Tag Archives: Deanna Mericle

Pictures: WWALS on The Rocks between Lakeland and Hotchkiss, Alapaha River 2015-07-11

Update 2023-06-24: Work in progress at Lakeland Boat Ramp 2023-06-20.

A good trip for experienced adult paddlers: deadfalls to paddle around or climb over, the famous rapids, The Rocks, plenty of sandy beaches for lunching or swimming beside, a mysterious platform that may be the remains of a very narrow bridge, all in a fine summer day on the Alapaha River, July 11, 2015.

[Collage, Lakeland to Naylor 08:30:00, 31.0458222, -83.0433889]
Collage, Lakeland to Naylor 08:30:00, 31.0458222, -83.0433889

It took us seven hours to paddle the fourteen river miles from Lakeland Boat Ramp, on GA 122 east of Lakeland, to Hotchkiss Road Landing. We were all experienced paddlers with plenty of supplies, especially water.

If you are a family with small children, please do not try this: it’s too far. There have been cases of such families calling 911 and having to be rescued.

A much more reasonable family paddle is Lakeland to Burnt Church Landing. That’s about two miles, and can be done in an hour. Or make it a leisurely paddle and still it should be doable.

FYI, Paffords Landing, just downstream from Lakeland Boat Ramp, is closed for the forseeable future. This is because too many people left trash and shot up things.

All these distances are in the WWALS web page for the Continue reading

Pictures: Sullivan Launch to Madison Blue Spring Withlacoochee River 2015-10-24

A fine day, balmy, breezy, sunny, with springs and rapids and fine company, from Sullivan Launch to Madison Blue Spring on the Withlacoochee River, in the October WWALS Outing, October 24, 2015.

[Onwards from Hardee Spring 30.5444069, -83.2500076]
Onwards from Hardee Spring 30.5444069, -83.2500076

This is part of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail, and you can join the committee!

Below are some pictures. Click on any small picture to see a larger version. Pictured: many shoals and rapids.

[Pinetta Gage steps and old-style measure 30.5957374, -83.2598038]
Pinetta Gage steps and old-style measure 30.5957374, -83.2598038

The Pinetta gage (pictured) read 6.4 feet. Any lower and more dragging boats would have been necessary. Lots of cypress, oaks, pines, and other native species.

Not pictured: a large turtle, numerous birds (heron, ibis, hawk, buzzard, others), and fish (mullet, bass). No gators. Very few invasive species, except the notorious Japanese climbing fern.

Watch the WWALS Outings for more outings and events!

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!


[WWALS at Madison Blue Spring --Gretchen Quarterman]
WWALS at Madison Blue Spring –Gretchen Quarterman



Pinnetta Gauge

[Pinetta Gage Tower 30.5957374, -83.2598038]
Pinetta Gage Tower 30.5957374, -83.2598038

Old Belleville Bridge

[Belleville Bridge buttress from below 30.5953369, -83.2596130]
Belleville Bridge buttress from below 30.5953369, -83.2596130

On the water

[CR 150 bridge, looking upstream 30.5956955, -83.2594681]
CR 150 bridge, looking upstream 30.5956955, -83.2594681

First Shoals

[Shoals 30.5941982, -83.2590637]
Shoals 30.5941982, -83.2590637


[Gretchen and the boaters 30.5822926, -83.2627106]
Gretchen and the boaters 30.5822926, -83.2627106

Second Shoals

[More shoals 30.5819988, -83.2626953]
More shoals 30.5819988, -83.2626953

First Spring

[Coffee Spring 30.5775184, -83.2618179]
Coffee Spring 30.5775184, -83.2618179


[Froth 30.5762119, -83.2609482]
Froth 30.5762119, -83.2609482

Third Shoals

[Sighting the rapids 30.5697098, -83.2624817]
Sighting the rapids 30.5697098, -83.2624817

On down the river

[Two directions 30.5679722, -83.2606277]
Two directions 30.5679722, -83.2606277


[Island, or rather eyott? 30.5653133, -83.2575378]
Island, or rather eyott? 30.5653133, -83.2575378


[Fossils for lunch 30.5626812, -83.2563248]
Fossils for lunch 30.5626812, -83.2563248

River House

[House 30.5626812, -83.2563248]
House 30.5626812, -83.2563248

Left bank island

[Island on left 30.5626812, -83.2563248]
Island on left 30.5626812, -83.2563248


[Confab 30.5626812, -83.2563248]
Confab 30.5626812, -83.2563248

Tiny Fourth Shoals

[White water 30.5529365, -83.2608795]
White water 30.5529365, -83.2608795

Soon Spring

[Spring coming up 30.5446434, -83.2505264]
Spring coming up 30.5446434, -83.2505264

