Monthly Archives: September 2022

Pictures: Berrien Beach Cleanup, Alapaha River 2022-09-24

We got quite a bit of trash on a fun morning at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp in Berrien County and across the Alapaha River at Berrien Beach in Lanier County, in the September 24, 2022, River Alive cleanup.

[Banners, trash, and people at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp and Berrien Beach, Alapaha River 2022-09-24]
Banners, trash, and people at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp and Berrien Beach, Alapaha River 2022-09-24

The most unusual item was cash. Most of the rest was water, beer bottles, and plastic bags. And the usual used diapers. Plus a bumper. Continue reading

Valdosta added net to trash trap, Lee St. Detention Pond 2022-09-28

Good news! Valdosta Engineering has added a net to the home-made Valdosta City trash trap in the Lee Street detention pond on One Mile Branch, upstream of Ashley Street, Drexel Park, VSU, Sugar Creek, and the Withlacoochee River.

[Before and after]
Before and after

Bobby McKenzie opened an issue in Valdosta’s Click ‘n’ Fix smartphone app on September 11, 2022. Valdosta officials closeed it twice, but he persisted, reminding them that a year ago in July 2021, at the invitation of WWALS, trash trap company Osprey met with WWALS and Valdosta Stormwater Manager Angela Bray and then-City Engineer Pat Collins, presenting their Litter Gitter, which has a net in addition to a boom. Bobby also sketched the idea on an image of the current Lee St. trap.

Apparently current City Engineer Benjamin O’Dowd got the picture, because yesterday Bobby sent a picture of that trash trap with a net on top of it.

Valdosta so far has not said in the Click ‘n’ Fix thread that they have done that, but I’m going ahead and announcing this good news.

Thank you, City Engineer Benjamin O’Dowd, for the net on Valdosta’s Lee Street detention pond trash trap!

And thanks to Bobby McKenzie for his persistence.

Yes, I know Continue reading

Mark Wisenbaker donated a canoe to WWALS 2022-09-23

Many thanks to Mark Wisenbaker for donating an 18-foot Mohawk fiberglass canoe to WWALS.

[Donation and canoe: thanks, Mark Wisenbaker]
Donation and canoe: thanks, Mark Wisenbaker

Mark and his grandson Parker Jones helped load and secure the canoe, and then posed with it and the WWALS and Suwannee Riverkeeper banners.

I gave Mark a Suwannee Riverkeeper hat, which you can see he’s wearing, a Suwannee River Bass t-shirt, and a thank-you letter written by WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman.

We’re going to have to build a bigger boat rack.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Hurricane Ian will send wide winds and rain, so be prepared @ LCC 2022-09-26

Floridians probably already know to be prepared for Hurricane Ian, which seems likely to run right up the Suwannee River. But even if it swerves around you, it’s wide and may affect you anyway.

Here is an emergency management report from Lowndes County, Georgia, around 80 miles inland from the Gulf. Even here, even if Ian goes east along the Atlantic coast, there may be significant rain and wind. And of course if Ian goes over the Okefenokee Swamp, water will come down the Suwannee River.

EMA Director Ashley Tye reported at the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session Monday morning, September 26, 2022. For up-to-date reports, see the National Hurricane Center.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

High E. coli near One Mile Branch fish kill, and maybe fuel spill 2022-09-23

Update 2022-10-01: Good Water Quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-09-29.

Update 2022-10-01: Equipment next to One Mile Branch at VSU was put there by Valdosta to route around a sinkhole.

The City of Valdosta says “a fuel spill may be a contributing cause” of the One Mile Branch fish kill.

Meanwhile, WWALS finds E. coli counts too high even upstream of the fish kill, but more than doubling in the fish kill.

WWALS rescheduled our Chainsaw cleanup, which was supposed to be this morning, on the Withlacoochee River downstream from Sugar Creek, which is downstream of One Mile Branch.

I recommend everyone else also avoid One Mile Branch, Sugar Creek, and the Withlacoochee River from Sugar Creek at least down to the Little River Confluence, until there is some resolution of this fish kill, the high E. coli counts, and the alleged fuel spill.

