Category Archives: PR

Press Release

WWALS Boomerang paddle race, sponsors, silent auction, on Talk 92.1 FM Radio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

More sponsors, silent auction, and radio for WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia into Florida and back again this weekend

Valdosta, GA, October 22, 2019 — You don’t even have to paddle to enjoy the WWALS Boomerang, 11 AM this Saturday, October 26, 2019, at State Line Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River, on Madison Highway south of Valdosta. You can bid in the silent auction on a nice fishing pole from Fishing Tackle Outlet, or some training from SBMS Crossfit, among many other items, plus get tickets for a kayak raffle. NWXpeditions and VSU CORE will have free boat rental.

Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie said, “Paddlers who race will get a voucher for a free beer per boat at Georgia Beer Company, and winners will get a big tumbler with the Boomerang logo.”

There will be competition. Last year’s winner, Dr. Tom Potter, said, “I’m back! This time in a tandem.“

[River Radio]
River Radio; Photo: Jay Blanton, Georgia Photography Fanatic.

WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman said, “I’ll be broadcasting on Talk 92.1 FM radio, 7:30 AM this Friday, October 25, about the Second Annual WWALS Boomerang paddle race, from Georgia to Florida and back again.” Boomerang on radio show facebook event

How to get tickets, and everything else about the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, from Georgia to Florida and back again:
wwals.net/pictures/2019-10-26–boomerang/ Continue reading

Deadline: today to comment to USACE against titanium mine near Okefenokee Swamp 2019-09-12

Please send your comments today to the Army Corps and GA-EPD against the proposed titanium mine far too near the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee River.

How to Comment

The nominal comment deadline was Thursday, September 12, 2019, but the Corps will not say it will not read comments sent in later, so you can still send in your comments, and post them on social media, as op-eds, etc.

To comment, or to request a public hearing, you can write to
Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District,
Attention: Ms. Holly Ross, 1104 North Westover Boulevard, Suite 9, Albany, Georgia, 31707,
or by email to holly.a.ross@usace.army.mil.
In your comments please refer to:
Applicant: Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, Application Number: SAS-2018-00554.

For the requested state permit regarding Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, you can send a comment or request for public hearing to
Stephen Wiedl, Wetlands Unit, stephen.wiedl@dnr.ga.gov
Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division, Water Protection Branch, 7 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.

More than 12,000 people have already commented. You can, too.

[Signs]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, before 2019-08-13 TPM meeting. L-r: Mark Lyons of Citizens Against Phosphate Mining, Alice Keyes of One Hundred Miles, Hilda Gilchrist of Our Santa Fe River (OSFR), Jim Tatum of OSFR and WWALS, Rena Peck Stricker of Georgia River Network, Mike Roth and Kristin Rubin of OSFR and WWALS, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper, Merillee Malwitz-Jipson of OSFR and WWALS

Here’s why.

Julia Widmann, Waterkeeper Alliance, 23 August 2019, Suwannee Riverkeeper Fights to Protect Okefenokee Swamp from Titanium Strip Mine,

Twin Pines Minerals, LLC (TPM), an Alabama-based mining company, applied for permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Georgia Department of Environmental Protection to mine for titanium near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers in Southern Georgia. The Suwannee flows south through Florida to the Gulf of Mexico, and the St. Marys becomes the border between Georgia and Florida on its way to the Atlantic.

John was quoted in the first news story about the mine, by Emily Jones of Georgia Public Broadcasting on July 15, “The most obvious thing that we really need is a real environmental impact statement. All we have so far is, ‘this is what the applicant said.’”

Both Suwannee Riverkeeper and Southern Environmental Law Center have prepared comments which will go in went in today. If your organization wants to sign on, please contact me ASAP, at contact@suwanneeriverkeeper.org send in your own comments saying you support the Suwannee Riverkeeper comments.

Or you can just send in your own comments directly. Doesn’t have to be long. A sentence will do.

