Tag Archives: Alapaha River Water Trail

The real trash problem: the companies that make it

People shouldn’t litter, but individuals are not the real litter problem. The companies that make all those throwaway items are the problem. There are fixes, which we can implement. One fix Georgians can vote on right now: vote Yes on Amendment 1 please!

There was no lack of trash on the Alapaha River in September, at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp in Berrien County and at Berrien Beach in Lanier County. We found the usual cigarette butts, shotgun shells, and yes, a few used diapers.

Plus tires. To help stop tires being dumped by rivers, please vote Yes on Georgia Constitutional Amendment 1 to stop fee diversions.

We found fewer shotgun shells and tires but more of everything else at Twomile Branch in Valdosta, Sugar Creek, and the Withlacoochee River in August.

Come to the big cleanup this Saturday on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers in Lowndes County and on Sugar Creek, Onemile Branch, and Twomile Branch in Valdosta October 10, 2020!

We expect as usual the most numerous items will be plastic and glass bottles and cans.

[Bottles]
Bottles

Sure people shouldn’t litter, but Anheuser-Busch and other beer makers, as well as Nestlé, Coca Cola, and Walmart, should stop making and selling disposable bottles and cans.

Fifty years ago those things had deposits on them, and people would collect them for the cash. In economic downturns such as right now, that could be useful to a lot of people, and a lot more cleanups would happen. Sure, there was still trash back then, but not as much.

People still do in Hawaii and nine other states: California, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Vermont, plus Guam. They don’t have nearly as big of a litter problem.

But Georgia or Florida do not have such container deposits. Maybe we should change that.

No, recycling will not solve this problem. There’s no market for plastic to recycle, and recycling has been pushed by big oil for years as an excuse to make more plastic throw-away containers. Laura Sullivan, NPR, 11 September 2020, How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled.

You’ve probably seen the famous ‘Crying Indian’ ad from 1971: Continue reading

Pictures: Banks Lake Full Harvest Moon paddle 2020-10-01

Good turnout for a weekday, and good weather for the first of two Full Moon paddles in October 2020.

[Sunset, moonrise, and paddlers with banners]
Sunset, moonrise, and paddlers with banners

Shelby Miller will lead the second one in October, the Banks Lake Full Hunter’s Halloween Moon paddle 2020-10-31.

Before that, on Saturday October 10, 2020, there’s a big cleanup on the Little, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers and many creeks, in conjunction with Lowndes County and Valdosta.

Don’t forget, coming up on Saturday October 24, 2020, the Third Annual WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia into Florida and Back on the Withlacoochee River.

Three paddlers had already headed out when I took this picture, but the other nine are visible with the WWALS and Suwannee Riverkeeper banners. Continue reading

Tonight: Banks Lake Full Harvest Moon, Banks Lake 2020-10-01

Come out to Banks Lake to night and see the new fishing pier! Then paddle out to see the sun set and the full Harvest moon rise, with bats and maybe ospreys.

[Pier, sunset, moonrise, at Banks Lake]
Pier, sunset, moonrise, at Banks Lake
New fishing pier picture: Lakeland Lanier Chamber of Commerce 2020-09-25.
Sunset and moonrise pictures: Bobby McKenzie 2020-08-03.

This leisurely Sunset and Full Harvest Moon Paddle is the first of two in October 2020.
http://wwals.net/?p=53333

The second is the Full Hunter’s Halloween Moon paddle on October 31, 2020.
http://wwals.net/?p=53647

Also this month, don’t forget the big cleanup on October 10th on three rivers and many creeks, in conjunction with Lowndes County and Valdosta.
http://wwals.net/?p=53557

And the big October event, the Third Annual WWALS Boomerang paddle race from Georgia into Florida and Back!
http://wwals.net/pictures/2020-10-24–boomerang/

Follow the links above for outing details.

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!

Banks Lake Full Hunter’s Halloween Moon paddle 2020-10-31

Yes, bring costumes: it’s Halloween! Leisurely Sunset and Full Moon Paddle, with bats, on our mini-Okefenokee, Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge, just west of Lakeland, Georgia.

When: Gather 6:15 PM, launch 6:30 PM, end 8:50 PM, Saturday, October 31, 2020

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

GPS: 31.035097, -83.097045

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.

Lights: You must have a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow sticks work well, or head lamp, flashlight, etc.) so other boaters can see you in the dark. It will be totally dark after sunset. You must wear a PFD. A whistle is not required, but it’s a good idea in the dark. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it. Thanks to Banks Lake Outdoors for free boat rental for these WWALS Full Moon Paddles.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay the at the outing, or online: wwals.net/donations/#outings

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
wwals.net/donations/#join

Event: facebook, meetup

[Bat tree]
Photo: Bobby McKenzie, Bat tree, 2020-08-03.

Continue reading

Alapaha River good water quality at Berrien Beach and Lakeland Boat Ramp, also Withlacoochee 2020-09-12

Update 2020-09-16: Bad lower Suwannee, good Withlacoochee and Alapaha 2020-09-14.

Results look good from the Alapaha River Saturday, at Berrien Beach and Lakeland Boat Ramp. Florida Thursday Withlacoochee River results corroborate the WWALS State Line results of that same Thursday we reported last time, and extend them downstream into Florida, also good.

However, more than half an inch of rain fell on Okapilco Creek Thursday, 0.75″ at Spence Field east of Moultrie, and also 0.6″ at Dixie in the west of Brooks County. Is that enough to wash some manure into the creek? We shall see.

[Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers]
Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers

Berrien Beach

After the Berrien Beach Boat Ramp (and Beach) cleanup, I collected a sample at Continue reading

Pictures: Berrien Beach Boat Ramp Cleanup 2020-09-12

Nine people collected 304 pounds of trash at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp in Berrien County, Georgia, and at Berrien Beach in Lanier County, downstream across the river.

