Tag Archives: Our Santa Fe River

Pictures: Santa Fe River and springs, Waterkeepers Florida –Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson 2024-02-08

Update 2024-02-17: Many more Pictures: Waterkeepers Florida, Santa River and springs 2024-02-08.

The fifteen Waterkeepers of Florida gathered on the Santa Fe River Thursday to see springs, parks, and submerged aquatic vegetation.

Well, eleven of them. And we also saw a wood stork, an anhinga, a hawk, buzzards, and many turtles.

[Banners, Springs, Santa Fe River, Waterkeepers Florida 2024-02-08]
Banners, Springs, Santa Fe River, Waterkeepers Florida 2024-02-08

No manatees, though, despite the best efforts of expert guide Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson of the outfitter Rum138 and Our Santa Fe River (OSFR).

We were going to put in at Rum Island, but that county park was closed, it turns out to install the ostentatious swimming barrier you see pictured. So we put in at Merrillee’s house; thanks Merrillee.

We paddled into Gilchrist Blue Spring, Ginnie Springs, and many others.

Many more pictures later; these are some Merrillee sent.

As you can tell by the banner picture I took, WWALS and Suwannee Riverkeeper organized this outing.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Continue reading

PFAS in the Santa Fe River Basin in Florida

Some people are interested in whether PFAS from titanium dioxide (TiO2) mines or other sources is getting into the New or Santa Fe Rivers in Florida.

For example, the new Chemours Trail Ridge South Mine southeast of Starke, Florida, appears to drain into Double Run Creek, which runs into the Santa Fe River.

[PFAS in Santa Fe River from TiO2 Mines?]
PFAS in Santa Fe River from TiO2 Mines?
Detail from WWALS map of the Suwannee River Water Trail.

We don’t know about those rivers yet, because nobody has tested them. We do have a few datapoints for a few city drinking water systems, and they’re all clean, although Newberry, just outside the Basin, is not.

No doubt it is possible to find that data in FDEP’s Oculus Document Management System, in the same way it is possible to win a jackpot in Las Vegas. If you already know about six very specific parameters, sure, Oculus will find it. Continue reading

Exploring the Santa Fe River: Origins –Joanne Tremblay 2023-11-03

Joanne Tremblay says, “I was inspired to create a visual of the river’s path so folks could get a better understanding of its changes it goes through before it becomes the spring-laden stretch that most are familiar with. All my own footage, paddles are a composite from my own at different times.”

[Cover]
Cover

My favorite is this slide, “I will not repeat this journey”, about Worthington to Bible Camp Road: “Seven miles through tangled woods”. Continue reading

Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2023-09-22

Hahira, GA, September 25, 2023 — Hahira, Georgia, September 25, 2023 — Ten musicians wrote songs and seven sang them, about the delights of the waters of the Suwannee River Basin and the need to preserve them against numerous threats. Jane Fallon came all the way from Dunedin, Florida, to the Turner Arts Center in Valdosta, Georgia, to sing a story about legendary Sun Daughters reflecting on a proposed mine near the Okefenokee Swamp, the headwaters of the Suwannee River. The three judges marked her high on storytelling and presenting the value of the waters, on originality of lyrics and music, and on performance, with extra credit for naming waterways. She took home First Prize in the Sixth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

[Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper; Cindy Bear and Franc Robert, Best Folk; Jane Fallon, First Prize; Bacon James, Best from Outside; Kyle Bird Chamberlain and David Rodock, tie for Best from Inside; Chamberlain, Best Blues; Rodock, Best AmeriKinda; Keven Stephenson, Best Country --Chuck Roberts]
Suwannee Riverkeeper with the Winners: Cindy Bear and Franc Robert, Best Folk; Jane Fallon, First Prize; Bacon James, Best from Outside; Kyle Bird Chamberlain and David Rodock, tie for Best from Inside; Chamberlain, Best Blues; Rodock, Best AmeriKinda; Kevin Stephenson, Best Country; and Robert Thatcher (not pictured). Photo: Chuck Roberts

Jane Fallon said, “Thank you for the honor in recognizing my song ‘Chant For The Okefenokee’ in your contest. It is always a special feeling to sing a song for an audience that truly understands its meaning. Thank you also for the work you do in trying to preserve the waterways. It is so important.”

Here is the first half of her lyrics: Continue reading

WWALS AAS water quality testing training @ SRSP 2023-08-25

“It was a good group, and it went well,” said WWALS Executive Director and Water Quality Testing Trainer Gretchen Quarterman.

[WWALS Water Quality Training at Suwannee River State Park 2023-08-25]
WWALS Water Quality Training at Suwannee River State Park 2023-08-25

This training was in Florida at Suwannee River State Park on the Suwannee River.

WWALS trains by Georgia Adopt-A-Stream methods. These are not as pricey as the Florida standard of sending every sample to a lab to test.

We are aware that to be legally actionable in Florida, the Florida method must be used. However, with the AAS methods, WWALS can test more places and more frequently, to detect more problems, and to follow contamination as it flows downstream. Plus we can follow up by sending samples to a lab.

Thanks to all the trainees. And thanks to Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) for taking an interest.

Looking forward to all of you starting testing. Continue reading

The Mermaid says sign the petition, Rights to Clean Water for Florida 2023-03-26

The mermaid likes it.

Florida registered voters, please sign the petition to get a state constitutional amendment for Rights to Clean and Healthy Waters on the ballot:
https://www.floridarighttocleanwater.org

[The Mermaid says sign the RTCW petition]
The Mermaid says sign the RTCW petition

This picture of Mermaid Danielle Shmalberg with the RTCW petition and Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman was taken at the 2023 OSFR Songwriting Contest, part of RiverFest by Our Santa Fe River.