Much more about the proposed mine is here:
wwals.net/issues/titanium-mining/

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Songwriting Contest on Scott James radio show 2019-08-23

Apparently we’re such an institution that Scott James thought tomorrow is our fourth or fifth Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, but actually it’s the Second Annual, 1-5PM, Saturday (tomorrow), at the Salty Snapper on Gornto in Valdosta, GA.

[Agenda]
Agenda

Tickets are still $10 online, which gets you closer to the stage, or $12 at the door. The VIP tables of eight right in front of the stage are sold out, but you can still get individual tickets.

Here’s WWALS radio TV (YouTube) of Scott James and I discussing the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest on 92.1 FM WVGA this morning from the steps of the historic Lowndes County Courthouse.

[Hat]
Hat

You can listen to the video, although you’ll hear why Valdosta wants a truck bypass around downtown. So I’ve summarized below what we said. Continue reading

Thanks, Sponsors of Songwriting Contest!

Especially thanks to top tier sponsor Georgia Beer Company, and to all the rest, who are listed on this poster for the Contest this Saturday, 1-5 PM, at The Salty Snapper in Valdosta.

Tickets are still $10 online or $12 at the door. Seven headliners and finalists will play for three judges and you, with radio personality Chris Beckham as Master of Ceremonies, with prizes awarded, silent auction, kayak raffle, and food and drink.

[Thanks Sponsors]
Thanks Sponsors

Pre-sales will sit closer to the stage. The tables of eight right in front of the stage are sold out, but individual tickets are still available.

Everything else about the Contest is here: Continue reading

Songwriting Contest on Scott James Radio 2019-08-23

Broadcasting 8AM Friday from the steps of the historic Lowndes County Courthouse in downtown Valdosta, Georgia, Scott James and I will discuss the Second Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, when seven finalists will play for you and three judges who will award some of them prizes, at the Salty Snapper this Saturday.

When: 8AM, Friday, August 23, 2019

Where: Talk 92.1 FM Scott James drive-time radio show.
You can listen on the air, or through the radio show’s own website, or through several online listening services.

Event: facebook

Historic Lowndes County Courthouse

All about the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest:
http://www.wwals.net/pictures/2019-08-24–suwannee-riverkeeper-songwriting-contest/ Continue reading

Charlton County Commission passed resolution supporting titanium mine near Okefenokee Swamp 2019-08-15

Causing outrage from the packed house, the Charlton County Commission refused Thursday to let anyone speak who did not live in the county or own land there. This was after the Commission unanimously passed a resolution supporting the proposed titanium mine, without any public hearing and with citizens at all permitted to speak beforehand. The resolution apparently says it depends on the miners getting permits, and Charlton County does not decide on those permits. The opposition is now even more determined to stop those permits by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the state of Georgia. You, too, can comment to USACE and GA-EPD by the current deadline of September 12, 2019.

[Signs]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, before 2019-08-13 TPM meeting. L-r: Mark Lyons of Citizens Against Phosphate Mining, Alice Keyes of One Hundred Miles, Hilda Gilchrist of Our Santa Fe River (OSFR), Jim Tatum of OSFR and WWALS, Rena Peck Stricker of Georgia River Network, Mike Roth and Kristin Rubin of OSFR and WWALS, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper, Merillee Malwitz-Jipson of OSFR and WWALS.

The Charlton County Commission’s public speaking rule is indeed new, since the previous month Continue reading

WWALS Boomerang: Paddle and a Pint, from Georgia to Florida and Back Again 2019-08-08

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Valdosta, GA, August 8, 2019 — Join us for a fun filled day of paddle racing and leisurely paddling on the idyllic blackwater Withlacoochee River. Plenty of water, no deadfalls, plus shoals! We will paddle from State Line Ramp in Georgia, with staggered starts for turnarounds in Florida at 1, 2, and 3 miles, then back to where we started. Tickets are $20 until October 15th, then $30.

“Sign up to race and get a beer for participating!” said Boomerang mastermind Bobby McKenzie. “Thanks to Georgia Beer Company!”

Vendors vested in conservation or stewardship of our waters already signed up include VSU CORE, Boy Scouts, and TNT Hot Dogs. Nonprofit vendors are free, and $20 fee for for-profit vendors.

