Tag Archives: Suwannee River

Video: Turner Bridge to FL 6, Suwannee River 2021-12-16

Here’s a video of the mid-December 2021 Ken Sulak Suwannee River paddle, the part from Turner Bridge to Cypress Creek South Launch at FL 6.

FL 6 bridge, Suwannee River 2021-12-16

The images are ten seconds apart. You can see Mike Byerly’s canoe parked over one of the Lally columns of Turner Bridge in the river. You can see Ken Sulak drop a magnet to confirm that it is metal. Continue reading

No Build: FDOT toll road heading north towards the Suwannee Basin 2022-01-13

Floridians, please go to the Florida Department of Transportation’s Northern Turnpike Extension web page and tell FDOT we don’t need any more toll roads. Here’s where you can say No Build:
https://floridasturnpike.com/turnpike-projects/featured-projects/northern-turnpike-extension/

Doesn’t matter that No Build isn’t listed as an option. Tell them anyway.

[Routes with No Build sign]
Routes with No Build sign

Please also ask your state legislative delegation to stop this boondogle.

This new push for an unnecessary toll road is ignoring previous county and city resolutions against it. So ask them to pass another one, or a new one if they didn’t before. Here’s a draft resulution by the No Roads to Ruin coalition (Suwannee Riverkeeper is a member of NRTR).

Dunnellon already passed a resolution on Monday, December 21, 2021. Continue reading

Supreme Court ruling on underground water could affect proposed titanium strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp

Here’s yet another reason you can cite when you ask the Georgia Enviromental Protection Division (GA-EPD) to stop the mining proposal by Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) to strip mine near the Okefenokee Swamp, above the Floridan Aquifer.

David Pendered, Saporta Report, January 3, 2022 5:13 pm, Okefenokee Swamp mining proposal could be affected by Supreme Court ruling,

The proposal to mine sand near the Okefenokee Swamp could be affected by a groundbreaking ruling on water rights issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.

[Figure 8. Drawdown 2930 days]
Figure 8. Drawdown 2930 days

For the first time, justices have determined the same laws that apply to water flowing above ground apply to water in multi-state underground aquifers.

“This court has never before held that an interstate aquifer is subject to equitable apportionment,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a unanimous opinion issued Nov. 22, 2021. This doctrine “aims to produce a fair allocation of a shared water resource between two or more States,” according to the ruling.

The ruling sets a legal foundation to manage future disputes over the usage of interstate groundwater. This issue is expected to arise more frequently as drought and climate change poise to alter the United States’ traditional water supplies and challenge agreements among governments to share water.

This ruling could be brought into play at the proposed mine near the Okefenokee, in part because of the amount of water to be extracted for mining operations from the four-state Floridan Aquifer. For that to happen, a party that has standing to file a lawsuit would have to do so on behalf of one or more of the four states that are above the Floridan Aquifer — Florida, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Two of these states have previously litigated Georgia’s use of water from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers. The Supreme Court ruled against Florida’s claim in April.

Continue reading

Turner Bridge mysteries –Ken Sulak 2021-12-16

Update 2022-01-15: Video: Turner Bridge to FL 6, Suwannee River 2021-12-16.

Here is a column about Lally columns, by Dr. Ken Sulak, USGS, Retired, now researching bridge and history in the Suwannee River Basin.

Some of you may have ideas, comments, speculations on the several enigmas presented by the gone—but not forgotten by me—old Turner Bridge that spanned the upper Suwannee River from ~1900-1951.

[Lally columns, 13:52:06, 30.5246480, -82.7277260]
Lally columns, left (east) bank, Suwannee River, Columbia County, Florida, 3:52:06, 30.5246480, -82.7277260. Photo: John S. Quarterman, 2021-12-16.

Important in its time, seemingly never photographed???, but long forgotten except by a few folks in their 90s-100s. If you know any such North Florida old timers that have stories to tell, memories of any of the old ferries and bridge, and maybe old bridge photos—let me know. Having been on the trail of all the historical fords, ferries, bridges and trestles over the Suwannee River & it major tributaries, 1820-1960, I am now up to 164 individually owned or operated crossings at 64 distinct sites. Many mysteries remain, lots to learn, much has already been lost as the old timers pass along. Got to get the overall story pieced together and written up and documented with photos before I go senile or end my stay on this excellent planet.

Continue reading

Pictures: Roline to FL 6, Suwannee River 2021-12-16

Update 2022-01-05: Turner Bridge mysteries –Ken Sulak 2021-12-16.

Nine of us paddled the Suwannee River from Roline to Cypress Creek South Launch at FL 6, mostly to see the remains of Turner Bridge, at the invitation of Dr. Ken Sulak, USGS, Retired, now researching bridge and history in the Suwannee River Basin. We saw a small gator, some dead top cypress trees, many health ones, and tupelo, pines, and oaks, as well a birds and a few fish. Mike Byerly discovered a small creek below Turner Bridge. Karst outcrops became more frequent the farther downstream we went. There was a shoal with waves for half a mile or so. An enjoyable warm winter day paddle.

[Roline, Gator, Turner Bridge, Byerly Creek]
Roline, Gator, Turner Bridge, Byerly Creek

Ken has written up his findings so far about Turner Bridge. Continue reading

History of Alapaha River Bridges, US 41 to Nobles Ferry –Ken Sulak 2021-12-08

Dr. Ken Sulak, USGS, Retired, sent us some things to look for as we paddle the last stretch of the Alapaha River on February 5, 2022.

