Monthly Archives: May 2024

Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers plus High Springs sewage spill 2024-05-30

Update 2024-06-07: Filthy Franks Creek, clean Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers, despite Ashburn spill 2024-06-05.

Update 2024-06-05: A Georgia City Has Spilled Millions of Gallons of Raw Sewage Into 2 Pristine Rivers –Amber Nolan, greenmatters 2024-06-03.

With no rain since Monday, the Withlacoochee River tested clean Wednesday, and the Santa Fe River Thursay, even though High Springs, Florida had a sewage spill Thursday; see below.

Three spills appeared in the Georgia EPD Sewage Spills Report for this Tuesday, May 22, 2024: a big one and a little one from Ashburn Saturday and Sunday a week ago, and a tiny one from Quitman Wednesday a week ago; see separate report. https://wwals.net/?p=64971

There’s a slight chance of rain Sunday, but probably not enough to cause much contamination.

Happy swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend if you can find a river that is not too high.

Or come see us 2-7 PM Saturday in Hahira, Georgia, with South Georgia Pride at Music and Art on Main.

[Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers; High Springs Sewage Spill 2024-05-30]
Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers; High Springs Sewage Spill 2024-05-30

The High Springs spill was reported in the Pollution Spills Report by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

The report says 35,000 gallons were spilled, but 32,000 gallons were recovered, so the remainder was only 3,000 gallons.

The location is rather vague, Southwest 25th Avenue, so I’m guessing it was at the wastewater treatment plant. Continue reading

Ashburn and Quitman sewage spills reported 2024-05-22

Update 2024-05-31: Clean Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers plus High Springs sewage spill 2024-05-30.

Ashburn had a 250,000-gallon sewage spill into Hat Creek to the Alapaha River Sunday a week ago, and a 2,500-gallon spill into Ashburn Branch into the Little River the day before, both because of “Wet weather”.

Quitman had a 300-gallon sewage spill at Brooks County High School Wednesday a week ago into a ditch that drains to Okapilco Creek.

[Ashburn 250,000-gallon sewage spill into Hat Creek, Alapaha River 2024-05-19 and 2,500-gallon spill into Ashburn Branch, Little River, plus Quitman 300-gallon spill 2024-05-22]
Ashburn 250,000-gallon sewage spill into Hat Creek, Alapaha River 2024-05-19 and 2,500-gallon spill into Ashburn Branch, Little River, plus Quitman 300-gallon spill 2024-05-22

These spills appeared this Tuesday, May 28, 2024, in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report.

Why they took so long to report is a mystery.

Ashburn’s excuse of “Wet weather” is wearing thin. Yes, there were big rains those days, but Ashburn needs to fix its sewer system so rains don’t cause spills. Continue reading

Pictures: Banks Lake Full Flower Moon –Kim Tanner 2024-05-23

Thanks to Kimberly Godden Tanner for leading and sending these pictures of the Banks Lake Full Flower Moon Paddle, Thursday evening, May 23, 2024.

[Banks Lake Full flower Moon --Kim Tanner 2024-05-23, Sunset, Moonrise]
Banks Lake Full flower Moon –Kim Tanner 2024-05-23, Sunset, Moonrise

For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS outings web page, https://wwals.net/outings/. Continue reading

Pictures: Florida Folk Festival Saturday 2024-05-25

Update 2024-05-30: Pictures: Florida Folk Festival Sunday 2024-05-26.

People kept asking to sign the petition for a Florida Constitutional Amendment for Right to Clean Water.

[Florida Folk Festival, Saturday 2024-05-25, Livelier. Most popular:, Right to Clean Water Petition]
Florida Folk Festival, Saturday 2024-05-25, Livelier. Most popular:, Right to Clean Water Petition

We’ll have more of those petitions today, on the banks of the Suwannee River in White Springs, Florida, at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. Continue reading

Pictures: Florida Folk Festival Sunday 2024-05-26

The petition for a Florida Constitutional Amendment for Right to Clean Water brought many people to the WWALS Booth. They went away with a WWALS flyer, so RTCW meshes will with other WWALS activities.

[Florida Folk Festival, Sunday 2024-05-26, Florida Petition for Right to Clean Water]
Florida Folk Festival, Sunday 2024-05-26, Florida Petition for Right to Clean Water

Sarah Younger of Sierra Club Suwannee-St. Johns Group shows how to sign the petition. We got 90 signatures on the banks of the Suwannee River in White Springs, Florida, at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park.

Florida registered voters can sign any time:
https://www.floridarighttocleanwater.org

Each signature gets us (and all the other groups participating) closer to getting the petition through Florida Supreme Court review and onto the 2026 ballot. The beauty of it is that it doesn’t go through governor or the legislature. And once it gets on the ballot, environmental constitutional amendments tend to get approved by huge margins. Which will put it in Article I, along with other basic human rights such as freedom of speech.

Many thanks to WWALS volunteers Gee Edwards and Bird Chamberlain for helping. Continue reading

WWALS at Pride in Hahira 2024-06-01

Join us Saturday afternoon in Hahira, at Music and Art on Main, this one by South Georgia Pride.

We’ll be talking about outings, advocacy, and the WWALS River Revue.

