Suwannee Riverkeeper on Steve Nichols radio 105.9FM WVGA 2018-06-19

Tomorrow morning, 8:30AM, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, I’ll be on the radio with Steve Nichols, 105.9FM, talking about the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest coming up 1-5PM, this Saturday, June 23, 2018 at the Salty Snapper, 1405 Gornto Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602. When Gretchen was on his show last month, he said he wanted to hear more, so tomorrow morning it is.

Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Cedar Key, 2018-06-23, Interview

Plus WWALS advocacy, and upcoming paddle outings: Continue reading

One phosphate mine upstream is more than enough –WWALS to Gilchrist County 2018-06-18

The phosphate mine agenda item he expected for Gilchrist BOCC this afternoon is not there, Mike Roth, President of Our Santa Fe River (OSFR), called to say. So I’m not going. Instead I sent them the letter you see below (see also PDF).

June 18, 2018

I urge you to urge Union and Bradford Counties not to permit that mine., Letter To: Gilchrist Board of County Commissioners
Sharon Langford <sharonlangford@gilchrist.fl.us>,
“D. Ray Harrison” <drayharrisonjr@gilchrist.fl.us>,
Todd Gray <tgray@gilchrist.fl.us>,
Marion Poitevint <mpoitevint@gilchrist.fl.us>,
Kenrick Thomas <kenrickthomas@gilchrist.fl.us>,

Cc: County Administrator Bobby Crosby <bcrosby@gilchrist.fl.us>

Re: Phosphate mines

Dear Chairman, Commissioners, and staff,

While I applaud your decision to discuss opioid litigation at your meeting today, I was a little surprised to find Continue reading

Emmett Carlisle from Gainesville, FL, finalist for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Valdosta, GA

Emmett Carlisle sent in a song from Gainesville, Florida, saying about himself:

I am working on my 8th CD of original songs, many about the History, Environment and Characters of Florida. I play at most of the Festivals including the Florida Folk, Will Mclean, Lake County Folk Festival and others.

Emmett Carlisle, North Florida Folk Network
Emmett Carlisle, North Florida Folk Network

Three judges from Florida and Georgia will choose from finalists from three states to award prizes in the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Saturday, June 23, in Valdosta, Georgia. Each finalist has a good chance to win the first prize of $300. Or the $50 prize for a finalist from within the Basin, or the $50 prize for a finalist from outside, plus there will be a prize for one finalist in each musical genre or style. Gainesville isn’t actually in the Suwannee River Basin, but many of the paddlers on the Suwannee and its tributaries and springs come from there.

We’ve already posted about Continue reading

Judge rules Florida Amendment 1 funds must be used for land acquisition 2018-06-14

Acquiring lands in a springshed is one of the best ways to protect springs and rivers, and a judge just said the Florida legislature can’t divert funds from that purpose of Florida Amendment 1, which was passed by 75% of the people of Florida.

St. Johns Riverkeeper, blog, 14 June 2018, Legal Victory for Conservation Lands,

On June 15, 2018, Florida Circuit Judge Charles Dodson ruled in favor of environmental organizations that the land conservation constitutional amendment overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2014 requires funding to be used for land acquisition, restoration and management, not for other purposes.

Map of county vote ranges on Florida Amendment 1

Earthjustice, Joe Litte of Florida Defenders of the Environment and the plaintiff organizations— Continue reading

Kayak Raffle drawing at WWALS Annual Member Meeting 2018-07-08

Events: facebook, Meetup.

Draft Agenda
WWALS Annual Membership Meeting
2:00 PM Sunday 8 July 2018, followed by the WWALS Quarterly Board Meeting
Wooden Nickel, 3269 Inner Perimeter Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602

Presentation of annual report, election of board members and selection of kayak raffle winner!

Kayak, Raffle
The raffle kayak at Little River Fest, Reed Bingham State Park, April 14, 2018.

WWALS members can vote in this annual meeting, and the public is invited to observe.

Board members are listed in www.wwals.net/board: Continue reading

Two sewage spills from Tifton, GA

Tifton spilled twice into the New River watershed, 36,000 gallons and 5,400 gallons, both into the New River watershed upstream of the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee Rivers, apparently both spills during or after Tropical Storm Alberto, and there was no public notice until two weeks later.

