Tag Archives: LAKE

Calling for pictures of swimming, diving, rapids, tubing, water skiing, or surfing, Suwannee River Basin, Georgia

Update 2021-06-21: The real deadline is June 30, 2021.

Calling for pictures, personal experience, or other evidence of swimming or diving in lakes and rivers in the Suwannee River Basin, and evidence of investments in recreation.

[Candidate Recreational waterways, Georgia, legend, Suwannee River Basin]
Candidate Recreational waterways, Georgia, legend, Suwannee River Basin

For a waterway to be redesignated Recreational instead of Fishing, as we requested back in 2019, GA-EPD requires evidence of “Primary Contact Recreation,” which it says is “full immersion contact with water where there is significant risk of ingestion that includes, but is not limited to, swimming, diving, white water boating (class 3+), tubing, water skiing, and surfing.”

Recreational designation would mean tighter restrictions on contamination limits. That should be good for fish, fishing, people who swim, fish, and boat, and for eco-tourism.

Could everyone who has pictures, news reports, or other solid evidence of such activities in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia please send them in. That’s in the Okefenokee Swamp, Suwannee River, Alapaha River, Banks Lake, Grand Bay, Withlacoochee River, or Little River.

Please use this form:
https://forms.gle/DipPgU2TP5atc2Rf9
If you have difficulties with that, please email them to wwalswatershed@gmail.com.

Also, please send any evidence of investments in recreation along any of these waterways, with dollar amounts, if you have them.

No rush. We thought we had until the end of June, but recently GA-EPD truncated the deadline to May 28th. That’s Friday of this week. GA-EPD has indicated that the end-of-week deadline may be flexible, but please send what you’ve got as fast as you can.

They also applied a bunch of criteria, some of which we were previously unaware of, and tossed out many stretches of the rivers. We asked for an appeal process, but they have not provided one. So feel free to send in pictures and other evidence about all stretches, and we’ll see what we can do with them.

The good news is that still on the candidate list for Recreational redesignation is all of the Okefenokee Swamp, the Suwannee River in Georgia, Banks Lake, and Grand Bay Creek and Trail within the Grand Bay WMA. Also included is most of the Alapaha River within the Alapaha River Water Trail, but not upstream from the Willacoochee River, and not for ten miles downstream from Lakeland.

But almost all of the Withlacoochee River is eliminated, except for Tiger Creek (at Spook Bridge) to the state line, and all of the Little River is eliminated. Also gone is Lake Irma, because Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Worm Moon Paddle, 2021-03-28

The bats should be flying again, as we amble by boat around our watery living room, Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge, to watch the sun set and the moon rise.

First, we will use the WWALS infrared thermometer to check temperatures. If you’re ill in any way, please stay home. Once you get there, there is plenty of room on the boat ramp to distance, and on the water everybody is usually pretty far apart anyway. Wear a mask on land, and we will have some available. No shuttle is needed.

When: Gather 7 PM, launch 7:15 PM, end 9:30 PM, Sunday, March 28, 2021

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.034824, -83.096725

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

Lights: You must have a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow sticks work well, or head lamp, flashlight, etc.) so other boaters can see you in the dark. It will be totally dark after sunset. You must wear a PFD. A whistle is not required, but it’s a good idea in the dark. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it. Thanks to Banks Lake Outdoors for free boat rental for these WWALS Full Moon Paddles.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay the $10 at the outing, or online:
https://wwals.net//donations/#outings

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

Event: facebook, meetup

[Many]
Many boats, sunset, moonrise, 2020-02-27.

Continue reading

WWALS Vision for water quality and access in Lowndes County, Georgia 2021-03-01

Lowndes County, Georgia, already has much river, lake, and swamp access. More people need to know about that. Plus there is substantial room for improvement, in access and in water quality, health, and safety.

