Tag Archives: Sara Jay Jones

Video: Paddles through Time: Historical and Archaeological Sites of the Withlacoochee River of South Georgia and North Florida –Tom Baird, WWALS Webinar 2024-02-15

Tom Baird, archaeologist of Tallahassee, Florida, gave the second WWALS Webinar, this one about the history and archaeology of the Withlacoochee River in Georgia and Florida.

“Tom talked about arrowpoints, fish weirs, spears, atlatls, mounds, missions, wood mills, and ghost towns, as well as current threats to the Withlacoochee River and archaeological opportunities,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman.

[Paddles Through Time by Tom Baird]
Paddles Through Time by Tom Baird

Tom Baird is an education consultant who has previously worked as a high school teacher, community college instructor (oceanography and microbiology), director of a science and environmental center, supervisor of science (K-12) in Pasco Co., FL, Director of Science (PreK-12) in Pinellas Co. FL, Principal of a math/science/technology magnet high school in Pinellas Co., FL, and director of a National Science Foundation program.

Tom was introduced by WWALS President Sara Jay Jones, who received a copy of Tom’s book during the webinar. Continue reading

WWALS River Revue, September 7, 2024

Hahira, Georgia, January 9, 2024 — Save the date for the second annual WWALS River Revue. This indoor sit-down fundraising dinner will be held 5-9 PM, Saturday, September 7, 2024, at the Turner Center for the Arts in Valdosta, Georgia. Tickets are $100 a person. It will include the 7th Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, with 2023’s First Prize winner Jane Fallon as 2024 Headliner. Chuck Roberts returns as Master of Ceremonies.

Follow this link for sponsorship opportunities and more:
https://wwals.net/pictures/songwriting2024/

[IG: WWALS River Revue, September 7, 2024, and Jane Fallon winning First Prize, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2023, as M.C. Chuck Roberts looks on]
WWALS River Revue, September 7, 2024, and Jane Fallon winning First Prize, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2023, as M.C. Chuck Roberts looks on
Jane Fallon Returns as Headliner for WWALS River Revue 2024 and Chuck Roberts Returns as M.C.

WWALS President Sara Jay Jones said, “Get your song ready about the Suwannee or another river, creek, spring, sink, swamp, or pond in the Suwannee River Basin. We will open song submissions in the Spring.”

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman said, “Your ticket or sponsorship helps support everything WWALS does, from water quality tests, paddle outings and swimming & boating lessons, to chainsaw cleanups, and beyond to advocacy to stop trash at its sources, strip mines, and pipelines. We work for water trails, solar power, and Right to Clean Water, with growing engagement for youth and marginalized communities.”

Organizing Committee member Arinda Kennedy said, “Maybe you’d like to join the organizing committee!”

About WWALS: Since June 2012, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity working for a healthy watershed with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable water.

Mission: WWALS advocates for conservation and stewardship of the surface waters and groundwater of the Suwannee River Basin and Estuary, in south Georgia and north Florida, among them the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee River watersheds, through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities.

Our Watershed: The 10,000-square-mile WWALS territory includes the Suwannee River from the Okefenokee Swamp to the Gulf of Mexico, plus the Suwannee River Estuary, and tributaries such as the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers as far north as Cordele in Georgia, as well as parts of the Floridan Aquifer— the primary water source for drinking, agriculture, and industry for millions of Georgia and Florida residents.

Suwannee Riverkeeper: Since December 2016, WWALS is the WATERKEEPER® Alliance Member for the Suwannee River Basin and Estuary as Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®, which is a project and a staff position of WWALS focusing on our advocacy.

Contact: John S. Quarterman
Suwannee Riverkeeper
song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org
850-290-2350

===

Scotti and Sara Jay discovered One Mile Branch fish kill, leading to GA-EPD Consent Order 2023-09-23

Update 2024-02-22: Slight update on this Consent Order in Valdosta Boone Drive and Knob Hill small sewage spills 2024-02-20.

