WWALS Watershed Coalition

WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) is Suwannee RIVERKEEPER® WWALS advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, and Upper and Lower Suwannee River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen activities.

WWALS
Home

WWALS: Maps D-*, Community Assessment, Greater Brooks 2030 Comprehensive Plan 2007 [Up]

[Map D-4 Water Resource Protection Districts]
Map D-4 Water Resource Protection Districts

It has a lot to say already about rivers, creeks, swamps, and aquifers.

Below are some extracts, followed by the maps.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Extracts

IV. EXISTING LAND USE and DEVELOPMENT PATTERNS (cont.)

[page 12] ...
2) Areas Requiring Special Attention

Staff evaluated the existing land use patterns and trends within each jurisdiction and identified several areas requiring special attention. These included:

  • Areas of significant natural or cultural resources, particularly where they are likely to be intruded upon or otherwise impacted by development; such as wetlands, groundwater recharge areas and river corridors.
...

APPENDIX D: NATURAL AND CULTURAL RESOURCES

[page 65] ...

GENERAL PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

...

Brooks County is divided into one physiographic district, the Tifton Upland, which is part of the Atlantic Plain Major Division (Coastal Plain Province) 3.

[Map D-1 Topography]
Map D-1 Topography
PDF

Most of the county is nearly level to sloping and is dissected by numerous shallow streams and is marked with swamps and bogs along very small streams. The largest rivers in Brooks County include the Little River and Withlacoochee River, which define the eastern border of the county, and the Okapilco Creek, which flows from the north-central portion of the county southeastern to where it joins the Withlacoochee River. The topography of southern Brooks is irregular and choppy and has a few shallow bays or cypress ponds up to 375 acres in size, which hold water for several months each year. Elevations range from 278 feet near Pavo in the northwest tip of Brooks County to 82 feet in the southeast part of the county. Map D-1 depicts the Greater Brooks County Topography.

...

[page 66]...

WATER RESOURCES

[Map D-2 Major River Basins]
Map D-2 Major River Basins
PDF

Annual precipitation for Brooks County averages around 53 inches. Surface drainage within Brooks County is directed by a dendritic (branching tree-like) pattern. Brooks County is located within two of the State of Georgia's fourteen major basins: the Ochlockonee and Suwannee, which both eventually drain into the Gulf of Mexico. Map D-2 depicts the Greater Brooks County Major River Basins. In Brooks County, the Suwannee Basin can be subdivided into two sub-watersheds (smaller drainage basins): the Withlacoochee (HUC4 03110203) and the Little River (HUC 03110204), both of which flow southeastward, while the Ochlockonee Basin can subdivided into a smaller sub-watershed, known as the Aucilla (HUC 03110203), which flows southwestward.

[Map D-3 Sub-Watersheds]
Map D-3 Sub-Watersheds
PDF

Map D-3 depicts the Greater Brooks County Sub-Watersheds. The Withlacoochee sub-watershed encompasses approximately 52 percent of the county's total land area. Major tributaries within the Withlacoochee sub-watershed include: Allen Branch, Carroll Branch, Coon Creek, Dry Lake Creek, Gum Creek, Little Creek, Millrace Creek, Mule Creek, Pride Branch (formally known as Negro Branch), Okapilco Creek, Pile Branch, Piscola Creek, Possum Branch, Rainy Creek, Reed Creek, Whitlock Branch, and the Withlacoochee River. The Little River sub-watershed is located in the northeast portion of the county and encompasses approximately 27 percent of Brooks County. The major tributaries within the Little River sub-watershed include: Bay Branch, Downing Creek, James Creek, Little River, Pike Branch, and Slaughter Creek. The remaining 21 percent of the county, along the southwestern border with Thomas County and the Florida state line, is within the Aucilla sub-watershed. The major tributaries within the Aucilla sub-watershed include: Aucilla River and Cat Creek.

4 HUC stands for Hydrologic Unit Code and these codes are a way of identifying all of the drainage basins in the United States in a nested arrangement from largest (Regions) to smallest (Cataloging Units).

ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING CRITERIA

In 1989, the Georgia Planning Act encouraged each local government to develop a comprehensive plan to guide its activities. In order to provide the local governments with a guideline so that they could prepare their comprehensive plan, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) developed a set of minimum requirements that each local plan must meet known as the “Minimum Planning Standards.” Part of the Minimum Planning Standards is the Part V Environmental Planning Criteria that specifically deal with the protection of water supply watersheds, groundwater recharge areas, and wetlands. River corridors and mountains were added through a separate Act in 1991. In order for a comprehensive plan to meet the Minimum Planning Standards, it must identify whether any of these environmentally sensitive areas exist within the local government's jurisdiction, and if so, must prepare local regulations to protect these resources.

[Map D-4 Water Resource Protection Districts]
Map D-4 Water Resource Protection Districts
PDF

In 2003, the Water Resource Protection Districts Ordinance (WRPDO) was adopted by Brooks County and the City of Quitman. This ordinance protects the sensitive natural resources: groundwater recharge areas, protected river corridors, and wetlands located throughout Brooks County. By explaining the requirements for developing property containing protected water resources, the ordinances help ensure our water resources are protected from adverse affects of land development. Map D-4 depicts the Greater Brooks County Water Resource Protection Districts. Because the cities of Barwick, Morven, and Pavo only had wetlands located within their jurisdictional boundaries, they adopted a more appropriate ordinance known as the Wetlands Protection Districts Ordinance.

Water Supply Watersheds

[page 67]

Not applicable.

Wetlands

Freshwater wetlands are defined by federal law to be "those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions." Wetlands generally include bogs, marshes, wet prairies, and swamps of all kinds. When a wetland functions properly, it provides water quality protection, fish and wildlife habitat, natural floodwater storage, and reduction in the erosive potential of surface water; in addition to recreational opportunities, aesthetic benefits, and sites for research and education. However, a degraded wetland is less able to effectively perform these functions. Human activities cause wetland degradation and loss by changing water quality, quantity, and flow rates, increasing pollutant inputs, and changing species composition as a result of disturbance and the introduction of nonnative species.

Over the past several decades, expansion of both agricultural and urban development in Georgia has caused a steady reduction of wetlands acreage. This has resulted in the destruction of valuable plant and animal habitats, increased magnitude of floodwaters, and the removal of natural filters for surface water drainage thereby endangering water quality throughout the county. Draining wetlands for agricultural purposes is still a common, but declining practice, while development pressure is emerging as the largest cause of wetland loss. Many natural wetlands are in poor condition and man-made wetlands fail to replace the diverse plant and animal communities destroyed by development. Prior to developing parcels containing wetlands, or that are suspected of having wetlands, a detailed wetlands survey and all applicable requirements under Section 404 of the Federal Clean Water Act should be completed.

[Map D-5 Generalized Wetlands]
Map D-5 Generalized Wetlands
PDF

A National Wetland Inventory (NWI) database for the geographic extent of Brooks County has been constructed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service and integrated into the county's Geographic Information System (GIS) and should be used to protect these sensitive areas. Map D-5 depicts the Greater Brooks County Generalized Wetlands. These exist along floodplains of the major rivers but most are primarily in small pockets chained together by numerous small streams and account for approximately 53,343 acres in Brooks County, which is 17 percent of the total county area.

Groundwater Recharge Areas

[Map D-6 Groundwater Recharge Areas]
Map D-6 Groundwater Recharge Areas
PDF

A groundwater recharge area is any portion of the earth's surface where water infiltrates into the ground to replenish an aquifer. Groundwater recharge areas can occur at any point where the aquifer updips to become closer to the surface allowing water from streams, sink holes, and ponds to permeate through more shallow ground into the aquifer. According to state geologic data, there are several recharge areas located in Brooks County parallel to the Little River and Withlacoochee River as well as a few smaller areas northeast of the community of Baden, northwest of the community Barney, southeast of the community of Dixie, east of the community Nankin, and east of City of Quitman. Map D-6 depicts the Greater Brooks County Groundwater Recharge Areas.

[page 68]

Most groundwater recharge areas allow a certain amount of precipitation to reach the water table, while others allow more infiltration. Areas that transmit the most precipitation are often referred to as “most significant” groundwater recharge areas. Based on “Groundwater Pollution Susceptibility Map of Georgia”, Hydrologic Atlas 20, 1992 Edition, Brooks County has several “most significant” groundwater recharge areas.

