Suwannee Riverkeeper on Steve Nichols radio 105.9FM WVGA 2018-09-13

Thursday morning Suwannee Riverkeeper will be on the “top rated morning talk show in south Georgia” with Steve Nichols, talking about paddle outings, water trails, paddle races, and the Sabal Trail pipeline federal eminent domain jury trials going on right now in Valdosta.

When: 8:30AM, Thursday, September 13, 2018,

Where: The Morning Drive with Steve Nichols, 105.9FM WVGA
Live streamed on the show’s facebook page

Event: facebook, meetup

Suwannee Riverkeeper banner, Interview

What:

Guest: Suwannee Riverkeeper® John S. Quarterman

Host: Valdosta Today bills The Morning Drive with Steve Nichols as:

The top rated morning talk show in south Georgia, Steve Nichols offers both sides of every story from Berrien County to the Beltway, and everywhere in between.

Should be fun. Do tune in.

More: For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see the WWALS calendar or the WWALS outings and events web page. WWALS members also get an upcoming list in the Tannin Times newsletter.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Sheboggy Boat Ramp 2018-08-11

Thanks to GDOT, the stolen Sheboggy signs have been replaced. Remember, we’ll sell you one for $25.

Meanwhile, come on down to Sheboggy 1PM today for a cleanup and upstream paddle.

With bridge, Boat Ramp

Context, Left sign
Context, Left sign

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Cyanobacteria infecting Florida political races

We are fortunate in the Suwannee River Basin in not having this bad a problem, but are similarities. Greg Allen, NPR, 7 September 2018, Toxic Algae Seeps Into Florida Congressional Races,

For months now, mats of algae from Lake Okeechobee have been flowing down the river, bringing toxins that can affect people and animals. In beach communities east of the lake, the algae have had a big impact on tourism and businesses.

With more toxic algae blooms on Florida’s west coast and a red tide algae bloom causing massive fish kills in the Gulf of Mexico, water quality is increasingly having a big impact on key midterm races in Florida. While Democrats tend to be more outspoken on environmental issues, Republican candidates are also speaking up because they’re feeling the heat.

Outflows from Lake Okeechobee

Seems to me all the candidates are dancing around the real issue, which is Continue reading

Water Quality Testing Training, Valdosta, GA 2018-09-16

Update 2018-09-14: agenda.

Both chemical and biological testing: you can get certified to do it. Georgia Adopt-A-Stream trainer Julie Shutters is coming to Valdosta for a six hour training course.

Tropical Storm Irma and after in Georgia
Tropical Storm Irma and after in Georgia

We haven’t forgotten Florida training; that will follow. We’re just starting with training for the biggest problem area for sewage, which is in Georgia in the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha River Basins (Tifton, Quitman, Valdosta, and Lowndes County).

When: 1-7PM, Sunday, September 16, 2018

Where: Southern Georgia Regional Commission (SGRC)
327 West Savannah Avenue, Valdosta, GA 31601
plus sampling at a nearby river or creek.

Bring: an idea of where you can sample at least monthly, preferably weekly.

Event: facebook, meetup

Why: See the Continue reading

Bradford BOCC 2018-09-04

All the public speakers were against the phosphate mine. Before the Commissioners decided, Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson spoke about rain, the Chemours mine, and how what Bradford County does affects her business downstream. (I think Stasia Rudolph also spoke before I got there.) After some confusion on timing, afterwards Marc Lyons reminded them Citizens Against Phosphate Mines (CAPM) is ready to sue, and Kate Ellison said she hopes this means we will all see the consultant’s report before the public hearings. I sent a letter and a resolution the previous day and gave them paper copies.

The actual decision was much better than expected. While some Commissioners wanted to hold Continue reading

Four Three Sabal Trail Jury Trials in Valdosta, GA 2018-09-10

Update 2018-09-13: The outcome.

Update 2018-09-12: The second day.

Update 2018-09-10: Gretchen Quarterman and Janet Barrow attended the jury selection this morning, and will report in detail this afternoon. One difference from last time is this time jurors were asked if they knew Randy Dowdy, Wavel Robinson, or Sandra Jones. Perhaps not coincidentally, FERC required Sabal Trail to report on topsoil mixing for all three. Jones is also the remaining eminent domain case not being tried this week. The other three actual trials, yes, all with the same jury, start this afternoon at 1:30 PM.

Update 2018-09-05: According to a usually reliable source the Jones trial will be in January, so that’s three trials next week. Also, all three trials will be heard by the same jury. Given that each of the defendants has a different kind of property, that sounds to me like the circus come to town.

You can come see four more eminent domain jury trials start next week in Valdosta, after Sabal Trail lost the first one. Jury selection will start 9AM Monday morning, September 10, 2018. The actual trials could start that afternoon, and may run all week. You can’t take much into the courtroom, but there’s a public sidewalk out front, and there will probably be a TV reporter there part of the time.

Cases No. 4:16-cv-092 (Jones), -104 (Isaacs), -107 (GBA Ass.), -113 (Bell), Federal Building, Valdosta, GA

When: Jury selection 9AM Monday morning, September 10, 2018.
Trials could start that afternoon, and may run all week.