Thanks to Scotti Jay Jones for discovering and photographing a fish kill on One Mile Branch a year ago, and for taking water quality samples. Thanks to Sara Jay Jones for plating those samples. Suwannee Riverkeeper reported all that to GA-EPD.

One year later, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD), levied a Consent Order on the City of Valdosta for that fish kill and various sewage spills.

[IG: Sara and Scotti Jay Jones, the GA-EPD Consent Order, location map, and fish kill]
IG: Sara and Scotti Jay Jones, the GA-EPD Consent Order, location map, and fish kill

Maybe that Consent Order and its requirements for Standard Operating Procedures will help prevent sewage spills from getting into One Mile Branch, Hightower Creek, and Sugar Creek and the Withlacoochee River, as well as into Knights Creek into Mud Swamp Creek, the Alapahoochee River, and the Alapaha River. There have also been many personnel changes in the Valdosta City government, and the current Acting Utilities Director so far seems like a big improvement.

And you can join Scotti and Sara and WWALS at Iche Nippy Dip Day Swim and Paddle, Ichetucknee River, Ichetucknee Headspring, 2024-01-06.

Below are links and snippets for previous WWALS blog posts during that year. Continue reading

Pictures: Brooks County Skillet Fest 2022-10-15

It was a fun time last year at the Brooks County Skillet Festival at the courthouse in Quitman, Georgia.

[Skillet Fest, WWALS Booth, fog on the Little River at Miller Bridga 2022-10-15]
Skillet Fest, WWALS Booth, fog on the Little River at Miller Bridga 2022-10-15

Thanks to Amy and Doug Jackson and Sara Jay Jones and everyone else who helped Gretchen Quarterman at the WWALS booth.

Skillet Fest is back this weekend, Saturday, October 21, 2023. Y’all come! 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

Please keep Quarterman Road in agriculture and forestry –WWALS to Greater Lowndes Planning Commission 2023-08-28

Update 2023-09-17: Videos: Quarterman Road rezoning unanimously denied @ LCC 2023-09-12.

Update 2023-09-09: Packet: Board of Health appointment, two rezonings, 4 water, mosquitoes @ LCC 2023-09-11.

Thanks to the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission (GLPC) for voting 7:1 to recommend denial of a proposed rezoning on Quarterman Road that would have injected 2.5-acre lots into a 5-acre minimum agricultural and forestry area.

[WWALS Letter, maps, speakers 2023-08-28]
WWALS Letter, maps, speakers 2023-08-28

Thanks to all the neighbors and others who helped get that done, with a petition, by speaking in the Public Hearing, and by calling and writing their Commissioners.

GLPC only recommends. The actual decision will be by the Lowndes County Commission at 5:30 PM, Tuesday, September 12, 2023, in Commission Chambers, second floor, 327 North Ashley Street, Valdosta, GA 31601. You can speak in that Public Hearing, as well as call and write your County Commissioners, and sign the petition.

Meanwhile, thanks to WWALS President Sara Jay for sending the letter below to GLPC. Continue reading

Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest returns –Valdosta Today 2023-07-14

Valdosta Today, July 14, 2023, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest returns,

HAHIRA — The Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest returns with Chuck Roberts as M.C. plus WWALS River Revue.

Release:

[Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest returns --Valdosta Today 2023-07-14]
Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest returns –Valdosta Today 2023-07-14
in Pictures: Portage Big Shoals, Paddle Little Shoals, Suwannee River, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 20 May 2023, MC Chuck Roberts, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2023

Chuck Roberts returns as M.C. for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest plus WWALS River Revue.

