Category Archives: Springs

Allen Ramp to SRSP, Withlacoochee River 2024-08-01

Come along for this fun 8.44 mile paddle on the Withlacoochee River from Allen Ramp to Suwannee River State Park. There will be beautiful springs to enjoy and several sets of shoals to paddle through, possibly requiring some basic skills. Everyone must wear a PFD at all times on the river and have a bow line for your boat. There will also be an upstream paddle of 1/4 mile from the confluence of the rivers to the ramp at SRSP.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10:30 AM, end 3 PM, Thursday, August 1, 2024

Put In: Allen Ramp, 2726 SW 64th Way Jasper, FL 32052, in Hamilton County, Florida.
From Jasper, travel north on US 41 to SR 6; turn left; travel south on SW CR 141 to SW CR 143; turn right and follow SW CR 143 to SW 64 Way and follow to ramp.

GPS: 30.449167, -83.221328

[Allen Ramp to SRSP, Withlacoochee River 2024-08-01, Double Window Spring, Melvin Shoals]
Allen Ramp to SRSP, Withlacoochee River 2024-08-01, Double Window Spring, Melvin Shoals

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Jobs and Comprehensive Plans at NCFRPC 2024-07-25

I don’t see anything in the agenda about the Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee River Task Force that the NCFRPC reactivated in May after Valdosta’s April sewage spills. Maybe they are meeting separately and have nothing to report yet.

Also, in the statewide metrics of https://thefloridascorecard.org/ I don’t see anything about water: not drinking water, river water, springs, levels, flows, E. coli, nitrates, cyanobacteria, nothing.

But on the agenda are several county Comprehensive Plan updates, so those could be interesting.

[North Central Florida Regional Planning Council 2024-07-25, Metrics, Jobs, and Comprehensive Plans]
North Central Florida Regional Planning Council 2024-07-25, Metrics, Jobs, and Comprehensive Plans

Received this morning:

Council Members, Interested Persons, and News Media,

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MEETING STARTS AT 7:00 P.M.

Please be advised that there will be a Hybrid Meeting in-Person at Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, Suwannee Room, 213 Southwest Commerce Boulevard, Lake City, Florida, and via Communications Media Technology for the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council on Thursday, July 25, 2024 at 7:00 p.m.

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FDEP Potable Reuse Workshop 2024-07-15

FDEP has invited all Waterkeepers of Florida to this workshop.

You can attend, too.

[Potable Reuse Workshop 2024-07-15, Florida DEP, Tallahassee and Online, 10 AM EDT]
Potable Reuse Workshop 2024-07-15, Florida DEP, Tallahassee and Online, 10 AM EDT

Workshop Agenda
Monday, July 15, 2024, 10:00 am EDT 
Potable Reuse 

This is a rule development workshop to discuss and receive public input on the development of proposed amendments to portions of Chapters 62-550, 62-555, and 62-610, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), and create a new Chapter 62-565, F.A.C. These amendments and new chapter will create a new set of rules for potable reuse. These changes will simplify and clarify existing rule language and establish requirements for potable reuse. Notices of Rule Development were published in 2023 and 2024. Links to those publications can be found on the Water Resource Management rule development information website.

This meeting is open to the public. DEP is hosting this public workshop in person at Bob Martinez Center, 2600 Blair Stone Road, Room 609, Tallahassee, Florida 32399, as well as virtually via GoToWebinar.  To register for the meeting virtually, please visit the following link:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3655798535631207254. Continue reading

Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers except a hot spot near the Suwannee River 2024-07-11

Update 2024-07-19: 2024-07-19: Twelve months of Ashburn sewage spills 2024-07-08.

The Alapaha, Withlacoochee, and Santa Fe Rivers tested clean, except the Santa Fe at Wanamake (Butler) Ramp, a tenth of a mile up from the Suwannee River.

No sewage spills were reported in the past week in the Suwannee River Basin in Florida, but in Georgia, Ashburn had yet another spill.

Saturday is supposed to be sunny, and Sunday it might rain late in the day.

So pick a river at a level you like, and happy fishing, swimming, and boating this weekend.

Or join us Saturday morning for Sasser Landing Alapaha River Cleanup, 2024-07-13.

[Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers 2024-07-11, except a hot spot near the Suwannee]
Clean Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Santa Fe Rivers 2024-07-11, except a hot spot near the Suwannee

The Withlacoochee is in Action Stage at North Valdosta Road (US 41) and upstream, and soon will be at Pinetta. The Santa Fe River is still at rock bottom in several places. Continue reading

Pictures: Sullivan Launch to Madison Ramp, Withlacoochee River 2024-06-08

We paddled over more small shoals than expected, and both Chitty Bend East Swallet and Sullivan Slough were acting as springs, not sinks, on our paddle down the Withlacoochee River between Hamilton and Madison Counties, Florida.

Between Sullivan Ramp and Madison Boat Ramp we stopped at Hardee (Rossetter Spring) and Madison Blue Spring. Pot Spring was a bit crowded and there is not much place to park a kayak.

There was swimming and lunching with okra.

[Sullivan Landing to Madison Ramp, 2024-06-08: Shoals, Springs, and Sloughs, Withlacoochee River between Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida]
Sullivan Landing to Madison Ramp, 2024-06-08: Shoals, Springs, and Sloughs, Withlacoochee River between Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida

Thanks to Shawn O’Connor for leading this expedition, and to everybody else for paddling.

