Tag Archives: ARWT

WWALS Watershed Coalition thanks Atkinson Commission for support –WFXL TV 2021-07-09

Alapaha River Water Trail and GA-EPD Recreational redesignation of the Alapaha River at Atkinson County Commission last Thursday made the news.

Typhani Gray, Fox 31 WFXL, 9 July 2021, WWALS Watershed Coalition thanks Atkinson Commission for support,

[Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135, Alapaha River Water Trail, Suwannee Riverkeeper at Atkinson County Commission, Reporter Typhani Gray and Tester Valerie Folsom, ARWT road sign]
Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135, Alapaha River Water Trail, Suwannee Riverkeeper at Atkinson County Commission, Reporter Typhani Gray and Tester Valerie Folsom, ARWT road sign

WWALS Watershed Coalition was started after organizers were concerned about sewage spills, and roads being closed because of trees being down in the river.

Most of that was in the Withlacoochee River around 2009, but the Alapaha River did have water quality issues back then.

The organization came to the Atkinson County Board of Commissioners to thank them for the Alapaha River Water Trail contribution.

In 2018 commissions passed a resolution supporting the water trail.

Here is that Atkinson County Commission resolution of 18 January 2018 supporting the Alapaha River Water Trail.

This trail runs for more than 100 miles on the Alapaha River all the way down to Florida.

Atkinson County has one landing on Georgia 135 that’s called Willacoochee [Landing].

According to John Quarterman, the Watershed Coalition has expanded its organization and is now tests waters to make it safer for people to swim and fish.

Valerie Folsom, who tests in Atkinson County at Willacoochee Landing @ GA 135, also spoke to the Atkinson County Commission about the latest test results. Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Buck Moon Paddle, 2021-07-23

Leisurely Sunset and Full Moon Paddle, with bats.

When: Gather 7:35 PM, launch 8:05 PM, moonrise 8:40 PM, sunset 8:34 PM, end 9:30 PM, Friday, July 23, 2021

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County, on the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).

GPS: 31.034824, -83.096725

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

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.

Lights: You must have a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow sticks work well, or head lamp, flashlight, etc.) so other boaters can see you in the dark. It will be totally dark after sunset. You must wear a PFD. A whistle is not required, but it’s a good idea in the dark. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it. Thanks to Banks Lake Outdoors for free boat rental for these WWALS Full Moon Paddles.

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

Event: facebook, meetup

[Cypress boats]
Bobby McKenzie: Cypress boats

2020-08-03. Continue reading

Rescheduled: Hike to Dead River Sink, Alapaha River, Jennings Bluff Launch, 2021-07-31

Rescheduled, to this new date of the last Saturday in July!

Join us for an approximately three-mile hike down the Dead River to the Dead River Sink, where the Alapaha River goes underground much of the year. We will be led by Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida. He will explain the geology, and how unusual this place is: there’s nothing like it in Florida (or Georgia).

This is a hike: no boat is needed.

[Karst limestone cracks by the Alapaha River, Dead River, Sink, Dennis J. Price]
Karst limestone cracks by the Alapaha River, Dead River, Sink, Dennis J. Price

When: Gather 9:00 AM, launch 9:15 AM, end 12:15 PM, Saturday, July 10, 2021

Put In: Jennings Bluff Launch. From Jennings, Hamilton County, FL, travel south on US 41 to NW 25 Lane; turn left; travel east to NW 82 Court and the entrance into the Suwannee River Water Management District’s Jennings Bluff tract; turn left and follow road to canoe launch.

GPS: 30.567183, -83.038911
You’re aiming for the Jennings Bluff Tract entrance.

[Jennings Bluff Tract sign, 11:42:18, 30.5670965, -83.0388653]
Jennings Bluff Tract sign, 11:42:18, 30.5670965, -83.0388653

Take Out: Jennings Bluff Launch

Bring: drinking water, snacks, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

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

Event: facebook, meetup Continue reading

Upgrade Suwannee River Basin rivers to Recreational –WWALS to GA-EPD 2021-06-30

There are a couple of new things in what I sent on the deadline day, yesterday. (PDF)

  1. Funds are now available to buy the private land at the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River, which was the main impediment to plans for the Troupville River Camp and Troupville River Park.
  2. Stakeholders in the One Valdosta-Lowndes initiative met and decided their number one community and economic development priority is: Troupville River Camp.