The groundwater pollution susceptibility rating for Brooks County is predominately “Average”, with the exception of the southeast corner of the county, which has a “High” susceptibility rate based on “Groundwater Pollution Susceptibility Map of Georgia”, Hydrologic Atlas 20, 1992 Edition.

These recharge areas make up 12,387 acres, or 4 percent of the entire county. All aquifer recharge areas are vulnerable to both urban and agricultural development. Pollutants from stormwater runoff, septic tanks, and excess pesticides and/or fertilizers in agricultural areas can access a groundwater aquifer more easily through these recharge areas. Once in the aquifer, pollutants can spread uncontrollably to other parts of the aquifer thereby decreasing or endangering water quality for an entire region. Therefore, development of any kind in these areas, including installation of septic tanks, should be discouraged.

Protected River Corridors

[Map D-7 Protected River Corridors]
Map D-7 Protected River Corridors
PDF

The Georgia General Assembly passed the "Mountain and River Corridor Protection Act" in 1991, which requires local governments to adopt river corridor protection plans for certain designated rivers affecting or bordering their jurisdiction. In Greater Brooks County, the only rivers affected by this Act include the Little River and the Withlacoochee River. Map D-7 depicts the Greater Brooks County Protected River Corridors.

When following the generally winding stream channels, the length of the corridor along the Little River is approximately 40 miles running from the northeastern county boundary to where it joins the Withlacoochee River. The corridor length along the Withlacoochee River is approximately 33 miles and flows into Florida, which includes the segment where the river returns back into Georgia east of SR 31. Therefore the total length of designated river corridors within Brooks County is approximately 73 miles.

Under the Mountain and River Corridor Protection Act, Brooks County is required to adopt a "Corridor Protection Plan" for these river segments in accordance with the minimum criteria contained in the Act and as adopted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Protected Mountains

Not applicable.

OTHER ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREAS

Public Water Supply Sources

Typical of Coastal Plain areas, the Brooks County's consumer water comes from underground aquifers, which are porous underground rock layers containing water. The main aquifer beneath Brooks County is the Floridian aquifer, which consists of confined limestone, dolostone, and calcarious sand. This aquifer serves as the water supply watershed for the cities of Quitman, [page 69] Barwick, Morven, and Pavo municipal water systems, while the unincorporated communities of Baden, Barney, Dixie, Grooverville, Nankin, and New Rock (Sand) Hill operate off private well supply. Beneath the Floridian aquifer are the Claiborne and Clayton aquifers. The Floridian aquifer is principally recharged immediately south of the Fall Line, which stretches across central Georgia from Columbus to Macon and Augusta. This is the point at which streams from harder rock formations of the Piedmont cross into softer rock formations of the Coastal Plain. Most sedimentary rock formations of the Coastal Plain begin at the ground surface just south of the Fall Line; therefore this is where most aquifer water originates.

Total water consumption in Brooks County averages approximately 6.3 million gallons per day. Approximately 4.9 million gallons (78 percent) comes from groundwater and the remaining 1.4 million gallons (22 percent) comes from surface water. Table D-1 depicts the Greater Brooks Average Daily Water Consumption.

[see table]

Assessment
  • Current policies/ordinance meets state standards. Education outreach and enforcement should be implemented and/or continued.
  • Offer credits/incentives to local water provides/companies/farmers that hold permits and do not pump the maximum amount of their permit in a given year.
  • Depending on the size of an irrigation system, work with agencies such as NRCS and UGA to encourage/promote programs to construct or renovate irrigation water catchments, Variable Rate Irrigation Systems, etc.
  • There are a number of things to do with homeowners to conserve water in their showers, toilets, faucets, and outdoor water use.

Floodplains

[page 70]

[Map D-8 Flood Insurance Rate (FIRM)]
Map D-8 Flood Insurance Rate (FIRM)
PDF

Flood hazards along the major rivers and streams typically occur in late winter and early spring. Within Brooks County, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has prepared official flood area maps, also known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM's) for both Brooks County and the City of Quitman. As of June 2006, the municipalities of Barwick, Morven, and Pavo have not been mapped by FEMA. Flood prone areas in Brooks County exist primarily adjacent to the Okapilco, Little and Withlacoochee rivers and their tributaries with related riverine wetlands. Other flooding corridors do exist in urban areas and influence development patterns. In Greater Brooks County there are several flood insurance rate zones 5 : Zone A 6 , Zone AE 7 , Zone ANI 8 , Zone X 9 , and Zone X500 10 . Map D-8 depicts the Brooks County Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) as of March 15, 1982.