[Boat Ramp, Berrien Beach, bags of trash, bottles]
Boat Ramp, Berrien Beach, bags of trash, bottles

We got a picture with banners early before anybody left, and more later, with the trash and the beautiful Alapaha River. See also the real trash problem, the companies that make it.

[Before]
Before
Photo: John S. Quarterman, L-r: Dan Phillips, Dylan Phillips, Bret Wagenhorst, Bobby McKenzie, Shirley Kokidko, Cindy Leighton, Becky Garber, Donald Roberson.

WWALS charter board member Bret Wagenhorst handed out t-shirts from the Georgia statewide Rivers Alive program, from our last cleanup near this location, Continue reading

WWALS to visit Banks Lake for moonrise paddle, plus Boomerang paddle race –VDT

Amanda M. Usher, Valdosta Daily Times, 4 September 2020, WWALS to visit Banks Lake,

LAKELAND — The WWALS Watershed Coalition works to draw attention to the South Georgia [and North Florida] rivers with its monthly paddles and cleanups.

The group sponsors the Banks Lake Full Harvest Moon paddle, 6:50 p.m., Oct. 1, at the Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Ga. 122. Guests will gather at 6:30 p.m.

The event is held each time there is a full moon, John Quarterman, Suwannee Riverkeeper, said.

“The more people we can get out on our waters, the more they will realize Banks Lake is a gem and our rivers (Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Little, Suwannee and more) are fun and different every time,” he said.

[Moonrise]
Moonrise

At Banks Lake, Quarterman said spectators can view bats coming out of trees, an alligator and a moon rise.

Participants are asked to bring Continue reading

Walkers Crossing closed, Full Corn Moon Paddle, Banks Lake 2020-09-02

You may want to allow more time if you’re driving to Banks Lake this evening from Hahira (I-75 exit 29) or Valdosta for the Full Corn Moon Paddle, since Walker’s Crossing is closed, and that’s on the usual route. Walker’s Crossing is where east-west GA 122 meets north-south GA 125 (Bemiss Road).

[Walkers Crossing, GA 122 @ GA 125 (Bemiss Road) w. of Banks Lake]
Walkers Crossing, GA 122 @ GA 125 (Bemiss Road) w. of Banks Lake
In the WWALS map of all public landings in the Suwannee River Basin.

Remember, try to be at Banks Lake by 7:15 PM to have time to sign in and get ready to launch. Follow the link for more outing details:
http://wwals.net/?p=53303.

It looks like you can go around from Barretts on New Bethel Road. Or just follow the Detour signs. Georgia DOT – Southwest, facebook, August 31 at 9:52 PM

Lowndes Co (close to Lanier Co): the railroad crossing on SR 122 just east of SR 125 is scheduled to close tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 1, and is expected to reopen Thursday, Sept. 3. This is required for repairs to the crossing. Detour routes will be US 129, SR 122 Connector and SR 125. Watch for detour signs.

Thanks to Mike Kondrot for the heads-up.

If you’re coming up I-75 from Florida, you’ll probably also notice this: Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Harvest Moon, Banks Lake 2020-10-01

Update 2020-10-04: Pictures.

Leisurely Sunset and Full Moon Paddle, first of two in October 2020. It should be cooler, and if we’re lucky we’ll see bats.

When: Gather 6:30 PM, launch 6:50 PM, end 8:50 PM, Thursday, October 1, 2020

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

GPS: 31.035097, -83.097045

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.

Lights: You must have a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow sticks work well, or head lamp, flashlight, etc.) so other boaters can see you in the dark. It will be totally dark after sunset. You must wear a PFD. A whistle is not required, but it’s a good idea in the dark. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it. Thanks to Banks Lake Outdoors for free boat rental for these WWALS Full Moon Paddles.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay the at the outing, or online: wwals.net/donations/#outings

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
wwals.net/donations/#join

Event: facebook, meetup

[Moonrise]
Photo: Bobby McKenzie, Moonrise over Banks Lake, 2020-08-03.

Continue reading

Berrien Beach Boat Ramp Clean Up, Alapaha River, 2020-09-12

Update 2020-09-13: Pictures.

Cleanup on the Alapaha River in Berrien County, Georgia, at Berrien Beach Boat Ramp.

When: Gather 9 AM, launch N/A, end 12 PM, Saturday, September 12, 2020

Put In: Berrien Beach Boat Ramp. Concrete boat ramp on the north side of GA 168, west side of Alapaha River, in Berrien County, Georgia. About 20 minutes east of Nashville, GA, same southwest of Pearson. Less than 45 minutes southeast of Tifton and northeast of Valdosta. About an hour north of Madison, Jasper, Live Oak, or Lake City, FL; two hours north of Gainesville, FL.
The boat ramp is public, but the Berrien (west) side of the river is owned by Langdale Timber Company. Also known as Berrien Beach Landing. Float downstream under the bridge to the sand beaches of Berrien Beach.

GPS: 31.159076, -83.045554

Take Out: Berrien Beach Boat Ramp , which is on the WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail.

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.
Actually, you don’t have to bring a boat to this one: there’s plenty of trash to clean up right at the boat ramp.

Free: it’s a cleanup. However, we recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
wwals.net/donations/#join

Event: facebook, meetup

Bret Wagenhorst: Public access on north side of bridge, with cement strip boat ramp at higher water level but no facilities. Access road is unpaved and about 1/4 mile long. Nice sandy beach 2014-10-20
Photo: Bret Wagenhorst, Public access on north side of bridge, with cement strip boat ramp at higher water level but no facilities. Access road is unpaved and about 1/4 mile long. Nice sandy beach 2014-10-20.

Continue reading