For what this is all about, see Calling for pictures of swimming, diving, rapids, tubing, water skiing, or surfing, Suwannee River Basin, Georgia.

[Rivers, Letter]
Rivers, Letter


June 30, 2021

To: EPD.Comments@dnr.ga.gov
Elizabeth Booth, Environmental Protection Division
Watershed Protection Branch,
Watershed Planning & Monitoring Program,
Suite 1152 East, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr., Atlanta, GA 30334

Re: Georgia Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards

Dear Ms. Booth,

Once again I would like to commend you and all the GA-EPD staff for your diligence in this Triennial Review process. I thank you for your consideration of the request by WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) to upgrade GA EPD’s designated use of the Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Suwannee Rivers, as well as Grand Bay WMA, Banks Lake NWR, and the Okefenokee NWR, from Fishing to Recreational, to set higher water quality standards for these bodies of water.

In the interests of saving you and me time, I will try to merely summarize the arguments I have already made, while adding some material you may not have previously seen.

Year-Round

As you know WWALS would prefer that redesignation applied uniformly, year-round. As you mentioned in the recent EPD zoom meeting on this subject, perhaps one reason Florida has all its rivers as Recreational by default is its climate. South Georgia, like north Florida (and unlike north Georgia) has a subtropical climate in which we are not surprised by 80-degree weather in January. People swim, dive, fish, and boat on our rivers year-round. Some people even prefer to be on and in the water in the winter because there are fewer insects. I have recently been reminded that local churches also use them for immersion baptisms, which can happen in any season of the year.

Recreational Data Spreadsheet

Per request of EPD, please find attached a Recreational Data Spreadsheet, which is also online here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1g9gLcNnbRx4H9djZAlKd1ZaB7zrlmDbz/view?usp=sharing

In that spreadsheet are examples of swimming and diving locations, including almost every boat ramp or landing, plus selected sandbars, beaches, and springs. Also included are a few examples of rapids. None of them are Class III, but at least two are Class II+, and as Gwyneth Moody pointed out on the recent zoom, people frequently capsize in those.

Included for every location in that spreadsheet is a link to further information, mostly to one of our three river trails (“blue trails”):

Continue reading

Cleanup Paffords Landing, Alapaha River 2021-07-24

Come help WWALS clean up the great beach at Pafford’s Landing, on the Alapaha River just east of Lakeland, Georgia. This is a

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9 AM, end 12 PM, Saturday, July 24, 2021

Put In: Pafford’s Landing, East of Lakeland, Georgia, on GA 122, turn right at the Pafford’s Landing sign, then follow the second Pafford’s Landing sign into the woods, down to the beach. It’s on the right bank or west side of the Alapaha River in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.043011, -83.042564

Bring: trash pickers and trash bags; we will also have some. No need for a boat, but you can bring one if you want to, with the usual personal flotation device and paddle.

Free: Because it’s a cleanup, it’s free for everyone.

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

Event: facebook, meetup

[Pafford's Landing, Beach, Cleanup]
Pafford’s Landing, Beach, Cleanup

Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Strawberry Moon Paddle, 2021-06-24

Join us for a leisurely Sunset and Full Moon Paddle on our mini-Okefenokee, in Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Plus bats!

When: Gather 7:45 PM, launch 8:15 PM, sunset 8:39 PM, moonrise 8:59 PM, end 10 PM, Thursday, June 24, 2021

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.034824, -83.096725

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

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.

Lights: You must have a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow sticks work well, or head lamp, flashlight, etc.) so other boaters can see you in the dark. It will be totally dark after sunset. You must wear a PFD. A whistle is not required, but it’s a good idea in the dark. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it. Thanks to Banks Lake Outdoors for free boat rental for these WWALS Full Moon Paddles.

