Songwriting Contest on Steve Nichols radio show 2020-08-18

Here is video of Steve Nichols and Suwannee Riverkeeper talking about the Songwriting Contest on the radio, last Tuesday morning at 8:30 AM, 105.9 FM WVGA.

Tickets to listen are available, $10 online or $12 at the door (children under 12 free).

For VIP tables send email to

[Radio, History, Waterworks, Georgia Beer Co.]
Radio, History, Waterworks, Georgia Beer Co.

The Contest Finals are this Saturday (tomorrow), 7-9 PM, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601.

Scott James of 92.1 FM will be the M.C. The headliner, Dirty Bird and the Flu, will play. Then each of the three judges will play. The finalists will play for the judges and you the audience. Somebody will win the $300 First Prize, and the other prizes.

[First Prize, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest]
First Prize, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

There will be a silent auction and kayak raffle tickets will be available. Our top-tier sponsor, Georgia Beer Company, will say a few words, as will our host, the Turner Arts Center, and several WWALS people will speak about programs, projects, stewardship, and advocacy. Each elected official present will get three minutes to speak on any subject; just remember it’s a festival.

Bring your own chairs and tables if you can. We will have some, but if you can bring your own, that will be great. There’s plenty of room to have tables spaced apart. We will be requiring masks when you go up to the WWALS information tables or close to others not in your group.

Food will be by Rico’s Tacos’ food truck. Drinks will be provided by the Pour House.

For much more, follow this link:–songwriting/

Steve Nichols and I also talked about Why care about the waters?, WWALS Cleanups and Outings, Water Quality Testing, Masks at the Contest, and Georgia Beer Company, Top Tier Sponsor.

Why care about the waters?

Video at 3:33. Steve Nichols asked why I was so involved in this water stuff.

A century ago, my grandfather ran the Valdosta waterworks, in the building where Georgia Beer Company is located now.

[David Sinclair Quarterman Sr., Valdosta City Council, 1916 (VDT)]
David Sinclair Quarterman Sr., Valdosta City Council, 1916 (VDT)

He bought the farm (literally) in 1921, and built a pond on the little creek that runs into the Withlacoochee River.

[Brown Dog and Gretchen with halo]
Brown Dog and Gretchen with halo in boat at Okra Paradise Farms pond 2020-06-14.

My aunt, Dr. Elsie Quarterman, was Professor of Plant Ecology at Vanderbilt University, and she got her interest in botany on the same land grandpa bought in 1921, where I live now.

The Valdosta waterworks building was in sad shape for many years after the wells moved north to their current location on Guest Road.

[Valdosta Waterworks Before]
Valdosta Waterworks Before

Finally, Georgia Beer Company got a deal for the building.

[Some crying from the applicants]
Some crying from the applicants back when Georgia Beer Company got a five year lease-to-own deal from the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority 2018-02-07.

And now it’s a thriving place again.

[T2, Jack, Chris, jsq, Georgia Beer Co., Suwannee Riverkeeper]
WWALS President Tom H. Johnson, Jr., Georgia Beer Co. founders Jack Martin and Chris Jones, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman 2020-08-13


Video at 5:20.

Steve asked what we have coming up.

Saturday, August 29, 2020, there’s a cleanup on Twomile Branch and Sugar Creek, instigated by our very active WWALS member Scotti Jay, and with the cooperation of the neighboring landowner.

[Twomile Branch, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River]
Twomile Branch, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River

Also Saturday, August 29, 2020, there’s a Bike and Paddle on the Suwannee River, with option overnight camping. We avoid the shuttle pandemic problem by taking bicycles from the takeout back to the put-in at the beginning of the paddle.

Saturday, September 12, 2020, there’s a Cleanup at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River.

Also Saturday, September 12, 2020, there’s training for water quality testing. The training will mostly take place online.

On Saturday, October 10, 2020, in conjunction with Lowndes County, WWALS will be doing a three-location cleanup at Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River, at Langdale Park on the Withlacoochee River, and at Naylor Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River. Stay tuned for the announcement with details.

On Saturday, October 24, 2020, there’s the Third Annual WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia into Florida and back.

[WWALS Boomerang 2020]
WWALS Boomerang 2020

For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times newsletter.

Water Quality Testing

Video at 9:32.

I bet nobody raised their hand when I asked if anybody wants to drink dirty water. As Steve always says, it doesn’t matter your political persuasion, everybody likes clean water.

[Water Quality Testing]
Water Quality Testing

For all about water quality testing, see

For how we got to the current situation see Current Situation of Water Quality Testing, Suwannee River Basin 2020-08-02

For more about why we think ruminants, especially cattle, are the source of much of the recent river water contamination with E. coli, see WWALS Summary of FDEP chemical and biological tracers, Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers 2020-08-05.


Video at 12:52.

Due to the general virus pandemic situation and recent executive orders from the Georgia Governor, we will be requiring masks when you’re approaching people not in your party. We will have masks if you didn’t bring one. We will have hand sanitizing stations. Before the event starts, we will mark with chark and four spots far enough apart that while you’re sitting with your party, you’ll have no need of a mask.

Steve mentioned that Sementha Mathews said hello. She’s the head of the Turner Center for the Arts, and we thank her for the use of the Art Park, which has plenty of room.


Georgia Beer Company, Top Tier Sponsor

Video at 13:45.

Thanks to Georgia Beer Company for being our Top Tier Sponsor for the Songwriting Contest.

[Georgia Beer Company hat]
Georgia Beer Company hat

I think Jack Martin likes the sponsor banner.

[Georgia Beer Company sponsor banner Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest]
Georgia Beer Company sponsor banner Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Here’s the video:

Songwriting Contest on Steve Nichols radio show 2020-08-18
Video by John S. Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS).

[Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020]
Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!