Floating trash in cypress swamp below VLPRA HQ in Valdosta 2022-04-13

I was told Monday that Valdosta Stormwater had cleaned up at least some of the trash in the two-acre swamp the City of Valdosta owns just south of Parks and Rec. Headquarters on Barack Obama Boulevard.

I’ll give it an A for effort and a C- for effectiveness. They cut in from the side, apparently cleaned up what was right along the edge, and left masses of trash in the water.

[Swamp, path, trash, Adopt-A-Spot]
Swamp, path, trash, Adopt-A-Spot

I could wade to much of the remaining trash with my ordinary mud boots. Why they couldn’t do that, or use waders and nets, is mysterious.

I don’t understand a Stormwater Division that is afraid of water. This is not like the real danger of cleaning up in a flowing river with deadfalls that could suck you under. This is a still swamp with no current and no more than two feet deep.

And a swamp still full of trash that washes down One Mile Branch into the Withlacoochee River, past the future site of Troupville River Camp. Welcome, campers!

I get it that Stormwater needs more funding and people to do larger things such as more regular cleanups and trash traps. And yes, the City Council needs to allocate funds and direction for such things. We’re working on that. But how much can some waders and nets cost?

[Pretty nice swamp, 10:29:08, 30.8547612, -83.2651777]
Pretty nice swamp, 10:29:08, 30.8547612, -83.2651777

Nice swamp. A friend who lives nearby says it is full of birds, raccoons, and possums. Do we want them building their nests out of styrofoam, or eating it? Do we want children playing in here, or in trash-infested creeks downstream?

[Wait, what's that?, 10:29:26, 30.8547612, -83.2651777]
Wait, what’s that?, 10:29:26, 30.8547612, -83.2651777

Somebody, presumably Stormwater, cut a path in from Barack Obama Blvd. within the past few days.

[Path, 10:33:21, 30.8547101, -83.2660312]
Path, 10:33:21, 30.8547101, -83.2660312

[Sawed off recently, 10:34:17, 30.8547030, -83.2660040]
Sawed off recently, 10:34:17, 30.8547030, -83.2660040

But apparently they didn’t have nets to get this stuff.

[Floating trash, 10:33:56, 30.8547100, -83.2660310]
Floating trash, 10:33:56, 30.8547100, -83.2660310

[More floating trash, 10:33:59, 30.8547101, -83.2660312]
More floating trash, 10:33:59, 30.8547101, -83.2660312

[Trash raft, 10:35:19, 30.8546510, -83.2659120]
Trash raft, 10:35:19, 30.8546510, -83.2659120

There are more pictures on the WWALS website, but I think you get the picture.

Not a very good memorial for the late Valdosta City Council member James Wright, who started this Adopt-A-Spot program.

[Adopt-A-Spot, 10:50:57, 30.8536123, -83.2662668]
Adopt-A-Spot, 10:50:57, 30.8536123, -83.2662668

Drainage ditch to One Mile Branch

Where does this trash go in a big rain? Down this drainage ditch into One Mile Branch, through Vallotton Park, Drexel Park, and VSU, to Sugar Creek, then the Withlacoochee River, downstream to Florida.

Along the way, that floating trash goes along the stretch of the Withlacoochee we’re going to paddle May 7th. Then it passes where Valdosta and Lowndes County want to build Troupville River Camp at the Little River Confluence. Trash rafts are not a good advertisement for eco-tourism.

[Drainage ditch at Barack Obama Blvd. and Ricardo Street, 10:49:36, 30.8543643, -83.2663729]
Drainage ditch at Barack Obama Blvd. and Ricardo Street, 10:49:36, 30.8543643, -83.2663729

Doesn’t look like anybody has cleaned up in there lately.

[Trash in pine straw, 10:39:48, 30.8543580, -83.2661150]
Trash in pine straw, 10:39:48, 30.8543580, -83.2661150

[Trash above broken chain link fence, 10:44:25, 30.8544046, -83.2663414]
Trash above broken chain link fence, 10:44:25, 30.8544046, -83.2663414

[Deadfall, 10:40:04, 30.8544022, -83.2664247]
Deadfall, 10:40:04, 30.8544022, -83.2664247

[Trash under deadfall, 10:47:37, 30.8544628, -83.2668788]
Trash under deadfall, 10:47:37, 30.8544628, -83.2668788

[Baby buggy, 10:46:13, 30.8544494, -83.2665499]
Baby buggy, 10:46:13, 30.8544494, -83.2665499

[Child's toy, 10:46:18, 30.8544490, -83.2665500]
Child’s toy, 10:46:18, 30.8544490, -83.2665500

[Trash under vines, 10:46:59, 30.8544630, -83.2668790]
Trash under vines, 10:46:59, 30.8544630, -83.2668790

For more on the Valdosta trash situation, see: https://wwals.net/issues/trash

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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