Tag Archives: education

SWFWMD and 3RT Sand Mine, Levy County, Rainbow Springs springshed 2024-01-04

As Craig Pittman pointed out, SWFWMD issued a permit for the 3RT Sand Mine in Levy County. But that ERP says nothing about Rainbow Springs or FDEP’s Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) for the Rainbow Springs springshed. That ERP does not even mention that the mine site is in an aquifer recharge zone.

What is the use of BMAPs, or of Rainbow Springs being an Outstanding Florida Water, if FDEP’s own SWFWMD can issue a permit for a strip mine without mentioning either?

[SWFWMD ERP for 3RT Sand Mine does not mention Rainbow Springs springshed]
SWFWMD ERP for 3RT Sand Mine does not mention Rainbow Springs springshed

Maybe you’d like to ask about that at FDEP’s meeting about Outstanding Florida Springs Basin Management Plans 2024-01-23. Sure, such meetings are usually public tellings at which the state ignores what citizens say.

But you can use that meeting as a forum to demonstrate opposition to the mine, so you can bring that up at the February 6 Levy County Commission meeting.

Craig Pittman, Florida Phoenix, January 4, 2024, Florida observatory may be forced to shut down if county OKs sand mine:
Neighbors and astronomers join forces to ask Levy County to nix mining proposal
UF’s Rosemary Hill Observatory in Levy County would be next door to the proposed sand mine.

Pittman set up his story with an aside about Jake from State Farm and good neighbors, and then:

The idea of what constitutes a good neighbor came up last week when I first heard about a dispute that’s been going on in Levy County. It involves a wealthy farmer, a dirty mine, a lot of trucks, and the stars in the heavens.

Continue reading

Videos: Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council in Valdosta 2023-09-27

Yesterday I presented slides about the draft VSU & WWALS GA-EPD Seed Grant application to the Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council at their meeting in Valdosta. The slides for that presentation are on the WWALS website.

[Collage @ SSRWPC 27 September 2023]
Collage @ SSRWPC 27 September 2023

The longest item in the agenda was about the Lake Beatrice project. For more about that, see Videos: Lake Beatrice, Alapaha River, GA-EPD Seed Grants @ SSRWPC 2023-03-14.

Also, Cliff Lewis of GA-EPD talked about gradual relaxation of the moratorium on water withdrawals in the Flint River Basin and its effect on mussels.

Here is the agenda: Continue reading

New WWALS Board Member Kimberly Godden Tanner 2023-07-09

Please welcome Kimberly Godden Tanner, who was one of several new members elected to the WWALS Board at the July Annual Members Meeting.

[Kimberly Godden Tanner]
Kimberly Godden Tanner

Here’s what Kim Tanner wrote about herself, including her experience in water quality testing.

Maybe you, like her, would like to do water quality testing for WWALS. If so, please fill out the application form.
https://forms.gle/Qe4gdPgisUDBKUAQ7

Kimberly Tanner (post 3, 2023-2024)

Continue reading

Lucille M. Norton Bridge across Grand Bay Creek dedicated 2006-07-09

Here’s a bridge named after a schoolteacher, the Lucille M. Norton Bridge across Grand Bay Creek in Lanier County, Georgia, on GA 31, aka US 221 and Lakeland Highway.

[Lucille M. Norton Bridge]
Lucille M. Norton Bridge

Kenna Walsh, Valdosta Daily Times, July 7, 2006, Updated September 12, 2014, Bridge to be named for Lucille Norton,

LAKELAND — This Sunday, a well known and loved Lakeland teacher will receive an eternal dedication. Lucille Norton, a native of Lanier County who died at age 86, taught home economics in Lakeland for 58 years. This Sunday, the bridge over Grand Bay Pond on U.S. 221 will be named in her honor at a 2 p.m. ceremony in the Lanier County Courthouse.

Continue reading

OVL ED around Troupville River Park 2023-05-31

Mary Beth Brownlee, new Executive Director of One Valdosta-Lowndes (OVL), got to see the site of the future Troupville River Camp and Nature Park.

[Around Troupville River Camp and Nature Park --jsq]
Around Troupville River Camp and Nature Park –jsq

She and Georgia Power Southwest Regional Director Joe Brownlee and their daughter Elizabeth are only about the third party who have followed me around the entire river circumference of the site, down the Little River to its Confluence, and then up the Withlacoochee River back to GA 133.

WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman took many of these pictures. WWALS provided the visitors information about Troupville Nature Park and Troupville River Camp including letters of support from Valdosta and Lowndes County, Georgia, the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber, Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida, the Suwannee River Water Management District, and others.

Troupville River Camp is top of the project list for OVL, which is an economic development and well being organization. Continue reading

New Executive Director, One Valdosta Lowndes 2023-05-23

The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce, host of One Valdosta-Lowndes (OVL), invited WWALS to a reception for the new OVL Executive Director, Mary Beth Brownlee.

[OVL E.D. Mary Beth Brownlee]
OVL E.D. Mary Beth Brownlee

Mary Beth Brownlee was previously with Association County Commissioners of Georgia.

I congratulated her on her new appointment.

She agreed that Troupville River Camp is top of OVL’s project list. Continue reading

Valdosta Utilities speedily addressed sewage smell 2022-11-18

Thanks to Valdosta Utilities for speedily fixing a sewage smell issue that someone reported anonymously and vaguely through Click ‘n’ Fix. .

[Report and fix in Seeclickfix]
Report and fix in Seeclickfix

Once Valdosta Utilities addressed Click ‘n’ Fix report 13713615, they found the manhole that was open and put its cover on.

There is room for improvement. The report was on a Friday, and there was no response until Monday. It could have been an actual sewer spill, continuing all weekend. But it wasn’t.

And although Utilities asked for better location information, they found the problem anyway and fixed it.

They didn’t say it was somebody else’s problem.

They didn’t blame the person who reported it.

They didn’t ask for volunteers to clean it up.

They got out there and did their job in one day. Continue reading

Video: Summary of water quality testing at Lowndes County Commission 2022-10-11

Most of the Lowndes County Commissioners were not familiar with the water quality testing WWALS is doing, and now they are.

[Summary of WWALS water quality testing @ LCC 2022-10-11]
Summary of WWALS water quality testing @ LCC 2022-10-11

Here’s the video: Continue reading

High E. coli near One Mile Branch fish kill, and maybe fuel spill 2022-09-23

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

Update 2022-10-01: Good Water Quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-09-29.

Update 2022-10-01: Equipment next to One Mile Branch at VSU was put there by Valdosta to route around a sinkhole.

The City of Valdosta says “a fuel spill may be a contributing cause” of the One Mile Branch fish kill.

Meanwhile, WWALS finds E. coli counts too high even upstream of the fish kill, but more than doubling in the fish kill.

WWALS rescheduled our Chainsaw cleanup, which was supposed to be this morning, on the Withlacoochee River downstream from Sugar Creek, which is downstream of One Mile Branch.

I recommend everyone else also avoid One Mile Branch, Sugar Creek, and the Withlacoochee River from Sugar Creek at least down to the Little River Confluence, until there is some resolution of this fish kill, the high E. coli counts, and the alleged fuel spill.

[One Mile Branch sites]
One Mile Branch sites

Scotti Jay collected water samples Friday and Sara Jay plated them. The results are:

Drexel Park Bridge: 966 cfu/100 mL
One Mile Branch Waterfall: 1,100 cfu/100 mL
West Gordon Street: 2,566 cfu/100 mL

The Georgia Adopt-A-Stream (GA-AAS) one-time sample limit for E. coli is 410. The GA-AAS alert limit is 1,000. Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee River water quality test results then One Mile Branch fish kill 2022-09-22

Update 2022-10-01: Good Water Quality, Withlacoochee, Little, Alapaha Rivers 2022-09-29.

Update 2022-09-25: High E. coli near One Mile Branch fish kill, and maybe fuel spill 2022-09-23.

Thursday WWALS test results are very good. The most recent Valdosta test results from Valdosta are for Monday, and they are also good.

But Friday WWALS found a fish kill in One Mile Branch starting at Valdosta State University. That is upstream from Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River. Later today we should have some E. coli test results from One Mile Branch.

[Chart, River, Swim Guide]
Chart, River, Swim Guide

Ashburn had yet another sewage spill a week ago into Hat Creek upstream on the Alapaha River, and High Springs had a spill Thursday a week ago near the Santa Fe River. Both were so small they probably had no detectable effect on river water quality.

So I would swim, boat, and fish in the Withlacoochee River downstream from the Little River Confluence. But I would avoid the Withlacoochee River from there up to Sugar Creek. Continue reading