[WWALS Booth at Pride in Hahira 2024-06-01, Music and Art on Main, South Georgia Pride]
WWALS Booth at Pride in Hahira 2024-06-01, Music and Art on Main, South Georgia Pride

That’s 2-7 PM, Saturday, June 1, 2024, at the City of Hahira Depot, 220 W. Main Street.

Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/813295534069014/

Thanks to Rindy Kennedy for organizing our participation at this event.

This is on the WWALS Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. Hahira is about in the middle between Folsom Bridge on the Little River to the west and Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River to the east, around 8 miles either way.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Three judges for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting

Hahira, Georgia, May 30, 2024 — Three judges, from Berrien County, Georgia, Madison County, Florida, and Columbia County, Florida, will decide at the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest Finals at the WWALS River Revue, September 7, 2024.

[Judges, 2024-09-07, 5-8 PM, Valdosta, GA, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Anna Stange (Madison, FL), Tony Buzella, (Lake City, FL), Robert Griner (Nashville, GA)]
Judges, 2024-09-07, 5-8 PM, Valdosta, GA, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Anna Stange (Madison, FL), Tony Buzella, (Lake City, FL), Robert Griner (Nashville, GA)

Judge Tony Buzzella lives in Lake City, and was raised in Miami, FL. He studied under many great teachers, and he has performed with many great musicians over the years, including Frank Hubble, Charlie “Brown” Weatherbee, Rusty Hammerstrum, Leo Villar, Carlos Guzman, and the “Our Gang” Dixieland band during the 1960s and ’70s. He has also performed with Pete Fountain, Bonnie Dawson, Freddie Palmer, Jerry Clower, Grandpa Jones, The Original Salt & Pepper Trio, The Gainesville Jazz Orchestra, Alfonso Levy, and many others.

Judge Anna Stange moved to Madison, FL, in 2019, after 25 years as a music teacher, performer, and educator in the Chicago area. Well known for her multicultural music programs, Anna performed at festivals, libraries, and community events, from Key West to Seldovia, Alaska. Her most recent album, “When Will We Ever Learn: Songs For Peace and Justice,” is a mix of folk and original songs. She currently homesteads on six acres in North Florida with her spouse, 15 chickens, and two lovable mutts.

Judge Robert Griner is a graduate of the Berrien County school system, Valdosta State University, and has a BBA degree. He worked in the banking industry for 51 years and retired as president and director of Trust Bank. His hobbies include professional drummer, licensed pilot, fishing, pheasant hunting, and scuba diving. He enjoys all outdoor activities in beautiful southern Georgia! He has a daughter, Andrea, and a grandson, Jackson. He is a member of the Jacobs Well Church in Nashville, GA.

M.C. Chuck Roberts said, “This is the most dedicated group having fun raising funds to conserve our waterways that I’ve ever been around.”

WWALS President Sara Jay Jones said, Continue reading

Little Alapaha River and Alapaha River in Action Stage at US 41 2024-05-25

Yesterday evening around 6:20 PM, the Little Alapaha River still had water in it, under US 41.

[Little Alapaha River, @ US 41 2024-05-25, Alapaha River in Action Stage @ US 41, 78.22 NAVD88 Jennings Gauge]
Little Alapaha River, @ US 41 2024-05-25, Alapaha River in Action Stage @ US 41, 78.22 NAVD88 Jennings Gauge

And the Alapaha River, where it often is dry, was flowing fast under US 41, in Action Stage at 78.22 NAVD88 on the Jennings Gauge.

Both in Hamilton County, Florida. Continue reading

Florida Folk Festival Friday 2024-05-24

Update 2024-05-26: Pictures: Florida Folk Festival Saturday 2024-05-25.

Gretchen Quarterman took a few pictures Friday at the Florida Folk Festival.

[WWALS Booth at, Florida Folk Festival 2024-04-24, Come down to White Springs, FL, Saturday and Sunday]
WWALS Booth at, Florida Folk Festival 2024-04-24, Come down to White Springs, FL, Saturday and Sunday

Come on down Saturday and Sunday to the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park on the Suwannee River in White Springs, Florida. Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Ichetucknee Rivers 2024-05-22

Update 2024-05-31: Ashburn and Quitman sewage spills reported 2024-05-22.

With no rain for four days, the Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Ichetucknee Rivers tested clean this Wednesday. We have no Valdosta data, because it’s a holiday weekend.

The only sewage spill reported this week was an old small one from Tifton, far upstream.

There’s a chance of rain tomorrow, but probably not enough to cause much contamination.

Happy swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend if you can find a river that is not too high. Maybe try the Suwannee River upstream from the Alapaha River, or the Santa Fe River upstream from the Ichetucknee River. Most of the other river stretches are pretty high; see below.

Or come see us at the Florida Folk Festival, on the Suwannee River in White Springs, Florida, this Saturday or Sunday.

[Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, Ichetucknee Rivers 2024-05-22 dirty Knights Creek 2024-05-20]
Clean Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, Ichetucknee Rivers 2024-05-22 dirty Knights Creek 2024-05-20

No new sewage spills were reported in the Suwannee River Basin in the past week, in Georgia or Florida.

The old Tifton sewage spill that showed up in the GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report for May 21 was 6,000 gallons of raw sewage on May 13, 2024, at the Southside Lift Station on W. Golden Road, due to Power failure. Continue reading