Tag Archives: WWALS

Pictures: Dead River Sink 2021-11-07

Thrice rescheduled because of water levels and weather, the Dead River Sink Hike drew a small but attentive crowd to listen to Practicing Geologist Dennis Price and see the Dead River Confluence, the Dead River, and the Dead River Sink, with cypress, tupelo, oaks, pines, and beautyberry along the way, on a warm November day.

[Jennings Bluff Landing, Dead River Confluence, Dead River Sink, Banners]
Jennings Bluff Landing, Dead River Confluence, Dead River Sink, Banners

Jennings Bluff Landing

[Dennis Price on the steps, 13:59:52, 30.5798772, -83.0391141]
Dennis Price on the steps, 13:59:52, 30.5798772, -83.0391141

Click on any small picture for a larger one.

Dennis explains it all.

[A small but engaged audience, 14:46:33, 30.5843159, -83.0454865]
A small but engaged audience, 14:46:33, 30.5843159, -83.0454865

Let’s hike

[Dennis Price observes the path, 14:02:36, 30.5798475, -83.0393338]
Dennis Price observes the path, 14:02:36, 30.5798475, -83.0393338

Alapaha River

[Limestone banks of the Alapaha River, 14:49:39, 30.5846132, -83.0456168]
Limestone banks of the Alapaha River, 14:49:39, 30.5846132, -83.0456168

[Look up, 14:52:50, 30.5846156, -83.0465832]
Look up, 14:52:50, 30.5846156, -83.0465832

[Dottie likes this cypress, 14:58:13, 30.5846535, -83.0475477]
Dottie likes this cypress, 14:58:13, 30.5846535, -83.0475477

Wildlife did not leave this trash.

[Arrow disapproves this trash, 15:06:51, 30.5836245, -83.0507596]
Arrow disapproves this trash, 15:06:51, 30.5836245, -83.0507596

This way to the Confluence.

[Gateposts, 15:07:12, 30.5836397, -83.0508257]
Gateposts, 15:07:12, 30.5836397, -83.0508257

Dead River Confluence

[Dead River Confluence, 15:08:01, 30.5837354, -83.0517246]
Dead River Confluence, 15:08:01, 30.5837354, -83.0517246

[Honeybun likes it, 15:12:08, 30.5836829, -83.0517880]
Honeybun likes it, 15:12:08, 30.5836829, -83.0517880

[Flowing into the woods, 15:12:49, 30.5838238, -83.0527914]
Flowing into the woods, 15:12:49, 30.5838238, -83.0527914

[Narrow path, 15:13:25, 30.5837308, -83.0528334]
Narrow path, 15:13:25, 30.5837308, -83.0528334

[Green reflections, 15:18:57, 30.5837279, -83.0538030]
Green reflections, 15:18:57, 30.5837279, -83.0538030

Dead River Sink

[Our goal in sight, 15:32:13, 30.5820386, -83.0516880]
Our goal in sight, 15:32:13, 30.5820386, -83.0516880

[Gretchen Quarterman, Dead River Sink, 15:33:34, 30.5820036, -83.0516436]
Gretchen Quarterman, Dead River Sink, 15:33:34, 30.5820036, -83.0516436

You can actually drive almost all the way there.

[Trail to road, 15:39:43, 30.5820651, -83.0507780]
Trail to road, 15:39:43, 30.5820651, -83.0507780

This is all of us.

[Banner selfie, 161318, 16:13:18, 30.5797437, -83.0393327]
Banner selfie, 161318, 16:13:18, 30.5797437, -83.0393327

There are more pictures on the WWALS website.

For more WWALS outings, see https://wwals.net/outings/. Members also get a list in the monthly membership newsletter Tannin Times.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Bad upstream Withlacoochee, Little Rivers, Ashburn Spill Alapaha River 2022-01-06

Update 2022-01-14: Bad US 84 Wednesday, good Withlacoochee River Thursday 2022-01-13.

Water quality is not looking good upstream on the Little or Withlacoochee Rivers. But not much sign of contamination downstream Thursday. I’d avoid those rivers upstream for a few days.

Downstream, chances are the E. coli will get diluted before it reaches the state line. But of course we can only go by the test results we have. I would paddle downstream this weekend, but you have to make your own decisions.

