Tag Archives: Suwannee River

Last call for tickets for WWALS River Revue, on Talk 92.1 FM 2023-09-18

At 8AM, Monday morning, September 18, 2023, I’ll be on talk921.com to say that Monday is the last day to get tickets for the WWALS River Revue:
https://www.betterunite.com/WWALS-wwalsriverrevue2023/

[Michael Smith, Talk921.com, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, WWALS River Revue]
Michael Smith, Talk921.com, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, WWALS River Revue

The WWALS River Revue will be 6-10 PM, Friday, September 22, 2023, at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, 527 N Patterson Street, Valdosta, GA 31601.

There will be a catered meal, with cash bar, plus a silent auction, a 50-50 raffle, and a kayak raffle.

M.C. Chuck Roberts will present three speakers, as well as WWALS board members and others about what WWALS does.

Chuck will also present three judges who will listen to ten finalists in the Sixth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, and pick winners.

On the radio Monday morning we’ll also talk about what WWALS does that the WWALS River Revue supports: water trails, cleanups including chainsaw cleanups, and water quality testing.

The main purpose of WWALS is advocacy, including trying to reduce trash, sewage, PFAS, and other contamination in the Suwannee River Basin, and opposing LNG, pipelines, mines, and other threats to our waterways.

Plus we try to change the legal and regulatory playing field, by supporting the Florida petition to get a Right to Clean and Water (RTCW) on the ballot for a state constitutional amendment, and preparing for RTCW in Georgia.

https://wwals.net/issues/right-to-clean-water/

Facebook event for the radio show: https://www.facebook.com/events/3454871811400514/

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can help with clean, swimmable, fishable, drinkable, water in the 10,000-square-mile Suwannee River Basin in Florida and Georgia by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://wwals.net/donations/

Clinch County Resolution against strip mine, for Okefenokee Swamp 2023-09-11

Yesterday, September 11, 2023, the Clinch County Commission unanimously passed a resolution supporting the Okefenokee Swamp and the Suwannee River against the proposed titanium mine, and set aside $50,000 as cash match for a Dark Sky Observatory next to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (ONWR).

[Resolution and Clinch County Commission 2023-09-11]
Resolution and Clinch County Commission 2023-09-11

You can help stop that mine. Ask your city council or county commission to pass a resolution. Here are other things you can do:
https://wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining/

The Clinch County resolution includes:
“7. Request the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to move the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge from a tentative list to become a full UNESCO World Heritage Site, and support a bill by a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress in support of that move.”

As Chairman Henry Moylan remarked, the UNESCO World Heritage List is a big deal, since it goes through the U.N. and includes sites like the Pyramids and the Grand Canyon. Getting ONWR on it should attract more visitors. That list also includes Yellowstone, Yosemite, Great Smoky Mountains, and Everglades National Parks, so it’s a bit puzzling why ONWR is not already on there.

Resolution Against Strip Mine in the Okefenokee Swamp
Resolution Against Strip Mine in the Okefenokee Swamp

Video: https://youtu.be/36S7GqrfdWE

The Dark Sky project involves Continue reading

Suwannee: Wild River on PBS 2023-09-06

This aired a few days ago on PBS: Suwannee: Wild River, in the series AMERICA OUTDOORS WITH BARATUNDE THURSTON, Season 2 Episode 1 | 53m 8s.

The Suwannee is one of the last wild rivers in America, and its watershed creates woods and wetlands, marshes, and cave systems. From its headwaters in the Okefenokee Swamp, Baratunde journeys downstream, meeting colorful denizens of the Suwannee. From jet skiers to herpetologists, manatees to snapping turtles, he learns how this unique environment inspires a whole range of passions.

