Tag Archives: Flint Riverkeeper

Crowe Deadfall chainsaw cleanup 2024-03-01

Bobby McKenzie was right to be worried about the Crowe Deadfall, a big oak seen for years across the Withlacoochee River between I-75 and GA 133.

Yesterday evening we cleared that and two other deadfalls.

By cleared, I mean at the Crowe Deadfall stay way left: there’s a narrow passage for the Fifth Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle. See you at Langdale Park Boat Ramp this morning.

[Three deadfalls cleared between Troupville and I-75 2024-03-01]
Three deadfalls cleared between Troupville and I-75 2024-03-01

Thanks to Georgia Power for the grant that makes tickets to this paddle free.

Thanks to Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers for the jon boat. Thanks to Wild Green Future (WGF) for the grant that bought the 9.9hp outboard, the 86lb-thrust trolling motor, the batteries, and some other gear.

 -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!

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Boat Motor Tryouts, Troupville Boat Ramp, Little River 2024-02-18

Update 2024-02-26: Pictures: Chainsaw cleanup from Troupville up to Sugar Creek and back 2024-02-25.

Successful boat trials at Action Stage on the Little River!

Five of us went down to Troupville Boat Ramp, just west of Valdosta, Georgia, to test out some new boat motors.

[9.9hp outboard and 86lb thrust trolling motor (thanks, Wild Green Future) and jon boat (thanks, Flint Riverkeeper) and Bass Fisher (WWALS)]
9.9hp outboard and 86lb thrust trolling motor (thanks, Wild Green Future) and jon boat (thanks, Flint Riverkeeper) and Bass Fisher (WWALS)

Here’s a WWALS video playlist:

Successful boat trials at Action Stage on the Little River!
Videos by John S. Quarterman and Russell Allen McBride for WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS).

Thanks to Laura D’Alisera for transfering the new WWALS 9.9hp Mercury fourstroke 20-inch shaft electric start outboard motor ten miles from West Marine in Jacksonville Beach to a shipping location, where Phil Hubbard received it Saturday. Thanks to Wild Green Future (WGF) for the generous grant that bought it.

Sunday evening, Russell Allen McBride, Shawn O’Connor, Bobby McKenzie, and I unboxed it, connected it to its fuel supply, and tried it out. Thanks to Flint Riverkeeper for the jon boat.

With that outboard, the jon boat will indeed go upriver easily under these conditions. It took only ten minutes to haul Russell in his kayak up the third of a mile from the Little River Confluence to Troupville Boat Ramp.

Also due to WGF, we received an 85lb-thrust Goplus 8 Speed, 36 inch shaft, trolling motor, two Power Queen LiFePO4 12.8V 100Ah, lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, and a Power Queen 14.6V 10A LiFePO4 Battery Charger. Those we put on the WWALS bass fisher chainsawing boat, plus the old WWALS 40lb-thrust mounted on the front. Shawn and I demonstrated that the new motor alone will push that boat upstream in these conditions, and both motors will troll it upstream at a walking pace. Which is all we need to get back to the ramp from the Confluence during chainsaw cleanups.

You’ve already seen the chainsaw WGF paid for from a week ago, Sugar Creek to Troupville Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River 2024-02-11.

We are awaiting a couple more items via the WGF grant. Stay tuned.

This is more preparation for the Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Saturday, March 2, 2024, starting at Langdale Park. One hopes that the water level will be well below Sunday’s 148′ NAVD 1988 level, or we may have to reschedule for later.

And also preparation for more chainsaw cleanups on other stretches of this and other rivers.

Next: 9AM Sunday, February 25, 2024, we will take the jon boat from Troupville Boat Ramp down around the Confluence and up the Withlacoochee River to Langdale Park, chainsawing any remaining paddle obstacles along the way. That one will be a bit hard to participate in by paddling.

The day before that, Saturday, February 24, please join us for in the morning for Knights Ferry to Nankin on the Withlacoochee River and in the evening for Banks Lake Full Snow Moon Paddle.

There are more pictures below. Continue reading

All nine Riverkeepers of Georgia oppose the mining permit applications by Twin Pines Minerals too near the Okefenokee Swamp 2023-03-09

I sent this at 4:08 PM today to TwinPines.Comment@dnr.ga.gov:

“Please find attached a letter of opposition by all nine Riverkeepers of Georgia to the mining permit applications by Twin Pines Minerals, LLC.”

[GA Riverkeepers letter for Okefenokee Swamp against strip mine 2023-03-09]

See also the letter by Waterkeepers Florida, representing all fifteen Waterkeepers of Florida. It includes links to the letters by Suwannee and St. Marys Waterkeepers.

You can still send in your own comment.

While the comment period on the Mining Land Use Plan nominally closes at 4:30 PM today, that same address has been open for comments for a year or more, and will probably remain open.

Plus GA-EPD has said that if there is a draft permit, they will open another 60-day public comment period.

Meanwhile, all the Waterkeepers of Georgia and Florida oppose that strip mine for white paint, and support the Okefenokee Swamp, the St. Marys and Suwannee Rivers, and the Floridan Aquifer.

The GA Riverkeepers letter

The letter is below in web form, or see it as PDF. Continue reading

Right to Clean Water policy by Georgia Water Coalition 2022-11-09

At its annual Fall meeting, the Georgia Water Coalition members unanimously adopted this Right to Clean Water (RTCW) policy:

Georgia should adopt a constitutional amendment to the state Bill of Rights establishing that each person has an inherent and inalienable constitutional right to clean and healthy air, soil, and surface and underground water, to support substantial interests, including human health, safety and welfare, native fish and wildlife, conservation of natural resources, outdoor recreation, and aesthetic values throughout the State.

