Tag Archives: Okapilco Creek

Vote for Songs! Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, July 25, 2021 — “Help us pick finalists from nine songs!” said Laura D’Alisera, who won First Prize the first year, and ever since has been on the organizing Committee.

You can vote here, until 5PM, Thursday, July 29, 2021:
https://forms.gle/JKJFdLghQa8P3n4NA

[Vote for Songs!]

“It’s plain old ranked-choice voting,” said Committee Member and Contest Judge Josh Duncan. “Rank the songs in order starting with 1 (you liked it most).”

“This online voting is new this year,” said Songwriting Contest Committee Chair Tom H. Johnson Jr. “Audio of each song is on YouTube, with no video, just a picture.”

There’s a facebook event to encourage people to vote: https://www.facebook.com/events/2850064571913032

”The Committee will take the online results into account when selecting finalists,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Here’s what the Rules say about that:” Continue reading

Deadline Extended to July 14, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2021

Update 2021-07-15: 2021 deadline extended again! and Scott Perkins singing Hoochie Coochie for the Withlacoochee, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, July 8, 2021 — “I got in on the extended deadline, and won the contest!” said Laura D’Alisera, who won First Prize the first year.

Here is the entry form:
https://forms.gle/tWrqas7qPWDKgpqF6

“Laura liked it so much she joined the organizing Committee,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman.

[Flyer]
Flyer
PDF

First prize is $300 plus one day of recording studio time, in the Fourth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest. Plus $50 for best song from inside the Suwannee River Basin, and $50 for best song from outside. And plaques to best in each musical genre. Youth songwriters, we’ll add a prize for you if you send in your songs.

“Now you’ve got until Bastille Day to send in your song!” said Songwriting Contest Committee Chair Tom H. Johnson Jr.

Finalists (well, maybe not youth) get Continue reading

Deadline Today! Song submissions due July 7, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2021

Update 2021-07-08: Deadline Extended to July 14, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, July 7, 2021 — “Tired of tropical storms? Stay in, finish your song, and send it in by midnight!” said Laura D’Alisera, who won First Prize the first year. “Laura liked it so much she joined the organizing Committee,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman.

Here is the entry form:
https://forms.gle/tWrqas7qPWDKgpqF6

[Entry Form + Alapahoochee Instagram]
Instagram image by Committee members Angela and Josh Duncan.

First prize is $300 plus one day of recording studio time, in the Fourth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest. Plus $50 for best song from inside the Suwannee River Basin, and $50 for best song from outside. And plaques to best in each musical genre. Youth songwriters, we’ll add a prize for you if you send in your songs.

Finalists (well, maybe not youth) get a free drink and food.

Submissions can be songs about any river, stream, spring, sink, swamp, lake, or pond in the Suwannee River Basin or Estuary (except not the Santa Fe Basin; that has its own contest). Or about the Floridan Aquifer or other groundwater, so long as it’s tied to the Suwannee River Basin.

This year we will have online voting on the songs submitted, which the Committee will take into account when selecting finalists.

Finalists will play at the Contest, 7-10 PM, Saturday, August 21, 2021, and judges will judge at the Turner Center Art Park, 527 N. Patterson St., Valdosta, GA 31601. There will be food and a cash bar, as you watch and listen, and you can browse the artworks at the Turner Center. There will also be a kayak raffle and a silent auction, as well as a range of buttons, stickers, hats, notecards, signs, shirts, and posters for sale (this is a fundraiser for WWALS Watershed Coalition).

Much more about the Contest is here, including song submission form, contest Rules, and, soon, tickets:
wwals.net/pictures/2021-08-21–songwriting/

Georgia Beer Company is back as our top tier sponsor. We have more sponsors, and we can use more!

About WWALS: Continue reading

Bad Upstream, Withlacoochee River 2021-07-02

Update 2021-07-06: Tropical Storm Elsa headed up Suwannee River Basin 2021-07-06

Valdosta has published its upstream results for Friday, which showed very bad water quality at US 41, GA 133, and US 84 on the Withlacoochee River.

[Chart, Map]
Chart, Map

There’s been even more rain since then, and more is coming straight at the Suwannee River Basin with Tropical Storm Elsa. Continue reading

Deadline: Song submissions due July 7! Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2021

Songwriters, it’s time to send in your song! This Wednesday, July 7, is the deadline.

Here is the entry form:
https://forms.gle/tWrqas7qPWDKgpqF6

[Songwriting Contest Instagram Alapahoochee]
Instagram image by Angela and Josh Duncan.