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//donations/#outings

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

Event: facebook, meetup

[Paddlers, Map to Banks Lake Boat Ramp]
Paddlers, Map to Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Continue reading

Hike to Dead River Sink, Alapaha River, Jennings Bluff Launch, 2021-07-10

Update 2021-07-07: Rescheduled to the last Saturday in July, July 31, 2021.

Join us for an approximately three-mile hike down the Dead River to the Dead River Sink, where the Alapaha River goes underground much of the year. We will be led by Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida. He will explain the geology, and how unusual this place is: there’s nothing like it in Florida (or Georgia).

This is a hike: no boat is needed.

[Karst limestone cracks by the Alapaha River, Dead River, Sink, Dennis J. Price]
Karst limestone cracks by the Alapaha River, Dead River, Sink, Dennis J. Price

When: Gather 9:00 AM, launch 9:15 AM, end 12:15 PM, Saturday, July 10, 2021

Put In: Jennings Bluff Launch. From Jennings, Hamilton County, FL, travel south on US 41 to NW 25 Lane; turn left; travel east to NW 82 Court and the entrance into the Suwannee River Water Management District’s Jennings Bluff tract; turn left and follow road to canoe launch.

GPS: 30.567183, -83.038911
You’re aiming for the Jennings Bluff Tract entrance.

[Jennings Bluff Tract sign, 11:42:18, 30.5670965, -83.0388653]
Jennings Bluff Tract sign, 11:42:18, 30.5670965, -83.0388653

Take Out: Jennings Bluff Launch

Bring: drinking water, snacks, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

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

Event: facebook, meetup Continue reading

Water Trail signs planted 2021-05-21

Bobby McKenzie has been busy planting water trail signs, both road signs and at-water signs. All these signs were paid for by a grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA-DNR). There was a cash match, so if you want to help with that, you can:
https://www.gagives.org/story/Wwalswatertrailsigns

[Kinard Bridge Road, Adel-Moultrie, andAntioch Road Landings, Cook County Boat Ramp, Folsom Bridge, Hagan Bridge, and Pafford's Landings]
Kinard Bridge Road, Adel-Moultrie, andAntioch Road Landings, Cook County Boat Ramp, Folsom Bridge, Hagan Bridge, and Pafford’s Landings

Little River

Kinard Bridge Road Landing

We bought road signs from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). GDOT is planting road signs on state and federal highways, but WWALS has to put them on county roads, like Kinard Bridge Road. There are two sets of road signs for each location, for each direction. In this case, for Kinard Bridge Road Landig, the most upstream landing on the Little River in the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT). Continue reading

GA 376 Alapahoochee River Bridge to be replaced 2021-05-10

There was quite a bit of advance notice that the bridge that provides the most upstream paddling access to the Alapahoochee River is being replaced, and now the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) has given public notice of a variance for a contractor to replace the bridge according to specifications by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and Echols County, Georgia.

[Notice, GA 136 Alapahoochee River Bridge in Lanier County News]
Notice, GA 136 Alapahoochee River Bridge in Lanier County News

This bridge is on the WWALS map of the Alapaha River Water Trail. Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Flower Super Moon Paddle 2021-05-26

Leisurely Sunset paddle to see the last Super Moon for the year!

If you’re ill in any way, please stay home. Once you get there, there is plenty of room on the boat ramp to distance, and on the water everybody is usually pretty far apart anyway. Wear a mask on land, and we will have some available. No shuttle is needed.

When: Gather 8 PM, launch 8:15 PM, sunset 8:28 PM, moonrise 8:40 PM, end 9:30 PM, Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.035097, -83.097045

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

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.

Lights: You must have a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow sticks work well, or head lamp, flashlight, etc.) so other boaters can see you in the dark. It will be totally dark after sunset. You must wear a PFD. A whistle is not required, but it’s a good idea in the dark. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it. Thanks to Banks Lake Outdoors for free boat rental for these WWALS Full Moon Paddles.

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//donations/#outings

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

Event: facebook, meetup

[Sunset, Moonrise, by Bobby McKenzie, Banks Lake, 2021-04-26]
Sunset, Moonrise, by Bobby McKenzie, Banks Lake, 2021-04-26

Continue reading