Tag Archives: Russell Allen McBride

Trash boom good; more needed –Suwannee Riverkeeper @ VCC 2022-06-23

Fixing Valdosta’s trash problem would cost far less than a single sewer line. Thanks for starting by putting in one trash boom; thanks especially to Council Andy Gibbs and Mayor Scott James, who have come and helped clean up on Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River.

Now what’s the plan to clean that one out? When will we see the other two or more trash booms? And where’s the plan to get businesses to stop trash upstream at the source?

[Valdosta Mayor and Council, trash boom, Holly Street]
Valdosta Mayor and Council, trash boom, Holly Street

At their meeting last Thursday, I thanked Valdosta Mayor and Council Continue reading

Valdosta Watergoat installed in Sugar Creek 2022-06-21

Two years of politics and less than an hour to install. And a fun summer solstice celebration!

[Delivery, installation, WaterGoat]
Delivery, installation, WaterGoat

Today the WaterGoat the Valdosta Mayor announced a month ago was installed on Sugar Creek, where it should stop trash from getting into the Withlacoochee River.

This first trash boom (a steel cable with floats and a 12-inch mesh below it) is a good start. Continue reading

Videos: Valdosta Mayor announces first trash trap @ VCC 2022-05-19

Update 2022-06-21: Valdosta Watergoat installed in Sugar Creek 2022-06-21.

Update 2022-05-21: QUARTERMAN in VDT: Sewage situation better, trash needs work 2022-05-21.

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman asked for action about trash at the Valdosta City Council meeting yesterday, and two elected officials vied to announce that there was some action already.

[Suwannee Riverkeeper, Andy Gibbs, Mayor James, Richard Hardy]
Suwannee Riverkeeper, Andy Gibbs, Mayor James, Richard Hardy

You can see it for yourself: Continue reading

Need stronger boom on Sugar Creek 2022-04-07

Russell Allen McBride reports from Sugar Creek:

[Boom bent, trash escaped]
Boom bent, trash escaped

Barrier got hammered by two rain events in a row.

Flow in the middle so strong folded and loosened the noodles. Continue reading

Need better trash boom on Sugar Creek 2022-03-31

WWALS has made a good try with home-made trash booms. They don’t work with heavy rains: trash goes under and over, and sometimes they come loose. Trash the boom doesn’t catch washes downstream into the Withlacoochee River, right past where Valdosta and Lowndes County propose to fund building the Troupville River Camp and Nature Park, and on to Florida.

Need stronger trash booms with nets to help fix this public health trash problem. Fortunately, several of those are available at reasonable prices.

Valdosta has spent far more money on fixing its sewage problem, with much progress (and still room for improvement). Buying a few trash traps and cleaning them out would cost less than fixing one sewer line. Stopping the trash upstream at its source in fast foot parking lots would not cost much, either, since Valdosta already has excellent trash ordinances. WWALS is discussing solutions with Valdosta.

[Boom, trash caught, trash not caught]
Boom, trash caught, trash not caught

And maybe some of the obvious sources of this trash would like to be part of the solution: Jackson Hewitt, Chick-fil-A, Zacadoo’s, Polar Pop (Circle K), KFC, Bud Light (Anheuser-Busch), Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Murphy USA, Gator Aid (PepsiCo), and all those water bottle manufacturers, starting with Nestle, oh, I mean BlueTriton. Local companies or franchises can clean up their parking lots, put out trash cans, and keep emptying them. Bigger companies can sponsor trash traps and other solutions.

For a summary of the trash problem, see: https://wwals.net/issues/trash/

Boom replaced 2022-03-20

Thanks to Continue reading

Trash and 12-foot alligator at Valdosta City Council 2022-02-24

Mayor Scott James Matheson said he and Council had been discussing solutions to the trash problem, before last Thursday’s Valdosta City Council meeting. Afterwards he came outside and discussed that a bit more. Stay tuned.

There’s also a new Neighborhood Development and Community Protections Manager, Anetra Riley. Community Protections Manager is what they call Code Enforcement, so that is relevant to the trash problem. Continue reading

Pictures: Banks Lake Full Cold Moon paddle 2021-12-18

The wind was brisk but died down as soon as we started paddling on a warm winter night, to see the sun set and the moon rise over Banks Lake, our mini-Okefenokee just west of Lakeland, Georgia.

[Banners, Sunset, Moonrise]
Banners, Sunset, Moonrise

Russell even saw an osprey nest. Continue reading

Pictures: Langdale Park Withlacoochee River logjam, Sugar Creek, Salty Snapper 2021-05-15

In which the Mayor of Valdosta does work. I lent him my Sawzall and he sawed off a deadfall.

[Boats, Withlacoochee River, Deadfalls, Sugar Creek, Salty Snapper]
Boats, Withlacoochee River, Deadfalls, Sugar Creek, Salty Snapper

Many kinds of boats started out at Langdale Park Boat Ramp. Continue reading

Four miles an hour, Nankin to Sullivan, Withlacoochee River 2021-08-07

Update 2021-08-16: Two Withlacoochee River 360-degree transits by WWALS on Earthviews 2021-08-16.

Rain poured during the shuttle from Nankin Boat Ramp to Sullivan Launch, but the weather relented as we started to paddle, just as expedition leader and weatherman Bobby McKenzie predicted.

22 people paddled in 21 boats, entering Florida three times, past McIntyre Spring, Arnold Springs, the Valdosta Railway Trestle, and Horn Bridge. Only a few took out at State Line Boat Ramp, because they were musicians and they had a gig that same evening.

Almost all continued past PCA and Jumping Gully Creek to Sullivan Launch for a total of 14.22 miles in barely four hours. Subtract half an hour for the lunch stop at State Line Boat Ramp, and that’s 3.5 hours, for 4 miles per hour.

[Valdosta Railway Trestle in the middle]
Valdosta Railway Trestle in the middle

WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman left her boat in the truck until the last minute, because she did not want to paddle in the rain. WWALS President Tom H. Johnson Jr. and Mary Carolyn Pindar drove four hours for this outing, so they were going to paddle anyway, as was I. Continue reading

Pictures: Sugar Creek Beach, Shoals, Limbo Log 2021-07-10

It’s surprisingly lovely, Sugar Creek. It has a great beach, stretches where birds are far louder than traffic, some shoals (thanks to a Valdosta sewer main), and it’s wider in spots than the Alapahoochee River,

It’s a shame it’s always gotten trash and sewage.

Here’s what we’re doing, and how you can help with that and the rest of what needs to be done.

[Beautiful Sugar Creek, but trashed]
Beautiful Sugar Creek, but trashed

Meanwhile, Austin, Texas, is turning its urban Waller Creek into Waterloo Greenway of linked parks and trails down to the Colorado River. Continue reading