“If you see it, it’ll break your heart. In a deadfall it all gathers,” Valdosta Mayor Scott James said to me on his radio show about trash in Sugar Creek, just above the Withlacoochee River, where it washes downstream into Florida and the Suwannee River, onwards to the Gulf. We discussed how the problem has been documented by the City of Valdosta since 2010, and some inexpensive solutions.
We recommend more trash traps to catch this stuff before it gets into ponds or rivers.
Pick from a pair of floating Georgia Rivers Alive cleanups for Earth Day, and bring your boat!
Gretchen Quarterman will lead a floating cleanup on Joree Millpond in Valdosta, Georgia, starting at 913 Millpond Road (PDF flyer for Joree Millpond). You can return whenever you want to, but we expect this boating cleanup to last about two hours. If you have a jon boat and are willing to take a volunteer onto the pond to remove litter, please contact either Gretchen Quarterman (229-834-1945) or Austin Fiveash (229-563-6262). You can also participate in your kayak or canoe. Volunteers will remove litter from along the edge of the pond and from near the spillway. The City of Valdosta is providing a large trash receptacle at the site, thanks to Valdosta Stormwater Manager Angela Bray.
Bobby McKenzie will lead a paddle cleanup from Sugar Creek behind the Salty Snapper off of Gornto Road, down the Withlacoochee River, and a short hop up the Little River to Troupville Boat Ramp. That’s less than 4 river miles, and even with stops for trash collection should take less than three hours. We will leave the bagged trash at that destination, where Lowndes County Public Works will pick it up Monday.
When: Gather 9 AM, launch 9:30 AM, end 12:30 PM, Saturday, April 17, 2021
Millpond put in:
913 Millpond Road, Valdosta, GA, Take Country Club Drive to Mill Pond Road. Turn right and 913 is last house on left before right-only exit onto Jerry Jones Road.
Drop your boat at the water, then park near the street.
Millpond GPS: 30.867375, -83.309558
River paddle put in:
The Salty Snapper parking lot, 1405 Gornto Road, Valdosta, GA.
Go to the back of the parking lot to drop off your boat at Sugar Creek.
Sugar Creek GPS: 30.861785, -83.318793
River Paddle Take Out:
Troupville Boat Ramp,
9664 Valdosta Hwy, Valdosta, GA 31602.
Go west on St. Augustine Road across I-75 (exit 18) and cross the Withlacoochee River.
At the light for Val Tech Road, turn left, which takes you down to the boat ramp.
Troupville Boat Ramp GPS: 30.851842, -83.346536.
Safety: All volunteers must sign a WWALS liability release, which makes WWALS insurance cover them, and must wear a life jacket at all times while in boats.
Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat, paddles, snaks, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags, and good boots.
Free: This outing is free to everyone, because it is a cleanup.
We recommend you support the work of WWALS by
becoming a WWALS member today!
Turns out the City of Valdosta already has a trash trap on one creek. It’s next to Baytree Road, upstream from Lake Sheri, on what I’m calling Sheri Run. The creek ends up in the Withlacoochee River, just upstream from the I-75 bridge. But, because of the trash trap, most of the trash does not reach Lake Sheri or the river, because it gets caught after it comes down from Valdosta Mall and all the restaurants and stores on St. Augustine Road.Continue reading