Tag Archives: sinkhole

Chervil Drive Distributary, Withlacoochee River 2022-01-13

Another Withlacoochee River distributary to a sinkhole! This one revealed by WWALS member and archaeologist Tom Baird. I’m calling it Chervil Drive Distributary because we don’t know any more traditional or official name for it. It’s downstream from the Chitty Bend East Distributary and on the other side of the river.

[Chervil Distributary, Withlacoochee River, Madison County, FL]
Chervil Distributary, Withlacoochee River, Madison County, FL, in the WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).

Another interesting feature is further down river on the right bank about a mile above Madison Blue Springs. At flood, water pours through a gap in the limestone bank and floods a large channel that goes back to a deep sink. The weight of water in the past broke through the ceiling of a cavern and created a beautiful, clear, good-sized swimming hole. It was evidently a popular swimming and picnic spot in the past. Don’t know the correct name of the feature; my wife and I call it “Thanksgiving Spring”, because we found it while hiking around one Thanksgiving Day. However, it’s not a spring (no water comes from it), but an opening to the water table. Nice and cool on a hot day. J

Continue reading

Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River –Shirley Kokidko 2022-01-07

River scout Shirley Kokidko went to investigate Mystery: Withlacoochee River Distributary 2021-01-01 and came back with these pictures from Friday, January 7, 2022.

Remember: it’s not safe to paddle in there.

[Distributary, Swallet, Sinkhole]
Distributary, Swallet, Sinkhole

Chitty Bend East Distributary

The Withlacoochee River was 57.9′ NAVD88 (11.4′) on the Pinetta gauge. Continue reading

Pictures: Dead River Sink 2021-11-07

Thrice rescheduled because of water levels and weather, the Dead River Sink Hike drew a small but attentive crowd to listen to Practicing Geologist Dennis Price and see the Dead River Confluence, the Dead River, and the Dead River Sink, with cypress, tupelo, oaks, pines, and beautyberry along the way, on a warm November day.

[Jennings Bluff Landing, Dead River Confluence, Dead River Sink, Banners]
Jennings Bluff Landing, Dead River Confluence, Dead River Sink, Banners

Jennings Bluff Landing

[Dennis Price on the steps, 13:59:52, 30.5798772, -83.0391141]
Dennis Price on the steps, 13:59:52, 30.5798772, -83.0391141

Click on any small picture for a larger one.

Dennis explains it all.

[A small but engaged audience, 14:46:33, 30.5843159, -83.0454865]
A small but engaged audience, 14:46:33, 30.5843159, -83.0454865

Let’s hike

[Dennis Price observes the path, 14:02:36, 30.5798475, -83.0393338]
Dennis Price observes the path, 14:02:36, 30.5798475, -83.0393338

Alapaha River

[Limestone banks of the Alapaha River, 14:49:39, 30.5846132, -83.0456168]
Limestone banks of the Alapaha River, 14:49:39, 30.5846132, -83.0456168

[Look up, 14:52:50, 30.5846156, -83.0465832]
Look up, 14:52:50, 30.5846156, -83.0465832

[Dottie likes this cypress, 14:58:13, 30.5846535, -83.0475477]
Dottie likes this cypress, 14:58:13, 30.5846535, -83.0475477

Wildlife did not leave this trash.

[Arrow disapproves this trash, 15:06:51, 30.5836245, -83.0507596]
Arrow disapproves this trash, 15:06:51, 30.5836245, -83.0507596

This way to the Confluence.

[Gateposts, 15:07:12, 30.5836397, -83.0508257]
Gateposts, 15:07:12, 30.5836397, -83.0508257

Dead River Confluence

[Dead River Confluence, 15:08:01, 30.5837354, -83.0517246]
Dead River Confluence, 15:08:01, 30.5837354, -83.0517246

[Honeybun likes it, 15:12:08, 30.5836829, -83.0517880]
Honeybun likes it, 15:12:08, 30.5836829, -83.0517880

[Flowing into the woods, 15:12:49, 30.5838238, -83.0527914]
Flowing into the woods, 15:12:49, 30.5838238, -83.0527914

[Narrow path, 15:13:25, 30.5837308, -83.0528334]
Narrow path, 15:13:25, 30.5837308, -83.0528334

[Green reflections, 15:18:57, 30.5837279, -83.0538030]
Green reflections, 15:18:57, 30.5837279, -83.0538030

Dead River Sink

[Our goal in sight, 15:32:13, 30.5820386, -83.0516880]
Our goal in sight, 15:32:13, 30.5820386, -83.0516880

[Gretchen Quarterman, Dead River Sink, 15:33:34, 30.5820036, -83.0516436]
Gretchen Quarterman, Dead River Sink, 15:33:34, 30.5820036, -83.0516436

You can actually drive almost all the way there.

