Category Archives: Aquifer

The Floridan Aquifer is our main drinking water source under our entire WWALS watershed, east to south Carolina, west through Alabama to Mississippi, and under all of Florida.

Unacceptable risk to mine near the Okefenokee Swamp –U.S. Interior Secretary Haaland 2022-12-07

She finally said what she did not say when she toured the Okefenokee Swamp back in September.

You can also tell the state of Georgia to stop the proposed strip mine far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp, the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers, above the Floridan Aquifer from which we all drink.

[Interior Secretary Haaland in the Okefenokee Swamp 2022-09-16 Photo: Shannon Estenoz and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service]
Interior Secretary Haaland in the Okefenokee Swamp 2022-09-16 Photo: Shannon Estenoz and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Russ Bynam, AP in the AJC, 7 December 2022, Interior secretary: `Unacceptable’ to mine near famed swamp,

A member of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet is urging Georgia officials to deny permits for a proposed mine near the edge of the famed Okefenokee Swamp and its vast wildlife refuge

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A member of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet is urging Georgia officials to deny permits for a proposed mine near the edge of the famed Okefenokee Swamp and its vast wildlife refuge, saying the plan poses “unacceptable risk” to the swamp’s fragile ecology.

“I write to express Continue reading

Videos: North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan meeting @ SRWMD 2022-11-15

Almost all the attendees were SRWMD staff; no board members. The only public comment was by me, at the NFRWSP Constraint Meeting, at SRWMD HQ yesterday.

You can comment in writing to partnership@sjrwmd.com by January 31, 2023.

[Presenters, Commenter]
Presenters, Commenter

The presentations were informative, although they omitted a major subject, which I addressed: limits on water withdrawal permits. Will the SRWMD and SJRWMD boards address it this time, or shrug it off like six years ago, after many people suggested it?

SRWMD seemed to be recording video of this meeting, and presumably they will release the slides sometime. Meanwhile, pictures of most of the slides are on the WWALS website. Here is a a WWALS video playlist: Continue reading

Figures and Tables from NORTH FLORIDA SOUTHEAST GEORGIA GROUNDWATER MODEL (NFSEG V1.1) 2019-08-01

Update 2022-11-16: Videos: North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan meeting @ SRWMD 2022-11-15.

This rather thorough model of the Floridan Aquifer and its relatives is meant to be support planning, but does not actually do that planning. Planning is the topic of the meeting this afternoon about the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP).

[Collage]
Collage, Figures and Tables from NORTH FLORIDA SOUTHEAST GEORGIA GROUNDWATER MODEL (NFSEG V1.1)

That’s also why we need Right to Clean Water in Florida.

The sentence I’ve bolded below from the Executive Summary is the most important thing about the North Florida-Southeast Georgia (NFSEG) regional groundwater flow model. Continue reading

Florida Right to Clean Water: get petition signatures for court review 2022-11-10

Floridians, now’s the time to get the petition through the first hurdle: Florida Supreme Court review by March 1, 2023. 223,000 signatures is doable if enough people help.

If you’re a registered Florida voter, go here and sign the petition:
https://www.floridarighttocleanwater.org/

[Unite for Clean Water flyer]

And join the campaign:
https://www.floridarighttocleanwater.org/uniteforcleanwater

Individuals, groups, businesses, or non-profits: all can help get constitutional protection for our rivers, creeks, springs, sinks and swamps, not to mention drinking water.

More about Right to Clean Water in Florida and Georgia here:
https://wwals.net/issues/right-to-clean-water/

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

NFRWSP Constraint Meeting, 2022-11-15

Update 2022-11-16: Videos: North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan meeting @ SRWMD 2022-11-15.

Update 2022-11-15: Figures and Tables from NORTH FLORIDA SOUTHEAST GEORGIA GROUNDWATER MODEL (NFSEG V1.1) 2019-08-01.

January will be six years since SRWMD and SJRWMD passed the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP), mostly ignoring input from interested parties. It’s back for renovations, with public comment at the end of the workshops. Maybe you’d like to attend and comment, or send them written comments.

When: 2 PM, Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Put In: District Headquarters, 9225 CR 49, Live Oak, FL 32060

Figure C3: Aquifer surface change due to withdrawals in north Florida and south Georgia
Figure C3: Aquifer surface change due to withdrawals in north Florida and south Georgia

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Bill Gates responds on MSNBC to my criticisms of his farm policies 2022-09-13

Last night Bill Gates again pretended to be an expert on farming, while avoiding mention of water, soil, ecology, environment, or community. Many of the assertions he made about farming in the U.S. and Africa don’t match documented research.

He did seem to be familiar with my criticisms of his policies, and by his expressions he doesn’t like them much.

[Question and three Gates expressions]
Question and three Gates expressions

He says “all these areas, they evolve, they understand how to say use less fertilizer, which is both good economically and good environmentally.”

Well, his landholdings in Florida and Georgia did not evolve. And he’s now sold off many of them, so maybe they weren’t good economically for him.

Meanwhile, he has driven the size of farm landholdings up, Continue reading

Twin Pines Minerals sues Army Corps about oversight of strip mine site near Okefenokee Swamp 2022-06-27

Well, that did not take long. Only three weeks after an Assistant Secretary of the Army told the Army Corps it had to resume oversight of the proposed titanium-dioxide strip mine site too near the Okefenokee Swamp, the miners have sued the Corps. They still want to strip mine for white paint materials within three miles of the Okefenokee Swamp, an economic engine for southeast Georgia and northeast Florida, and an irreplaceable refuge for numerous land, water, and bird species. That Swamp is the headwaters of the St Marys and Suwannee Rivers, and above the Floridan Aquifer, from which we all drink in south Georgia and north Florida, including for agriculture and industry. There must be better sources of jobs for Charlton County, Georgia.

