Tag Archives: I-75

Valdosta sewage spill into Lake Sheri, Withlacoochee River 2022-09-23

Valdosta had yet another small sewage spill, this time on Friday, September 23, 2022, into Lake Sheri, which drains into the Withlacoochee River just upstream from I-75.

[Report and map: Valdosta Lake Sheri sewage spill 2022-09-23]
Report and map: Valdosta Lake Sheri sewage spill 2022-09-23

Most likely that spill was too small to affect the river, but those poor people who live on Lake Sheri, which already had three sewage spills upstream this summer.

The GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report for Monday, September 26, 2022 shows that 1,250 raw sewage spill as Continue reading

Bad GA 133 and US 84, Withlacoochee River 2022-09-12

Update 2022-09-16: Clean Rivers 2022-09-15.

Bad news in Valdosta’s upstream Withlacoochee River water quality results.

Too high E. coli at both GA 133 (St. Augustine Road) and US 84.

Best to avoid the Withlacoochee River for now in those stretches.

[Chart, Swim Guide]
Chart, Swim Guide

We also see high Fecal coliform for Monday at US 41 (North Valdosta Road), but OK E. coli. That is usual for after a big upstream rain, and you can see 0.61 inches on the Skipper Bridge gauge for the previous day.

But at GA 133 and US 84, Continue reading

Pictures: Chainsaw Cleanup, Sugar Creek to Troupville, Withlacoochee River 2022-07-30

Update 2022-10-17: Pictures: Chainsaw Cleanup with pizza, Withlacoochee River 2022-10-16.

Update 2022-08-09: What made them? Pictures: Tracks, GA 133, Withlacoochee River 2022-07-30.

Everything went exactly as planned for Chainsaw Cleanup Returns, Withlacoochee River, Valdosta, if the plans included two trucks getting stuck, several chainsaws getting stuck, and the whole thing taking more like ten hours than three, with no lunch.

[Banners, Chainsaws, Trash, River]
Banners, Chainsaws, Trash, River

But we cleared a bunch of deadfalls, collected many bags of trash, and recorded where the remaining deadfalls and trash are for later expeditions. That makes this stretch much more paddlable between Sugar Creek and Troupville on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

Thanks to the three new chainsawers, Shawn O’Connor and Grant and Art Herring, and regulars Bobby McKenzie and Russell Allen McBride. And thanks to the Good Samaritan who gave me a ride to my truck so I could use my logging chain to pull Bobby’s truck out at the take-out. Plus thanks to the two different vehicles that were used to pull my truck out at the put-in.

Note for next time: if you add a four-mile river paddle with a slow boat to chainsawing many deadfalls and the same people picking up many bags of trash, it takes longer.

There are many more Continue reading

Paused, not stopped: Northern Turnpike Extension toll road 2022-08-05

Two more versions of what’s happening to the toll road project: “paused” until they come up with options to “address concerns” or “include” concerns.

[FDOT PR, NTE Project Update, Study Area]
FDOT PR, NTE Project Update, Study Area

There is nothing about satisfying community concerns. There is a statement that they will “continue to refine and develop viable corridor concepts for this area”. They’re going to write a report despite this “pause”, and sooner or later they will plow ahead. Nevermind no need for any of those alternative routes has ever been established. Watch for that Report so you can comment No Build.

This pause is just a feint because of all the community objections thus far. Don’t let this pause cool your objections. More toll roads means more clearcutting and runoff, more pollution from that runoff, more development and more water withdrawals, lower levels in the Floridan Aquifer, rivers, and springs. And all that traffic is aimed up US 19 across the Suwannee River to Madison County. Water is more important than profit for developers and toll road builders.

FDOT and NTE say they will Continue reading

Florida scraps proposed toll road routes for I-75 and others 2022-08-03

Update 2022-08-05: Paused, not stopped: Northern Turnpike Extension toll road 2022-08-05.

It’s good news, but watch out: “Instead, FDOT will look at making improvements along Interstate 75 and possibly other corridors to relieve traffic congestion.”

[No four routes]
No four routes

Nobody has ever demonstrated any need for such a toll road, or for these I-75 “and possibly other” road expansions. The M-CORES committee deliberated for a long time and reported no need. The succeeding plan for four potential routes from Wildwood to US 19 did not dispute that lack of need, but plowed ahead anyway. FDOT said the legislature said (in SB 100) that the Northern Turnpike Extension was “in the strategic interest,” yet the new process would determine a need. It did not.

Instead, Continue reading

Boxes down into the water at Flying J, Exit 2, I-75 2022-03-19

Update 2022-07-07: Chain link fence, trash cans, and dumpsters: Flying J, Exit 2 2022-07-02.

There’s been some improvement down at the Flying J at I-75 Exit 2 in Lowndes County, Georgia, but there are still discarded boxes in the water, and Denny’s and the Flying J still haven’t finished the fence that would help a lot.

