Tag Archives: Floridan Aquifer

Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff advocates for protection of the Okefenokee Swamp 2022-05-25

Like Sen. Ossoff, you can help stop a strip mine proposed far too near the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Marys Rivers, and the mine sits on top of the Floridan Aquifer from which we all drink.

Senator Jon Ossoff is advocating for the protection of the Okefenokee swamp, Kyra Purvis, WFXL, Wednesday, May 25th 2022,

[Sen. Ossoff at the Okefenokee Swamp 2021-05-14]
Sen. Ossoff at the Okefenokee Swamp 2021-05-14

Senator Jon Ossoff is advocating for the protection of the Okefenokee swamp and its national wildlife refuge.

The swamp is currently being looked at by Twin Pines Minerals LLC as a place for titanium mining.

Ossoff is asking for a joint effort between both parties and is calling on all environmental agencies to protect one of Georgia’s most precious natural resources.

“Our state may lose the Okefenokee swamp, this precious natural resource, unless EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the Army Corps and Georgia’s environmental protection division take action to stop it,” said Ossoff in his call to action, “Overwhelmingly the people of Georgia and of the local community treasure the Okefenokee swamp. But I’m sounding the alarm because we need an all hands-on deck effort now to bring the pressure to bear necessary to save the Okefenokee swamp from destruction.”

Ossoff says he has Continue reading

Support Georgia HB 1289 to protect the Okefenokee Swamp 2022-02-24

Please ask Georgia legislators to pass HB 1289 against mining near the Okefenokee Swamp. Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, an Alabama-based company operated by people with a history of misrepresentation and pollution, is proposing a mining operation that threatens the Okefenokee Swamp and tourism-related jobs in the area, as well as the Floridan Aquifer and the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers.

[Otter, Okefenokee Swamp, 2019-12-07. Photo: Gretchen Quarterman]
Otter, Okefenokee Swamp, 2019-12-07. Photo: Gretchen Quarterman

Floridians, you can do these things, too. The Swamp is upstream from Florida, both aboveground and through the Floridan Aquifer. You can call these Georgia legislators using the numbers in here: House and Senate.

For what’s in the bill and some other ways you can stop such mines, see Continue reading

Georgia Okefenokee protection bill HB 1289 filed on Okefenokee Swamp Day 2022-02-08

On newly-proclaimed Okefenokee Swamp Day, a bipartisan bill to ban mining on Trail Ridge by the Okefenokee Swamp appeared in the Georgia legislature: HB 1289.

[Bill, Proclamation, Trail Ridge]
Bill, Proclamation, Trail Ridge

What You Can Do

You can ask Georgia Governor Kemp to get the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) to deny the permit request from Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, for a titanium dioxide strip mine within three miles of the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the St. Marys and Suwannee Rivers. Or ask your city or county government to pass a resolution supporting the Swamp and opposing the mine, as half a dozen have already done.

Or write directly to GA-EPD: TwinPines.Comment@dnr.ga.gov

Or use this convenient Georgia Water Coalition action alert form to ask your statehouse delegation to pass HB 1289 and to ask GA-EPD to deny the permits.

Why

Continue reading

US 41 Little Alapaha River Bridge

Actually, there is a US 41 Little Alapaha River bridge, and it may even be historic. So that’s five bridges across the Little Alapaha River, four above the Swallet, and one below, before its Confluence with the Alapaha River.

[Composite US 41 Little Alapaha River Bridge]
Composite US 41 Little Alapaha River Bridge

The US 41 bridge is the first bridge listed by bridgereports.com for Hamilton County, mislabled as “US-41 (SR-6 & 25) over ALAPAHA RIVER OVERFLOW”. But at 30.52389, -83.01550, it’s much closer to the Little Alapaha River.

At more than a mile east of the Alapaha River, that’s a bit far to be overflow. Continue reading

Groundwater considered important: WWALS to EPA 2022-02-07

WWALS sent EPA some comments on groundwater, which is very important here above the Floridan Aquifer in south Georgia and north Florida.

WWALS also signed on to comments by Waterkeeper Alliance and SELC, but SELC wrote almost nothing about groundwater, and there was more to say than was in the WKA comments. Those other comments are on the WWALS website.

The WWALS comments should appear on regulations.gov, Docket number EPA-HQ-OW-2021-0602, with Comment Tracking Number kzd-8bdc-p6xf, after EPA finishes reviewing it. Here they are in PDF and inline below.

[Dead River Sink, Alapaha River Rise, WWALS Letter to EPA]
Dead River Sink, Alapaha River Rise, WWALS Letter to EPA

Continue reading

Little Alapaha River, Swallet, Bridges, Source, Mouth 2022-02-07

Update 2022-02-09: US 41 Little Alapaha River Bridge.

During Sunday’s paddle on the last stretch of the Alapaha River, people got curious about a distributary which turned out to be the Little Alapaha River absorbing water from the Alapaha River.

