Tag Archives: creeks

Pictures: Family fun cleanup, Sugar Creek, Onemile Branch, Little and Withlacoochee Rivers 2021-10-09

Saturday’s River and Creek Cleanup went well. Here are pictures from Troupville Boat Ramp up from Land Between the Rivers on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers, from Sugar Creek at the Salty Snapper, and from Drexel Park on Onemile Branch.

[Troupville, Sugar Creek, Chairman and Mayor doing work, Drexel Park]
Troupville, Sugar Creek, Chairman and Mayor doing work, Drexel Park

Thanks to recent cleanups by Valdosta Stormwater, Sugar Creek wasn’t bad, but we found plenty of trash between the Salty Snapper parking lot and the creek, and Scotti and Sara hauled up from the woods a tire with rim and a satellite dish.

Thanks to Stafford, the owner of the parking lot on St. Augustine Road at Hightower Creek, keeping it much cleaner, there should be less trash coming down Sugar Creek.

Thanks to weeksly cleanups by Lowndes County Litter Control, Troupville Boat Ramp itself was pretty clean, but there was no shortage of trash to pick up downstream at Land Between the Rivers. Thanks to landowner Helen Tapp for getting her hunting lease to hold off for the day.

You don’t see this very often: Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter and Valdosta Mayor Scott James doing actual work together.

Later, they told everyone they were working together to purchase Helen’s land to add to the existing park to form a bigger nature park with a Troupville River Camp. Continue reading

Clean rivers again 2021-10-07

2021-10-15: Good Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, bad Alapaha River 2021-10-14.

Another clean week on the Little, Alapaha, and Withlacoochee Rivers, according to all the water quality test results we have. So happy swimming, boating, and fishing!

There was some rain today, which could wash some contamination into the rivers. But it wasn’t nearly as much rain as before previous contamination events.

[Chart, Little, Alapaha, Withlacoochee Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Little, Alapaha, Withlacoochee Rivers, Swim Guide

And the water levels are coming down to where they should be just right for WWALS Boomerang paddle race, coming up in two weeks at State Line Boat Ramp. 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

VLPRA Master Plan Presentation 2021-08-31

It’s a long-term vision, with strategies for funding and implementation, which includes everything needed for a Troupville River Camp at the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River, and other river parks and trails. This Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority (VLPRA) Master Plan is based on both a statistically-representative survey and an anecdotal qualitative survey, which came up with very similar results.

[Strategy 6: Access to Rivers, Provide Additional Amenities]
Strategy 6: Access to Rivers, Provide Additional Amenities

These are the presentation slides used by David Barth in the September 13, 2021, Lowndes County Commission Work Session. His Barth & Associates helped develop the plan for the Valdosta-Lowndes Parks & Recreation Authority (VLPRA).

It’s our understanding that the WWALS Vision for water quality and access in Lowndes County, Georgia 2021-03-01 is incorporated in this VLPRA Master Plan, including Troupville River Camp, Troupville River Park, and other river recommendations.

After the slides, see also some more recent WWALS recommendations.

VLPRA Master Plan Presentation Slides

See also PDF. Thanks to Jessica Catlett of VLPRA for sending these slides.

You can see David Barth present the slides in videos by Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE). Continue reading

Bad Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, good Alapaha River 2021-09-09

Update 2021-09-17: Good water quality results, then hard rain, Withlacoochee River 2021-09-16.

Like last week, but worse: the Alapaha River would be a better choice for boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend than either the Little or Withlacoochee Rivers.

[Chart, Awful Plates, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Awful Plates, Rivers, Swim Guide

Yes, Madison Health today lifted its Health Advisory for the Withlacoochee, because they got good results for Tuesday and Thursday. But WWALS has more recent upstream data, and it’s not pretty. Continue reading

Training: Water Quality Testing 2021-09-11

Chemical and Bacterial training by Georgia Adopt-A-Stream (AAS) methods. Yes, you can also use these methods in Florida to report via AAS.

If you’d like to get trained and do testing for WWALS, please fill out this form:
https://forms.gle/DzWvJuXqTQi12N6v7

Yes, training is difficult in this pandemic situation, but Georgia Adopt-A-Stream has worked out methods, mostly online. With last year’s generous grant from Georgia Power WWALS has purchased enough testing kits so that trainees can have one to use during the training.

[Table of testers]
Table of testers
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman 2021-02-13.

In the form, remember to say where you can test. We need testers pretty much everywhere:

  • In Georgia on the Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers, especially upstream in Lanier, Berrien, and Atkinson Counties. Plus on Okapilco and Crooked and Piscola Creeks in Brooks County, on Onemile Branch, Twomile Branch, and Sugar Creek in and near Valdosta. And upstream on the Little River in Brooks, Cook, Colquitt, and Tift Counties.
  • In Florida on the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Suwannee, and Santa Fe Rivers, and on creeks that run into them, especially in Madison, Hamilton, Suwannee, and Lafayette Counties.
  • We need testers even where we already have testers, because everybody needs time off.