First prize is $300 plus one day of recording studio time, in the Fourth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest. Plus $50 for best song from inside the Suwannee River Basin, and $50 for best song from outside. And plaques to best in each musical genre. Youth songwriters, we’ll add a prize for you if you send in your songs.

Submissions can be songs about any river, stream, spring, sink, swamp, lake, or pond in the Suwannee River Basin or Estuary (except not the Santa Fe Basin; that has its own contest).

This year we will have online voting on the songs submitted, which the Committee will take into account when selecting finalists.

Finalists will play at the Contest, 7-10 PM, Saturday, August 21, 2021, and judges will judge at the Turner Center Art Park, 527 N. Patterson St., Valdosta, GA 31601. There will be food and a cash bar, as you watch and listen, and you can browse the artworks at the Turner Center. There will also be a kayak raffle and a silent auction, as well as a range of buttons, stickers, hats, notecards, signs, shirts, and posters for sale (this is a fundraiser for WWALS Watershed Coalition).

Much more about the Contest is here, including song submission form, contest Rules, and, soon, tickets:
wwals.net/pictures/2021-08-21–songwriting/

Georgia Beer Company is back as our top tier sponsor. We have more sponsors, and we can use more!

About WWALS: Continue reading

Upgrade Suwannee River Basin rivers to Recreational –WWALS to GA-EPD 2021-06-30

There are a couple of new things in what I sent on the deadline day, yesterday. (PDF)

  1. Funds are now available to buy the private land at the Little River Confluence with the Withlacoochee River, which was the main impediment to plans for the Troupville River Camp and Troupville River Park.
  2. Stakeholders in the One Valdosta-Lowndes initiative met and decided their number one community and economic development priority is: Troupville River Camp.

For what this is all about, see Calling for pictures of swimming, diving, rapids, tubing, water skiing, or surfing, Suwannee River Basin, Georgia.

[Rivers, Letter]
Rivers, Letter


June 30, 2021

To: EPD.Comments@dnr.ga.gov
Elizabeth Booth, Environmental Protection Division
Watershed Protection Branch,
Watershed Planning & Monitoring Program,
Suite 1152 East, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr., Atlanta, GA 30334

Re: Georgia Triennial Review of Water Quality Standards

Dear Ms. Booth,

Once again I would like to commend you and all the GA-EPD staff for your diligence in this Triennial Review process. I thank you for your consideration of the request by WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) to upgrade GA EPD’s designated use of the Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Suwannee Rivers, as well as Grand Bay WMA, Banks Lake NWR, and the Okefenokee NWR, from Fishing to Recreational, to set higher water quality standards for these bodies of water.

In the interests of saving you and me time, I will try to merely summarize the arguments I have already made, while adding some material you may not have previously seen.

Year-Round

As you know WWALS would prefer that redesignation applied uniformly, year-round. As you mentioned in the recent EPD zoom meeting on this subject, perhaps one reason Florida has all its rivers as Recreational by default is its climate. South Georgia, like north Florida (and unlike north Georgia) has a subtropical climate in which we are not surprised by 80-degree weather in January. People swim, dive, fish, and boat on our rivers year-round. Some people even prefer to be on and in the water in the winter because there are fewer insects. I have recently been reminded that local churches also use them for immersion baptisms, which can happen in any season of the year.

Recreational Data Spreadsheet

Per request of EPD, please find attached a Recreational Data Spreadsheet, which is also online here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1g9gLcNnbRx4H9djZAlKd1ZaB7zrlmDbz/view?usp=sharing

In that spreadsheet are examples of swimming and diving locations, including almost every boat ramp or landing, plus selected sandbars, beaches, and springs. Also included are a few examples of rapids. None of them are Class III, but at least two are Class II+, and as Gwyneth Moody pointed out on the recent zoom, people frequently capsize in those.

Included for every location in that spreadsheet is a link to further information, mostly to one of our three river trails (“blue trails”):

Continue reading

Cattle and hogs: Withlacoochee River water quality status 2021-06-27

Update 2021-06-28: Filthy GA-FL Line, Withlacoochee River 2021-06-26.

Most Withlacoochee River contamination comes from cattle manure runoff, according to extensive testing. Yet there is the myth that every problem with the Withlacoochee River comes from Valdosta sewage. Actually, Valdosta has not had a spill that got into the river in more than a year and a half.

Other cities do have sewage spills (especially Quitman), which do cause problems. But when the rivers have E. coli after big rains, it usually comes from cattle manure runoff.

Most of the time our rivers are clean, and here’s how we know that.

[Map: Quitman, Valdosta, Okapilco Creek, Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee-River]
Map: Quitman, Valdosta, Okapilco Creek, Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee-River in the WWALS map of all public landings in the Suwannee River Basin.