[Source, Bridge, Swallet, Confluence: Little Alapaha River]
Source, Bridge, Swallet, Confluence: Little Alapaha River

Here is a bit more about the Little Alapaha River: map, Source, Bridges (one wooden), Confluence, where two days ago we found the Alapaha River running into the Little Alapaha River as a distributary. Continue reading

GA Suwannee-Satilla RWPC Meeting 2022-03-09

Water gaps and water quality: the Georgia Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council meets 10-15 AM to 2 PM, Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at Coastal Pines Technical College, 1701 Carswell Ave, Waycross, GA 31503. There is an online method of attendance, unfortunately via Microsoft Teams.

Unlike Florida’s Suwannee River Water Management District, SSRWPC has no paid staff, no budget to speak of, and no taxing, permitting, or fining ability. Its Council is all volunteers, assisted by a few staff from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) and sometimes a consultant or two.

[Region, Public Notice]
Region, Public Notice

SUWANNEE-SATILLA

REGIONAL WATER PLANNING COUNCIL MEETING

Announcement Date: February 2, 2022

TO ALL INTERESTED PERSONS AND PARTIES:

The Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council

will hold a meeting at the following date, time and location:

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Registration: 10:15 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.

Meeting: 10:30 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.

Note: This Meeting may be attended In-Person (with Social Distancing Measures in place) or Virtually via the MS Teams Link with Call-In Information Provided Below

Coastal Pines Technical College
1701 Carswell Ave
Waycross, GA 31503

If you are planning to attend the meeting in-person please send your RSVP notice to woodsh@cdmsmith.com so we can ensure we do not exceed the venue capacity.

For Virtual Attendance use this link: Continue reading

Sprawl in an aquifer recharge zone back on the Lowndes County Commission agenda 2022-02-08

The same proposed rezoning in Lowndes County that WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman spoke against in November will be back on the Lowndes County Commission agenda for a decision at 5:30 PM February 8, 2022.

That’s 5:30 PM, Tuesday, February 8, 2022, on the second floor at 327 North Ashley Street, Valdosta, GA 31601.

Remember, this is upstream on the Little River from Florida and Brooks County Georgia, as well as Lowndes County. Because it’s a rezoning, anybody from anywhere can speak during the public hearing at that meeting. However, they will only allow a few people to speak for a few minutes.

So even better would be to send a written objection before the meeting to commissioner@lowndescounty.com. You can also try emailing the Commissioners individually, https://lowndescounty.com/directory.aspx?did=19 Beware that some of the Commissioners do not read their county email addresses, so best to also copy the County Clerk, belinda@lowndescounty.com.

Gretchen spoke against the new version of this rezoning (bigger lots) again Monday at the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission, this time pointing out that when community wells fail, their owners hand them over to the county, which puts the taxpayers on the hook for fixing them, so we don’t need any more community wells. A room full of opponents raised their hands at that meeting, and more than 300 signed a petition against the rezoning.

[Gretchen Quarterman at Planning Commission, aquifer recharge zone, sinkholes]
Gretchen Quarterman at Planning Commission, aquifer recharge zone, sinkholes

The subject property is also near some notorious sinkholes, the Myers Bluff Sinkhole on the Little River, and the Shiloh Road Sinkhole that fortunately did not take down that road or a nearby house. The Snake Nation Road Sinkhole, a bit farther south, forced the county to reroute that road to the tune of about half a million dollars. Continue reading

Sullivan Slough and Blue Sink by Amanda Davis 2022-01-18

Thanks, Amanda Davis, for these pictures of Sullivan Slough and Sullivan Blue Sink.

Is it a sink or a spring? Probably a bit of each: a karst window, where the aquifer is exposed. So at high river water levels, the Withlacoochee River probably runs into it. At low river levels, water probably flows into the river.

[Sullivan Blue Sink and Slough, Withlacoochee River]
Sullivan Blue Sink and Slough, Withlacoochee River

Here’s where it ends up. Continue reading

Blue Sink, Sullivan Slough –Susan Liden 2021-01-18

Update 2022-01-21: Sullivan Slough and Blue Sink by Amanda Davis 2022-01-18.

Sullivan Slough is the real name of what we’ve been calling Chervil Drive Distributary, and Blue Sink is what local people call Chervil Drive Sinkhole.

Sullivan Blue Sink is where Withlacoochee River water ends up after flowing into Sullivan Slough, 0.83 miles downstream from Florida Campsites Boat Ramp, 0.73 miles upstream from the FL 6 bridge, and 0.83 miles up from Madison Blue Spring.

Traditionally, this has been a popular local swimming spot. However, the land containing the sink sold recently, so status is unclear now. We do have an offer from somebody with land nearby to tour the area.

Susan Liden sent these pictures. Thanks, Susan!

[Blue Sink and Sullivan Slough]
Blue Sink and Sullivan Slough

This one I think is particularly impressive. Continue reading