For the testing story so far, and more context, see
https://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

We look forward to you getting trained and joining our testing team!

When: 9 AM, end 4 PM, Saturday, September 11, 2021

Where: Zoom then physically distanced practical training in very small groups, for example at Onemile Branch in Drexel Park in Valdosta.

Free: to everyone. But if you want to test for WWALS, you need to become a WWALS member.
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

Continue reading

Massive Valdosta Litter Source Found 2021-07-12

Update 2021-10-07: A trash source success: parking lot on St. Augustine Road, Valdosta.

A month ago Bobby McKenzie found a motherlode of trash. He went upstream on Sugar Creek, then Hightower Creek, across St. Augustine Road, to the parking lot that contains Cook Out, Chick-fil-A, and Steak and Shake.

He reported it to Valdosta Code Enforcement. Since then, we’ve been having some fruitful conversations with the city and with business owners. More on that later.

[Trash heap, St. Augustine Road, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River]
Trash heap, St. Augustine Road, Sugar Creek, Withlacoochee River

From: bobby mckenzie
To: bcorbitt@valdostacity.com
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2021, 11:17:14 AM EDT
Subject: Massive Valdosta Litter Source Found

Good Morning,

I would like to report 2 locations within Valdosta for being a significant contributor to a recurring litter problem to Sugar Creek. Both locations can be reached on St Augustine Road. One location is the far south end of the parking lot that is home to Hobby Lobby, Tractor Supply and fast food places Cook Out and Steak and Shake. Continue reading

Four miles an hour, Nankin to Sullivan, Withlacoochee River 2021-08-07

Update 2021-08-16: Two Withlacoochee River 360-degree transits by WWALS on Earthviews 2021-08-16.

Rain poured during the shuttle from Nankin Boat Ramp to Sullivan Launch, but the weather relented as we started to paddle, just as expedition leader and weatherman Bobby McKenzie predicted.

22 people paddled in 21 boats, entering Florida three times, past McIntyre Spring, Arnold Springs, the Valdosta Railway Trestle, and Horn Bridge. Only a few took out at State Line Boat Ramp, because they were musicians and they had a gig that same evening.

Almost all continued past PCA and Jumping Gully Creek to Sullivan Launch for a total of 14.22 miles in barely four hours. Subtract half an hour for the lunch stop at State Line Boat Ramp, and that’s 3.5 hours, for 4 miles per hour.

[Valdosta Railway Trestle in the middle]
Valdosta Railway Trestle in the middle

WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman left her boat in the truck until the last minute, because she did not want to paddle in the rain. WWALS President Tom H. Johnson Jr. and Mary Carolyn Pindar drove four hours for this outing, so they were going to paddle anyway, as was I. Continue reading

Valdosta Mayor supports Recreational redesignation of rivers 2021-06-30

Maybe this letter will help GA-EPD to upgrade our waterways from Fishing to Recreational for tighter standards on contaminants.

[Water Trails, Mayor's Paddle, cleanups, $100 million sewer improvements, Troupville River Camp]
Water Trails, Mayor’s Paddle, cleanups, $100 million sewer improvements, Troupville River Camp
PDF

Letter, Valdosta Mayor to GA-EPD

Continue reading

Why Withlacoochee River floodplain deannexation from Valdosta? @ GLPC 2021-07-26 2021-07-26

Update 2021-08-02: Withlacoochee River floodplain deannexation at Valdosta City Council 2021-08-05.

Valdosta should not deannex 310 acres of Withlacoochee River floodplain around Cherry Creek. No good reason for deannexation has been given by the applicant, and there are substantial reasons to be concerned about potential uses of that land if deannexed. Instead, Valdosta and Lowndes County should purchase the entire 530.24 acre property down to the Withlacoochee River to add to a trails system up and down the Withlacoochee River. The advisory Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) at its meeting this Monday should recommend against annexation, and then the Valdosta Mayor and Council should deny.

I am sending a letter to that effect today to Valdosta City Planner Matt Martin, and I recommend you do, as well: mlmartin@valdostacity.com

[Public land and Uvalde Land Trust Deannexation request, Withlacoochee River]
Public land and Uvalde Land Trust Deannexation request, Withlacoochee River

That deannexation is on the GLPC agenda for this Monday, July 26, 2021. The only land access to the property is through the City of Valdosta, and since that whole area of the river has extensive flood plain and little road access, Lowndes County cannot provide public utilities, fire/police protection, or emergency medical response across the river to the subject property, as the City Planner points out in the agenda sheet. The landowner’s stated purpose would be better served by the property remaining inside the city limits: “to use for wildlife management, and rec. use as it is in a mitgation bank & has no development use.” The City Planner even recommends annexing the rest of the subject property into the city, down to the river. Continue reading