[Trail to road, 15:39:43, 30.5820651, -83.0507780]
Trail to road, 15:39:43, 30.5820651, -83.0507780

This is all of us.

[Banner selfie, 161318, 16:13:18, 30.5797437, -83.0393327]
Banner selfie, 161318, 16:13:18, 30.5797437, -83.0393327

There are more pictures on the WWALS website.

For more WWALS outings, see https://wwals.net/outings/. Members also get a list in the monthly membership newsletter Tannin Times.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

KUR: M2 Blue cave system, Madison County, Florida

Update 2022-01-10: Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River –Shirley Kokidko 2022-01-07.

What’s underneath the Mystery: Withlacoochee River Distributary 2021-01-01? The M2 Blue cave system in Madison and Hamilton Counties, explored by Karst Underwater Research (KUR).

There’s a “Gully / Swallet” marked on this KUR map of the M2 caves, very close to where the sinkhole at the end of the distributary. Both maps in this post are credited to KUR. Please follow the links for the rest of KUR’s descriptions, pictures, and videos. Continue reading

Mystery: Withlacoochee River Distributary 2021-01-01

Update 2022-01-10: Chitty Bend East Distributary, Withlacoochee River –Shirley Kokidko 2022-01-07.

Update 2021-12-28: KUR: M2 Blue cave system, Madison County, Florida.

Where exactly does Withlacoochee River water run into this creek, about three hundred feet into the woods, and disappear into a sinkhole? Left (east) bank, which is state land, or right (west) bank, which is private land? If it doesn’t have an observation platform, where is the one pictured? Maybe you can help us resolve this mystery.

One thing is clear: do not paddle into this distributary! When the river is high, the current is high, and you will have a hard time gettin back out. There are deadfalls and a sinkhole at the end.

[Platform, Distributary]
Platform, Distributary

Here’s where this mystery started:

“Some 7 miles downriver from CR 150, there is a 10- to 12-foot opening in the high banks on the east side where water comes rushing out of the river. If followed, this stream flows for 75 to 100 yards and then disappears under a high bank. In Florida, whole rivers disappear in this manner, but it is unusual to lose just part of a river.”

That’s from Canoeing & Kayaking Florida, Menasha Ridge Press; 2nd edition (November 11, 2007), by Johnny Molloy, Elizabeth F. Carter et al., Page 122, Georgia State Line to Suwannee River S.P. Hm, I see there’s now a third edition of November 11, 2016.

Helen Crowley says she and Shirley Kokidko and Don Crowley paddled past there on January 1, 2021. She sent this picture as of the distributary. Continue reading

Sulak’s Defeat at Jennings Defeat 2020-08-26

Explorer Dr. Ken Sulak has solved an Alapaha River rapids naming mystery. He recounts:


So in 1797, Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a poem inspired by a dream.

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
   Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

Insert three ‘A” and the dreamscape river becomes the Alapaha, and appropriately so. Yesterday, I embarked on the foolish idea of a solo kayak journey up 3 miles of the Alapaha from Sasser Landing (just below the confluence of the Alapaha and the Alapahoochee rivers) to the site of the 1800s Roebucks Ferry and later Roebucks Bridge.

