Tag Archives: Live Oak

Brian Barker plays The River @ Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020-08-20

Song submissions for this year are still open through tomorrow, Wednesday, July 14, 2021!

Send in your song now through this entry form:
https://forms.gle/tWrqas7qPWDKgpqF6

If your song makes you a finalist, you will be eligible for the $300 prize and studio time, or the other prizes, at the Suwannee Riverkeeeper Songwriting Contest, 7-11 PM, Saturday, August 21, 2021 at the Turner Center Art Park in Valdosta, Georgia.

All about this year’s contest:
https://wwals.net/pictures/2021-08-21–songwriting/

Meanwhile, from last year, here’s Brian Barker playing his song, The River, via zoom from Kentucky.

[Brian Barker singing The River, applause afterwards]
Brian Barker singing The River, applause afterwards

Sorry about the bad aim with the videos: we were making up the zoom method as we went along. At least you can hear him.

We promise to do better videoing this year.

Here’s a WWALS video playlist:

Continue reading

Help SRWMD reject Nestle permit 2021-02-23

You can help the Suwannee River Water Management District Board uphold the public interest and reject Nestlé’s water withdrawal permit application.

[Agenda, Board, No Permit]
Agenda, Board, No Permit

Even SRWMD’s legal counsel only recommends approving the Seven Springs permit “under protest.” The DOAH judge’s Order is actually only a RECOMMENDATION, and the District filed eighteen pages of exceptions to that Order. The judge disallowed most of those exceptions, but SRWMD is still holding open the possibility of appeal with that “under protest”.

The Judge’s Order dances around the basic question: is putting water in plastic bottles after taking it from the Floridan Aquifer next to a depleted river and springs, all for profit of a Swiss company, in the public interest? Florida law and the judge attempt to narrow what can be considered down what can be considered for the public interest to what is in Florida rules or a handbook, even though none of those adequately address the real issues. The plain fact is that a contract to sell water does not determine any public interst in cleaning up plastic bottles from our springs and rivers, nor does it determine any public interest in lower springs and rivers, with bad effects on wildlife, public use of those waters, and eventually on drinking water.

The SRWMD board can deny this permit because it is not in the public interest. You can help them do so.

It almost looks like the SRWMD counsel is asking people to come protest, since he repeatedly mentions that Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) filed legal motions and both Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and Michael Roth spoke in the legal hearing. Disclosure: WWALS has provided some financial support for OSFR’s legal actions in this matter.

If you’re going to attend this Special Meeting in person, get there early to get a spot. To attend online, be sure to sign up for both the webinar and cal in for audio. If you want to comment, you must also sign up for that separately. Don’t wait for the second day: if that happens at all, there will be no public comment.

So come early on the first day, in person or online, Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

The entire SRWMD Special Meeting Board packet is on the WWALS website: https://www.wwals.net/pictures/2021-02-23–srwmd-nestle-special-meeting-packet/

Here is the agenda, with how to attend online: Continue reading

Back to Live Oak and online: SRWMD Nestle Special Meeting 2021-02-23

The Suwannee River Water Management District has moved its Special Meeting, to decide the Nestlé permit for Ginnie Springs on the Santa Fe River, back to Live Oak, with online participation, February 23, 2021, plus possible continuation the next day.

[No Nestle permit, 2021-02-23 or any other date]
No Nestle permit, 2021-02-23 or any other date

That didn’t take long, due to complaints by OSFR, Ichetucknee Alliance, and others. Meeting only in-person during a pandemic, and far from both the usual meeting site and the site of the problem, was never a good idea. The tradition SRWMD has established with their regular board meetings, such as the one this morning, of meeting at their headquarters with online participation, is a much better idea.

An even better idea: deny the permit.

At the bottom of the SRWMD press release:

The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public. The District holds true to the belief of water for nature, water for people.

There won’t be enough water for people or nature unless SRWMD stops issuing permits for frivolous uses such as plastic bottles for a Swiss company. The “needs of the public” include the public interest, which includes not having to pick up plastic bottles from springs and rivers, having enough water in the springs and rivers and the Floridan Aquifer, and not subsidizing a foreign company at the expense of our waters. Besides, people are part of nature, last time I looked, and pretending they are not is how you damage both.


[No to Nestle!]
No to Nestle! 2019-12-10

Remember back in December 2019, when 32 people spoke against the same Nestlé permit, and delivered 384,000 petition signatures?

