Tag Archives: Sabal Trail Pipeline

Rescheduled: Third Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River 2022-02-19

Update 2022-02-15: We’re go for this Saturday, February 19, 2022, for the Third Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle. Saturday is going to be the coolest day of the week, but that’s low 39, high 64, much warmer than last month, and the water temperature at US 84 is currently 51F, much higher than the mid-40s last time. Dress warmly in layers and bring a dry change of clothes in a waterproof bag just in case. And come on down to Troupville Boat Ramp this Saturday!

Valdosta, Georgia, January 26, 2021 — An unusual cold snap is expected this Saturday, too cold for novice paddlers. So we’re rescheduling three weeks later, for Saturday, February 19, 2022. Everything else is the same; only the date has changed.

Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter summed it up, “Safety should be considered above all and hypothermia is a huge issue if someone was to go in the water!”

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman added, “Water temperature was already down to 47 degrees Monday at US 84 on the Withlacoochee River, and air temperatures for this Saturday are predicted to be low of 22 and high of 42. So hypothermia is indeed a risk, however seldom seen in south Georgia. Also not many people would turn out in such cold.”

Valdosta Mayor Scott James said, “So we’re all agreed: Saturday, February 19, 2022. Come as early as 8AM to get on the shuttle!”

[Troupville Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, WWTP clean outfall, Spook Bridge, Takeout]
Troupville Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, WWTP clean outfall, Spook Bridge, Takeout

We hope there will still be plenty of water for this annual eleven-mile river paddle, past the future site of Troupville River Camp and Nature Park, along the west side of the most populous city in the Suwannee River Basin, past Valdosta’s clean outfall of its Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant, with many creeks, oaks, cypresses, pines, fish, turtles, and maybe an alligator, down to Spook Bridge, so scary it has its own movie.

Valdosta Mayor Scott James said, “I am excited to partner once again with WWALS, plus this time with Lowndes County, to show people our fabulous blackwater rivers, Continue reading

Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle: Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River, 2022-01-29

Update 2022-01-26: Rescheduled: Third Annual Mayor and Chairman’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River 2022-02-19.

Join us for a leisurely paddle on the Withlacoochee River past the clean outfall of the Valdosta Withlacoochee Wastewater Plant, which has not spilled in years. See turtles, fish, birds, cypress, pines, oaks, palmetto, and maybe otters. Probably no alligators, although you could be lucky. You will see the signs where the notorious Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline leaked drilling fluid into the river.

Previously called the Mayor’s Paddle, this third annual is the Chairman and Mayor’s Paddle, as in the Chairman of Lowndes County and the Mayor of Valdosta, who are working to purchase land you will see at the Little River Confluence for a future Troupville River Park and Troupville River Camp. The route also runs along Brooks County, and is upstream of Madison and Hamilton Counties, Florida: y’all come.

When: Gather 8 AM, launch 10 AM, end 4 PM, Saturday, January 29, 2022

Put In: Troupville Boat Ramp, 19664 Valdosta Hwy, Valdosta, GA 31602: on GA 133 off I-75 exit 18. Lowndes County. Go west across I-75 on St. Augustine Road (GA 133), turn left at the light for Val Tech Road.

GPS: 30.652536, -83.34586

Take Out: Spook Bridge. Park outside the gate at the corner of Old Quitman Highway and Martin Lane. Do not drive onto the private property; we will have shuttle golf carts and such for the last half mile up from the river. Thanks to The Langdale Company for access for the lunch spot and the takeout below Spook Bridge.

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.

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/outings

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

Event: facebook, meetup

[Troupville Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, WWTP clean outfall, Spook Bridge, Takeout]
Troupville Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, WWTP clean outfall, Spook Bridge, Takeout; Photos: John S. Quarterman on the previous Mayor’s Paddle 2021-03-27

Continue reading

Withlacoochee River flood paddle 2021-02-27

Some of us paddled anyway back in February, after we first rescheduled the Mayor’s Paddle, which is coming up next weekend, Saturday, March 27, 2021. Two months earlier, it was smooth sailing for experienced paddlers. The overhanging branches would have been a problem for novices, and there were very few places to get out if you did capsize.

But the Withlacoochee River should be just right by this Saturday, so come on along!
https://wwals.net/?p=54923

You’ll get to see the Little River Confluence, future site of Troupville River Camp, when it’s not underwater, as well as the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant Outfall (of clean treated water), Millrace Creek and other creeks, as well as three bridges, including our takeout just below Spook Bridge. Thanks to The Langdale Company for access there and at the lunch stop.

WWALS is happy to have Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson as our guest. He will speak before we paddle, as will Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter. We are inviting nearby county and city officials in Georgia and Florida, as well as statehouse and Congress members. Each elected official will get three minutes to speak.

[Left: Smooth paddling, Mayor at WWTP Outfall, Sunny overhanging limbs, Buzzards, Lunch stop with Russell's turtle, Spook Bridge]
Left: Smooth paddling, Mayor at WWTP Outfall, Sunny overhanging limbs, Buzzards, Lunch stop with Russell’s turtle, Spook Bridge

[Need a bigger boat, Mayor?, 09:06:29, 30.8515344, -83.3478232]
Need a bigger boat, Mayor?, 09:06:29, 30.8515344, -83.3478232

I will say a few words about advocacy, especially water quality testing. Expedition leader Bobby McKenzie will give the safety lecture. Then we will paddle!