“This is good ecotourism for Lowndes and Brooks Counties, Georgia, and Hamilton and Madison Counties, Florida,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Maybe we can get a little friendly state-line rivalry going on!”

McKenzie added, “Also another fun opportunity to wear your Halloween Costumes!”

Sponsors get their name and logo on a banner, in announcements, and in flyers, with various other perks at different levels of sponsorship.

[Simple Flyer]
Simple Flyer

Everything about WWALS Boomerang 2019 is here: Continue reading

Winners, BIG Little River Paddle Race 2019-04-27

For Immediate Release

Tifton, Georgia, May 1, 2019 — “This was the first year a canoe finished first to win the $100 cash prize,” said Bret Wagenhorst, main organizer of the BIG Little River Paddle Race, last Saturday, April 27, at Reed Bingham State Park. “It was a two-person canoe of gentlemen from Gray, GA: Wayne Hale and Terry Donahue.”

[Tandem male canoe, green (BW)]
Tandem male canoe, green (BW)
Photo: Bret Wagenhorst, of Wayne Hale and Terry Donahue winning the BIG Little River Paddle Race. They won in the male tandem canoe category last year, and they won overall this year.

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman said, “Thanks to the paddle race sponsors, Dr. Bret Wagenhorst, Georgia Beer Company, and Cook Medical Center.”

Dr. Wagenhorst added, “Thanks to all the paddlers from across Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, as far away as Mexico, who came out on a glorious south GA spring day to help raise money for the WWALS Watershed Coalition and the Friends of Reed Bingham State Park group by paddling a scenic and winding stretch of the Little River. Lots of fun in the sun for friends and families.”

[Below the bridge (BW)]
Below the bridge (BW)

First woman across the finish in a solo kayak was Continue reading

Tomorrow! BIG Little River Paddle Race 2019-04-27

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Valdosta, Georgia, April 26, 2019 — We’ll get a nice cool spring morning start Saturday, as paddlers from Georgia and Florida race (or saunter) down the tea-colored Little River through Reed Bingham State Park, in a friends and family fun event.

“Thanks to Georgia Beer Company for being a sponsor of this seventh annual BIG Little River Paddle Race!” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman.

Onwards (BW), Racing
Photo: Bret Wagenhorst, of BLRPR 2018.

Dianne Walters, president of Friends of Reed Bingham State Park (FORB), said, “This is a great community event, with volunteers from all around helping paddlers from everywhere.”

BLRPR mastermind, Tifton eye doctor Bret Wagenhorst, said, “Some come to try for the $100 cash prize for first boat to cross the finish in around 35-40 minutes. Others come to do a leisurely 1-2 hr paddle with friends or family and take in the incredible subtropical scenery. Some do it to support the Friends of Reed Bingham group and the WWALS Watershed Coalition.”

Many others win in categories: Continue reading

Georgia Beer Company Sponsors Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Welcome, Georgia Beer Co.!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (PDF)

Georgia Beer Company Sponsors Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Hahira, Georgia, April 22, 2019  The first brewery in the Suwannee River Basin is the top-level sponsor of the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest. When the finalists compete for the judges and music lovers at The Salty Snapper on August 24, 2019, at the top of the sponsor banner will be Georgia Beer Company. This maker of brews, such as Cypress Knee – Single Hop Mosaic, understands clean water is essential to every beer. So Georgia Beer Company, as the Aria level sponsor, supports Suwannee Riverkeeper for fishable, swimmable, drinkable water.

[Sponsor package]
Photo: Sara the bartender; Left to right: Bartender, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman receiving sponsor merchandise and check from Jack “J. Ryce Martin” and Chris Jones, founders of Georgia Beer Co.

“When I was a reporter in Madison, Florida, I wrote about Valdosta sewage frequently,” said Georgia Beer Co. co-founder Chris Jones. “Unfortunately, that is still a story. We support Suwannee Riverkeeper to help stop that problem, and to clean up other things getting into our rivers.”

“I’m thrilled for this support of our water quality testing program by Georgia Beer Company,” said WWALS lead tester Sara Jay. “We can buy more testing materials and Continue reading