It’s not a good idea to crowd together people during a pandemic, but you can still send a postcard to SRWMD:

SRWMD Board Members
9225 CR 49
Live Oak, FL 32060

NO Nestlé PERMIT

[Landscape Postcard]
Landscape Postcard
PDF

Or contact SRWMD by other means: NO Nestlé PERMIT.

LOCATION UPDATED FOR DISTRICT SPECIAL MEETING

Continue reading

Adel agenda and WWALS letter 2020-09-08

Update 2020-09-11: Wood pellet plant: speakers and documents @ Adel City Council 2020-09-08.

Here is the agenda for tonight’s Adel City Council meeting:

[Agenda, Adel City Council 2020-09-08]
Agenda, Adel City Council 2020-09-08
PDF

Since it can’t be any of the other items, apparently the wood pellet plant is:
5.B. ANNEXATION AND ZONING OF INDUSTRIAL AUTHORITY PROPERTY

I don’t see anything about any previous hearings, nor any of the maps, plans, etc. that usually accompany a rezoning.

You can still use the Dogwood Alliance Action Alert to send in a comment before tonight’s meeting.

Meanwhile, I sent Adel this letter, mostly about water trails:

[WWALS to Adel, Water Trails and pellet plant 2020-09-08]
WWALS to Adel, Water Trails and pellet plant 2020-09-08
PDF

For background, see Adel wood pellet plant sourcing radius: entire Suwannee River basin in Georgia 2020-09-08.

See you in Adel in about an hour and a half.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Adel wood pellet plant sourcing radius: entire Suwannee River basin in Georgia 2020-09-08

Update 2020-09-11: Wood pellet plant: speakers and documents @ Adel City Council 2020-09-08.

Update 2020-09-08: Adel agenda and WWALS letter 2020-09-08

If a company from Houston, Texas, gets its rezoning Tuesday at the Adel, Georgia, City Council, it could take trees from 75 miles around to turn into wood pellets to ship to Europe for burning for electricity. It takes 50 to 100 years for natural forest to regenerate completely. Meanwhile, rain on land without forest runs off faster, carries more sediment and pollution (pesticides, E. coli, etc.), damaging fishing and wildlife. Floods also become more likely.

You can help stop this biomass plant. Before 5:30 PM Tuesday, please, which is when the Adel City Council has this rezoning on its agenda.

[Adel, GA, pellet plant sourcing radius]
Adel, GA, pellet plant sourcing radius (PDF)

That 75-mile sourcing radius around Adel would reach Tallahassee, Florida, and Albany, Georgia, as well as all of the Red Hills longleaf area around Thomasville. It would include all the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia: the Suwannee, Alapaha, Little, Withlacoochee, and Okapilco Rivers, from Fargo and most of the Okefenokee Swamp to Cordele in the north and Moultrie, Quitman, and Valdosta. As well as much of the Suwannee River Basin in Florida, include White Springs, Live Oak, Mayo, Jasper, and Madison. Plus the Ochlockonee and Aucilla Rivers and much of the Flint River on the west, and on the east most of the Satilla River and a bend of the Altamaha River.

This is an environmental justice issue because the plant will go in an African-American part of town and poor people are typically most adversely affected by deforestation.

When a local activist alerted me a few months ago to a proposed biomass plant in Adel, I pointed them to Vicki Weeks of the Dogwood Alliance. She has put together an Action Alert. Please follow that link to send your comment to the entire Adel City Council.

According to K.K. Synder, Georgia Trend, 31 July 2020, Adel | Cook County: Community in Motion,

Houston-based Renewable Biomass Group will construct Continue reading

Suwannee Springs work in progress 2020-07-22

Update 2021-01-13: It’s complicated, but a plan is in the making, and volunteers will be wanted in a few weeks.

The Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) is removing the debris from Suwannee Springs that was left by recent flooding of the Suwannee River.

[Four views of Suwannee Springs]
Four views of Suwannee Springs

When I spoke to Edwin McCook, SRWMD Sr. Land Management Specialist, yesterday, he mentioned that SRWMD is looking into further improvements beyond just the debris removal and fixing the staircase mentioned in the SRWMD PR below. It will probably take a few weeks to decide what more can be done. When we know more, I’ll post more. Continue reading

Pictures: Stone Bridge paddle from Cook County Boat Ramp (GA 76) 2020-05-16

About thirty paddlers made it upstream to Stone Bridge and back, although few people could paddle up the current under it.

