Tag Archives: Berrien County

Pictures: Alapaha Station Celebration 2019-11-09

2019 was the last year the Alapaha Station Celebration was held, and WWALS was there for the sixth year running.

[WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman, Berrien County photographer Wenda Gaile Bailey, WWALS booth]
WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman, Berrien County photographer Wenda Gaile Bailey, WWALS booth

Yes, it’s back this year, at the historic railroad station in Alapaha, Georgia, near Sheboggy Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River, the most upstream public landing on the WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail. We will be back there. Stay tuned. WWALS at Alapaha Station Celebration 2022-11-12. Continue reading

Pictures: Berrien Beach Cleanup, Alapaha River 2022-09-24

We got quite a bit of trash on a fun morning at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp in Berrien County and across the Alapaha River at Berrien Beach in Lanier County, in the September 24, 2022, River Alive cleanup.

[Banners, trash, and people at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp and Berrien Beach, Alapaha River 2022-09-24]
Banners, trash, and people at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp and Berrien Beach, Alapaha River 2022-09-24

The most unusual item was cash. Most of the rest was water, beer bottles, and plastic bags. And the usual used diapers. Plus a bumper. Continue reading

Georgia National Hunting and Fishing Day at Paradise PFA 2022-09-24

This is not a WWALS event, but it sounds fun and we support it. Of the many specific events by GA-DNR Wildlife Resources Division, one is at Paradise Public Fishing Area in our Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. That’s east of Tifton on US 82, near Enigma, in Berrien County, Georgia.

[Logo, Map]
Logo, Map

Since the voters approved it in 2006, Georgia has a right of hunting and fishing, in the state Bill of Rights, up there with freedom of speech:

Georgia Constitution, Article I, Section 1, Paragraph XXVIII, The tradition of fishing and hunting and the taking of fish and wildlife shall be preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good.

Now we can add a Right to Clean Water so fish and wildlife (and people) will have a healthy environment in which to live.


NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAY IN GEORGIA
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2022
Continue reading

Ray City wastewater permit reissue modifications 2022-08-31

You can comment on a proposed update to the wastewater permit for Ray City, Georgia.

[Permit & Map]
Permit & Map

Two of the eleven changes are to nitrogen and phosphorous limits to “to meet Florida’s instream … criteria at the Florida-Georgia state-line.” An ammonia limit is added. Limits are tightened on use of Dissolved Oxygen, Total Suspended Solids, and residual chorine. There appears to be no change on Fecal coliform.

This wastewater treatment plant is southwest of Ray City, where Beaverdam Creek joins Cat Creek. Continue reading

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

Update 2022-09-30: Pictures.

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

GA-EPD GORA response about Ray City wastewater permit violations 2021-04-05

Ray City has had a long string of wastewater violations, many each year, going back years, at its wastewater treatment plant on Cat Creek, just below Beaverdam Creek, and 8.36 Cat Creek miles upstream from the Withlacoochee River.

[Catwalk, Outfall, Fecal coliform]
Catwalk, Outfall, Fecal coliform

Most of them did not involve fecal bacteria, but two did, on monthly average, for December 2018 (see page 57), for August 2017 (see page 73). Curiously, none of these violations ever showed up in GA-EPD’s Sewage Spills Report, nor in its underlying spreadsheet going back to 2015, which is as far back as I have it. We have some idea why not about the January and February 2021 Total Suspended Solids (TSS) overflows, but not about the previous incidents.

In response to a Notice of Violation of September 22, 2020, on November 2, 2020, the City of Ray City told GA-EPD it was “in the process of developing a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to address the issue of non-compliance with the 85% Minimum BOD removal rate stipulated in our NPDES Permit.“ The City proposed to change its sampling method to deal with “periodic low influent BOD levels”, and also to get on with dealing with the “high volumes of infiltration and inflow“ it says is the cause, including filing an application for a CDBG grant before the end of March 2021.

Thanks to Jay Howell of the EPD Southwest office in Albany for scanning and emailing to me the documents of my Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) request of last week. I asked for all the enforcement actions on Ray City that I found listed on EPA ECHO, (see the previous post) together with related correspondence. documents and emailing them to me yesterday. They are on the WWALS website. Update 2021-04-07: website page labels fixed for this GORA document.

This November 2020 CAP is apparently a new one, after the CAP accepted by GA-EPD on June 19, 2019, and submitted by the City on May 2, 2019: Continue reading

Ray City and Lakeland wastewater permits, plus Moody AFB

Update 2021-04-02: Ray City sewage spill in Berrien Press 2021-03-24.