[Boxes at Flying J, Marie Calender's]
Boxes at Flying J, Marie Calender’s

Apparently Marie Callender’s itself has fallen on hard times, and Denny’s lost 60% of its customers in 2021, after losing 52.7% the previous year. But that still doesn’t seem an excuse for discarding boxes into nearby waterways.

Maybe if they finished the fence, like they were supposed to be doing in December 2019, that would cut down on the problem, which has been going on at least since August 2019.

I am also sending this report to Lowndes County Code Enforcement. Continue reading

Trash beyond fence not finished at Flying J, I-75 exit 2 2022-02-26

Update 2022-03-21: Boxes down into the water at Flying J, Exit 2, I-75 2022-03-19.

Well, they never finished the fence behind the Flying J at I-75 Exit 2, after Lowndes County Code Enforcement made them and Dennys clean up back there in 2019. The trash is not as bad as it was, but definitely room for further improvement.

[Trash in water, No Dumping sign, trash where no fence]
Trash in water, No Dumping sign, trash where no fence

That’s Flying J Travel Center #631, 7001 Lake Park Bellville Road, Lake Park, GA 31636.

As near as I can tell, that containment pond eventually drains into Deese Tract Creek that runs into the Withlacoochee River just upstream from Sullivan Launch.

I will mention this to Lowndes County Code Enforcement. Continue reading

History of Alapaha River Bridges, US 41 to Nobles Ferry –Ken Sulak 2021-12-08

Dr. Ken Sulak, USGS, Retired, sent us some things to look for as we paddle the last stretch of the Alapaha River on February 5, 2022.

[Pictures and Maps, Lower Alapaha River Bridges]
Pictures and Maps, Lower Alapaha River Bridges

For your upcoming [5] Feb Alapaha adventure, some of your folks might be interested in the history of three crossing sites you will encounter. So, here you go very briefly: Continue reading

Water Trail Brochures available: Alapaha, Withlacoochee, and Little Rivers

WWALS has printed 10,000 z-fold brochures for each of two water trails, through a generous grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GA-DNR). Plus Georgia Beer Company is a new sponsor, adding to a long list of cities, counties, tourist councils, and development authorities that have assisted with money or letters or resolutions of support. The images here are updated to what we printed. Contact us to get printed copies of these brochures: they’re free to individuals or to groups that will distribute them to the public.

[ARWT front and back, WLRWT mapside]
ARWT front and back, WLRWT mapside

This is the third edition of the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT) brochure, and the first-ever Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT) brochure.

You can help defray the cash match for the grant, online, or contact us. Or maybe you’d like to contribute to our water trail signs.

WWALS is currently updating all our online water trail maps and web pages. You can help:
https://forms.gle/qXkPr7eCK51P4X4u7

There are also many other ways you can participate in the activities and advocacy of WWALS:
https://wwals.net/donations/

Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT)

See: https://wwals.net/maps/alapaha-water-trail/

The two previous ARWT brochure editions, 10,000 copies each, lasted about four years. This one has Continue reading

Suwannee paddle for Visit Suwannee County + FL 6 & State Line 2020-10-16

The movie extras took a side trip up Sugar Creek on a 1.5 mile paddle down the Suwannee River from Suwannee Springs, after the old 93rd Drive bridge, pursued by the Suwannee County Sheriff, to the Suwannee Canoe Outpost at the Music Park.

[Sheriff, Suwannee Riverkeeper banner, Gretchen]
Sheriff, Suwannee Riverkeeper banner, Gretchen, departing Suwannee Springs beach

Thanks to Charissa Setzer of Visit Suwannee County, Florida for the invitation for paddlers to be videoed for a tourism advertisement.

Thanks to Bret Miller of NWXpeditions and Mylinda Greene for the mini-distanced-shuttle. Thanks to Dawn and Lisa of Madison Outpost Adventures for joining us, along with Steven E. Scott of Luxury Lawns, Gretchen Quarterman, and John S. Quarterman.

NWX and MOA along with VSU CORE are outfitter sponsors of the WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia into Florida and back, coming up next Saturday, October 24, 2020, at State Line Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River.

[Third Annual WWALS Boomerang]
Third Annual WWALS Boomerang

Thanks to Steve of Suwannee Canoe Outpost for the take-out hospitality.

Also thanks to the Sheriff’s deputy for helping carry my boat up at Suwannee Canoe Outpost.

Update 2021-09-23: River levels were 44.43′ on the Suwannee Springs gauge, and 56.53′ on the White Springs gauge, which is within SRWMD’s recommended for boating 51-58′ White Springs gauge level.

See also facebook pictures by

All us paddlers are now officially models, since we each signed a model release.

Suwannee Springs

Click on any small picture to see a larger one. Continue reading