Category Archives: PR

Press Release

Third Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River


Third Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River

Valdosta, Georgia, January 19, 2021 — Looks like there will be plenty of water for this annual eleven-mile river paddle, past the future site of Troupville River Camp and Nature Park, along the west side of the most populous city in the Suwannee River Basin, past Valdosta’s clean outfall of its Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, with many creeks, oaks, cypresses, pines, fish, turtles, and maybe an alligator, down to Spook Bridge, so scary it has its own movie.

Valdosta Mayor Scott James said, “I am excited to partner once again with WWALS, plus this time with Lowndes County, to show people our fabulous blackwater rivers, only a few miles from City Hall and VSU. Valdosta is proud to hardly ever have a sewage spill anymore, and now we’re working on eliminating trash from the river. We remain committed to preventing any issues that may impact our Withlacoochee River. I invite everyone to come out and join us for a day of fellowship on the river!” 

“Come on down to where I used to fish as a child, and with my children!” said Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter. “I’ve spoken at this paddle every year, and this year I hope you will paddle.”

“Welcome to this one of our many paddles,” said WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman. “We have at least one daytime river paddle a month, in Florida or Georgia, plus an evening Full Moon paddle at Banks Lake, near Lakeland, GA. We’ll be testing temperatures with an infrared thermometer as people arrive. If you’re ill in any way, please stay home.” Continue reading

Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Trash, Okefenokee –Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James Radio 2022-01-20

Update 2022-01-19: Changed to 8:30 AM.

Thursday morning at 8AM 8:30 AM, Suwannee Riverkeeper will be on Scott James Talk 92.1 FM radio, about the annual 11-mile Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers coming up in a week, the trash situation of Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River, and how you can ask the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to stop a strip mine far too near the Okefenokee Swamp, and ask GA-EPD to stop that second wood pellet plant in Adel while you’re at it.

We may also talk about water trails, water quality testing, and who knows what else.

[Suwannee Riverkeeper and Scott James, 92.1 FM, 2021-10-19]
Suwannee Riverkeeper and Scott James, 92.1 FM, 2021-10-19

When: 8 AM 8:30 AM, Thursday, January 20, 2022

Where: Talk 92.1 FM radio, Scott James drivetime show

Listen: Over the air, or through the radio show’s own website, or through any of several online listening services.

Event: facebook

For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see Continue reading

WWALS facebook page and group 2021-12-11

Facebook confuses everybody. As soon as you figure it out, Facebook will change it.

WWALS has a facebook page, which anybody in the world can see. We use the page to get the word out about advocacy, paddles, events, etc. You can share any post you see on the WWALS fb page.

WWALS also has a facebook group, which only WWALS members can join. The group is a perq of WWALS membership, with frequent discussions.

[WWALS Facebook Page and Group]
WWALS Facebook Page and Group

The WWALS facebook page doesn’t say “page” on it, probably because that’s the main thing facebook has.

While you’re on the page, please like it if you haven’t already. Invite your friends to like it, and soon we’ll get more than 3,000 likes. The more likes, the more distribution our outings and advocacy get. Continue reading

Video: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest (all of it) 2021-08-21

We livestreamed the Fourth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest over facebook live and zoom. This is the zoom video, for those who want to see how the whole thing went.

[Musicians, others, and winners]
Musicians, others, and winners

Yep, this is the whole thing, from soundcheck to teardown. In between, headliner Little Perks in Paradise plays, three judges perform as a band, then nine finalists perform for the judges, the judges pick winners, and the First Prize winner, Sweet William Billy Ennis, sings again.

Here’s the video: Continue reading

Video: Titanium strip mine too near Okefenokee Swamp; Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James Radio 2021-10-18

That titanium strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp is still in permitting, as Scott James and I discussed on his radio show Monday morning; here’s video. You can help stop that mine.

There’s serious doubt about the legitimacy of the decision last October by the Army Corps of Engineers to abdicate responsibility, since a District Court revoked last year’s EPA decision that the Corps used to decide. Meanwhile, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) has five permit applications from those Alabama coal miners, Twin Pines Minerals LLC. For details, see Mining moratorium: NWPR WOTUS and Army Corps on Okefenokee mine site –WWALS to EPD 2021-09-27.