Hardee (Rossetter) Spring

[Hardee Spring dam 30.5446434, -83.2505264]
Hardee Spring dam 30.5446434, -83.2505264

After Hardee

[Onwards from Hardee Spring 30.5444069, -83.2500076]
Onwards from Hardee Spring 30.5444069, -83.2500076

Rock Tree

[Dan and the rock tree 30.5336761, -83.2483062]
Dan and the rock tree 30.5336761, -83.2483062


[Undercut caves 30.5118561, -83.2455368]
Undercut caves 30.5118561, -83.2455368


[A boat ramp 30.5118217, -83.2455063]
A boat ramp 30.5118217, -83.2455063

Black Rocks

[Interesting black rocks 30.4932423, -83.2414474]
Interesting black rocks 30.4932423, -83.2414474

Fifth Shoals

[Rapids 30.4910717, -83.2443161]
Rapids 30.4910717, -83.2443161

Karst Tree

[Karst tree 30.4899406, -83.2438965]
Karst tree 30.4899406, -83.2438965


[Green bank, white bird 30.4822121, -83.2433777]
Green bank, white bird 30.4822121, -83.2433777

FL 6 Bridge

[FL 6 bridge from downstream 30.4812660, -83.2434616]
FL 6 bridge from downstream 30.4812660, -83.2434616


[Just around those logs 30.4810009, -83.2436981]
Just around those logs 30.4810009, -83.2436981

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!

Winner: Within These Walls Contest 4 2020-05-02

The winner of Within These WWALS number 4 is: Deanna Mericle.

She gets a packet of WWALS picture notecards from the WWALS online store.

The underwater plant is:

Eel grass, Zostera marina.

[1 Plant]
1 Plant

Nope, not wild rice, Zizania aquatica, which usually sticks up above water.

Florida State Parks does say both occur in the subject stream.

The bird is: Continue reading

Send your comment on GA-EPD Valdosta wastewater Consent Order –Albany Herald

Update 2023-11-09: GA-EPD Consent Order on Valdosta for One Mile Branch fish kill and sewage spills 2023-09-15.

In the Albany Herald, May 9, 2020, Deadline set to comment on Valdosta EPD Enforcement Order,

The Enforcement Order includes a fine, plus many requirements for management and technology.

“Well, I’m glad they are doing the enforcement order, requiring them to get the fixes in place,” said Deanna Mericle of Hamilton County, Fla., who was among the WWALS members who met with the city of Valdosta back in 2015 about these same sewage issues. “I’m not sure what the $122,000 will be used for, but the fine seems small. I just want the problem fixed for good if possible.”

The rest of the article is from the WWALS press release.

Send your comments by Wednesday, May 27, 2020, to:
   Mr. Lewis Hays
   Manager, Watershed Compliance
   Environmental Protection Division
   2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, Suite 1152 East
   Atlanta, GA 30334

This is not the kind of black water we want:

[Photo 4: Confluence of Sugar Creek and Withlacoochee River.]
Photo 4: Confluence of Sugar Creek and Withlacoochee River. By Tim Bonvechio.

The entire 93-page Order is on the WWALS website, here:

“This Order has been a long time coming. It includes an outline of a sad history of mistakes and neglect. I hope the Order Continue reading

Winner: Within these WWALS Contest #1 2020-04-11

First, remember the fourth Within These WWALS contest is still in progress, and you can answer here by midnight May 2, 2020:

Meanwhile, the winner of the first contest, which ended April 11, 2020, is….

Deanna Mericle, of Hamilton County, Florida!

WWALS charter board member emeritus Bret Wagenhorst sent her a packet of WWALS photo notecards from that watershed.

Alapaha River and Banks Lake notecards

Each of the pictures on the cover shown above appears on a separate notecard, each with an envelope.

The answers to Within These WWALS #1 are: Continue reading

Suwannee Riverkeeper asks Georgia EPD to require Valdosta to do better about its record sewage spill 2019-12-17


Hahira, Georgia, December 19, 2019 — Compelled by the severity of Valdosta’s record raw sewage spill and the expenses and stigma incurred nearby and downstream, Suwannee Riverkeeper for WWALS Watershed Coalition has sent a letter requesting ten enforcment actions to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD). WWALS member Deanna Mericle of Hamilton County, Florida, summed it up: “As a person living downstream on the Withlacoochee River in Florida, I feel shat upon by Valdosta over and over. I cannot drink the water from my well. I worry about the health of the river itself and the animals that live in it and drink from it. We in Florida were patient while Valdosta was improving their wastewater plant, which apparently was not adequate since we still have spills when it rains heavily. But this time it was not a rain event. It was gross negligence. I am out of patience. I believe it is time for legal action.”

