Last Friday Interior Secretary Deb Haaland toured to Okefenokee Swamp, along with Georgia U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff.
I was there Continue reading
This is primitive, wilderness camping and paddling at its best.
To come on this outing be sure that you are comfortable paddling your loaded boat for 9 miles against a moderate current with only 1 stopping point to get out for a break. Minnie’s Lake platform is the 4 mile lunch stop, then 5 more miles to Floyd’s Island.
Yes, there will be alligators in the heart of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.Continue reading
Clergy, scientists, local governments, and elected officials have spoken out for protecting the Okefenokee swamp from risky mining proposals. And now a poll of Georgia voters shows that they are in good company.
A clear majority (69 percent) of Georgians said that Georgia’s Governor should take “immediate action” to protect the Okefenokee swamp from risky mining proposals. “Across the state, from congregations in downtown Atlanta to the mountains to the coast, Georgians understand what’s at risk with proposals to mine near the Okefenokee,” said Codi Norred, Executive Director of GIPL. Last year GIPL released a letter signed by over 100 clergy asking local and federal leaders to protect the Okefenokee. “We have a spiritual imperative to protect this special place.”Continue reading
In case anybody has not heard this bad news: the Army Corps has reverted to its abdication of oversight of the proposed mine sight, throwing the permitting hot potato back to GA-EPD.
Further bad news in Twin Pines’ own press release is that former EPD director Harold Reheis is now advising Twin Pines.
Please continue to ask Georgia officals to stop this strip mine far too close to the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Marys Rivers.
And there’s an election going on. Ask each candidate their position on protecting the Okefenokee Swamp, and vote accordingly.
GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DIVISION
Twin Pine Minerals, LLCContinue reading
Second Permitting Update
Update 2022-09-13: Bad GA 133 and US 84, Withlacoochee River 2022-09-12.
By all the recent water quality test results we have, all is clear for boating, swimming, and fishing on the Withlacoochee and other rivers this weekend.
The Tifton 2,000 gallon spill Sunday is very unlikely to affect anywhere anyone is testing on the rivers.
But by all our experience with heavy rains such as fell far upstream Thursday and are falling today, contamination is likely to wash into the Withlacoochee River: most likely cattle or hog manure.
The WWALS upstream Thursday samples by Elizabeth Brunner on GA 122 were all clean at Folsom Bridge on the Little River, Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, and Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River.
The WWALS downstream Thursday samples on the Withlacoochee River by Jacob and Michael Bachrach at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps were also clean.
And the Valdosta upstream results for Wednesday were also pretty clean, at US 41, GA 133, and US 84 on the Withlacoochee River. The most recent downstream results Valdosta has publlshed are for Monday a week ago. WWALS already tested downstream twice since then. Continue reading
Update 2022-09-09: Clean river water quality tests, but heavy rains 2022-09-08.
Tifton spilled 2,000 gallons of sewage due to a power failure Sunday, as revealed by Wednesday’s GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report.
Maybe Tifton should do what Valdosta has done: buy a generator for each lift station.
We’ve seen spills before at Tifton’s Golden Road Lift Station, so it’s already in our WWALS map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail. This location is so far upstream of anywhere water quality is tested, and the spill was so small, that it is very unlikely it will be detected in water quality samples. Continue reading
Update 2022-09-09: Tifton sewage spill, Little River 2022-09-04.
All WWALS water quality results for Thursday came in below the one-time test limit of 410 cfu/100 mL. There has been rain, but not as much as it usually takes to wash significant contamination into the rivers. More rain is predicted for the next week, but no more than what we’ve seen this week.
Ashburn got around to reporting two sewage spills this week, but those are both old and on Hat Creek, far upstream from the top of the Alapaha River Water Trail, so probably they did not have much effect on that river.
Starke reported a sewage spill from two manholes, but it was small and not near a waterbody, so it probably had no effect on the Santa Fe River.
So by what we know today, happy swimming, boating, and fishing this weekend. Conditions could change rapidly, of course.
Thanks to Continue reading
Update 2022-09-06: Pictures: State Line to Turner Bridge, Suwannee River 2022-03-06.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division wants evidence of intentional full-immersion swimming to redesignate river segments from Fishing to Recreational for tighter pollution limits. OK, here are some movies. Plus grandmas in a tree.
Here is a WWALS video playlist.
Intentional swimming, Suwannee River, Echols County, GA 2022-03-05
Videos by John S. Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.
For more swimming, see the still pictures from the same stretch of the river.
For context, see the WWALS map of the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. While the SRWT formally runs from White Springs, Florida, to the Gulf, WWALS maps the entire Suwannee River.
For more WWALS outings, see:
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
Update 2022-09-01: Videos: Intentional swimming, Suwannee River, Echols County, GA, 2022-03-05.
Swimming, tree climbing, lunching, and paddling on the first day of a Suwannee River camping trip.
Thanks to Shirley Kokidko for organizing, and to the landowners for permission to camp. Continue reading
You can learn how to help test water quality in the Suwannee River Basin.
WWALS testing trainer Gretchen Quarterman will do the classroom portion of the course by zoom, followed by hands-on practical training at a waterway with physical distancing. This is both Chemical and Bacterial training by Georgia Adopt-A-Stream (AAS) methods.
Yes, we can and do use this in Florida as well as Georgia.
We currently have testers on the Little, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Ichetucknee, and Santa Fe Rivers.
We need more of those, and also for the Alapahoochee and Suwannee Rivers, as well as Cat Creek, Beatty Branch, Sugar Creek, and especially Okapilco Creek and Crooked Creek, plus others.
For more, see: https://wwals.net/testing/