[Letter, Map]
Letter, Map

March 1, 2020

To: David Barth
Barth Associates
david@barthassoc.com

Cc: George Page, Executive Director
Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Rec. Authority
gpage@vlpra.com

Re: WWALS vision for
Lowndes County waterways

Dear Dr. Barth and Director Page,

Thank you for the invitation to provide suggestions for resource protection and recreational access for the Rivers and other waterways of Lowndes County, including access, water quality, land acquisition, etc. Please see below a list of such suggested improvements.

For the rivers and the aquifer,
John S. Quarterman
Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
/s
WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.

Health and Safety

Continue reading

Video: Virus, Full Moon, Bacteria, Okefenokee, Mayor’s Paddle, Songwriting –Suwannee Riverkeeper on Scott James radio 2020-12-14

On the radio Monday I announced that the Solstice Light Parade for this Saturday is canceled due to worries about the audience during the virus pandemic resurgence, so come to the December 29, 2020, Full Moon paddle instead.

Please help get the candidates in the Georgia runoff elections to help get the state of Georgia to stop the strip mine proposed far too near the Okefenokee Swamp.

[Many topics]
Many topics

Valdosta Mayor Scott James gracefully conceded the M.C. spot at the August 2021 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest to Steve Nichols, who is also a radio host. We talked about what it will take to pull off the Mayor’s Paddle, February 6, 2020, from Troupville Boat Ramp to Spook Bridge on the Withlacoochee River.

For any paddles, it’s good to know the water is clean, so we talked about Valdosta’s sewer system progress, including how the outflow from the WWTP is clean now, and the new catch basin is good, but is it big enough? We asked listeners to report anybody seen dumping into the Withlacoochee River, and the general water quality testing situation, including in Brooks County.

Starting this weekend, WWALS volunteers will be planting the new at-water water trail signs.

Here’s a WWALS video playlist: Continue reading

Canceled: WWALS Solstice Light Parade 2020-12-19

Due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, the Solstice Light Parade is canceled. Better safe than sorry, and we don’t want a gathering of viewers to turn into a virus vector.

Light Parade organizer Shelby Miller asks for you to please come instead to the Full Cold Moon Paddle, same location, Banks Lake Boat Ramp, on Tuesday, December 29, 2020: gather 4:45 PM, launch 4:50 PM, end 6 PM. We will paddle out to watch the sun set and the moon rise. Dress warmly.

Follow this link for details:
https://wwals.net/?p=53995

You can decorate your boat and everybody paddling can see it. But we will not be offering prizes at the Full Cold Moon Paddle and we will not be encouraging spectators on shore.

There is plenty of room at Banks Lake Boat Ramp for everyone to stay apart, and on the water everyone is always far enough apart. We will be using an infrared thermometer to check temperatures, and we will be requiring masks at the boat ramp.

[Floating living room]
Floating living room, Banks Lake Full Moon paddle 2020-10-01.

If you already paid for a ticket to the Light Parade, you can roll it over to the Full Moon Paddle or another later outing. Or, if you prefer, we will refund your money.

We are aware that this is two outings in a row canceled, after the previous Full Moon paddle was called off because of weather. That is very unfortunate.

Still, we’d rather err on the side of caution than risk spreading that disease.

More: For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times monthly newsletter.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Water Trails, Okefenokee, Pellet Plant, Songwriting Contest, Light Parade –Suwannee Riverkeeper on Steve Nichols Radio 2020-12-08

Always fun to be on the Steve Nichols radio show, 105.9 FM WVGA, especially when he just agreed to be the Master of Ceremonies for the 2021 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

You can ask Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to get GA-EPD to deny permits for a titanium strip mine far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp. While you’re at it, you can ask him to deny a permit for the Adel wood pellet plant. You’ll see our water trail signs popping up along the rivers and on the roadways, and we’re distributing the brochures. Don’t forget to come to the Solstice Light Parade at Banks Lake, Saturday, December 19, 2020, and the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Saturday, August 21, 2021 at the Turner Center Arts Park in Valdosta.