The Suwannee Riverkeeper letter notes GA-EPD already has a legal action against Valdosta, a Consent Order. WWALS asks GA-EPD to use its enforcement power to require notification, water quality testing, education, and plans and procedures not only for preventing such spills but also for tracking them as they travel down our creeks and rivers and for remediation of effects on wells and reputation.


“Valdosta says it does what GA-EPD tells it to do, so we’re asking GA-EPD to tell them,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Today we’re forwarding the letter to Continue reading

Pictures: PCS Phosphate mine permit Public Hearings, Jasper, FL 2018-01-23

See also: Nutrien (PCS Phosphate mine) 5-year permit renewal 2018-03-16.

Update 2018-01-25: Fixed Attorney Scott Shirley’s attribution.

Hamilton County did due diligence by hiring a consultant to review the PCS phosphate mine’s record and permit applications. The Mericles and me were the only non-county non-PCS people who spoke, but the Planning and Zoning Board interacted quite a bit last night at the public hearings. Both the motions they passed recommended approval of the permits, but the second motion included taking into account the points raised by the public, such as better public access to permit materials and review of the mining company’s water quality data.

Some of the cast; Cliff Adams took notes throughout, Public Comment
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Left to right: Deanna Mericle, Consultant Gregory M. Hitz, County Attorney Cliff Adams, Planning and Zoning Board: A.L. Milner(?), Eddie Wynn, Megan Carter, Jim Tompkins, Harrell Tyree, Riley L. Anderson, for PCS: Attorney Scott Shirley, Danny Johnson.

County Attorney Cliff Adams took notes throughout, and there was a sound recording.

The public consisted of Continue reading

Agenda: Solar Rocks for the Equinox –Suwannee Riverkeeper will be speaking

Agenda sent by Chris Mericle, one of the event organizers:

When: Saturday September 23, 2017 9am – 5pm

Where: Rum 138, 270 SW CR 138, Ft. White, FL 32038

Event: facebook

Hosted by: North Florida Working Group, Suwannee-St. Johns Group of Sierra Club Florida

Old-style solar mounts, 2006, Solar on roof
Old-style solar mounts on roof in 2006, by John S. Quarterman.

Solar Rocks for the Equinox Speaker and Music agenda

Continue reading

Solar Rocks for the Equinox @ SSJSCNFWG 2017-09-23

Suwannee Riverkeeper will be speaking at this event, about how Georgia moved ahead in solar power, Looking up what Florida has tried and still needs to do, and how solar power has already won the economic race, supplying more new solar power in 2016 than anything else (more than natural gas and more than wind), and employing more people than coal, oil, and gas combined. When even FPL is finally building solar power, including at showplaces such as Daytona International Speedway, the sun is starting to rise on the Sunshine State. There will be a WWALS table with information about all this.

Solar Rocks for the Equinox
March 7, 2017
Press Release: For Immediate Release

Solar Energy Expo
Save the Date

When: 9am-5pm Saturday, September 23, 2017

Where: Sierra Club North Florida Headquarters at
Rum 138 2070 SW County Road 138, Fort White, FL 32038 Continue reading

Videos: Tallahassee: Hold Regulatory Agencies Accountable for Sabal Trail and FSC fracked gas pipelines 2017-01-23

If you had any doubts that Sabal Trail is a boondoggle, our water, land, and wildlife are more important than corporate greed, and we should go solar right now, these speakers may help resolve them.

WWALS Videos of Hold Regulatory Agencies Accountable for Sabal Trail and FSC fracked gas pipelines on the steps of the Old Florida Capitol, Monday January 23, 2017. This event was organized by Shannon Larsen, Bobby C. Billie, and ReThink Energy Florida.

The indigenous prayers are omitted. I clarified with Bobby C. Billie, and he specifically wanted those prayers omitted, but not the rest of what he and Shawn Mulford said. Yes, the sound is low when Bobby is speaking; he doesn’t like to use a microphone.

Here are links to each WWALS video, followed by a video playlist. You may reuse these videos, provided Continue reading