[Twin Pines Minerals equipment on proposed mine site 2022-02-12]
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Twin Pines Minerals equipment on proposed mine site 2020-02-12, 30.52081, -82.1261

Mary Landers, The Current, June 27, 2022, Mining company sues Army Corps over project near Okefenokee: Twin Pines claims agency erred in overturning decision and seeking Muscogee Nation’s input.

Alabama-based Twin Pines Minerals filed suit against the Army Corps of Engineers last week, claiming the federal agency erred when it bowed to “stakeholder pressure” earlier this month and made it harder for the company to get permits to mine near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

…In its filing, Twin Pines maintains “The Twin Pines Approved Jurisdictional Determinations were issued in compliance with all laws, regulations, and policies — including the tribal consultation policy — in effect when they were issued.”

More specifically, the company contends Continue reading

HPS II drops Union County phosphate mine lawsuit 2022-06-23

Last Thursday, Kate Ellison posted on her facebook page the news that HPS II had dropped its lawsuit against Union County, Florida, which had been going on since 2019.

The miners were attempting to overturn Union County’s rejection of their phosphate mining permit applicaiton, and Union County’s changed land development regulations that prohibited such mining except in a small area. This is big news, although there may be more to come, and there are implications as far away as the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.

[Union County Times, Nutrien Phosphate Mine]
Union County Times, Nutrien Phosphate Mine

Suwannee Riverkeeper has opposed this mine since 2017, because it is uphill from the New River which flows into the Santa Fe River and then the Suwannee River, and above the Floridan Aquifer. Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) has been in the middle of this opposition all along, so, not surprisingly, OSFR has posted an extensive review, see below, naming many of the other people involved.

I’d also like to mention that, Continue reading

Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff advocates for protection of the Okefenokee Swamp 2022-05-25

Like Sen. Ossoff, you can help stop a strip mine proposed far too near the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Marys Rivers, and the mine sits on top of the Floridan Aquifer from which we all drink.

Senator Jon Ossoff is advocating for the protection of the Okefenokee swamp, Kyra Purvis, WFXL, Wednesday, May 25th 2022,

[Sen. Ossoff at the Okefenokee Swamp 2021-05-14]
Sen. Ossoff at the Okefenokee Swamp 2021-05-14

Senator Jon Ossoff is advocating for the protection of the Okefenokee swamp and its national wildlife refuge.

The swamp is currently being looked at by Twin Pines Minerals LLC as a place for titanium mining.

Ossoff is asking for a joint effort between both parties and is calling on all environmental agencies to protect one of Georgia’s most precious natural resources.

“Our state may lose the Okefenokee swamp, this precious natural resource, unless EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the Army Corps and Georgia’s environmental protection division take action to stop it,” said Ossoff in his call to action, “Overwhelmingly the people of Georgia and of the local community treasure the Okefenokee swamp. But I’m sounding the alarm because we need an all hands-on deck effort now to bring the pressure to bear necessary to save the Okefenokee swamp from destruction.”

Ossoff says he has Continue reading

Bridge to Bridge Suwannee River paddle for White Springs Wild Azalea Festival 2022-03-19

Update 2022-03-15: Due to high water, replaced by Hike: Bell Springs to Big Shoals, Suwannee River 2022-03-19.

Join us for a geologic education paddle through millions of years, on a scenic two-mile stretch of the Suwannee River. Led by Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida, we will pass White Sulphur Spring, the first Floridan Aquifer Spring encountered on the Suwannee River.

Once you land, you can go on up to the Wild Azalea Festival! The festival is conveniently located at the corner of Spring and Bridge Street, 10499 Spring St, White Springs, FL 32096.

[US 41 Bridge past FL 136 Bridge, Suwannee River, White Springs, Florida]
US 41 Bridge past FL 136 Bridge, Suwannee River, White Springs, Florida

Dennis Price explains, “For millions of years, Florida was a limestone platform not connected to the now North American continent. For eons the limestone bed would emerge, the bed surface would erode then sink again, several times. Each time the limestone would build again with a different set of fossils. The last limestone bed to deposit was the Suwannee Limestone. Florida thru this time was separated from the continent by the Suwannee Straits, similar to the Florida straits separating Florida from Cuba. Erosional sediments from the continent was slowly filling the Straits and when finally filled, sediments began covering the limestone that was Florida. These sediments are known as the Hawthorne formation today.”

When: Gather 8 AM, launch 8:30 AM, end 10 AM, Saturday, March 19, 2022

Put In: Suwannee River Wayside Park Ramp @ US 41. From White Springs, travel south on US 41 to the river; the ramp is on the south side in the town park, in Hamilton County.
This is where the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail officially starts, although the WWALS web pages and map include the entire river up into Georgia and the Okefenokee Swamp.

GPS: 30.3255, -82.739167 ,

Take Out: Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park Launch, 11016 Lillian Saunders Drive/U.S. Highway 41, White Springs FL 32096.
$5.00 per vehicle (up to 8 people) State Park entry fee.

White Sulphur Springs is after the second bridge but before the takeout. It was one of the first tourist attractions in Florida. Nowadays you can visit the empty bathhouse, see the trickle of water coming out, and read what Dennis wrote: The NFRWSP’s job is to figure out how to increase water levels in the aquifer. –Dennis J. Price 2016-12-12.

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. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

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:
https://wwals.net/outings

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

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