Ray City and Lakeland, Georgia, have wastewater permits, and have never had a spill appear in GA-EPD’s Sewage Spills Report since 2015. That’s impressive, since pretty much everything else around them in Georgia has spilled at one time or another. Moody Air Force Base, for example, made statewide and national news for spilling PFAS firefighting chemicals from this wastewater plant and from other locations on base.

[Ray City, Lakeland, both + Moody AFB, WTP maps]
Ray City, Lakeland, both + Moody AFB, WTP maps
in the WWALS map of All Public Landings in the Suwannee River Basin.

Ray City WPCP is towards the upper left of the map, about 8.4 creek miles upstream from the Withlacoochee River. Cat Creek reaches the river a bit downstream of Franklinville Landing, towards the lower left.

Moody AFB WPCP is to the right of Franklinville Landing on the map, on Beatty Branch, which in about a mile runs into Cat Creek, a few thousand feet upstream of the Withlacoochee River. currently operated by Lowndes County. See http://www.l-a-k-e.org/blog/?p=17140.

Lakeland WPCP is towards the right of the map, in the north edge of Lakeland, less than two creek miles upstream from where Big Creek 00311363 reaches the Alapaha River between Pafford’s Landing and Burnt Church Landing.

We have to use a number in the creek name to Continue reading

Signs planted near water on Alapaha River Water Trail 2021-01-16

Dan and Dylan Phillips planted posts and later went back and put signs on them for three locations on the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).

[Berrien Beach, Lakeland, Burnt Church, ARWT]
Berrien Beach, Lakeland, Burnt Church, ARWT

They plan to finish planting all of the ARWT at-water signs in Georgia soon. Just in Georgia, because these signs, posts, and related brochures were mostly paid for by a generous grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA-DNR). We also thank the counties of Berrien, Atkinson, Lanier, Lowndes, and Echols for their support for the ARWT, either through a resolution in support of the ARWT, or through permission to plant signs.

All of these locations have the same top sign for the entire Alapaha River Water Trail: Continue reading

Youngs Mill Creek Landing and Ray City Landing, GA 37, Withlacoochee River 2018-02-18

Stew, Sam, and Dave from south Florida brought fast kayaks to the most upstream put-in on the Withlacoochee River. It was a tad twistier and deadfalled than they expected, but after making only seven miles the first day, they sped up all the way to the Suwannee River.

[Boats, Leak, Paddlers, River, Yellow Jessamine]
Boats, Leak, Paddlers, River, Yellow Jessamine

Continue reading

The real trash problem: the companies that make it

Update 2020-11-18: Landslide Yes on Georgia Amendment 1 to dedicate trust funds!

People shouldn’t litter, but individuals are not the real litter problem. The companies that make all those throwaway items are the problem. There are fixes, which we can implement. One fix Georgians can vote on right now: vote Yes on Amendment 1 please!

There was no lack of trash on the Alapaha River in September, at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp in Berrien County and at Berrien Beach in Lanier County. We found the usual cigarette butts, shotgun shells, and yes, a few used diapers.

Plus tires. To help stop tires being dumped by rivers, please vote Yes on Georgia Constitutional Amendment 1 to stop fee diversions.

We found fewer shotgun shells and tires but more of everything else at Twomile Branch in Valdosta, Sugar Creek, and the Withlacoochee River in August.

Come to the big cleanup this Saturday on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers in Lowndes County and on Sugar Creek, Onemile Branch, and Twomile Branch in Valdosta October 10, 2020!

We expect as usual the most numerous items will be plastic and glass bottles and cans.

[Bottles]
Bottles

Sure people shouldn’t litter, but Anheuser-Busch and other beer makers, as well as Nestlé, Coca Cola, and Walmart, should stop making and selling disposable bottles and cans.

Fifty years ago those things had deposits on them, and people would collect them for the cash. In economic downturns such as right now, that could be useful to a lot of people, and a lot more cleanups would happen. Sure, there was still trash back then, but not as much.

People still do in Hawaii and nine other states: California, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Vermont, plus Guam. They don’t have nearly as big of a litter problem.

But Georgia or Florida do not have such container deposits. Maybe we should change that.

No, recycling will not solve this problem. There’s no market for plastic to recycle, and recycling has been pushed by big oil for years as an excuse to make more plastic throw-away containers. Laura Sullivan, NPR, 11 September 2020, How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled.

You’ve probably seen the famous ‘Crying Indian’ ad from 1971: Continue reading