[Strip mine discussion and location]
Strip mine discussion and location

You can ask GA-EPD for a moratorium on all mining, until the effects of that District Court decision get sorted out, or to deny the permits for that mine, or at the very least to examine the permits very thoroughly and produce the equivalent of the Environmental Impact Statement that the Corps should be working on.

And don’t forget the WWALS Boomerang paddle race tomorrow morning, Saturday, October 23, 2021, from Georgia into Florida and back!–boomerang/

Here’s WWALS video of that radio discussion: Continue reading

Videos: Boomerang paddle race, mine too close to Okefenokee Swamp, Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James Radio 2021-10-19

On his radio show Monday morning, Scott James and I talked about the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, coming up this Saturday, 9AM, October 23, 2021, at State Line Boat Ramp, aka Madison Highway Boat Ramp or Mozell Spells or GA 31 Ramp or CR 145 Bridge Launch. We’ll paddle downstream into Florida and back up into Georgia! Food, drink, and a silent auction. Fun for the whole family.

The overall winner wins a $100 First Prize. Others will win in many categories.

[Radio, WWALS Boomerang paddle race]
Radio, WWALS Boomerang paddle race

Tickets for this WWALS fundraiser are available online or at the event.

Registration opens at 9AM, where you can say whether you want to paddle 1, 2, or 3 miles downstream, and the same back up.

Everything about the Boomerang is here:–boomerang/

Below are links to each of the video segments about the Boomerang on the radio, followed by a WWALS video playlist. Continue reading

A trash source success: parking lot on St. Augustine Road, Valdosta

Valdosta, GA, October 7, 2021 — Other businesses can do what Stafford did, and our creeks and rivers will be a lot cleaner! That will make Valdosta, Lowndes County, and every place downstream, more attractive to new and existing businesses, and healthier for people who live here.

After many times cleaning up trash from Sugar Creek near the Withlacoochee River, WWALS member Bobby McKenzie went upstream in Valdosta, found some sources, and one of the big ones listened. Other businesses can follow this example: put trash cans in parking lots, empty them, and keep them swept.

[Parking lot, Hightower Creek]
Parking lot, Hightower Creek

Bobby tells the story:

We identified hundreds of pounds of trash being thrown into the tree line just feet from Hightower Creek. The parking lot owner is Valdosta Mall Corners c/o Stafford Development Company (Stafford). Continue reading

Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2021-08-21


Hahira, GA, August 23, 2021 — Chosen by three judges from a record number of Finalists from Atlanta to Palatka, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) is pleased to announce the winners of the Fourth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

[All winners]
All winners.
L-R: KJ Wingate, Katherine Ball, David Rodock, Sweet William Billy Ennis, Jimi Davies and his brother, Kathy Lou Gilman, Rachel Hillman.
Photo: Angela Duncan for WWALS.

The winner of Continue reading

Video: Banks Lake Full Sturgeon Moon Paddle 2021-08-22 –Suwannee Riverkeeper & Scott James 2021-08-12

This Sunday, paddle out with us to see the sun set and the moon rise, with bats, in the Banks Lake Full Sturgeon Moon Paddle!

It’s only $10 for non-members, and free to non-members, as Scott James reminded us on his radio show last week.

With free boat rental, thanks to the Lakeland-Lanier County Chamber of Commerce.

And WWALS membership is only $25 for individuals or $40 for a family.

[Banks Lake Full Sturgeon Moon Paddle]
Banks Lake Full Sturgeon Moon Paddle

For more details of this evening paddle just west of Lakeland, Georgia, see:

Here’s WWALS video of that radio interview: Continue reading

Suwannee Riverkeeper contest scheduled –Valdosta Daily Times 2021-08-02

Amanda M. Usher, Valdosta Daily Times, August 2, 2021, Suwannee Riverkeeper contest scheduled,

VALDOSTA — The musical notes of folk, blues, soul, rock and jazz will soon cover the Art Park during the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest in late August.

Finalists have been selected to perform at the annual event, 7-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts Art Park.

The public had until July 29 to cast votes for the contest.

John Quarterman, Suwannee riverkeeper, said a committee will take into account the votes while choosing finalists, which will be announced Aug. 4.

And the Committee selected all nine songwriters as Finaliasts!

[Nine Songwriters, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2021]

Judges Josh Duncan, J.J. Rolle and Kenji Bolden will select winners at the Aug. 21 event, where Little Perks in Paradise and Dirty Bird and the Flu will each headline.

Little Perks in Paradise features Continue reading