Tag Archives: WWALS Watershed Coalition

Pictures: David’s Disappointment Spring, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-04

Thanks, Suzy Sparkman Hall, for the name: David’s Disappointment Spring, which we saw paddling from Florida Campsites to Allen Ramp, Withlacoochee River, 2022-06-04.

[Human for scale, David's Disappointment, 13:15:04, 30.4747627, -83.2433016]
Human for scale, David’s Disappointment, 13:15:04, 30.4747627, -83.2433016

And thanks to Suzy for why: Guy Bryant, A Cave Diving History of Little Known Springs, December 3, 2015, David’s Disappointment Spring,

David’s Disappointment Spring is named after David Nolan who was the first person to explore its small cave. The spring is located Continue reading

Pictures: Florida Campsites to Allen Ramp, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-04

Update 2022-08-08: Pictures: David’s Disappointment Spring, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-04.

That was not far, but took a while, because there was a slough, spring, or sandbar every mile or so, Florida Campsites to Allen Ramp, Withlacoochee River 2022-06-04. Thanks to Robert Weldon for leading this one.

[Banners, River, Springs]
Banners, River, Springs

I think that was seven springs, including first magnitude Madison Blue Spring, and one distributary: Sullivan Slough. Didn’t get a good picture of Pot Spring; can’t really see it from the river, and too many people up there to climb up. I had the WWALS GOPRO360 going, so you’ll see those 360-degree views soon. Meanwhile, here are some ordinary pictures. See also facebook photosets by: Continue reading

Plus pet waiver: WWALS Event Sign In and Waiver 2022-06-28

Sometimes paddlers bring dogs. To be sure the WWALS insurance covers such pets, we have added a dog waiver form.

[WWALS Pet Sign In and Waiver]
WWALS Pet Sign In and Waiver
PDF

I attest that my dog can swim, or will wear an approppriate sized animal personal flotation device. My dog is up to date on vaccinations. My dog will be on a leash at all times when not on the water (either on my boat or swimming). My dog is not known to have bitten any person or other animal and has not been deemed a dangerous dog.

Quite a few people pay the $10 non-member outing fee in cash at outings, and others pay at outings to become WWALS members, so there’s a Paid Today column on the Event Sign In and Waiver. Continue reading

Pictures: Chainsaw Cleanup, Sugar Creek to Troupville, Withlacoochee River 2022-07-30

Everything went exactly as planned for Chainsaw Cleanup Returns, Withlacoochee River, Valdosta, if the plans included two trucks getting stuck, several chainsaws getting stuck, and the whole thing taking more like ten hours than three, with no lunch.

[Banners, Chainsaws, Trash, River]
Banners, Chainsaws, Trash, River

But we cleared a bunch of deadfalls, collected many bags of trash, and recorded where the remaining deadfalls and trash are for later expeditions. That makes this stretch much more paddlable between Sugar Creek and Troupville on the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

Thanks to the three new chainsawers, Shawn O’Connor and Grant and Art Herring, and regulars Bobby McKenzie and Russell Allen McBride. And thanks to the Good Samaritan who gave me a ride to my truck so I could use my logging chain to pull Bobby’s truck out at the take-out. Plus thanks to the two different vehicles that were used to pull my truck out at the put-in.

Note for next time: if you add a four-mile river paddle with a slow boat to chainsawing many deadfalls and the same people picking up many bags of trash, it takes longer.

There are many more Continue reading

Training: Water Quality Testing, 2022-09-10

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.

[Map and table, Georgia AAS]
Map and table, Georgia AAS

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/

Sign up: https://forms.gle/37DawiGAJYoyqtPKA Continue reading

Rivers probably OK water quality 2022-08-04

Chances are the rivers are OK today for this weekend.

The test results we have for Thursday from WWALS and for Wednesday from Valdosta are all good. No new sewage spills have been reported in Georgia or Florida in the Suwannee River Basin.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide

However, there was more than an inch of rain on the west side of Brooks County, Georgia, yesterday. We don’t know whether that washed any cattle manure down Okapilco Creek into the Withlacoochee River. That rain fell in the afternoon, after testing times, and our downstream WWALS testers are off this week anyway. More rain is predicted every day for a week. Continue reading

Paused, not stopped: Northern Turnpike Extension toll road 2022-08-05

Two more versions of what’s happening to the toll road project: “paused” until they come up with options to “address concerns” or “include” concerns.

[FDOT PR, NTE Project Update, Study Area]
FDOT PR, NTE Project Update, Study Area

There is nothing about satisfying community concerns. There is a statement that they will “continue to refine and develop viable corridor concepts for this area”. They’re going to write a report despite this “pause”, and sooner or later they will plow ahead. Nevermind no need for any of those alternative routes has ever been established. Watch for that Report so you can comment No Build.

This pause is just a feint because of all the community objections thus far. Don’t let this pause cool your objections. More toll roads means more clearcutting and runoff, more pollution from that runoff, more development and more water withdrawals, lower levels in the Floridan Aquifer, rivers, and springs. And all that traffic is aimed up US 19 across the Suwannee River to Madison County. Water is more important than profit for developers and toll road builders.

FDOT and NTE say they will Continue reading

Draft GA-EPD Hazardous Waste permit to add Post-Closure Care Plan (PCCP) for Perma-Fix 2022-09-08

A draft permit is open for comment until September 8, 2022, on a modification to the GA-EPD Hazardous Waste Permit for the closed Perma-Fix site in Valdosta.

[Notice and Draft Permit]
Notice and Draft Permit

Notice

According to the notice, HW-085-D-ExcaliburRealtyValdosta.pdf “The modified permit, if approved, will incorporate the Post-Closure Care Plan (PCCP) and update the Permit content to reflect changes made by the Director to the groundwater protection standards (GWPS) applicable to the facility.” Continue reading

Florida scraps proposed toll road routes for I-75 and others 2022-08-03

Update 2022-08-05: Paused, not stopped: Northern Turnpike Extension toll road 2022-08-05.

It’s good news, but watch out: “Instead, FDOT will look at making improvements along Interstate 75 and possibly other corridors to relieve traffic congestion.”

[No four routes]
No four routes

Nobody has ever demonstrated any need for such a toll road, or for these I-75 “and possibly other” road expansions. The M-CORES committee deliberated for a long time and reported no need. The succeeding plan for four potential routes from Wildwood to US 19 did not dispute that lack of need, but plowed ahead anyway. FDOT said the legislature said (in SB 100) that the Northern Turnpike Extension was “in the strategic interest,” yet the new process would determine a need. It did not.

Instead, Continue reading

Rachel Hillman, Gossipping of Butterfiles, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Rachel Hillman came from Tallahassee, Florida, to sing Gossipping of Butterflies last year.

Rachel Hillman, Gossipping of Butterflies, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2021, video by J.J. Rolle

Today’s the last day to send in your song for this year’s Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest:
https://forms.gle/A2tpW1c7HJK3Tjuf7 Continue reading