Master of Ceremonies Chuck Roberts says about himself, “I grew up in Quitman and Valdosta, raised by two loving musical parents to enjoy and appreciate ALL kinds of music, because the arts enrich the mind and nourish the soul. Presbyterian Church Minister of Music for over 30 years. St. James Episcopal Soloist for over 25 years. Sang with Botie Chitty and The Singing Americans for 10 years. Recently sang two solos with Ed Barr Orchestra for Turner Center Arts AMERICAN SOUNDTRACK VOL. IX. I have the sweetest wife in the world, Sheila and three beautiful and talented daughters and two talented sons, and a new Golden Doodle puppy.”

“I’m very pleased to welcome Chuck Roberts back again as M.C.,” said WWALS President Sara Jay Jones.

This first-ever WWALS gala is an indoor fundraising gala, with catered sit-down meal, speakers, silent auction, and kayak raffle. It will be held 6-10 PM, Friday, September 22, 2023, at the Turner Center for the Arts in Valdosta, Georgia.

Follow this link for tickets, sponsorship opportunities, and more:

https://www.betterunite.com/WWALS-wwalsriverrevue2023/ Continue reading

Chuck Roberts returns as M.C. for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest plus WWALS River Revue

Update 2023-07-20: Juneteenth and River Ferries: Speakers in WWALS River Revue 2023-07-20.

Hahira, GA, July 10, 2023 — Chuck Roberts returns as M.C. for the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, and this time for the entire first-ever WWALS River Revue.

[MC Chuck Roberts, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2023]
MC Chuck Roberts, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2023

Master of Ceremonies Chuck Roberts says about himself, “I grew up in Quitman and Valdosta, raised by two loving musical parents to enjoy and appreciate ALL kinds of music, because the arts enrich the mind and nourish the soul. Presbyterian Church Minister of Music for over 30 years. St. James Episcopal Soloist for over 25 years. Sang with Botie Chitty and The Singing Americans for 10 years. Recently sang two solos with Ed Barr Orchestra for Turner Center Arts AMERICAN SOUNDTRACK VOL. IX. I have the sweetest wife in the world, Sheila and three beautiful and talented daughters and two talented sons, and a new Golden Doodle puppy.”

“I’m very pleased to welcome Chuck Roberts back again as M.C.,” said WWALS President Sara Jay Jones.

This first-ever WWALS gala is an indoor fundraising gala, with catered sit-down meal, speakers, silent auction, and kayak raffle. It will be held 6-10 PM, Friday, September 22, 2023, at the Turner Center for the Arts in Valdosta, Georgia.

Follow this link for tickets, sponsorship opportunities, and more:

https://www.betterunite.com/WWALS-wwalsriverrevue2023/ Continue reading

Send in your song for the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2023-09-22

2023-07-11: Chuck Roberts returns as M.C. for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest plus WWALS River Revue.

Submissions are open for the 2023 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

[Songwriting Flyer 2023]
Songwriting Flyer 2023

$300 First Prize, and $50 each for best song sent in from inside the Suwannee River Basin, and from outside.

Plus plaques to each best song per genre.

All finalists get videos posted on YouTube, and a one year WWALS membership.

WWALS President Sara Jay Jones said, “Musicians, song submissions are open! Don’t wait until the deadline to send in your song.”

Here’s the entry form:
https://forms.gle/ZPbfnnLj5ruum5xk6

WWALS Development Director Veronica Oakler said, Continue reading

VLPRA updates name of Troupville Boat Ramp

The Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreational Authority (VLPRA) has updated its web page to have the name agreed on by its board some months back:

Troupville Boat Ramp

Troupville Boat Ramp offers access to the Little River on the border of Lowndes and Brooks Counties and is located near Exit 18 off Interstate 75 at the intersection of St. Augustine and Val Tech Road in Valdosta GA.

Latitude/ Longitude: 30°51’6.63″N 83°20’47.53″W

Aerial of Troupville Boat Ramp
That looks like Georgia Photography Fanatic’s drone work.

This ramp goes by many other names, such as the former VLPRA name of Little River Boat Ramp, which wasn’t very informative, since there are five boat ramps on the Little River. Others include: Continue reading