Click on any small picture to see a larger one. Continue reading

Pictures: Ichetucknee, Santa Fe Rivers 2020-01-20

The manatee swam under my boat; I was sitting still. This was on the Ichetucknee River, just above the Santa Fe River. Shirley Kokidko led us on the Redo: Ichetucknee and Sante Fe River Paddle 2020-01-20.

We’re going again January 2, 2021.

[Manatee under boat, 14:07:12, 29.9327060, -82.8000880]
Manatee under boat, 14:07:12, 29.9327060, -82.8000880

This is just a small selection of pictures. There are more here:
https://wwals.net/pictures/2020-01-20–ichetucknee-santa-fe-pictures

Click on any small picture to see a larger one. Continue reading

Suwannee paddle for Visit Suwannee County + FL 6 & State Line 2020-10-16

The movie extras took a side trip up Sugar Creek on a 1.5 mile paddle down the Suwannee River from Suwannee Springs, after the old 93rd Drive bridge, pursued by the Suwannee County Sheriff, to the Suwannee Canoe Outpost at the Music Park.

[Sheriff, Suwannee Riverkeeper banner, Gretchen]
Sheriff, Suwannee Riverkeeper banner, Gretchen, departing Suwannee Springs beach

Thanks to Charissa Setzer of Visit Suwannee County, Florida for the invitation for paddlers to be videoed for a tourism advertisement.

Thanks to Bret Miller of NWXpeditions and Mylinda Greene for the mini-distanced-shuttle. Thanks to Dawn and Lisa of Madison Outpost Adventures for joining us, along with Steven E. Scott of Luxury Lawns, Gretchen Quarterman, and John S. Quarterman.

NWX and MOA along with VSU CORE are outfitter sponsors of the WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia into Florida and back, coming up next Saturday, October 24, 2020, at State Line Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River.

[Third Annual WWALS Boomerang]
Third Annual WWALS Boomerang

Thanks to Steve of Suwannee Canoe Outpost for the take-out hospitality.

Also thanks to the Sheriff’s deputy for helping carry my boat up at Suwannee Canoe Outpost.

Update 2021-09-23: River levels were 44.43′ on the Suwannee Springs gauge, and 56.53′ on the White Springs gauge, which is within SRWMD’s recommended for boating 51-58′ White Springs gauge level.

See also facebook pictures by

All us paddlers are now officially models, since we each signed a model release.

Suwannee Springs

Click on any small picture to see a larger one. Continue reading

Alapaha River Rise, Suwannee River, and Sabal Trail Pipeline, WWALS Outing 2015-08-15

Update 2015-07-27: Pictures and new pipeline information at this link.

After the Alapaha River sinks into the Florida Aquifer, some of it comes back up at the Alapaha Rise, which actually flows into the Suwannee River, a bit upstream from the Alapaha Confluence. Come with WWALS to the Alapaha Rise, then down the Suwannee River past the Confluences of both the Alapaha and the Withlacoochee Rivers, seeing the proposed site of the Sabal Trail Pipeline on the way.

This is a pretty easy outing, but the Suwannee is deep, so as always bring your personal flotation device. If you need a boat, let us know, and we can find you one.

When:8AM Saturday, August 15th, 2015
What: 8 mile paddle from Gibson Park to Suwannee River State Park, with a side trip upstream first to the Alapaha Rise, then downstream past the Alapaha-Suwannee confluence, the proposed Sabal Trail Pipeline crossing, and ending at the Withlacoochee confluence, taking out at Suwannee River State Park.
Duration: 4 hours, after a 30 minute shuttle.
Directions: Florida Highway 6 in Hamilton County, Florida, west to CR751 South to park just before the river.
Responsible party: Chris Mericle

This event is FREE! All we ask is that you are a current member of WWALS Watershed Coalition. If not, it’s easy to join online today at /donations/. You do not have to be a member to come on this outing. If you like the experience, we recommend that you join to support the efforts of WWALS. Continue reading

Draft Agenda for WWALS March 2014 board meeting

Board meetings are open to the public. Board members are listed on the website.

Draft Agenda
WWALS Board of Directors
7:30 PM Wednesday 12 March 2014
IHOP, Adel, GA
  1. Call to Order, Welcome and Introductions
  2. Speaker, 20 minutes: Charles Stines about his experience on our region’s rivers.
  3. Agenda Review: Additions and Changes
  4. Review and Approval of Minutes
    1. 12 February 2014 Board meeting minutes
  5. Past Meetings and Events
    1. Monthly outing February (fourth Saturday): February 22 – location? Cancelled due to all rivers too high.
  6. Future Meetings and Events Continue reading

Draft Agenda for WWALS March 2014 board meeting

Board meetings are open to the public. Board members are listed on the website.

Draft Agenda
WWALS Board of Directors
7:30 PM Thursday 13 March 2014
IHOP, Adel, GA if speaker, else by teleconference
  1. Call to Order, Welcome and Introductions
  2. Speaker, 20 minutes: Charles Stines about his experience on our region’s rivers.
  3. Agenda Review: Continue reading