[Helen Chaney: Suwannee Riverkeeper under Stone Bridge]
Photo: Helen Chaney, Suwannee Riverkeeper under Stone Bridge

Starting out at Cook County Boat Ramp, there was plenty of room for everybody to stay six feet apart on land and ten feet apart on water. Continue reading

Reroute: Little River, Cook County Boat Ramp upstream to Stone Bridge 2020-05-16

Update 2020-05-26: Pictures: Stone Bridge paddle from Cook County Boat Ramp (GA 76) 2020-05-16.

Update 2020-05-21: Three Little River Landings in Swim Guide 2020-05-21

Update 2020-05-20: Clean weekend 2020-05-17.

Changed to put in at Cook County Boat Ramp on GA 76 and paddle upstream past Stone Bridge, and then back. This avoids the outings problem during the stay-home period of the novel coronavirus pandemic: no shuttle, so no crowding together. Yes, boating is not just permitted, it is encouraged by the state of Georgia; see Florida and Georgia Boat Ramps Status 2020-04-09. To keep it that way, everyone please remember to stay 6 feet apart on land and 10 feet apart on the water.

This is a leisurely paddle on a very seldom-paddled stretch of wild south Georgia blackwater river, the Little River, between Adel and Barney.

When: Gather 9:30 AM, launch 10 AM, Saturday, May 16, 2020

Put In: Cook County Boat Ramp, Mile 31.41. 966 Quitman Highway (GA 76), Adel, GA 31620, in Cook County.
Between Adel and Barney, southeast side of GA 76, northeast side (left bank) of Little River, gravel ramp. Also known as Cook County Landing (GDOT). Left or right bank means when facing downstream.

GPS: 31.040042, -83.493085

Landmark 1: Stone Bridge, 31.04962, -83.49932, Mile 32.36, about a mile upstream from Cook County Boat Ramp.

Take Out: Same as Put In.

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. These days, a facemask would not be amiss.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

Burt Kornegay, March 24, 2018, Stone Bridge
Photo: Burt Kornegay, March 2018, of Stone Bridge over Little River, SW of Adel, GA.
More about Stone Bridge, including more pictures: Stone Bridge, Little River, by Dan Phillips 2016-08-01.

Duration: 2 hours (depending on how far upstream we go)

Shuttle: None, so no crowding together.

Landmark 2: Continue reading

Citizens about Nestle at SRWMD 2019-12-10

Update 2021-02-09: Back to Live Oak and online: SRWMD Nestle Special Meeting 2021-02-23.

Update 2020-03-09: Nestlé pulled from the agenda.

See in these videos 32 people speak to the SRWMD board, against Nestlé’s Ginnie Springs permit, and not a single one for, after a rally outside, in December 2019. Plus 384,000 signatures delivered by Allison Guy of SumofUs.

That permit is on the agenda for tomorrow morning, 9AM, Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at SRWMD HQ in Live Oak.

SRWMD staff recommend denial, but they did back in 2003 when the Madison Blue Spring permit was originally granted, and the SRWMD Board approved it anyway.

So come speak your mind. Come early: SRWMD is expecting so many people they’re setting up expansion space inside, and their parking will fill up quickly. Facebook event.


[No to Nestle!]
No to Nestle!

The Suwannee River Water Management District Board may never have heard from a mermaid before. Many other speakers were new to this venue, such as 14-year-old Isaac Augspurg.

Others were old hands, such as Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) president Mike Roth, past president Pam Smith, Historian Jim Tatum, and of course Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson.

Several WWALS members spoke, including several of the above, and Chris Mericle, Garth Brewster, and Maxine Connor.


      Valdosta spill; No Nestle permit --Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman
Valdosta spill; No Nestle permit –Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman

The only speaker to cause an audible gasp from the audience was me, when I revealed that Valdosta had spilled again, 7.5 million gallons of raw sewage, upstream from Madison Blue Spring. Much more about that on the WWALS website.

I hand-delivered to SRWMD board and staff copies of the WWALS letter against Nestlé permits.

Below are links to each WWALS video of each speaker, followed by Continue reading

Old US 129 Bridge, Suwannee River 2019-09-18

A favorite bridge, on Old US 129 across the Suwannee River:

[River Bend and Bridge]
River Bend and Bridge

Seen from US 128, looking upstream on the Suwannee River. North (to the left) is Jasper, Hamilton County, Florida. South (to the right) is Live Oak, Suwannee County. Continue reading