Category Archives: River

Pictures: Chainsaw Cleanup, Sugar Creek to Troupville, Withlacoochee River 2022-07-30

Everything went exactly as planned for Chainsaw Cleanup Returns, Withlacoochee River, Valdosta, if the plans included two trucks getting stuck, several chainsaws getting stuck, and the whole thing taking more like ten hours than three, with no lunch.

[Banners, Chainsaws, Trash, River]
Banners, Chainsaws, Trash, River

But we cleared a bunch of deadfalls, collected many bags of trash, and recorded where the remaining deadfalls and trash are for later expeditions. That makes this stretch much more paddlable between Sugar Creek and Troupville on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

Thanks to the three new chainsawers, Shawn O’Connor and Grant and Art Herring, and regulars Bobby McKenzie and Russell Allen McBride. And thanks to the Good Samaritan who gave me a ride to my truck so I could use my logging chain to pull Bobby’s truck out at the take-out. Plus thanks to the two different vehicles that were used to pull my truck out at the put-in.

Note for next time: if you add a four-mile river paddle with a slow boat to chainsawing many deadfalls and the same people picking up many bags of trash, it takes longer.

There are many more Continue reading

Training: Water Quality Testing, 2022-09-10

You can learn how to help test water quality in the Suwannee River Basin.

WWALS testing trainer Gretchen Quarterman will do the classroom portion of the course by zoom, followed by hands-on practical training at a waterway with physical distancing. This is both Chemical and Bacterial training by Georgia Adopt-A-Stream (AAS) methods.

Yes, we can and do use this in Florida as well as Georgia.

[Map and table, Georgia AAS]
Map and table, Georgia AAS

We currently have testers on the Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers.

We need more of those, and also for the Alapahoochee and Suwannee Rivers, as well as Cat Creek, Beatty Branch, Sugar Creek, and especially Okapilco Creek and Crooked Creek, plus others.

For more, see: https://wwals.net/testing/

Sign up: https://forms.gle/37DawiGAJYoyqtPKA Continue reading

Rivers probably OK water quality 2022-08-04

Chances are the rivers are OK today for this weekend.

The test results we have for Thursday from WWALS and for Wednesday from Valdosta are all good. No new sewage spills have been reported in Georgia or Florida in the Suwannee River Basin.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide

However, there was more than an inch of rain on the west side of Brooks County, Georgia, yesterday. We don’t know whether that washed any cattle manure down Okapilco Creek into the Withlacoochee River. That rain fell in the afternoon, after testing times, and our downstream WWALS testers are off this week anyway. More rain is predicted every day for a week. Continue reading

Paused, not stopped: Northern Turnpike Extension toll road 2022-08-05

Two more versions of what’s happening to the toll road project: “paused” until they come up with options to “address concerns” or “include” concerns.

[FDOT PR, NTE Project Update, Study Area]
FDOT PR, NTE Project Update, Study Area

There is nothing about satisfying community concerns. There is a statement that they will “continue to refine and develop viable corridor concepts for this area”. They’re going to write a report despite this “pause”, and sooner or later they will plow ahead. Nevermind no need for any of those alternative routes has ever been established. Watch for that Report so you can comment No Build.

This pause is just a feint because of all the community objections thus far. Don’t let this pause cool your objections. More toll roads means more clearcutting and runoff, more pollution from that runoff, more development and more water withdrawals, lower levels in the Floridan Aquifer, rivers, and springs. And all that traffic is aimed up US 19 across the Suwannee River to Madison County. Water is more important than profit for developers and toll road builders.

FDOT and NTE say they will Continue reading

Draft GA-EPD Hazardous Waste permit to add Post-Closure Care Plan (PCCP) for Perma-Fix 2022-09-08

A draft permit is open for comment until September 8, 2022, on a modification to the GA-EPD Hazardous Waste Permit for the closed Perma-Fix site in Valdosta.

[Notice and Draft Permit]
Notice and Draft Permit

Notice

According to the notice, HW-085-D-ExcaliburRealtyValdosta.pdf “The modified permit, if approved, will incorporate the Post-Closure Care Plan (PCCP) and update the Permit content to reflect changes made by the Director to the groundwater protection standards (GWPS) applicable to the facility.” Continue reading

Florida scraps proposed toll road routes for I-75 and others 2022-08-03

Update 2022-08-05: Paused, not stopped: Northern Turnpike Extension toll road 2022-08-05.