[Baratunde Thurston in the Okefenokee Swamp and Rev. Antoine Nixon at the Suwannee Canal on PBS 2023-09-06]
Baratunde Thurston in the Okefenokee Swamp and Rev. Antoine Nixon at the Suwannee Canal on PBS 2023-09-06

It’s on YouTube: Continue reading

Radio: water quality, cows, trash, mining too near the Okefenokee Swamp @ WKUB FM 2023-09-07

Update 2023-09-13: About WWALS River Revue on The Spotlight Show, Talk92.1 FM 2023-09-14.

How WWALS water quality testing discovered cow manure was contaminating the Withlacoochee River and got it (mostly) fixed.

About that titanium dioxide strip mine proposed too near the Okefenokee Swamp, plus trash and water trails.

Thanks to Bryan Blount for inviting me on WKUB 105.1 FM, from Pierce County, Georgia.

This is Part 2. See also Part 1 about the WWALS River Revue sit-down fundraising dinner, with three speakers, silent auction, and the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, all 6-10 PM, Friday, September 22, 2023, at the Turner Center for the Arts in Valdosta, Georgia.

Tickets are available online only here:
https://www.betterunite.com/WWALS-wwalsriverrevue2023/

[Suwannee Riverkeeper against a strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp, on WKUB FM 2023-09-07]
Suwannee Riverkeeper against a strip mine too near the Okefenokee Swamp, on WKUB FM 2023-09-07

For more Continue reading

Packet: Agricultural Water Use Monitoring Report and Practical Community Resilience @ SRWMD Board 2023-09-12

There are a couple of interesting items in the SRWMD Board agenda for next week.

[Agricultural Water Use and Practical Community Resilience @ SRWMD 2023-09-12]
Agricultural Water Use and Practical Community Resilience @ SRWMD 2023-09-12

The Agricultural Water Use Monitoring Report says most agricultural water wells 8-inches or larger in diameter are being monitored. But it doesn’t say what the results are. More flow? Less? To be continued, I suppose.

The SRWMD Practical Community Resilience through Enhanced Risk MAP Outreach for the Suwannee River Water Management District is a plan based on federal funding. It has a map showing all the Florida Suwannee River Basin counties are Florida Statute Fiscally Constrained Counties. Maybe it will have some results later.

What: SUWANNEE RIVER WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARD MEETING AND PUBLIC HEARING
The Public Hearing is about millage.
The PDF for that, as well as the board packet, is on the WWALS website.

When: 3 PM, Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Where: District Headquarters, Live Oak, Florida

GoTo Webinar Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1360284333254296661

Public Comment Form Link: www.MySuwanneeRiver.com/Comments

Pictures of the two reports mentioned, plus the agenda, are below. Continue reading

Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Council in Valdosta 2023-09-27

They move around their region, this quarter settling on Valdosta for a meeting.

[Public Notice with Cover, maps, and RCC]
Public Notice with Cover, maps, and RCC

Here is the Public Announcement: Continue reading

About WWALS River Revue on the radio, Talk921.com, 2023-08-31

Update 2023-08-30: Cancelled due to no power at the radio station.

Assuming there is power tomorrow morning after Hurricane Idalia, Chuck Roberts will interview Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman on the radio about sewage, trash, water quality testing, outings, and the WWALS River Revue.

When: 7:30 AM, Thursday, August 31, 2023

Put In: Talk921.com, 92.1 FM.

Chuck is also the M.C. for this first WWALS sit-down dinner fundraiser, which will be at the Turner Center for the Arts in Valdosta, 6-10 PM, Friday, September 22, 2023.

The WWALS River Revue will include food, cash bar, three speakers, silent auction, kayak raffle, and ten songwriter finalists in the Sixth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest.

Tickets are available online in advance only:
https://www.betterunite.com/WWALS-wwalsriverrevue2023/

Follow the same link for donating to the silent auction or becoming a sponsor.

[Chuck Roberts, Talk 92.1 FM, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, WWALS River Revue]
Chuck Roberts, Talk 92.1 FM, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, WWALS River Revue

Continue reading

Hurricane Idalia landing in Florida, more Georgia counties on Hurricane Watch 2023-08-30

Cedar Key is getting high winds from Hurricane Idalia, and Steinhatchee’s weather camera is offline, while the National Weather Service has added more Georgia counties to its Hurricane Watch; all Florida Suwannee River Basin Counties were already in Hurricane Watch.