Stuart Taylor, Tifton Gazette, June 11, 2018, 36,000 gallon raw sewage spill enters drainage system, cited as source Thomas Coker, “plant manager with ESG Operations,” who is also listed by the City of Tifton as Wastewater Superintendent. I called him to clarify some details. Here is information about the two spills, both related to Tropical Storm Alberto:

  • 36,000 gallons, Wednesday, May 30 through Thursday, June 7, 2018, from 315 E. 20th Street, into Tifton’s stormwater system, after 2 inches of rain.

    Spills located in Suwannee River Basin, Maps
    Google map by WWALS.

    Because this spill was more than Continue reading

Hollin Gammage from Tennessee, among 7 finalists for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Valdosta, GA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Valdosta, GA, June 14, 2018 — Three judges from Florida and Georgia will choose from seven finalists from three states to award prizes in the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, Saturday, June 23, in Valdosta, Georgia.

Sending in a song from the farthest away, Tennessee, and with the most laconic self-description, is Hollin Gammage:

Performing songwriter from southeast north America will travel.

She wrote a bit more on ReverbNation: Continue reading

Phosphate mines on agenda, Gilchrist BOCC, 2018-06-18

Mike Roth, president of Our Santa Fe River, requests:

On Monday, June 18, at the Gilchrist County Board of County Commissioners meeting in Trenton which starts at 4PM, we will get the opportunity to appeal to the Board to issue a “letter of concern” regarding the phosphate mine applied for in Bradford and Union Counties. As you certainly know, OSFR has stood in opposition to this mine on the grounds that it is a substantial threat to the health of the Santa Fe River and to all those who live by the river and all those who use the river recreationally. Further, it threatens the aquifer that is recharged by the river and as such, anyone and anything that uses groundwater.

When: 4PM (hearing 4:45 PM), Monday, June 18, 2018

Where: Board of County Commissioners Meeting Facility,
210 South Main Street, Trenton, Florida

What: Letter of concern about HPS II Phosphate Mine in Bradford and Union Counties, Florida

Gilchrist County Commissioners from left to right: Sharon A. Langford, Kenrick Thomas, Todd Gray, D Ray Harrison, Jr., and Marion Poitevint
Gilchrist County Commissioners from left to right: Sharon A. Langford, Kenrick Thomas, Todd Gray, D Ray Harrison, Jr., and Marion Poitevint

Gilchrist County is downstream Continue reading

WWALS prepares to sue FERC for shirking LNG Export oversight

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C., June 13, 2018 — WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) prepares to sue the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for shirking its legally-required oversight of inland liquid natural gas (LNG) terminals. “LNG trucks barrel down I-75 right by my old high school in Lowndes County, Georgia,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, after meeting with WWALS’ attorneys in Washington, D.C. “Those trucks from LNG terminals in Alabama and Georgia pass a technical college, a conference center, motels, homes, and businesses, going to I-10 for Jacksonville, Florida, where that LNG goes at least as far on ships as Puerto Rico.”

Since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2015 abdicated its jurisdictional duties under the Natural Gas Act to regulate the siting, construction, operation and maintenance of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) small-scale inland export facilities, instead these facilities operate with basically no Federal oversight.

“I am greatly concerned that an LNG commercial project of this magnitude is not only planned, but that apparently has slipped through the cracks of local and federal regulators,” said WWALS member Harriet Heywood of Citrus County, Florida.

At the ends of the Sabal Trail pipeline chain in Florida, trucks go out from half a dozen LNG export operations authorized by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy (FE). If any of those trucks wrecks, federal standard everyone should be evacuated half a mile downwind, including high schools and hospitals. Very few local emergency responders know this and fewer have appropriate emergency plans.

 LNG Railcar Explosion, SE Cove Rd and SE Dixie Hwy, in Vulnerability of LNG by Rail, <br/>by Martin County Fire Rescue, December 15, 2015.” /></a><br />
LNG Railcar Explosion, SE Cove Rd and SE Dixie Hwy, in <a href=Vulnerability of LNG by Rail, by Martin County Fire Rescue, December 15, 2015.

“The unintended consequences of FERC’s abdication of Congressional jurisdictional authority are mind-boggling,” said WWALS member Cecile Scofield of Palm City, Martin County, Florida, “They include Continue reading

SR26 Solar Farm, Trenton, Gilchrist County, Florida

What needs no washing, no irrigation, emits no wastewater, and disturbs no wetlands, while producing revenue for years after local installation jobs? 74.9 Megawatts AC of solar power going in at 4370 SW 80 Street, Trenton, Florida, assuming the Gilchrist BOCC approved it last week as staff recommended.

Area, Maps

Gilchrist Board of County Commissioners, Full Agenda, June 4, 2018, page 69: Continue reading