WWALS has shamelessly copied that idea for years. Join us Friday evening, September 22, 2023, for the sixth annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest as part of the first-ever WWALS gala fundraising dinner, WWALS River Revue:
https://www.betterunite.com/WWALS-wwalsriverrevue2023/ Continue reading

HPS II withdraws phosphate mining application from Bradford County, Florida 2023-01-19

After many years of massive opposition, HPS II Thursday withdrew its application for a phosphate mine “without the County taking any formal action on it.”

[Letter, Map]
Letter, Map

Union County, where HPS II also wanted to mine, rejected its application there, changed the Union County Comprehensive Plan to limit mining, and, with the assistance of Alachua County, maintained legal defense against the mine, until HPS II dropped its lawsuit last June.

So it seems safe to finally say the HPS II phosphate mine is dead.

Congratulations to all the opponents, especially Bradford Environmental Forum, Citizens Against Phosphate Mining, Sierra Club, and Our Santa Fe River (OSFR).

Suwannee Riverkeeper has opposed this mine since 2017, because it drains ito the New River and the Santa Fe River in the Suwannee River Basin, above the Floridan Aquifer. Update 2023-01-24: Added detail. Our opposition has included attending demonstrations, speaking at County Commission meetings in Union and Bradford Counties, writing letters to those Commissions, organizing Southwings small plane overflights of the mine site with opposition members from Union County and OSFR, publishing photographs from such overflights, attending coordination meetings as far away as Tampa, and attending nationwide meetings against phosphate mining. See https://wwals.net/issues/phosphate-mining/. In December 2018, the first official action of the newly-formed Waterkeepers Florida was a a Resolution Against Phosphate Mines in Florida.

HPS II withdrawing their rezoning application does raise questions about where phosphate miners will aim next. Continue reading

One week left to comment on FERC LNG Rulemaking, deadline 2022-09-20

Update 2022-10-04: WWALS response to FERC on opposition comments of Pivotal LNG about small, inland LNG Rulemaking 2022-10-04.

Here’s how you can comment or intervene on the FERC Rulemaking on small inland LNG export facilities:
https://wwals.net/?p=59062#tocomment

It’s easy to comment or intervene, so you can do it by the deadline of September 20, 2022. Public Citizen and Food and Water Watch have already intervened. We guess they are preparing comments to convince the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to resume the responsibility it abdicated in 2015, of environmental oversight of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) export facilities even when are not located where they can directly load LNG onto ocean-going tanker ships. Instead, those inland facilities send highly compressed and explosive LNG in trucks and train cars down public highways past schools, business, churches, and homes, through counties none of which have adequate emergency plans. And where-ever that gas eventually gets burned, in Europe, Caribbean, or Asia, it adds to the atmosphere more methane, a worse greenhouse gas than CO2, cooking the planet and raising sea levels. You are affected, even if you do not have an LNG export operation near you.

[LNG tanker truck on I-75 turning onto I-10 for Jacksonville, LNG export map by WWALS]
LNG tanker truck on I-75 turning onto I-10 for Jacksonville, LNG export map by WWALS

If you comment or intervene, we will invite you to join us and our co-signers in the series of zoom meetings we’re having with the FERC Office of Public Participation (OPP). You can help find out what OPP is actually doing. At least they’re asking for Continue reading

Add Santa Fe River to Suwannee Riverkeeper territory 2019-07-17

Back in 2019, after one final calibration with Our Santa Fe River, WWALS asked WATERKEEPR® Alliance to add the Santa Fe River Basin to the territory of Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®. They approved that request on September 26, 2019. Since then, Suwannee Riverkeeper territory has included the entire Suwannee River Basin and Estuary.

[Request letter and expanded territory approved 2019-09-26]
Request letter and expanded territory approved 2019-09-26

Apparently we never published this addition, and lately we’ve needed to refer to it. So here is the request that WKA approved. Plus a current map of the entire Basin and Estuary. Continue reading

FERC Requests Comments on Rulemaking for small inland LNG export facilities

Update 2022-10-26: WWALS response to opposition comments by Eagle LNG about small, inland LNG 2022-10-17.

Update 2022-10-04: WWALS response to FERC on opposition comments of Pivotal LNG about small, inland LNG Rulemaking 2022-10-04.

Update 2022-09-19: Comment on FERC LNG Export Rulemaking with Florida Physicians for Social Responsibility 2022-09-20.

Update 2022-09-13: One week left to comment on FERC LNG Rulemaking, deadline 2022-09-20.

Update 2022-08-29: FERC must close regulatory gaps in small-scale inland LNG export facilities –Cecile Scofield 2022-08-11.

Hahira Georgia, July 26, 2022 — At the request of WWALS Watershed Coalition, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has opened a process that could correct its mistakes of eight years ago when it disclaimed oversight of dangerous compressed methane export facilities as long as they did not load directly onto ocean-going ships. Those decisions produced environmental, safety, and economic problems. The request provides FERC with an opportunity to “revisit” and “revise” those old decisions, as FERC Chair Richard Glick has recommended.

LNG tanker truck, Southbound I-75, 2018-03-26; Photo John S. Quarterman
LNG tanker truck, Southbound I-75, 2018-03-26; Photo John S. Quarterman

Anyone can comment and organizations can intervene on this new FERC docket for potential Rulemaking on Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) export. The deadline is September 20, 2022. That’s Docket RM22-21 on ferc.gov. Detailed instructions are below.

Please also contact your state and national elected officials and ask them to ask FERC to resume its oversight.

The Introduction of the Petition lays out the problem we want to get solved: Continue reading