Monthly Archives: November 2021

Winners: WWALS Boomerang paddle race 2021-10-23


Hahira, Georgia, November 10, 2021 — The 2021 First Prize winner set a new record for the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, from Georgia into Florida and back: Lloyd Reeves of Crescent City, Putnam County, Florida, in the St Johns River watershed. He was also generous, handing back the prize money.


All seventeen paddlers had a good time on a cool, sunny, fall morning. The Withlacoochee River water levels were just right, so everybody floated right over the one shoal. Two college paddlers from Valdosta State University CORE were sponsored by Dry Pocket Apparel and Packaging Corporation of America (PCA). WWALS thanks those and other sponsors, the other paddlers, and the silent auction bidders, for a successful fundraiser.

Of the nine female and eight male paddlers, 12 were from Georgia, and 5 from Florida. Tallahassee’s Leon County, Florida, had almost as many paddlers (4) as local Lowndes County, Georgia (6), and Tallahassee had as many as Valdosta (4 each). The farthest paddler came from DeKalb County, GA, on the other side of Atlanta.

Lloyd Reeves drove 167 miles to win the six-mile course (3 down and 3 back) in 58 minutes and 43 seconds with his accurately-labeled

That beats the previous record of 1:16:42, made last year by Jackson Buttery of Tallahassee. Continue reading

Report chemical constituents for forensic PFAS source identification –WWALS to U.S. EPA 2021-09-27

We requested much more labeling of chemical constituents of PFAS “forever chemicals”, to enable tracking PFAS contamination to its sources, when U.S. EPA held a public comment period about a PFAS rule.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution brought this problem to our attention back in 2018, due to PFAS contamination from all three Air Force bases in Georgia, plus it turns out the Florida Fire College in Ocala. There are probably many more sources, including biosolids dried out from human wastes and used as fertilizer.

[Map, Letter]
Map, Letter

WWALS letter to EPA

See also the PDF.

The WWALS letter references a St. Johns Riverkeeper letter, co-signed by Waterkeepers Florida (including Suwannee Riverkeeper). PDF. Continue reading

Good Thursday, but big Friday rains probably will cause contamination, Withlacoochee River 2021-11-04

Update 2021-11-13: Clean rivers 2021-11-13.

All pretty clean for Thursday and Wednesday samples on the Little, Alapaha, and Withlacoochee Rivers, but there were big rains Friday, so expect the same kind of contamination today and tomorrow that happened a week ago after similar rains. I’d wait a few days before boating, swimming, or fishing in the Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, Folsom, Hagan; Lakeland, Cleary Bluff; Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line; Swim Guide]
Chart, Folsom, Hagan; Lakeland, Cleary Bluff; Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line; Swim Guide

None of the WWALS results for Thursday were zero, but they’re all well below the 410 cfu/100 mL one-time limit.

We have Valdosta downstream results through last Friday. Once again Valdosta results corroborate WWALS results. It’s interesting that last Thursday’s rain contamination had reached Nankin but not State Line by last Friday morning. The Valdosta Okapilco Creek results indicates much of that contamination is probably the usual cattle manure runoff coming out of Brooks County. It’s still lower than the results from last year under similar conditions, so whatever the cattle farmers are doing seems to be working, with room for more improvement. Continue reading

Rain reschedule: Hike to Dead River Sink, Alapaha River, Jennings Bluff Launch, 2021-11-07

Update 2022-01-09: Pictures: Dead River Sink 2021-11-07.

Saturday is rain all day and cold, so we’re going for 2PM this Sunday, November 7, 2021, when it should be 60 degrees with zero percent chance of rain.

Join us for an approximately three-mile hike down the Dead River to the Dead River Sink, where the Alapaha River goes underground much of the year. We will be led by Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida. He will explain the geology, and how unusual this place is: there’s nothing like it in Florida (or Georgia).

This is a hike: no boat is needed. (Also, SRWMD has made a road right to the Sink, if you don’t want to hike.)

Also, time permitting, on the way out we will park at Jennings Bluff Cemetery and look at the nearby Jennings Bluff Spring.

[Karst limestone cracks by the Alapaha River, Dead River, Sink, Dennis J. Price]
Karst limestone cracks by the Alapaha River, Dead River, Sink, Dennis J. Price

When: Gather 2:00 PM, launch 2:15 PM, end 5:15 PM, Sunday, November 7, 2021

Put In: Jennings Bluff Launch. From Jennings, Hamilton County, FL, travel south on US 41 to NW 25 Lane; turn left; travel east to NW 82 Court and the entrance into the Suwannee River Water Management District’s Jennings Bluff tract; turn left and follow road to canoe launch.

GPS: 30.567183, -83.038911
You’re aiming for the Jennings Bluff Tract entrance. Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Beaver Moon Paddle, 2021-11-19

Join us for a leisurely Sunset and Full Moon Paddle on Banks Lake, our mini-Okefenokee just west of Lakeland, Georgia.

When: Gather 4:45 PM, launch 5:15 PM, moonrise 5:50 PM, sunset 5:32 PM, end 7 PM, Friday, November 19, 2021

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County, on the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).

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

[Sunset and moonrise by Russell McBride 2020-10-01]
Sunset and moonrise by Russell McBride 2020-10-01

Continue reading

Willacoochee to Lakeland, Alapaha River, 2021-08-10, 2021-08-19

See the Alapaha River for yourself, in these 360-degree views, on Earthviews, taken in August 2021 by WWALS member Bobby McKenzie.

[Willacoochee Landing, overhanging branches, GA & FL RR, mile marker, beach, Lakeland Boat Ramp; ARWT map]
Willacoochee Landing, overhanging branches, GA & FL RR, mile marker, beach, Lakeland Boat Ramp; ARWT map

Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135 to Berrien Beach Boat Ramp @ GA 168

That’s 19.17 river miles, on August 10, 2021. Continue reading