[Georgia RTCW Logo]
Georgia RTCW Logo

This new policy will be visible online among some other new ones when the 2023 GWC Report appears among the earlier policy documents.

What does this mean? Continue reading

Videos: Constitutional Right to Clean Water for Georgia, WWALS Webinar 2022-04-19

The presentation was solid, and the discussion was enlightening. Please watch and send us feedback.

[Speakers, RTCW]
Speakers, RTCW

The slides are on the WWALS website.

Here is the zoom video of the WWALS webinar about Rights to Clean Water for Georgia, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Constitutional Right to Clean Water: RTCW for Georgia, WWALS Webinar 2022-04-19

Update 2022-04-24: Videos: Constitutional Right to Clean Water for Georgia, WWALS Webinar 2022-04-19

Hahira, Georgia, April 5, 2022 — Trying to protect clean water with current laws and regulations is like trying to defend free speech without the First Amendment. Montana, Pennsylvania, and just last year New York have enshrined Rights to Clean Water, Air, Land, and a Healthy Environment (RTCW) in their constitutions alongside free speech and other basic rights. Florida has a statewide petition signing right now for the 2024 ballot. How can Georgia get RTCW into its constitution? Why should it? And what would such an amendment consist of? This webinar explores those questions. We invite your participation and feedback.

[RTCW, Speakers]
RTCW, Speakers

The zoom meeting will be Tuesday, April 19, 2022, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcldeGqqDkvHdc3RUptCbwuKzxkpmzfb4-U

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Continue reading

Tens of thousands commented against a strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp

Hahira, Georgia, May 30, 2020 — From every U.S. state and beyond, tens of thousands comments poured in to the Army Corps against a permit application for a titanium strip mine far too near the unique blackwater gem of the Okefenokee Swamp. The comment period ended Thursday. You and your elected officials can still ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to do the right thing and deny this permit, or at least require an Environmental Impact Statement.

[44,000 commenters against strip mine on a map]
44,000 commenters against strip mine on a map

“With its unique ecosystem and incomparable beauty,” says Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, “the Okefenokee Swamp is a national and international treasure, and the source of the St. Marys and Suwannee Rivers. With its opportunities for boating, birding, fishing, photography, adventure, and hunting nearby attracting 600,000 visitors a year and supporting more than 700 jobs, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) provides more economic benefit to each of Georgia and Florida than any other refuge.”

The groups supporting the Swamp and opposing the mine include twenty Waterkeepers from three states, and umbrella organizations Waterkeepers Florida and Waterkeeper Alliance.

Contact: John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper, contact@suwanneeriverkeeper.org, 229-242-0102.

See below for a longer press release from Georgia River Network about the several dozen organizations loosely associated to protect the Okefenokee Swamp from anything that might harm it, such as this strip mine for private profit for paint.

Tens of Thousands Voice Opposition Over Mine Proposed to be Located Next to the Okefenokee Swamp

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U.S. EPA still says mine would have substantial and unacceptable impact –Suwannee Riverkeeper 2019-12-31

In the Charlton County Herald, December 31, 2019:

Dear Editor,

The burden of proof is still on the miners to show their mine would not damage the Swamp or the Rivers, and they have not met that burden.

U.S. EPA still finds that “the proposed project will have a substantial and unacceptable impact on aquatic resources of national importance.”

[Distant 2019-11-23]
Anonymous drone aerial of heavy equipment on the mining site 2019-11-23.
River Styx is in the background, Okefenokee Swamp is on the horizon.
St. Marys River flows out top left horizon. Suwannee River flows out far side of Swamp.

That’s about “the permit application submitted by Twin Pines Minerals, LLC” for a titanium strip mine. “The proposed 2,414-acre mine area lies in proximity to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), and the potential secondary effects of the mine on the NWR have not been demonstrated by the permit applicant.”

This is the second letter EPA has sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers saying the mining application is deficient. We obtained a copy through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The entire letter is here: https://wwals.net/?p=50931.

You, too, can still comment to the USACE, and all comments they receive before the Corps announces a decision can be used in any potential lawsuits. The addresses are: Continue reading

Thanks to organizations for the Okefenokee Swamp, against the Titanium Mine

Thanks to the more than two dozen organizations, local, regional, statewide in Florida and Georgia, national, and international, that oppose the titanium mine that would be far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (ONWR) provides boating, birding, fishing, and hunting nearby to the tune of more than $60 million a year and more than 700 jobs, making it the NWR of most economic benefit to each of Georgia and Florida. The Okefenokee Swamp is a unique ecological treasure, and is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers. The burden of proof is on the miners, and they have not met it.

[Organizations For Okefenokee Swamp, Against Titanium Mine]
Organizations For Okefenokee Swamp, Against Titanium Mine
Add your organization here: https://forms.gle/Dyqc77EBsjXBsz93A

You can still file a comment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. If the Corps actually issues a permit, which they may in the next few weeks, anything filed can be used in any ensuing lawsuit.

Exactly how many organizations oppose that strip mine is hard to say, since Continue reading

Riverkeepers seek attorney’s fees for legal victory against FERC and Sabal Trail 2019-02-04

Some good news! Not only did Flint Riverkeeper, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, and Sierra Club win a historic landmark victory against Sabal Trail and FERC in August 2017, affecting all FERC pipeline and LNG export dockets ongoing: the Riverkeepers are entitled to attorneys fees!

Application and Argument, Letter

Despite FERC’s attempt to weasel out by trying to claim that case was not and “adversary adjudication.”, the Riverkeepers seek recovery of attorney’s fees in the amount of $192,437.42.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

The Riverkeepers letter

Filed with FERC 4 February 2019 as Continue reading