhorst

Expedition leader Bret Wagenhorst’s always-excellent pictures of the 18 April 2015 WWALS Outing on the Alapaha River Water Trail.

And don’t forget coming up May 16th theThird annual BIG Little River Paddle Race at Reed Bingham State Park on the Little River. Continue reading

Floridan Aquifer more important than Sabal Trail pipeline –WWALS Amicus Brief to Leesburg
























Civil Action No.


300x413 Cover, in Wwals leesburg, by John S. Quarterman, for, 13 April 2015 AMICUS CURIAE OF WWALS WATERSHED COALITION, Inc.



COMES NOW WWALS WATERSHED COALITION, INC. (WWALS), as friends of the court and concerned citizens in the above-entitled action in support of the Defendants and file this their brief with the court in the above referenced case and states as follows and provides in support thereof the following:

Continue reading

Lanier Park to CSX RR track Hotchkiss Road, WWALS outing 2015-07-11

Update 10 July 2015: Outing leader Chris Graham says there’s plenty of water, so we’ll be putting in on the Alapaha River tomorrow morning at Lanier Park. However, he says we’ll be taking out at Hotchkiss Road (instead of CSX RR), so about 14 miles or seven hours. Bring your lunch and plenty of water. See you at 8AM. -jsq

Breeze over mild rapids past sand beaches on the Alapaha River, from Lakeland to US 84.

It’s long, but there should be no deadfalls. In most places the river may be so low you could stand up, but as always bring your personal flotation device.

When: 8AM Saturday, July 11th, 2015
What: 15 mile paddle from Lanier Park to CSX RR track on the public right way.
Duration: 7-8 hours, after a 30 minute shuttle
Directions: Highway 122 about 1.5 miles west of Lakeland, GA, turn south on unmarked dirt road just west of river to ramp.
Responsible party: Chris Graham

This event is FREE! All we ask is that you are a current member of WWALS Watershed Coalition. If not, it’s easy Continue reading