What is WWALS?
WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational corporation, founded in June 2012. WWALS advocates for conservation and stewardship of the surface waters and groundwater of the Suwannee River Basin and Estuary, in south Georgia and north Florida, among them the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee River watersheds, through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities.
Who is involved?
WWALS is made up of volunteers plus one paid staff position, the Suwannee Riverkeeper®. WWALS is governed by its board of directors, with most activities organized by committees, including for outings, science, water quality monitoring, membership, and events. You don’t have to be on the board or a committee to attend events, to volunteer, or to donate. Outings are free to members.
Where do you meet?
WWALS holds a publicized paddle outing, hike, or other event each month; see wwals.net/outings/. Plus, the board meets quarterly. Board meetings are open to the public.
Which counties or cities?
Most WWALS members live in the 30-plus counties that are all or in part in our watersheds. Lowndes County, Georgia, and Columbia County, Florida, are our most populous that are entirely within our watersheds. Our biggest cities entirely in our watersheds are Valdosta, Tifton, and Lake City, FL, although parts of Moultrie and Waycross, GA, and a tiny bit of Gainesville, FL, are in our watersheds. All are listed here: wwals.net/maps/wwals-counties-cities/. WWALS also has members in far-away places including California, Illinois, New York State, Atlanta, Georgia, and Martin County, Florida.
Our many rivers include four (Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe, and Suwannee Rivers), six (plus New and Little Rivers flowing into the Withlacoochee), ten (plus Willacoochee, Alapahoochee, and Little Alapaha Rivers flowing into the Alapaha, and Dead River flowing out of it), thirteen (Black River, Little River, and Gopher River flowing into the Suwannee River), or fifteen (Ichetucknee and New River flowing into the Santa Fe River). Plus many creeks, swamps, lakes, and ponds, including our entire watersheds. wwals.net/maps/
How is this different from Rivers Alive or Adopt a Stream?
WWALS is an educational organization, working with the community at large to provide information about the conservation of the watersheds to landowners, recreational users, interested citizens, farmers, corporations, and other interested parties, as well as advocacy for issues that are an integral part of our watershed. Every WWALS outing is a cleanup. WWALS does have a water quality testing program and invites you to participate. Training is required. wwals.net/issues/testing/
Are you a Riverkeeper?
Yes. Since December 2016, WWALS is the WATERKEEPER® Alliance Member for the Suwannee River Basin and Estuary as Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®, which is a project and a staff position of WWALS.