Tag Archives: Suwannee Riverkeeper

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

$100 Eddyline Sandpiper Kayak Raffle Tickets 2023-09-21

WWALS is raffling off an Eddyline Sandpiper Kayak, slightly used: $100 a ticket, maximum 30 tickets, drawing tomorrow (Friday).

[Eddyline Sandpiper Kayak $100 Raffle Ticket]
Eddyline Sandpiper Kayak $100 Raffle Ticket

New, it lists for $1,749.00.

Includes Kayak, paddle, PFD, lock, and straps.

If the maximum of 30 tickets are sold, the drawing will be live at the Turner Center, during the WWALS River Revue.

Tickets are available on-line until 6PM on Friday September 2023:

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

After that time, tickets will only be available during the WWALS River Revue.


This is in addition to the other kayak raffle of a Vibe Sea Ghost 130, for which tickets are $10 and the drawing will be November 27, 2023.

 -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/

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

The Lowndes County Commission unanimously denied the inappropriate 2.5-acre rezoning proposed on minimum 5-acre and predominantly agriculture, forestry, and conservation Quarterman Road, after five local residents spoke against and nobody for.

[Collage, Quarterman Road rezoning denied by Lowndes County Commission 2023-09-12]
Collage, Quarterman Road rezoning denied by Lowndes County Commission 2023-09-12

Thanks to all who signed the petition against that rexoning, who called or wrote County Commissioners, who spoke in the Planning Commission or County Commission meetings, and thanks to the County Commisisoners for denying the rezoning.

Among the five who spoke at the County Commission were Gretchen Quarterman (who also took the videos for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE)) and Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman (details on both are below). He made sure the Commissioners had a copy of the WWALS letter that had mysteriously been left out of the board packet; thanks to WWALS President Sara Jay Jones for signing that letter.

This denial comes after two previous denials, both also in an Agriculture/Forestry/Conservation Character Area, both also provoking many petition signatures and speakers in opposition, including WWALS.

Maybe developers will get the picture that development is not appropriate in such a Character Area, especially when wetlands and waterways are affected.

County Planner

It is interesting the extent to which a development mindset can color a presentation by a County Planner. I was just going to mention one example of that, but as I listened to the LAKE video of his presentation, I kept noticing more examples. Continue reading

No water quality test results this week; Adel sewage spill two weeks ago 2023-09-14

We have no WWALS test results for this week, because there has been no rain, we’re very short-handed, and other tasks took up the time.

If you want to get trained to be a WWALS water quality tester, please fill out the form:
https://wwals.net/?p=47084

The most recent Valdosta results we have are for last Friday upstream (very bad) and the Friday before that downstream (not bad).

Adel, Georgia, reported two small sewage spills that happened during Hurricane Idalia (see below). Any effect of those on the Withlacoochee River is long gone by now. Those were the only sewage spills reported in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia or Florida

So we have no data to back it up, but the rivers should be clean by now. I’d still avoid the Withlacoochee River upstream from the Little River Confluence, but other than that, the rivers are probably OK.

Happy boating, fishing, and swimming this weekend!

[Adel Spills in GA-EPD Sewer Spills Report, and on WLRWT Map]
Adel Spills in GA-EPD Sewer Spills Report, and on WLRWT Map

And by this Monday, get your tickets for the WWALS River Revue, to be held 6-10 PM, Friday, September 22, 2023, at the Turner Arts Center, Valdosta, Georgia:
https://www.betterunite.com/WWALS-wwalsriverrevue2023/ Continue reading

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

2023-09-25: Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2023-09-22.

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/

Draft 2023 North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP) workshop 2023-09-21

Update 2023-09-14: Now with Agenda.

Return of the massive 2017 North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP) that did nothing to stop lowering water levels or nitrates leaching into springs and rivers.

DATE AND TIME: Thursday, September 21, 2023, Posterboard Session starts at 5:45 p.m. and the Webinar Presentation starts at 6:30 p.m.

Where: SRWMD, 9225 CR 49, Live Oak, FL 32060

Or by webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2570768570283041622

[Potential evaporation map 2019-08-01 with joint SRWMD SJRWMD NFRWSP approval meeting 2017-01-17]
Potential evaporation map 2019-08-01 with joint SRWMD SJRWMD NFRWSP approval meeting 2017-01-17

As I wrote SRWMD and SJRWMD this January, “I have some issues with another level. I noticed repeated assertions in the public meeting that demand or projected demand are just taken as givens. So basically anybody who wants to build a golf course, or start another titanium mine, or plant almond trees that need lots of water, that’s just a given, that’s demand.”

I continue to agree with Dennis J. Price, P.G., of Hamilton County, Florida (now a WWALS Board member), Continue reading

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

Update 2023-09-15: Last call for tickets for WWALS River Revue, on Talk 92.1 FM 2023-09-18.

Join us on The Spotlight Show on talk921.com at 6 PM, Thursday, September 14, 2023.

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman and “Diamond” Jim Halter will talk about the WWALS River Revue sit-down fundraising dinner, with cash bar, silent auction, and new songs in 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 only online in advance, by Monday, September 18th:
https://www.betterunite.com/WWALS-wwalsriverrevue2023/

[The Spotlight Show, WWALS River Revue]
The Spotlight Show, WWALS River Revue

On the radio, we will talk about some of what WWALS does that this fundraiser supports, including water trails, paddle outings including bats on Banks Lake, and cleanups, including chainsaw cleanups. Continue reading

Langdale Park to Sugar Creek Chainsaw Cleanup, Withlacoochee River, 2023-10-14

Come help us remove some deadfalls that are impeding canoe and kayak paddling. There are probably also new ones after Hurricane Idalia.

Bring a chainsaw if you really know how to use it. Or a handsaw, or sawzall.

But you do not have to use any kind of saw to join us.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9:30 AM, end 1 PM, Saturday, October 14, 2023

Put In: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602.

GPS: 30.88747, -83.32395

[A deadfall 2021-05-15]
A deadfall 2021-05-15

Continue reading

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