[Chart, River, Swim Guide]
Chart, River, Swim Guide

WWALS tester Elizabeth Brunner got too-high results at Folsom Bridge on the Little River and Hagan Bridge on the Withlacoochee River, both on GA 122. There was much rain upstream Sunday at Sylvester and Moultrie, and probably Tifton, so what Elizabeth found may have washed down from far upstream.

Ashburn had a 40,000 gallon sewage spill Monday, which showed up today in the daily GA-EPD Sewage Spills Report. The Ashburn spill went into Hat Creek, which runs into the Alapaha River. Elizabeth’s third GA 122 test site, Lakeland Boat Ramp on the Alapaha River, was OK. This is not unusual: Ashburn is so far upstream we’ve never detected effects of one of its spills downstream.

Valdosta got a bad result at GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River for Monday. That could have been something washing downstream, or it could be the notorious suspected dumper. All three of US 41, GA 133, and US 84 tested OK for Wednesday.

WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach got OK results at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps for Thursday.

And WWALS tester Gus Cleary got OK for Cleary Bluff, downstream of Allen Ramp, for Wednesday. Continue reading

FPL opposes rooftop solar, deploys utility-scale solar 2021-12-20

FPL profits from deploying utilty-scale solar fields, but its executives and shareholders do not profit by home and business solar panels reducing need to generate power and reducing purchases of expensive mid-day electricity. So FPL opposes rooftop solar while bragging about being a world leader in solar energy.

FPL is regulated as a public utility, so you can demand the Florida legislature stop this bad bill. How about some solar financing instead?

[Rooftop vs. utilty-scale solar]
Rooftop vs. utilty-scale solar

Mary Ellen Klas for the Miami Herald and Mario Alejandro Ariza for Floodlight, 20 December 2021, Revealed: the Florida power company pushing legislation to slow rooftop solar; Florida Power & Light delivered bill text to a state lawmaker. Its parent company sent $10,000 to her campaign coffers,

The biggest power company in the US is pushing policy changes that would hamstring rooftop solar power in Florida, delivering legislation for a state lawmaker to introduce, according to records obtained by the Miami Herald and Floodlight.

Continue reading

Video: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest (all of it) 2021-08-21

We livestreamed the Fourth Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest over facebook live and zoom. This is the zoom video, for those who want to see how the whole thing went.

[Musicians, others, and winners]
Musicians, others, and winners

Yep, this is the whole thing, from soundcheck to teardown. In between, headliner Little Perks in Paradise plays, three judges perform as a band, then nine finalists perform for the judges, the judges pick winners, and the First Prize winner, Sweet William Billy Ennis, sings again.

Here’s the video: Continue reading

Valdosta-Lowndes County Comprehensive Parks & Recreation Master Plan 2021-08-31

Years in the making by VLPRA, received in response to a WWALS open records request, this new Parks & Rec. Master Plan adds to the traditional team sports strategy new strategies including “STRATEGY 6: IMPROVE ACCESS AND AMENITIES TO THE COUNTY’S RIVERS,” involving land acquisition and for not just one but for a chain of river camps.

[Collage]
Collage

They incorporated all of WWALS Vision for water quality and access in Lowndes County, Georgia 2021-03-01. Continue reading

Winners: WWALS Boomerang paddle race 2021-10-23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, November 10, 2021 — The 2021 First Prize winner set a new record for the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, from Georgia into Florida and back: Lloyd Reeves of Crescent City, Putnam County, Florida, in the St Johns River watershed. He was also generous, handing back the prize money.

[Collage]
Collage

All seventeen paddlers had a good time on a cool, sunny, fall morning. The Withlacoochee River water levels were just right, so everybody floated right over the one shoal. Two college paddlers from Valdosta State University CORE were sponsored by Dry Pocket Apparel and Packaging Corporation of America (PCA). WWALS thanks those and other sponsors, the other paddlers, and the silent auction bidders, for a successful fundraiser.

Of the nine female and eight male paddlers, 12 were from Georgia, and 5 from Florida. Tallahassee’s Leon County, Florida, had almost as many paddlers (4) as local Lowndes County, Georgia (6), and Tallahassee had as many as Valdosta (4 each). The farthest paddler came from DeKalb County, GA, on the other side of Atlanta.

Lloyd Reeves drove 167 miles to win the six-mile course (3 down and 3 back) in 58 minutes and 43 seconds with his accurately-labeled fastkayak.com.

