Waterkeepers Florida in Gainesville, FL 2019-02-08-09

Update 2019-02-09: Pictures.

All the Waterkeepers of Florida are gathered today and tomorrow at the 25th Annual Public Interest Environmental Conference (PIEC) at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

PIEC 25 banner

On the agenda in the afternoon 2PM session today:

Keeping Watch Over Our Waters: Florida’s Riverkeepers Location: MLAC Courtroom Continue reading

Videos: All Georgia Riverkeepers speak to American Fisheries Society 2019-02-06

Possibly for the first time ever, all of the Riverkeepers of Georgia spoke at the same event.

[All Georgia Riverkeepers]
All Georgia Riverkeepers: Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers, Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus, Ogeechee Riverkeeper Damon Mullis, Altamaha Riverkeeper Jen Hilburn, Upper Coosa Riverkeeper Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman, St Marys Riverkeeper Anna Laws, Satilla Riverkeeper Laura Early, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman (Chattahoochee had already left).

Below are links to the WWALS video of each talk, followed by a WWALS video playlist. See also the program, and a few more pictures.

Riverkeepers seek attorney’s fees for legal victory against FERC and Sabal Trail 2019-02-04

Some good news! Not only did Flint Riverkeeper, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, and Sierra Club win a historic landmark victory against Sabal Trail and FERC in August 2017, affecting all FERC pipeline and LNG export dockets ongoing: the Riverkeepers are entitled to attorneys fees!

Application and Argument, Letter

Despite FERC’s attempt to weasel out by trying to claim that case was not and “adversary adjudication.”, the Riverkeepers seek recovery of attorney’s fees in the amount of $192,437.42.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

The Riverkeepers letter

Filed with FERC 4 February 2019 as Continue reading

Ashburn, GA, spilled at top of Little River Basin 2019-01-22

Another Georgia city at the top of the Alapaha River Basin seemed to have fixed its problems, yet it spilled again: Ashburn, in Turner County.

2015 through 2019-01-22, Spills
See also table.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) used to know that this Ashburn Airport WPCP and its Hat Creek are in the Alapaha River Basin in the Suwannee River Basin: PUBLIC NOTICE NO. 2017–02 ML JANUARY 20, 2017,

I. NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR A NATIONAL POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM (NPDES) PERMIT TO DISCHARGE TREATED WASTEWATER INTO WATERS OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA

NPDES permits are valid for a maximum Continue reading

Full Snow Moon Paddle, Banks Lake, 2019-02-19

Join us to see the full moon rise over Banks Lake. Sunsets are spectacular on the lake. Please plan to arrive by 5:30 p.m. to prep your boat so that we can be on the water no later than 5:45 p.m. We will enjoy the view while paddling through the cypress trees before it gets dark while we look for birds, gators and bats. The sun sets 6:23 p.m. and the moon rises 6:39 p.m.

When: Gather 5:30 PM, Launch 5:45 PM, Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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

GPS: 31.034824, -83.096725

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

Bring: the a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow stick, head lamp, or flashlight), and bring a rope for your boat. You must wear a PFD. A whistle is not required, but it’s a good idea in the dark. Dress for cold weather, the temperature drops quickly after the sun sets. 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

[Better exposure, 18:08:57, 31.0229025, -83.1065178]
Better exposure, 18:08:57, 2018-12-22 31.0229025, -83.1065178

Continue reading

All Georgia Riverkeepers speak Wednesday to American Fisheries Society 2019-02-06

Update 2019-02-08: Video.

Apparently for the first time ever, all the Riverkeepers of Georgia will be speaking at the same event. Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers passed on the invitation from the Georgia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (GA-AFS) to speak at their annual conference.

When: Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Where: Lake Blackshear Resort, 2459-H US Highway 280 West Cordele, GA 31015

What: 2019 GA-AFS Chapter Annual Meeting

Lake Blackshear Resort

Continue reading
Wednesday (continued), February 6, 2019
SESSION 3: GEORGIA’S RIVERKEEPERS (SYMPOSIA)

Valdosta wastewater at Suwannee River Water Management Board Meeting 2019-02-12

2019-002-13: WWALS videos.

Received just now, the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) agenda for next Tuesday includes:

7.B. Cooperating Agencies and Organizations — City of Valdosta Utilities Department Presentation

When: 9 AM, Tuesday, February 23, 2019

Where: 9225 Co Rd 49, Live Oak, FL 32060

What: SRWMD Board Packet.

[7.B. Valdosta Utilities]
7.B. Valdosta Utilities

Good news: the GA-EPD Sewage Spill Reports do not have any spills reported from Valdosta or anywhere else in the Suwannee River Basin during the rains of last weekend.

Plenty of water was coming out of the pipe from Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) into the Withlacoochee River yesterday, but it smelled merely mildly like Continue reading

Sabal Trail wants last Phase 1 facility in service: Suwannee M&R Station 2019-02-01

In case you thought it was over, or that a September 2018 leak or death of a FERC Commissioner might have slowed down FERC’s rubberstamp, Sabal Trail wants to finish Phase I construction by firing up gas through its Suwannee Metering & Regulation (M&R) station.

[Suwannee M&R Detail]
Suwannee M&R Detail, from Sabal Trail Alignment Map 1657-PL-DG-70197-305, courtesy Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

FERC’s rubberstamp will feed gas to Florida Gas Transmission (FGT), onwards under the proposed HPS II phosphate mine in Union and Bradford Counties, to Jacksonville, apparently to feed Eagle LNG, which is already shipping gas as far as Puerto Rico, through Crowley Maritime, which has authorization from U.S. DoE Office of Fossil Energy to export liquid natural gas (LNG) to all Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and non-FTA countries; see LNG. Continue reading

Delayed a day: Troupville to Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River, 2019-02-03

It rained, and the river rose a bit, so we will paddle Sunday morning instead, unless it rains again or rises too much. Still on the Little River from Troupville Boat Ramp, then the Withlacoochee River to Spook Bridge. That’s right, Spook Bridge, thanks to The Langdale Company, which has arranged for us to take out just below the bridge.

River swirling by access, 30.7898000, -83.4516100
River swirling by access 30.7898100, -83.4517500

This is not public access. Langdale is making it available to WWALS for this February outing and for Paddle Georgia in June 2019. This takeout, while still up a steep riverbank, is much easier than climbing up those loose highway abutment rocks between the US 84 highway bridges. So I hope everyone will thank The Langdale Company.

See previous post for outing details. Continue reading

John S. Quarterman: Sewage spills in Georgia affecting Suwannee River basin, Gainesville Sun, 2019-01-31

Online today and in the paper Gainesville Sun this coming Sunday. To paddle the most-affected stretch of the Withlacoochee River, join us this Saturday morning.


A December upsurge of raw sewage spills from the city of Valdosta, Georgia, has a dozen downstream counties organized into a task force, demanding action from Florida state legislators. But what action?

I recommend first getting a grip on the extent of the problem, keeping that picture up to date and then funding fixes.

[Water]
Photo: John S. Quarterman of Sara Jay, Water Temperature, TGroupville Boat Ramp, Little River, 2019-01-06

Valdosta spilled not just twice, but two dozen times in December, totaling more than 6 million gallons of raw sewage. Spills also happened in Tifton, Quitman and Lowndes County, Georgia.

We know this because Continue reading