If you’re in Florida, hunker down. If you’re in Georgia, you may have time for some last-minute preparations. Either way, most schools and businesses are closed today in the Hurricane Watch counties, so there’s not much need to go out in the rain and wind.

Also, don’t buy water in plastic bottles. Fill pots, jugs, buckets, and bathtubs with tap or well water.

Watch your local county or city Emergency Management Agency. Have your power utility outage number handy.

Dear central and south Florida urban sophisticates: we know you’re used to this. In the rural Suwannee River Basin a Category 3 hurricane is unusual, especially one making landfall where it is, and likely to stay a hurricane so far inland.

Also, many of us remember Hurricane Michael, which only five years ago devastated the Florida Big Bend and trashed Albany, Georgia, on a path only a bit farther west than Hurricane Idalia. So this is not a joke to those of us who live here.

Better safe than sorry.

[Hurricane Watch in more Georgia Counties, High winds at Cedar Key, Hurricane Idalia, 2023-08-30 06:00]
Hurricane Watch in more Georgia Counties, High winds at Cedar Key, Hurricane Idalia, 2023-08-30 06:00

Since our last post, NWS JAX has added to the Hurricane Watch Suwannee River Basin Georgia counties Thomas, Cook, Berrien, Atkinson, and Coffee, along with more counties northeastward, Jeff Davis, Bacon, Pierce, Brantley, Apppling, Appling, Wayne, Tatnall, Long, Evans, and along the coast McIntosh, Liberty, Bryan, and Chatham Counties. All the Florida Suwannee River Basin Counties were already on Hurricane Watch.

All the nearby Georgia and Florida counties are on Tropical Storm Warning, as far west as Albany in Dougherty County. Continue reading

Georgia declares State of Emergency for Hurricane Idalia 2023-08-29

Update 2023-08-30: Hurricane Idalia landing in Florida, more Georgia counties on Hurricane Watch 2023-08-30.

The Georgia governor has declared a State of Emergency about Hurricane Idalia for the entire state.

[Georgia State of Emergency, Hurricane Watch Counties 2023-08-29 14:27]
Georgia State of Emergency, Hurricane Watch Counties 2023-08-29 14:27

Like the earlier Florida State of Emergency, this Georgia one mobilizes numerous state agencies and enables cooperation with relevant federal agencies.

The Executive Order does not name any counties, but the press release names almost all the Suwannee River Basin Counties on the GA-FL line (Brooks, Lowndes, Echols, Clinch, Ware, and Charlton), plus Lanier, but not Thomas. Continue reading

Hurricane Idalia heading for Suwannee River Basin 2023-08-29

Update 2023-08-29: Georgia declares State of Emergency for Hurricane Idalia 2023-08-29.

Hurricane Idalia is now Category 1 and is headed a bit farther west, taking it straight up the Suwannee River Basin.

[Hurricane Idalia probable path cone and collapsed road]
Hurricane Idalia probable path cone and collapsed road

Cat 1 means sustained winds of at least 74 mph, up to 95 mph. Inland it will probably rapidly degrade to a Tropical Storm. That still means 39-73 mph winds.

Before landfall, Hurricane Idalia may strengthen to cat 2 (96-110 mph with extensive damage) or cat 3 (111-129 mph with devastating damage).

I’m going out and securing anything that might turn into a projectile, even though I’m about a hundred miles from the Gulf Coast.

For those who are tired of being warned: this is a hurricane. It’s much better to be prepared than sorry.

I drove up from Gainesville yesterday, and there were already rain gusts strong enough to buffet my car and to cause everyone on I-75 to slow to 45 MPH. When the wind gets up to 50 MPH, you don’t want to be driving, even if you don’t run into flooding or bridges out. At 74 MPH, you want to be inside something solid. Continue reading