Where: Main Courtroom, Second Floor, U.S. District Court
401 N Patterson St., Valdosta, GA 31601

Event: facebook, meetup

The first case was for W. Lynn Lasseter of Moultrie, to whom the jury awarded five times what Sabal Trail offered. So apparently these trials will be for landowners all of whom, Continue reading

Bradford BOCC to schedule phosphate hearing, and economic development 2018-09-04

This Tuesday, Bradford County Commissioners will schedule a public hearing on the phosphate mine application by HPS II. You can go speak or write them a letter.

If the creek don’t rise, I will be there with a video camera. Meanwhile, I have sent them a letter in PDF and an updated copy of the Resolution Against Phosphate Mines in Florida. That Resolution only had five signatures when I last sent it to Bradford BOCC in May, but now 11 of the 14 Waterkeepers of Florida have signed it, and seven of us delivered it to FDEP Secretary Noah Valenstein at the end of July.

When: 9:30 AM Tuesday September 4, 2018

Where: BRADFORD COUNTY COURTHOUSE
945 North Temple Avenue, Starke, Florida 32091

What: on the agenda:

  1. County Attorney’s Report’s — Will Sexton
    1. Schedule the Public Hearing on Application for Special Permit for Mining (Sec. 14.6, LDR’s) submitted on behalf of HPS Enterprise II, LLC.

Nfedp-map,

Also on the agenda is: Continue reading

WWALS Boomerang, Withlacoochee River, Langdale Park, 2018-11-03

Update 2018-09-19: You can buy tickets online, and two outfitters are supporting the WWALS Boomerang.

Downstream and up again: it’s the WWALS Boomerang, from Langdale Park Boat Ramp to Sugar Creek Landing on the Withlacoochee River. Join us for a fun filled day of kayak and canoe racing and leisurely paddling.

WWALS Boomerang, Logo New WWALS board member Bobby McKenzie, whose son Zavier was the youngest finisher at our spring BIG Little River Paddle Race, has volunteered to organize a fall race, with the enthusiastic support of the board and the Outings Committee.

We would also like to thank George Page, Executive Director of Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority (VLPRA), for his and VLPRA’s support. VLPRA renovated Langdale Park last year, so let’s go boat from there.

When: 11:00 AM, November 3, 2018

Put In: Langdale Park Boat Ramp, 3781 N. Valdosta Rd., Valdosta, GA 31602. This is just outside the Valdosta City limits in Lowndes County, off of North Valdosta Road (US 41 North). Only 5.5 miles from downtown and only 4 miles from Valdosta State University.

GPS: 30.88727, -83.32395

Tickets: $20 per boat early registration,
or $30 per boat after October 6 or at the event.
We also recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!

Event: facebook, meetup

The very picture of a lazy river
Withlacoochee River, 2016-03-20.

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Big Georgia Wastewater Permits in the Suwannee River Basin

Schedules of testing, with permissable levels: these are in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater permits, so we need to see those permits. You’d think they’d be on the EPA or GA-EPD website, but….

The U.S. EPA has delegated NPDES permitting to Georgia. You can get draft wastewater permits right off the GA-EPD website, but to get the actual current approved permits, you must get GA-EPD to send them to you. I found this out from Audra Dickson, Wastewater Regulatory Program Manager. I asked her for permits for half a dozen cities and one county, and the next day Alyssa Thomson, Environmental Specialist, Wastewater Regulatory Program, Municipal Permitting Unit, sent them via email.

They’re on the WWALS website now.

Instream Monitoring Requirements, Valdosta Mud Creek WPCP
Instream Monitoring Requirements, Valdosta Mud Creek WPCP

Why this list? Continue reading

Alapaha Quest, Naylor Boat Ramp @ US 84, 2018-09-15

Update 2019-09-14: We’ve moved downstream, to put in at Naylor Boat Ramp and take out at Mayday Landing. This section does have some rough rocky spots with rapids for a short distance. The takeout at Mayday is a little difficult due to soft sand to climb up to the parking area. Bring plenty of water to drink and food for the day. Bring a PFD to wear. Plan to arrive early enough to unload gear and begin the shuttle to the take out.

Experience the wilderness of the Alapaha River Water Trail. The water is barely above our recommended low, so bring a rope in case we have to drag boats.

When: 8 AM, September 15, 2018

Put In: Naylor Boat Ramp @ GA 84, 6955 US 84 E, Naylor, GA 31641. Lowndes County hasn’t actually built the boat ramp yet, but they have bought the park and we can put in there, just west of the Alapaha River off of the north side of US 84.

GPS: 30.92507, -83.03867

Take Out: Mayday Landing @ Howell Road, 749 Howell Road, Stockton, GA 31649, in Echols County. We will all help each other drag boats up the steep sand slope.

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.

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

With trash can Gretchen asked for, 2018:05:16 11:10:37,, Beach
Naylor Boat Ramp beach with trash can Gretchen asked for, 2018-06-16.

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