Daily Archives: June 16, 2021

Raffle Kayak: Vibe Yellowfin 120, from Adel Outfitters 2021-06-07

Update 2021-12-11: Kayak raffle drawing high noon 2021-12-11.

It retails for $900, plus this one has a paddle, so $950 value. You could get it in the WWALS kayak raffle. Online donations for tickets can be made here:

Kayak Raffle Tickets

That paypal form says $5.50 and $21.00, because of paypal fees.

WWALS will have physical kayak raffle tickets at upcoming events. For those there’s no paypal fee, so the physical tickets are $5 each or $20 for five tickets.

[Kayak Raffle Flyer]
Kayak Raffle Flyer

All your kayak raffle ticket donations go to support the education, outings, events, programs, and advocacy of WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. Continue reading

Clean Rivers 2021-06-03

Update 2021-06-11: Clean Rivers Again 2021-06-10.

Thanks to WWALS testers Elizabeth Brunner (3 sites), Bobby McKenzie (6 sites), and Gus Cleary (1 site), we know the Withlacoochee River clean Thursday at last in spots from GA 122 almost to the Suwannee River, the Little River down to its Confluence, and the Alapaha River at Lakeland. No rain, no manure runoff! And there were no reported sewage spills this week.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide

So happy boating, swimming, and fishing!

Valdosta was once again asleep at the wheel. The most recent results we have from them are for last Friday upstream and the Friday before that downstream. Madison Health did not test this week. So it’s fortunate WWALS testers were diligent! Continue reading

Clean Rivers Again 2021-06-10

Update 2021-06-19: Clean eleven sites: Withlacoochee, Little, and Alapaha Rivers 2021-06-17.

All clear again on the Withlacoochee River, as far as we can tell, which is from US 41 at North Valdosta Road down almost to the Suwannee River. Valdosta’s results for Friday, Monday, and Wednesday at US 41, GA 133, and US 84 concur.

Also Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River, and Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 on the Alapaha River were clean Thursday. Of course, if the predicted rains arrive, they could wash something into the rivers.

But for now, by the recent water quality results we have, happy boating, swimming, and fishing!

[Chart, Swim Guide, many river test sites]
Chart, Swim Guide, many river test sites

All the WWALS results for Thursday, June 10, 2021, were well below the 410 cfu/100 mL one-time sample limit, and most were below the 126 average limit. Thanks to Bobby McKenzie for testing at US 41 and GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River, as well as at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps, plus Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River.

Thanks to Gus Cleary for samping at Cleary Bluff, which is between Allen Ramp and the Suwannee River on the Withlacoochee. All those sites are on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

And thanks to new tester Valerie Folsom for testing Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 on the Alapaha River Wednesday, in the Alapaha River Water Trail.

Thanks to WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall for reviewing all the plates.

And thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Johnson for getting at least the upstream Valdosta data on the Valdosta website in a timely manner. The downstream Valdosta data continues to lag two weeks behind. Continue reading

Cleanup Paffords Landing, Alapaha River 2021-07-24

Update 2021-10-06: Pictures: WWALS calls in the Marines to clean up Pafford’s Landing 2021-07-24.

Come help WWALS clean up the great beach at Pafford’s Landing, on the Alapaha River just east of Lakeland, Georgia. This is a

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9 AM, end 12 PM, Saturday, July 24, 2021

Put In: Pafford’s Landing, East of Lakeland, Georgia, on GA 122, turn right at the Pafford’s Landing sign, then follow the second Pafford’s Landing sign into the woods, down to the beach. It’s on the right bank or west side of the Alapaha River in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.043011, -83.042564

Bring: trash pickers and trash bags; we will also have some. No need for a boat, but you can bring one if you want to, with the usual personal flotation device and paddle.

Free: Because it’s a cleanup, it’s free for everyone.

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

[Pafford's Landing, Beach, Cleanup]
Pafford’s Landing, Beach, Cleanup

Continue reading

Juneteenth at Reed Bingham State Park, Little River, Reed Bingham State Park East Boat Ramp, 2021-06-19

Update 2021-07-12: Pictures, including Fannie in a boat with a paddle in the rain.

Update 2021-06-17: We’ll actually have the boats at Reed Bingham State Park West Boat Ramp, so go through the park entrance, across the dam, in Colquitt County, Georgia. Macedonia Community Foundation has rented the beach or swimming pavilion, which is on the lake at the west end of the dam.

WWALS will be joining the Macedonia Community Foundation at Reed Bingham State Park on Saturday, June 19, 2021, to help people from Brooks, Cook, and Tift Counties, Georgia, and beyond to celebrate Juneteenth.

[Fannie Marie Gibbs, Reed Bingham State Park Lake, WWALS canoes]
Fannie Marie Gibbs, Reed Bingham State Park Lake, WWALS canoes

Our contribution will be to supply boats and boating assistance for those who want to paddle out on Reed Bingham State Park Lake. For children whose parents do not want to paddle with them, we will have some adults ready to assist, as we did in June 2019 at the Cook County Centennial in the same location. All paddlers with WWALS will need to sign the WWALS event waiver so you will be covered by WWALS insurance; we will have copies of that form there.

We’ll also have the WWALS booth at the pavillion with information about water trails, water quality testing, and advocacy.

When: Noon to 5 PM, Saturday, June 19, 2021

Put In: Reed Bingham State Park East Boat Ramp, 542 Reed Bingham Rd, Adel, GA 31620. Take I-75 Exit 39, turn west on GA 37, right on Evergreen Church Road (CR 99), left on Reed Bingham SP Road (CR 221), in Cook County, Georgia.