[Jennings Defeat Rapids, Ogeechee Gum, GS&F RR trestle below CR 150]
Jennings Defeat Rapids, Ogeechee Gum, GS&F RR trestle below CR 150

That crossing brought settlers and other travelers from Jacksonville and Fernandina along the GA/FL border across the Alapaha to Miccotown, the old Seminole Indian town in the triangle of land protected by the two flanking rivers. The road/trail (gone now on both sides) continued west across the Alapahoochee at the site of the early 1900s Beatty Bridge (undoubtedly preceded in the mid-1800s by an undocumented ferry), and on to Hickstown in Madison County and westward. Miccotown became the first county seat of Hamilton County as the settlers suppressed the Seminoles and the old Indian town faded into obscurity in 1839. Continue reading

Sign up for final toll road Task Force meetings 2020-10-19

Please register today to comment with in the last M-CORES Task Force meetings Tuesday (Suncoast Corridor) and Wednesday (Northern Turnpike Corridor). You must register online by 5PM the day before each meeting.
https://floridamcores.com/calendar-of-events/

Previous public comments overwhelmingly oppose these toll roads, but we need still more comments.

[Pie-chart 93-percent-AGAINST 10 14 20-0001]
Pie-chart 93-percent-AGAINST 10 14 20-0001
PDF

Please tell the Task Forces to reject their Final Report, because it established no need, yet left it possible for FDOT to continue preparing to build these toll roads. Ask the Task Force to outright reject the Report and instead to report No Build.

After the Florida Governor cut $1 billion from the budget is no time to be wasting tax dollars on toll roads for which their own Task Forces can find no need. In addition to all the damage these toll roads would do to our rivers, springs, and swamps, without need, these Florida toll roads would be broke from the start, just like Texas SH 130.

Yes, this is yet another deadline after the report comment deadline. But please do also comment to the Task Force.

Suwannee Riverkeeper for WWALS is a signatory of the Join Comment Letter by members of No Roads to Ruin (NRTR), and Suwannee Riverkeeper voted in the unanimous Waterkeepers Florida approval to sign that letter.

NRTR has released a Press Release with analysis showing 93% of public comments so far oppose the toll roads, with only 4% for and 3% unclear. That puts numbers on the massive public opposition that was visible even in the Suncoast Connector Task Force report “summary of the most common comments/themes received from the public”.

[Graph 93-percent-AGAINST 10 14 20-0001]
Graph 93-percent-AGAINST 10 14 20-0001
PDF

Rural Florida needs fast Internet service, but no new roads are needed to do that. For hurricanes, better shelters and rural solar and batteries for power afterwards would cost much less and be much more effective than these toll roads.

Please add your comment to the Task Force saying No Build! Continue reading

The illusion of pipeline invincibility is shattered –WWALS Brief to FERC in Sabal Trail Rehearing

Let’s cut to the chase in the letter we filed with FERC yesterday:

11. Historic new circumstances add up

The sun never set on the British Empire. Until it did.

No one circumstance ended that Empire, but it is easy to point at major events that accelerated its demise, such as the independence of India and the Suez Incident. Its fall started after the illusion of its invincibility was shattered by Gandhi’s campaign of civil disobedience and other events such as World War II.

The illusion of invincibility of the inland colonial empire of pipelines has been shattered by recent court orders about the ACP, DAPL, and others, and especially by the shut down of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the shuttering of the Constitution Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. All of those pipelines were expected to be built, and DAPL actually was built before being ordered to shut down and empty. Now the world knows that pipelines are not inevitable.

All these pipeline projects, like Sabal Trail, were opposed by nonviolent protests and political and legal actions. All those methods of opposition, combined with the sea-change in progress to renewable energy, eventually added up to a new and significantly different world than that in which Sabal Trail was permitted or re-permitted.

The shut down of DAPL and the abandonment of ACP as well as the court rejection of tolling orders make it a new world even since FERC’s June 19, 2020, Order granting a rehearing on Sierra Club’s motion.

FERC should initiate a new [Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement] EIS that should take into account Sabal Trail’s own track record of leaks and sinkholes, as well as leaks and accidents from [Liquid Natural Gas] LNG export and LNG transport in rail cars, the speeding demise of fossil fuels as evidenced by record low LNG export prices and bankruptcies of frackers, the court rejections of DAPL, ACP, and tolling orders and how much of Sabal Trail could never have been built through environmental justice communities without tolling orders, the coronavirus pandemic, and the rapid rise of renewable solar, wind, and battery power as evidenced by FPL and Sabal Trail partners Duke and NextEra, as well as by FERC’s own numbers. All of those new and significant circumstances make pipelines such as Sabal Trail toxic stranded assets, dangerous to the bank accounts of their investors, as well as to the environment, justice, and human health.