[Pictures and Maps, Lower Alapaha River Bridges]
Pictures and Maps, Lower Alapaha River Bridges

For your upcoming [5] Feb Alapaha adventure, some of your folks might be interested in the history of three crossing sites you will encounter. So, here you go very briefly: Continue reading

Riverbank camping, Suwannee River, Fargo to Turner Bridge, 2022-03-05-06

Join us for the first-ever WWALS riverbank camping outing. We’ll paddle from Georgia to Florida, and we’ll probably camp slightly downstream of the GA-FL line so as to pitch our tents and hammocks on state land.

Spaces limited to 14 paddlers. RSVP on meetup to get a space. https://www.meetup.com/Withlacoochee-Alapaha-Suwannee-RIvers-WWALS-Outings/events/282688733

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 10:30 AM, Saturday, March 5, 2022, End 2PM, Sunday, March 6, 2022.

Put In: Fargo Boat Ramp. Half a mile southeast of Fargo on US 441, the boat ramp is on the northeast side of US 441 and on the west (right bank) of the Suwannee River, in Clinch County, Georgia. Downstream there are plenty of turtles, cypress, oaks, pines, some creeks, many white sand beaches, maybe a small shoal if the water is low enough, and and no roads for 23 river miles in Georgia and Florida.

GPS: 30.681833, -82.560167

Take Out: Turner Bridge Ramp. From White Springs, travel north on SE CR 135; cross over SE CR 6 onto NE 180 Boulevard (Woodpecker Route); travel north to NE 38 Trail; turn right and follow road to ramp, in Hamilton County, Florida.

Bring: a tent or hammock and tarp or whatever you want to use for camping, along with 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

[Suwannee River, Shirley Kokidko, 30.621387, -82.660998]
Suwannee River, Shirley Kokidko, 30.6213870, -82.6609980

Continue reading

Resolutions for Okefenokee Swamp, against strip mine –Suwannee Riverkeeper @ SGRC 2021-12-09

Yesterday I asked members of the Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC) to pass resolutions supporting the Okefenokee Swamp and the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers against a proposed titanium strip mine. SGRC’s members include 18 counties, which is almost all the Georgia Suwannee River Basin counties, and 45 municipalities. Some of them have already passed such resolutions: Valdosta, Waycross and Ware County, Homeland, Kingsland, and St. Marys.

[Suwannee Riverkeeper; Okefenokee Swamp, mine site]
Suwannee Riverkeeper; Okefenokee Swamp, mine site

You can ask your local city or county government to pass a similar resolution. The previous resolutions are on the WWALS website.

You can also ask GA-EPD for a moratorium on mining permits, or to deny the permits, or at the very least to examine them very thoroughly and produce the equivalent of the Environmental Impact Statement that the Army Corps should have been working on.
https://wwals.net/?p=55092

You can also use Protect Georgia form to end a message to your Georgia statehouse delegation.

Floridians, this mine site is upstream from Florida, and you can also use these forms.

Thanks to SGRC Council Chair Joyce Evans and Assistant Director Chris Strom for inviting me to come speak to SGRC.

See also Continue reading

More water questions from GA-EPD about TPM strip mine too near Okefenokee Swamp 2021-12-07

Since September, GA-EPD has twice more asked the miners for more information on their permit applications to strip mine for titanium dioxide too near the Okefenokee Swamp. We have more questions beyond those. You can ask GA-EPD questions, and to deny the mining permit applications.

On October 20, 2021, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) asked more questions about water: retention, disposal, reclamation. The miners’ answer on November 19th apparently was not satisfactory, because on December 7, 2021, GA-EPD asked more water questions.

[TPM Ponds and Another GA-EPD Letter]
TPM Ponds and Another GA-EPD Letter

I’ve got another: how can Twin Pines Minerals (TPM) with a straight face promise “zero discharge of wastewater” and in the next paragraph say “Overflow from the process water primary overflow pond may occur due to heavy rain events.” That’s exactly what happened after Hurricane Irma at three north Florida Chemours mine sites where TPM was processing tailings, resulting in TPM still being under a Florida Consent Order. What if wastewater overflows into the Okefenokee Swamp during a hurricane or other “heavy rain event”? What stops wastewater even in TPM’s proposed retention ponds from seeping down into the Floridan Aquifer, from which we all drink?

And another: TPM still shows piezometers for water monitoring on property it does not own, with a disclaimer that it has no access to. So how will TPM monitor that area, which is downhill towards the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the St. Marys and Suwannee Rivers?

You can ask GA-EPD for a moratorium on mining permits, or to deny the permits, or at the very least to examine them very thoroughly and produce the equivalent of the Environmental Impact Statement that the Army Corps should have been working on.
https://wwals.net/?p=55092

You can also use Protect Georgia form to end a message to your Georgia statehouse delegation.

Floridians, this mine site is upstream from Florida, and you can also use these forms.

All of this GA-EPD correspondence with the miners and the permit applications is Continue reading

Northern Turnpike Extension Kick-Off meetings 2021-12-07

SB 100 didn’t stop one of the M-CORES projects: a toll road up US 19 across the Suwannee River to Jefferson County connecting to Thomasville, Georgia.

Starting tonight are three meetings about the current incarnation, which aims to run from FL 19 at Wildwood through the horse country of Marion County past Dunnellon into Levy County past Chiefland, stopping (for now) just short of the Suwannee River. That’s already a sizeable swath of the springs heartland of Florida.

But don’t expect it to stop there: SB 100 authorized it to go “to a logical and appropriate terminus as determined by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)”

So please attend online or by telephone or in person. Otherwise, they’ll say nobody objected.

[Map and Meetings]
Map and Meetings

Tuesday Dec 7, 2021, 5:30-7:30 pm, FDOT Public Kickoff Meeting Continue reading