That beats the previous record of 1:16:42, made last year by Jackson Buttery of Tallahassee. Continue reading

Report chemical constituents for forensic PFAS source identification –WWALS to U.S. EPA 2021-09-27

We requested much more labeling of chemical constituents of PFAS “forever chemicals”, to enable tracking PFAS contamination to its sources, when U.S. EPA held a public comment period about a PFAS rule.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution brought this problem to our attention back in 2018, due to PFAS contamination from all three Air Force bases in Georgia, plus it turns out the Florida Fire College in Ocala. There are probably many more sources, including biosolids dried out from human wastes and used as fertilizer.

[Map, Letter]
Map, Letter

WWALS letter to EPA

See also the PDF.

The WWALS letter references a St. Johns Riverkeeper letter, co-signed by Waterkeepers Florida (including Suwannee Riverkeeper). PDF. Continue reading

Don’t close Folsom Bridge Landing, Little River, Wells Road –WWALS to Lowndes County, GA 2021-10-12

Update 2021-10-13: Videos: Wells Road remains open, Folsom Bridge Landing on the Little River 2021-10-12.

October 12, 2021

To: Chairman Bill Slaughter
Commissioner Joyce Evans
Commissioner Scottie Orenstein
Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker
Commissioner Demarcus Marshall
Commissioner Clay Griner

Cc: Chad McLeod, Director of Engineering Services
Belinda C. Lovern, County Clerk

Re: Please don’t close Folsom Bridge Landing on the Little River at Wells Road

[Wells Road closed, Folsom Bridge Landing, Mary Turner Lynching Site memorial]
Wells Road closed, Folsom Bridge Landing, Mary Turner Lynching Site memorial

Dear Chairman, Commissioners, and Director,

Related to your agenda for this evening:

6.a. Abandonment of a portion of Salem Church Road (CR #68) and Wells Road (CR # 68 & CR #69)

According to the description and map in the board packet, the intent is to close Wells Road completely. That would also close access to Folsom Bridge Landing, which turns off of Wells Road. That is one of only two public access points on the Little River in Lowndes County. Please do not close it. Continue reading

Pictures: Family fun cleanup, Sugar Creek, Onemile Branch, Little and Withlacoochee Rivers 2021-10-09

Saturday’s River and Creek Cleanup went well. Here are pictures from Troupville Boat Ramp up from Land Between the Rivers on the Little and Withlacoochee Rivers, from Sugar Creek at the Salty Snapper, and from Drexel Park on Onemile Branch.

[Troupville, Sugar Creek, Chairman and Mayor doing work, Drexel Park]
Troupville, Sugar Creek, Chairman and Mayor doing work, Drexel Park

Thanks to recent cleanups by Valdosta Stormwater, Sugar Creek wasn’t bad, but we found plenty of trash between the Salty Snapper parking lot and the creek, and Scotti and Sara hauled up from the woods a tire with rim and a satellite dish.

Thanks to Stafford, the owner of the parking lot on St. Augustine Road at Hightower Creek, keeping it much cleaner, there should be less trash coming down Sugar Creek.

Thanks to weeksly cleanups by Lowndes County Litter Control, Troupville Boat Ramp itself was pretty clean, but there was no shortage of trash to pick up downstream at Land Between the Rivers. Thanks to landowner Helen Tapp for getting her hunting lease to hold off for the day.

You don’t see this very often: Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter and Valdosta Mayor Scott James doing actual work together.

Later, they told everyone they were working together to purchase Helen’s land to add to the existing park to form a bigger nature park with a Troupville River Camp. Continue reading

Clean rivers again 2021-10-07

2021-10-15: Good Little, Withlacoochee Rivers, bad Alapaha River 2021-10-14.

Another clean week on the Little, Alapaha, and Withlacoochee Rivers, according to all the water quality test results we have. So happy swimming, boating, and fishing!

There was some rain today, which could wash some contamination into the rivers. But it wasn’t nearly as much rain as before previous contamination events.

[Chart, Little, Alapaha, Withlacoochee Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Little, Alapaha, Withlacoochee Rivers, Swim Guide

And the water levels are coming down to where they should be just right for WWALS Boomerang paddle race, coming up in two weeks at State Line Boat Ramp. Continue reading