[Map D-9 City of Quitman Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)]
Map D-9 City of Quitman Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)
PDF

Map D-9 depicts the City of Quitman Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) as of April 1, 1982.

Plant and Animal Habitats

[page 73]

River corridors, wetlands, and lakes provide natural habitat for a variety of rare and common plant and animal species. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) — Wildlife Resources Division — Georgia Natural Heritage Program has worked with a number of groups to compile a list of Georgia's rare species. The most recent data on threatened or endangered plant and animal species in Brooks County is from October 2004. Table D-2 lists the Endangered or Threatened Plant Species in Brooks County and Table D-3 lists the Endangered or Threatened Animal Species in Brooks County.

[see tables]

Impaired Streams

In 1994, a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court against the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) by the Sierra Club, Georgia Environmental Organization, Inc., Coosa River Basin Initiative Inc., Trout Unlimited, and Ogeechee River Valley Association for the failure to prepare Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), under provisions under the Clean Water Act, for the State of Georgia.

[page 74]

A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a river, stream, or lake can receive and still be considered safe and healthy. A TMDL is a means for recommending controls needed to meet water quality standards, which are set by the state and determines how much of a pollutant can be present in a waterbody. If the pollutant is over the set limit, a water quality violation has occurred. If a stream is polluted to the extent that there is a water quality standard violation, there cannot be any new additions (or “loadings”) of the pollutant into the stream until a TMDL is developed. Pollutants can come from point source and non-point source pollution. Examples of “pollutants” include, but are not limited to: Point Source Pollution- wastewater treatment plant discharges and Non-point Source Pollution- runoff from urban, agricultural, and forested area such as animal waste, litter, antifreeze, gasoline, motor oil, pesticides, metals, and sediment.

In 2000, the SGRDC entered into a contract with the GA Department of Natural Resources (DNR) — Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to prepare seven (7) local TMDL Implementation Plans for stream segments in the Suwannee Basin that had been identified as impaired water bodies due to high fecal coliform (FC). Of the seven (7) TMDL Implementation Plans located in the Suwannee Basin, none of them were located within Brooks County.

[Map D-12 2002 Impaired Stream Segments]
Map D-12 2002 Impaired Stream Segments
PDF

In 2002, the SGRDC again entered into a contract with the GA DNR — EPD to prepare 35 local TMDL Implementation Plans for stream segments in the Suwannee Basin that had been identified as impaired water bodies due to high fecal coliform (FC) and/or low dissolved oxygen (DO). Of the 35 TMDL Implementation Plans located in the Suwannee Basin, four (4) stream segments were located within Brooks County, which included: Mule Creek, Okapilco Creek, Pride Branch (formerly known as Negro Branch), and Piscola Creek. An additional stream segment in Brooks County was also listed, the Withlacoochee River (from the Little River to the Stateline); however, this waterbody represented a special impairment scenario that required the attention of GA EPD for Mercury. Map D-12 depicts the Greater Brooks County 2002 Impaired Stream Segments. Table D-4 lists the Stream Segments with TMDL Implementation Plans for 2002:

[See table]

[Map D-13 2004 Impaired Stream Segments]
Map D-13 2004 Impaired Stream Segments
PDF

In June 2006, the GA EPD announced the final Georgia 2004 305(b)/303(d) list, which was prepared as a part of the Georgia 2002-2003 assessment of water quality prepared in [page 75] accordance with Sections 305(b) and 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act and guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For the Suwannee Basin, there are 60 stream segments listed with impairments for low dissolved oxygen (DO), elevated levels of fecal coliform (FC), and trophic-weighted residue value of Mercury in fish tissue (TWR). Of the 60 stream segments, five (5) stream segments are located within Brooks County: Mule Creek, Okapilco Creek, Piscola Creek, Pride Branch (formerly known as Negro Branch), and the Withlacoochee River. Map D-13 depicts the Greater Brooks County 2004 Impaired Stream Segments. Table D-5 lists The Brooks County 2004 305(b)/303(d) List:

[See table]