GPS: 31.16253, -83.54123

Free: This outing is free.

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup. Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Strawberry Moon Paddle, 2021-06-24

Update 2021-07-31: Pictures: Banks Lake Full Strawberry Moon paddle 2021-06-24.

Join us for a leisurely Sunset and Full Moon Paddle on our mini-Okefenokee, in Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Plus bats!

When: Gather 7:45 PM, launch 8:15 PM, sunset 8:39 PM, moonrise 8:59 PM, end 10 PM, Thursday, June 24, 2021

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.034824, -83.096725

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Lights: You must have a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow sticks work well, or head lamp, flashlight, etc.) so other boaters can see you in the dark. It will be totally dark after sunset. You must wear a PFD. A whistle is not required, but it’s a good idea in the dark. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it. Thanks to Banks Lake Outdoors for free boat rental for these WWALS Full Moon Paddles.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay the $10 at the outing, or online:

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

[Paddlers, Map to Banks Lake Boat Ramp]
Paddlers, Map to Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Continue reading

Pictures: Full Flower Blood Super Full Moon paddle, Banks Lake 2021-05-26

Maybe a record for a Wednesday outing: 34 paddlers on Banks Lake to see the sun set and the Full Flower Blood Super Full Moon rise, and that red moon did not disappoint. Plus there were bats!

[Banners, paddlers, moonrise]
Banners, paddlers, moonrise

There are more pictures on the WWALS website:

See also many facebook pictures by Bobby McKenzie and many others.

Next: in this series of full moon paddles is Continue reading

Port Tampa Bay has no agreement with Strom LNG, and wants none 2021-06-15

Update 2021-07-21: Ghost company: Strom LNG.

The many speakers against Strom, Inc. exporting LNG through Port Tampa Bay were heard at the Port board meeting yesterday morning. Port staff misunderstood Strom’s filing, but the Principal Counsel made a very strong statement against that or other LNG export or import through Port Tampa Bay.

[Strom, Port Tampa Bay, Attorney and CEO, Panelists]
Strom, Port Tampa Bay, Attorney and CEO, Panelists

In the Port’s own zoom recording, at 01:52:30, Charles E. Klug, Principal Counsel, Port Tampa Bay, said: Continue reading

Bill Gates did nothing to stop fertilizer nitrates leaching into springs and rivers –Suwannee Riverkeeper via NBC News 2021-06-08

Update 2022-09-14: Bill Gates responds on MSNBC to my criticisms of his farm policies 2022-09-13.

Update 2021-06-18: Bill Gates, farms, rivers, springs (Vox story).

The story doesn’t say BMAP, but it does get at the heart of the problem the Basin Management Action Plans don’t actually solve, and Bill Gates did not, either.

April Glaser, NBC News, 8 June 2021, updated 9 June 2021, McDonald’s french fries, carrots, onions: all of the foods that come from Bill Gates farmland: Gates does not appear to count his farming investments as the nation’s largest farmland owner as part of his broader strategy to save the climate.

The reporter had never heard of Riverkeepers before, and now here’s one on NBC News.

Algae bloom

But some farmers whose land is adjacent to that of the Gateses have expressed disappointment that despite the couple’s wealth, they have not done more to preserve the environment. Quarterman also serves as the Suwannee Riverkeeper and advocates for conservation of the intricate network of springs and rivers in the region, where water from the swamps of Georgia flow into Florida before they release into the Gulf of Mexico. He said that this is where large tracts of rich farmland is used to raise livestock and grow many of the vegetables that end up in grocery aisles up and down the East Coast.

[John Quarterman stands by the Withlacoochee River in Georgia. Matt Odom / for NBC News]
John Quarterman stands by the Withlacoochee River in Georgia. Matt Odom / for NBC News

All that farming has led to large water withdrawals from Florida’s aquifer system and requires fertilizer, which leaches through the ground into waterways, emptying nitrogen that has led to destructive algae blooms and severe loss of fish and marsh habitats.

In the video segment, she also mentions manatees.

He hoped Gates would have Continue reading

A month late, yet identical to the last one: Strom LNG Semi-Annual Report to DoE FE 2021-05-03

Update 2021-06-16: Port Tampa Bay has no agreement with Strom LNG, and wants none 2021-06-15

Why, Strom, were you a month late filing a report, with only the dates changed from the previous one?

[Late Report, Crystal River to Tampa, Cruise ship]
Late Report, Crystal River to Tampa, Cruise ship

Strom has been promising to export via Port of Tampa since at least October 2018, and this filed-in-May semi-annual report for April 2021 to the Department of Energy (DoE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) still says: “Strom has reached a tentative agreement with the Port of Tampa in Tampa Florida, for long-term leases for shipping of LNG.”

Tomorrow morning, the Port Tampa Bay Board meets, 9:30-11:30 AM, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, both in person at Cruise Terminal 3, and via zoom. You can sign up to make a public comment, if you’re rather not have Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) tankers loading next to cruise ships, or LNG trucking down public highways past hospitals, schools, and businesses to get there.

Still in this late April Strom report, added last time for October 2020, is this: “Additionally, Strom, Inc. is actively in early stage negotiations with a third-party entity regarding a reverse-merger and anticipate filing a report upon completion.”

There’s still no information about who those backers are. Maybe you’d like to ask the Port Tampa Bay Board about that. Continue reading