Here are WWALS videos.

Canceled because of weather: Banks Lake Full Beaver Moon Paddle 2020-11-29

Expedition leader Bobby McKenzie says: “I’d like to cancel tonight’s Full Moon paddle. I’ve been monitoring the weather and it looks like there is thunderstorm movement headed our way and will hit while we are on the water. I’ve attached reports from 3 sources.”

So today’s outing is cancelled.

[Three weather reports]
Three weather reports

But no worries! The Full Cold Moon Banks Lake paddle is coming up Tuesday, December 29.

Before that, bring your boat and decorations to Banks Lake for the Winter Solstice Light Parade, Saturday, December 19!

More: For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times newsletter. Continue reading

Pictures: thirty paddlers, Halloween Blue Moon, Banks Lake 2020-10-31

Thirty people paddled on Halloween at Banks Lake. The Blue Moon declined to show. The bats mostly wouldn’t fly, but we could hear them in their trees. Everybody had a good time anyway.

The Mad Manatee, Mike Lusk, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge Manager, and more importantly, Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge Manager, met the Mad Hatter, a coven of witches, Beetlejuice?, a Wolf, two Power Rangers, a pirate, a fortune teller, and, scariest of all, a covey of Valdosta State University professors! They liked it so much, they threaten to hold a faculty meeting on Banks Lake.

[The Mad Manatee meets Pirate, witches, wolf, Mad Hatter, and more]
The Mad Manatee meets Pirate, witches, wolf, Mad Hatter, and more

Special thanks to Shelby Miller for organizing this paddle. Continue reading

Videos: Vote on wood pellet farm –Adel City Council 2020-09-21

The Adel, Georgia, City Council passed the two ordinances for the wood pellet plant with no discussion, yet with some votes against, and protestors outside and inside, on September 21, 2020. There are still things you can do to stop this polluting project that would export our trees from throughout the Suwannee River Basin and beyond, to Europe to burn, producing yet more CO2.

[Protesters outside and in, and the Adel City Council split vote for the wood pellet plant]
Protesters outside and in, and the Adel City Council split vote for the wood pellet plant

Below are links to each LAKE video of those agenda items, with a few notes.

See also Vicki Weeks, Dogwood Alliance, 16 October 2020, Industrial Logging and the Wood Pellet Industry Hurt Us All.

And Dogwood Alliance’s petition to call on Georgia leaders to protect our forests.
https://www.dogwoodalliance.org/actions/stop-the-destruction-of-georgia-forests/

You can also ask GA-EPD to reject the air permit application. Probably more on that later.

For background, see: Continue reading

WWALS Solstice Light Parade 2020-12-19

Update 2020-12-14: Canceled: WWALS Solstice Light Parade 2020-12-19

Deck your canoe, kayak, jon boat and the like with lights and we’ll do a short excursion out on the lake and bring it back in for fanfare and judging for this end of the year fundraising event. We will have monetary prizes for 1, 2, and 3rd places. We have a 3:00 PM start time to help with onsite boat decorations.

Marking the winter solstice and the ending of 2020 with a decorated evening lighted boat parade and contest with hot chocolate and cookies. Second annual of the first event of its kind in this area.

Please go all out with lights for your boat (glow sticks work well, or head lamp, flashlight, etc.) so other boaters can see you in the dark, and it’s a light parade! It will be very dark after sunset, with no moon, so everyone will see your lighted boats parading.

[Light Parade 2020]
Light Parade 2020
PDF

Prizes! $100 First Prize, $50 Second Prize, $50 Third Prize.

Tickets are $10 for each person entering (yes, even for WWALS members; it’s a fundraiser).
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-solstice-light-parade-tickets-124630460061
We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/#join

When: Gather 3:00 PM, launch 5:15 PM, end 7:00 PM,
Saturday, December 19, 2020

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635

GPS 31.034824, -83.096725

ARWT: Banks Lake is part of the WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Bring: Continue reading