In March 2006, the GA EPD released the DRAFT Georgia 2006 305(b)/303(d) list. Within the Suwannee Basin, there are 44 stream segments listed with impairments for low dissolved oxygen (DO), elevated levels of fecal coliform (FC), and trophic-weighted residue value of Mercury in fish tissue (TWR). Of the 44 stream segments, five (5) stream segments are located within Brooks County: Mule Creek, Okapilco Creek, Piscola Creek, Pride Branch (formerly known as Negro Branch), and the Withlacoochee River. No formal map has been released by GA EPD at this time of the DRAFT Georgia 2006 305(b)/303(d) list. Table D-6 lists The Brooks County 2006305(b)/303(d) List:

[See table]

[page 79]

By using proper forest management and sound conservation practices and techniques, including best management practices (BMPs), forests can continue to provide benefits for future generations. Those involved with silvicultural (forestry) operations should be aware and implementing BMPs to minimize non-point source pollution, such as soil erosion and stream sedimentation, and thermal pollution.11 Failure to follow BMPs may result in civil and criminal fines and penalties. Some counties already require plan reviews, permits, fees, performance bonds, and compliance audits.

11 Thermal Pollution is industrial discharge of heated water into a river, lake, or other body of water, causing a rise in temperature that endangers aquatic life, http://dictionary.reference.com/

Maps

Maps

[Map D-1 Topography]
Map D-1 Topography
PDF

[Map D-2 Major River Basins]
Map D-2 Major River Basins
PDF

[Map D-3 Sub-Watersheds]
Map D-3 Sub-Watersheds
PDF

[Map D-4 Water Resource Protection Districts]
Map D-4 Water Resource Protection Districts
PDF

[Map D-5 Generalized Wetlands]
Map D-5 Generalized Wetlands
PDF

[Map D-6 Groundwater Recharge Areas]
Map D-6 Groundwater Recharge Areas
PDF

[Map D-7 Protected River Corridors]
Map D-7 Protected River Corridors
PDF

[Map D-8 Flood Insurance Rate (FIRM)]
Map D-8 Flood Insurance Rate (FIRM)
PDF

[Map D-9 City of Quitman Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)]
Map D-9 City of Quitman Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)
PDF

[Map D-10 Generalized Soil Associations]
Map D-10 Generalized Soil Associations
PDF

[Map D-11 County Soil Drainage Types]
Map D-11 County Soil Drainage Types
PDF

[Map D-12 2002 Impaired Stream Segments]
Map D-12 2002 Impaired Stream Segments
PDF

[Map D-13 2004 Impaired Stream Segments]
Map D-13 2004 Impaired Stream Segments
PDF

[Map D-14 Capability for Cultivated Crops]
Map D-14 Capability for Cultivated Crops
PDF

[Map D-15 Land Capability for Forestry]
Map D-15 Land Capability for Forestry
PDF

[Map D-16 Land Capability for Urban Development]
Map D-16 Land Capability for Urban Development
PDF

[Map D-17 Land Capability for Septic Tanks]
Map D-17 Land Capability for Septic Tanks
PDF

[Map D-18 Brooks County National Register Sites]
Map D-18 Brooks County National Register Sites
PDF

[Map D-19 Brooks County Historic Churches]
Map D-19 Brooks County Historic Churches
PDF

[Map D-20 Brooks County Historic Schools]
Map D-20 Brooks County Historic Schools
PDF

[Map D-21 Brooks County Cemeteries]
Map D-21 Brooks County Cemeteries
PDF

[Map D-22 City of Quitman Historic District]
Map D-22 City of Quitman Historic District
PDF

[Map D-23 City of Quitman Historic Schools]
Map D-23 City of Quitman Historic Schools
PDF

[Map D-24 Cities of Barwick and Pavo Historic Areas]
Map D-24 Cities of Barwick and Pavo Historic Areas
PDF

[Map D-25 Morven Historic Area]
Map D-25 Morven Historic Area
PDF

[Map D-8 [D-25] Morven Historic Area]
Map D-8 [D-25] Morven Historic Area
PDF

[Map D-26 Brooks County Centennial Farms]
Map D-26 Brooks County Centennial Farms
PDF

[Map D-27 Brooks County Named [Bridges] Places]
Map D-27 Brooks County Named [Bridges] Places
PDF

[Map D-28 Brooks County Historical Named Places]
Map D-28 Brooks County Historical Named Places
PDF