Category Archives: Outing

Videos: Valdosta and Florida Counties about sewage 2019-07-10

Congenial yet sometimes testy, the Florida counties meeting Valdosta about sewage again last night.

The Valdosta catch basin many Floridians thought would be finished by now? Probably by December.

That report the Utilities Manager last time said explained why 8 or 10 million gallons was big enough for a catch basin? No, it doesn’t explain that. Fortunately, Georgia EPD wants to know how many gallons will be needed for how much rain, and apparently won’t issue a permit for the catch basin until there are answers, so maybe we’ll finally find out.

GA-EPD also wanted to know what if the catch basin fills up? Valdosta’s answer: tanker trucks to ship the sewage from the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Or the other direction, if needed. That sounds like a fine idea. Although it doesn’t address the question of what if the heavy rains fall directly on Valdosta and both WTPs fill up.

Meanwhile, the catch basin is just one of a combination of fixes, mostly intended to alleviate infiltration of stormwater into the sewer system, and about 25% of those are done, says Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber.

Will all these projects be finished this year? No.

Floridians offer to get national elected officials to help.

Floridians also emphasized Ecotourism, and asked me to talk about the 350 people who just came through on Paddle Georgia (#PaddleGA2019), the WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Florida to Georgia and back, and the proposed River Camp at the Little River Confluence west of Valdosta, like the ones on the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. Valdosta Mayor John Gayle wrote down the date of the WWALS Boomerang (October 26th), and afterwards both Hamilton and Madison Counties promised to help.

Tom Mirti of SRWMD described Florida water quality testing, but didn’t mention that FDEP’s monthly testing isn’t made public until four months later. He did mention that FDEP is now testing for sucralose. Merrillee Malwwitz-Jipson, who requested that, was sitting right there. Thanks to her and Jim Tatum for coming from Florida to this meeting.

Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber said Valdosta was still testing at the state line, which caused me to ask why I didn’t get any results for those locations this year in response to open records requests, then? Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse said that was because they haven’t actually tested at the state line this year. He also complained that he had staff working 100 hours a week. Which makes me wonder whether the city of Valdosta is really giving him what he needs, or whether he hasn’t asked for everything he needs.

Anyway, people were rightly impressed with how much Valdosta has done and with their current plans. However, there is still room for improvement.

Below are Continue reading

Waterfalls, rapids, and a lawn chair: Statenville to Sasser Landing 2019-07-06

Nineteen paddlers in fifteen boats braved the early morning deluge, which quit just in time to start paddling the Alapaha River from Statenville Boat Ramp to Sasser Landing, past many waterfalls, quite a few shoals, one real rapid, and an incoming river too fast to paddle up. Even a couple of unexpected boat ramps, one of them concrete.

[Ronnie, Shirley, Fountain, 13:50:02, 30.6253002, -83.0480667]
Ronnie, Shirley, Fountain, 13:50:02, 30.6253002, -83.0480667

Around every corner, a waterfall. Continue reading

SRWMD explains itself to #PaddleGA2019 2019-06-19

Thanks to Lindsey Garland and Ben Glass for explaining SRWMD springs, rivers, and water withdrawals to 300 new people from all over the world on #PaddleGA2019, at Camp Suwannee, Dowling Park, Suwannee County, Florida.

[About SRWMD]
About SRWMD

The Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) is the largest Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Buck Moon Paddle, 2019-07-16

Join us for our monthly leisurely sunset paddle and watch the full moon rise over Banks Lake, our mini-Okefenokee in Lanier County, Georgia, with ospreys, fish, turtles, birds, and bats in the cypress trees. Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge is in the Grand Bay–Banks Lake ecosystem, which comprises the second-largest freshwater wetland system in Georgia.

Remember to BRING A LIGHT for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow stick, head lamp, or flashlight) so other boaters can see you in the dark.

When: Gather 7:30 PM, Launch 8:00 PM, Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Sunset: 8:37 p.m.; moonrise: 8:41 p.m.

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635.

GPS: 31.034824, -83.096725

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.
And a light! It’s going to be dark.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

[Among paddlers]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, May 2019 Banks Lake Full Moon Paddle.

Continue reading

Troupville, Little River Confluence, shoals, creeks, and Spook Bridge 2019-06-15

Update 2019-07-05:: Some WWALS videos on YouTube.