[One Mile Branch sites]
One Mile Branch sites

Scotti Jay collected water samples Friday and Sara Jay plated them. The results are:

Drexel Park Bridge: 966 cfu/100 mL
One Mile Branch Waterfall: 1,100 cfu/100 mL
West Gordon Street: 2,566 cfu/100 mL

The Georgia Adopt-A-Stream (GA-AAS) one-time sample limit for E. coli is 410. The GA-AAS alert limit is 1,000. Continue reading

Rescheduled: Chainsaw Cleanup Withlacoochee River, 2022-10-16

Rescheduled due to fish kill.

We need volunteers to pick up trash while a few people chainsaw some deadfalls.

We aim to collect the trashjams we didn’t have room for last time, and to chainsaw the remaining Withlacoochee River deadfalls between Sugar Creek and the Little River Confluence. Then we’ll paddle up the Little River to take out at Troupville Boat Ramp.

Unlike last time, we’re scheduling seven hours for the shuttle, for chainsawing and trash collecting, and for the four-mile paddle. With luck, nobody will get stuck this time.

All dependent on the weather, of course. Could be hurricane season finally by then, or could be plenty low to make this easy.

When: 9 AM to 4 PM, Sunday, October 16, 2022

Put In: Meet at the back of the Salty Snapper parking lot, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602.

GPS: 30.861764, -83.318854

[Trashjam, deadfall, chainsaws]
Trashjam, deadfall, chainsaws, 2022-07-30; Photos: John S. Quarterman.

Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee River water quality test results then One Mile Branch fish kill 2022-09-22

Update 2022-10-01: Good Water Quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-09-29.

Update 2022-09-25: High E. coli near One Mile Branch fish kill, and maybe fuel spill 2022-09-23.

Thursday WWALS test results are very good. The most recent Valdosta test results from Valdosta are for Monday, and they are also good.

But Friday WWALS found a fish kill in One Mile Branch starting at Valdosta State University. That is upstream from Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River. Later today we should have some E. coli test results from One Mile Branch.

[Chart, River, Swim Guide]
Chart, River, Swim Guide

Ashburn had yet another sewage spill a week ago into Hat Creek upstream on the Alapaha River, and High Springs had a spill Thursday a week ago near the Santa Fe River. Both were so small they probably had no detectable effect on river water quality.

So I would swim, boat, and fish in the Withlacoochee River downstream from the Little River Confluence. But I would avoid the Withlacoochee River from there up to Sugar Creek. Continue reading

One Mile Branch Fish Kill 2022-09-23

Update 2022-09-25: High E. coli near One Mile Branch fish kill, and maybe fuel spill 2022-09-23.

Update 2022-09-24: Clean Withlacoochee River water quality test results then One Mile Branch fish kill 2022-09-22.

Scotti Jay says, “I’m glad my dog doesn’t like to get in the water.”

[Fish kill and equipment]
Fish kill and equipment

The One Mile Branch water full of dead fish from Oak Street at VSU down to West Gordon Street and Sugar Creek in Remerton. Sugar Creek goes on down to the Withlacoochee River.

A sewage bypass pipe starts just downstream (west) of Patterson Street and ends near the VSU practice football field west of Oak Street, near where the dead fish start. Such equipment could only have been put there by Valdosta Utilities or its contractors.

I saw such equipment at Patterson Street after Continue reading

Okefenokee poll and U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland 2022-09-16

Update 2022-10-06: GA-DNR Board does not discuss mining near Okefenokee Swamp 2022-09-27.

Last Friday Interior Secretary Deb Haaland toured to Okefenokee Swamp, along with Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff.

[Deb Haaland at ONWR]
Deb Haaland at ONWR

I was there Continue reading

Hahira Honeybee Festival Booth, 2022-09-30

Arts, crafts, food. Often 25,000 people see the WWALS booth. You can help at the booth, or on Saturday you can join us in the parade at noon.

[Honeybee, Suwannee Riverkeeper in parade, WWALS booth]
Honeybee, Suwannee Riverkeeper in parade, WWALS booth

Continue reading