Here are a few video highlights:
https://youtu.be/TVnzQ3FB9NU

https://www.facebook.com/Wwalswatershed/posts/pfbid025r3ohs2ATvnzivcBLKjG2pMRSmmFb55EuRENJmtr4yuzuh9gowtiVUPPqU9ykFHpl

The Pinetta Gauge (right at Sullivan Launch) read 9.78 feet (56.28′ NAVD88) at 1:30 PM.

For more Continue reading

What progress has been made towards springs nitrogen loading reduction by the Suwannee River BMAP? 2024-05-24

Update 2024-05-25: The Santa Fe River BMAP session was no more informative.

If my car has an oil leak and I take it to the dealer, I want to know has it stopped leaking, or at least when will it be fixed so it doesn’t leak, and how far along is it to being fixed. I don’t want to hear a precise torque wrench reading, which nut the wrench turned, etc., at least not until after I’ve heard the progress report.

But FDEP tells us about all the nuts and bolts, makes and models, projects and documents, without ever telling us what have the BMAPs accomplished, compared to their stated goals of reducing nitrogen loadings in springs.

[Suwannee BMAP meeting, what progress? 2024-05-24, vs. 2017-04-13 BMAPs and FDEP 2022 Statewide Annual Report]
Suwannee BMAP meeting, what progress? 2024-05-24, vs. 2017-04-13 BMAPs and FDEP 2022 Statewide Annual Report

I don’t doubt that it’s a great tool and those using it are qualified and hardworking, the Nitrogen Source Inventory Loading Tool (NSILT) and other tools used in the BMAPs. But they are tools, not the goal. I first want to know progress towards the goal.

After an hour of today’s online public meeting about the Suwannee River Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP), I asked via the questions option:

11:16 AM Me to Staff Continue reading

Suwannee and Santa Fe River Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) meetings 2024-05-24

Update 2024-05-24: What progress has been made towards springs nitrogen loading reduction by the Suwannee River BMAP? 2024-05-24.

SRWMD is holding two meetings about springs protection on Friday, May 24, 2024, at 10AM for the Suwannee River Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP), and at 1:30 PM for its Santa Fe River BMAP.

[SRWMD BMAP meetings, Online May 24, 2024, Suwannee River Basin 10 AM, Santa Fe River Basin 1:30 PM]
SRWMD BMAP meetings, Online May 24, 2024, Suwannee River Basin 10 AM, Santa Fe River Basin 1:30 PM

Everybody knows the main problem and the cause: nitrates from fertilizer leaching through the soil and causing algae blooms in springs such as Madison Blue Spring and Gilchrist Blue Spring, because of too much fertilizer and irrigation using Floridan Aquifer withdrawals.

Nothing much has changed since this article was published in 2018: State geologist Greenhalgh says BMPs don’t work to solve BMAPs. The BMAPs use the same Best Management Practices (BMPs) that were already in use for the previous decades, during which the problem got worse. There is little reason to believe those BMPs alone will improve the situation.

To affect these BMAPs, it’s going to take more than just people showing up or even experts providing opinions. Grasstops are needed: people who can influence the decision makers, both inside SRWMD and FDEP, and elected statewide officials.

But a good first step is for people to show up or send letters of comment. Continue reading

Sullivan Launch to Madison Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, 2024-06-08

Updagte 2024-08-21: Pictures: Sullivan Launch to Madison Ramp, Withlacoochee River 2024-06-08.

Paddle 12.5 miles from Sullivan Launch to Madison Boat Ramp, between Hamilton and Madison Counties, Florida. There will be springs to swim in and shoals to paddle through, also several other interesting features along the river.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10 AM, end 4 PM, Saturday, June 8, 2024

Put In: Sullivan Launch, aka CR 150 Bridge Launch (FDEP). From Pinetta, Madison County, FL, travel east on CR 150; turn right at the bridge and follow road to the launch south of the river bridge.

GPS: 30.595667, -83.26

[Sullivan Launch to Madison Ramp, Withlacoochee River 2024-06-08, Hardee Spring, Madison Blue Spring]
Sullivan Launch to Madison Ramp, Withlacoochee River 2024-06-08, Hardee Spring, Madison Blue Spring

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Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River –Amanda Davis 2024-05-03

Update 2024-05-08: Sullivan Launch to Madison Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River 2024-06-08.

Usually, Withlacoochee River water flows into this distributary into a sinkhole. But last Tuesday water was coming out into the river from the Chitty Bend East Distributary. So this swallet changed from a sink to a spring, and the creek changed from a distributary to a tributary.

[Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River 2024-04-30, Pumping out a stream --Amanda Davis]
Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River 2024-04-30, Pumping out a stream –Amanda Davis

Amanda Davis sent these videos that she took on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, when the Pinetta gauge was about 55.8 NAVD88.
https://youtube.com/shorts/UCE7siKv_ME

This is in Hamilton County, Florida, upstream from Florida Campsites Ramp and Madison Blue Spring.

WWALS last paddled in there Continue reading

Videos: Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River, 2023-07-15

Update 2024-05-05: Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River –Amanda Davis 2024-04-30.

Here is a video and some pictures of Chitty Bend East Distributary, on the Withlacoochee River, where some of the river runs into the woods into some swallets.

That’s between Sullivan Launch and Florida Campsites Ramp, in Twin Rivers State Forest, in Hamilton County, Florida.

Here is the video:
https://youtu.be/kGumuF2thp0?si=EIUB_0w2bAaOUNA1

Or on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Wwalswatershed/videos/979960170155353

Or on instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/p/C6j67u3IkE4/

We were on a WWALS outing led by Gee Edwards. The water level was about 54.10 NAVD88 on the Pinetta Gauge.

Some pictures are below. Continue reading