The first day of #PaddleGA2019 was a fun day, with a confluence, greetings by VIPs, creeks, small rapids, a limpkin, Valdosta’s notorious Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant Outfall, one bad water quality reading (not there), swimming, an even more notorious fracked methane pipeline, and Spook Bridge, with a pet deer across the river. Thanks to The Langdale Company for that takeout and the Port-A-Potty location, and thanks to the Battery Source for the loan of the golf cart to WWALS.

Here’s Gwyneth Moody, Georgia River Network Water Trail coordinator, getting her orange kayak in the water.

[Load 'em up, 07:51:54, 30.8515032, -83.3476099]
Load ’em up, 07:51:54, 30.8515032, -83.3476099

Somebody was flying a drone. Continue reading

2009 Withlacoochee River flooding of caterer location for Paddle Georgia Final Feast 2009-04-09

The Withlacoochee River hasn’t risen like this since The Salty Snapper moved in, which is good, since they’re catering the Final Feast tonight on the Suwannee River in Suwannee County, Florida for the last day of #PaddleGA2019, after we paddle in at the Hal W. Adams Bridge Boat Ramp in Lafayette County.

[Canoe to the door]
Canoe to the door

Donald O. Davis of the Lowndes County Historical Society writes:

The caterer’s building and the 2009 Withlacoochee flood. The original long-running restaurant in the location was JP Muldoons. The Salty Snapper opened in 2015.

[WLRWT]
Map: WWALS google map of the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail (WLRWT).
The Salty Snapper is just east of Continue reading

At Trail’s End: Congratulations to you from the Old Folks at Home 2019-06-21

Donald O. Davis of the Lowndes County Historical Society, and a descendant of one of the early settler families at Journey’s End, writes for the last day of #PaddleGA2019:

In 1866 John H. Polk and his bride, Mary Frances Lewis Polk homesteaded on this bend of the Suwannee just below the now Hal Adams Bridge Boat Ramp. They were both from Withlacoochee Counties, he Lowndes, Ga. and she Hamilton, Fla.

[Polk ca 1918 Mayo FL Suwannee River 001 400 dpi restored HE 2]
Polk ca 1918 Mayo FL Suwannee River 001 400 dpi restored HE 2

He was severely injured in Continue reading

Valdosta and Lowndes County greet Paddle Georgia at Land Between the Rivers 2019-06-15

Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter and Valdosta City Council Tim Carroll, representing the Mayor, greeted Paddle Georgia, #PaddleGA2019, and Gwyneth Moody at Land Between the Rivers, with Helen Tapp representing the landowners, at the Withlacoochee River Confluence. Donald O. Davis of the Lowndes County Historical Society provided background.

Here’s a LAKE video playlist:


Valdosta and Lowndes County greet Paddle Georgia at Land Between the Rivers 2019-06-15
Video by John S. Quarterman for WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS),

Golf cart shuttle courtesy of The Battery Source, driven by WWALS members Conn and Trudy Cole and Gretchen Quarterman.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

At the GA-FL Line 2019-06-17

Site of an old town, a governor’s house, an old bridge at the state line, and, last but certainly not least, Mozell Spells! Pictures of sites on Day 3 (today) of Paddle Georgia, from Donald O. Davis, Director, Lowndes County Historical Society.

[Map of Olympia, GA]
Map of Olympia, GA

You’ll know you’re close when you hear the Olympia Bend Firing Range. Don Davis wrote about Olympia, Ga: Continue reading

Withlacoochee Crossing 2013-07-01

Two new sites on the Withlacoochee River from the Lowndes County Historical Society, for Day 2 and Day 3 of Paddle Georgia.

Day 2 of Paddle Georgia went by this site of Spain’s Ferry and Spain’s Bridge:

[Spain Ferry and Spain's Bridge]
Spain Ferry and Spain’s Bridge

Day 3 (today) will go by this site of Warner’s Ferry at the GA-FL line:

[Warner's Ferry]
Warner’s Ferry

The entire July – October 2013 newsletter of the Lowndes County Historical Society is on the WWALS website, courtesy of Donald O. Davis, the Museum’s Director.

We will add Spain’s Bridge and Warner’s Ferry to the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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