These questions from a year ago still reflect many we get to this day: Continue reading

Filthy at Knights Ferry, Withlacoochee River 2021-06-24

Update 2021-06-27: Cattle and hogs: Withlacoochee River water quality status 2021-06-27.

Going by WWALS water quality testing results for Thursday, it’s best to stay off the Withlacoochee River, and maybe the Alapaha River, for a few more days.

[Bad Knights Ferry and Willacoochee Landing]
Bad Knights Ferry and Willacoochee Landing

Very unusual: too-high E. coli on the Alapaha River, at Willacoochee Landing on GA 135 in Atkinson County, Georgia. Thanks to WWALS tester Valerie Folsom. There was a lot of rain upstream in the previous few days, which make me wonder about the city of Alapaha’s wastewater treatment plant.

Unfortunately expected: way-high E. coli on the Withlacoochee River, at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, downstream of Okapilco Creek, with many thousand cattle in Brooks County, Georgia. Thanks to WWALS tester Michael Bachrach. Don’t be surprised if Quitman had a spill and gets around to reporting it about a week later.

Somewhat puzzling: downstream on the Withlacoochee results range from acceptable to clean as a whistle at Cleary Bluff, between Allen Ramp and the Suwannee River. Thaks to WWALS tester Gus Cleary. Even with the river high and fast after the recent rains, it takes a little while for the contamination to wash downstream. Three inches of rain fell in Brooks County Thursday, so don’t be surprised if things get dirty downstream.

We have no new data upstream of Knights Ferry, because we had a technical glitch with upstream WWALS tests.

Meanwhile, Valdosta has posted nothing newer than for Monday. They did catch up to last week with the downstream data, which corroborated what we already knew from WWALS tests.

The Tuesday too-high Madison Health result for the state line still has not appeared on the FDEP website. Continue reading

Good upstream, bad down, Withlacoochee River 2021-05-13

Update 2021-05-22: All clear, Withlacoochee River 2021-05-20.

There’s good water quality news upstream for tomorrow’s Withlacoochee River paddle from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek and the Salty Snapper.
https://wwals.net/?p=55532

Yesterday (Thursday) Bobby McKenzie sampled Langdale Park Boat Ramp and GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River, and Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River. His results today for all three were well within the single-sample limit for E. coli.

Eyeballing the Withlacoochee at GA 133, he decided the level was too low for that stretch of the paddle. However, Bobby paddled from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek and up it, and except for a couple of portages as you get to Sugar Creek, there’s plenty of water. Bring mud boots and you can stand up in the river there and drag your boat across. And 10% off lunch for each paddler at the Salty Snapper!

[Results, Plates, River, Swim Guide]
Results, Plates, River, Swim Guide

Also for Thursday, there’s bad news from Knights Ferry Boat Ramp downstream to the state line, and by now that contamination has probably washed farther down the river. WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach got horrendous results at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, and above the single-sample limit at State Line Boat Ramp. Nankin Boat Ramp was barely within that limit. If I were you, I would stay off the Withlacoochee River below US 84 for a few days. Continue reading

Training: Water Quality Testing, All, mostly online, 2021-05-08

Chemical and Bacteriological water testing training for Georgia Adopt-A-Stream standards by our local trainers.

If you’d like to get trained and do testing for WWALS, please fill out this form:
https://forms.gle/DzWvJuXqTQi12N6v7

Yes, training is difficult in this pandemic situation, but Georgia Adopt-A-Stream has worked out methods, mostly online. With last year’s generous grant from Georgia Power WWALS has purchased enough testing kits so that trainees can have one to use during the training.

[Test kit]
Test kit
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman 2021-02-13.

In the form, remember to say where you can test. We need testers pretty much everywhere:

  • In Georgia on the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers, especially upstream in Lanier, Berrien, and Atkinson Counties, on Okapilco and Crooked and Piscola Creeks in Brooks County, on Onemile Branch, Twomile Branch, and Sugar Creek in and near Valdosta, and upstream on the Little River in Brooks, Cook, and Colquitt Counties, including where we already have testers, because everybody needs time off.
  • In Florida on the Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Suwannee, and Santa Fe Rivers, and on creeks that run into them, especially in Madison, Hamilton, Suwannee, and Lafayette Counties.

For the testing story so far, see Current Situation of Water Quality Testing, Suwannee River Basin 2020-08-02.

For much more context and recent testing results, see https://wwals.net/issues/testing/.

We look forward to you getting trained and joining our testing team!

When: 9 AM, Saturday, May 8, 2021

Put In: Mostly online via zoom.

Free: This training is free.

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

Event: facebook, Continue reading