It’s good news, but watch out: “Instead, FDOT will look at making improvements along Interstate 75 and possibly other corridors to relieve traffic congestion.”

[No four routes]
No four routes

Nobody has ever demonstrated any need for such a toll road, or for these I-75 “and possibly other” road expansions. The M-CORES committee deliberated for a long time and reported no need. The succeeding plan for four potential routes from Wildwood to US 19 did not dispute that lack of need, but plowed ahead anyway. FDOT said the legislature said (in SB 100) that the Northern Turnpike Extension was “in the strategic interest,” yet the new process would determine a need. It did not.

Instead, Continue reading

Dollar Tree Trash Pile, 1801 Norman Drive, Valdosta, GA 2022-07-31

Bobby McKenzie reported yesterday, “Well again without wanting to and without trying…I found yet another mother load…”

This one is behind the Target, 1801 Norman Driver, Valdosta, GA 31601.

[Trash, drain, Hightower and Sugar Creeks]
Trash, drain, Hightower and Sugar Creeks

It drains into Hightower Creek, then Sugar Creek, then the Withlacoochee River.

Sure, the WaterGoat near the bottom of Sugar Creek, will probably catch this trash when it gets that far. We thank Valdosta again for buying that WaterGoat, and we look forward to Valdosta’s plan for cleaning it out.

And we are still looking for Valdosta to come up with a plan for education and enforcement of its quite good trash ordinances to get parking lot owners to keep trash from getting off their property and to put out trash cans and keep them emptied, as their own 2010 Stormwater Master Plan said they should do “immediately” twelve years ago.

Sure, people shouldn’t litter. But the fast food outlets sell this single-use packaging, and the parking lot owners let it get into the creeks despite the city ordinances. They should bear responsibility.

The City of Valdosta doesn’t expect volunteers to clean up sewage spills, even though city employees do not produce most of that sewage. Why should volunteers be expected to clean up Valdosta’s ongoing trash spills? Continue reading

Rivers Alive Trash Pick Up, Alapaha River, Berrien Beach Boat Ramp, 2022-09-24

Get a Rivers Alive t-shirt for picking up river trash. Come to Berrien Beach Boat Ramp with gloves and trash pickers if you have them. No boat required, but those of us who bring one will also float across to Berrien Beach itself and clean up there, or you can drive across the bridge and get there by land.

When: 9 AM – noon, Saturday, September 24, 2022

Put In: Berrien Beach Boat Ramp, 12496 Highway 168, Nashville, GA 31639, N side of GA 168, right bank, west side of Alapaha River, in Berrien County, Georgia.

GPS: 31.159076, -83.045554

[Volunteers at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp, Rivers Alive t-shirt 2020-09-12]
Volunteers at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp, Rivers Alive t-shirt 2020-09-12

Bring: No boat required, but you can bring one if you like, with the usual personal flotation device, boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: this WWALS outing is a cleanup. Continue reading

Valdosta homemade trash trap, detention pond, One Mile Branch, Ashley Street 2022-07-29

Update 2022-08-01: Plus a response from the Valdosta Stormwater Manager.

Twelve years late is better than never.

Bobby McKenzie reported Friday:

[Movie, Detention Pond, One Mile Branch, Sugar Creek]
Movie, Detention Pond, One Mile Branch, Sugar Creek

This is a complete shocker! One step closer Continue reading

Madison Health lifts Withlacoochee River Health Advisory 2022-07-29

Update 2022-08-05: Rivers probably OK water quality 2022-08-04.

Madison Health has lifted its Health Advisory for the Withlacoochee River, after two days of good results.

Crossed in the email: that came in while I was finishing Good Water Quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-07-28.

[Advisory Lifted, Underlying Data 2022-07-29]
Advisory Lifted, Underlying Data 2022-07-29

The FDOH data is not yet in floridadep.gov/dear/watershed-monitoring-section/content/suwannee-river-basin-sampling-locations, but Lisa B. Hayes of Madison Health emailed them to us, and here they are in the WWALS composite spreadsheet, along with the Valdosta and WWALS results for Wednesday and Thursday. Continue reading