Conclusion

For the reasons stated above, WWALS asks FERC to grant Sierra Club’s motion for stay of the Commission’s letter order of April 22, 2020, to halt Sabal Trail Phase II, and to commence a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) taking into account all of the above new and significant circumstances.

[Third-party inspection, recission, stay, SEIS]
Third-party inspection, recission, stay, SEIS

For those who are not familiar with tolling orders, they are basically how, after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gives federal eminent domain to a private pipeline company, FERC lets that pipeline company take land before any payment to the landowner or even any agreement is reached. Without tolling orders, it’s not clear the FERC will ever get another pipeline built.

Here’s a longer explanation. Continue reading

Winner: Within these WWALS Contest #1 2020-04-11

First, remember the fourth Within These WWALS contest is still in progress, and you can answer here by midnight May 2, 2020:
https://forms.gle/SSPeLzniUxgQbqFL9

Meanwhile, the winner of the first contest, which ended April 11, 2020, is….

Deanna Mericle, of Hamilton County, Florida!

WWALS charter board member emeritus Bret Wagenhorst sent her a packet of WWALS photo notecards from that watershed.

Alapaha River and Banks Lake notecards

Each of the pictures on the cover shown above appears on a separate notecard, each with an envelope.

The answers to Within These WWALS #1 are: Continue reading

On Earth Day, FERC approved Sabal Trail Albany, GA, and Dunnellon, FL, compressor stations 2020-04-22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FERC on Earth Day rubberstamped Sabal Trail pipeline compressor stations in Georgia virus hotspot and Florida location that already leaked

Hahira, Georgia, April 23, 2020 — “What better way to say they don’t care, than to do this on Earth Day?” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, “The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) broke out its rubberstamp during a virus pandemic, ignoring its own process, as well as all the comments and our motion against, to approve turning on two compressor stations, including one in Albany, Georgia, which is the Georgia city worst-affected by the virus, and another at a site near Dunnellon, Florida, which already leaked multiple times even before construction started.”

[Project Location Map]
Project Location Map

Methane from fracking is not more important to push through a Sabal Trail pipeline than the health of local people or even Sabal Trail’s own workers.

Compressor Station from FL 200
Photo: WCJB, of Sabal Trail Dunnellon Compressor Station after leak, 2017-08-11.

Quarterman added, “With the price of oil negative and “natural” gas down 40%, it’s time to ask investors if they want to go down with the fossil fuel ship of fools and time to ask politicians if they want this to be their legacy.”

Only four weeks before the FERC approval letter, FERC opened a comment period on a request by Sabal Trail for six more months to finish these same facilities, in which Sabal Trail cited the virus pandemic as a reason. Contradicting its own request, and during that two-week period, Sabal Trail asked FERC to go ahead and approve turning on both compressor stations, which must involve Sabal Trail workers working during pandemic conditions.

FERC did not even mention that WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) had moved to deny, nor any of the numerous other comments against turning on the compressor stations.

For that comment period, FERC required organizations to file again to be Intervenors, and only organizations that were already Intervenors on the process of the underlying FERC docket could do that. The only one to do that was Suwannee Riverkeeper for WWALS (see PDF). WWALS also filed a motion to halt Sabal Trail’s Phase II (which is mostly these two compressor stations), to deny Sabal Trail’s request to turn the compressor stations on, and to invoke penalties for already being two years late (see PDF). WWALS reasons to deny included repeated previous leaks at the Dunnellon Compressor Station of hazardous Mercaptan odorant, as well as leaks of methane at the Hildreth Compressor Station in Suwannee County, Florida, plus sinkholes at the Flint River near the Albany Compressor Station, the virus pandemic, and Sabal Trail gas going to private profit through Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) export, making a mockery of local landowners having to give up easements through federal eminent domain supposedly for the public good of the United States.

WWALS also noted that the only “justification” for Sabal Trail was alleged “market need,” and there was none any more, since oil and gas prices had dropped through the floor. Since then, oil prices actually went negative for the first time in history, and natural gas prices are down more than 40% from only six months ago.

FERC did not address the concerns raised by Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) about leaks, breach of commitment, and endangering commmunities Continue reading