Tag Archives: boating

Request comment deadline extension and public hearings about titanium mine near Okefenokee Swamp –Suwannee Riverkeeper to Army Corps 2020-03-19

We urge everyone else to also send the Army Corps a comment letter asking for an extension of the comment deadline and for public hearings.

For more things you can do to oppose this bad mining application, see How to Comment.

[Map: TPM Mine, Okefenokee Swamp, Suwannee River]
Map: TPM Mine, Okefenokee Swamp, Suwannee River
in the WWALS map of All Public Landings in the Suwannee River Basin.
The TPM mine is marked in the right center by the highlighted crossed hammers,
due north of the line of four Chemours titanium mines in north Florida.

Below is the text of the letter WWALS just sent to the Corps as a PDF.

March 19, 2020

To: Col. Daniel Hibner, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District
Attention: Ms. Holly Ross, holly.a.ross@usace.army.mil,
CESAS-SpecialProjects@usace.army.mil
1104 North Westover Boulevard, Suite 9, Albany, Georgia 31707

Cc: 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, GA 30334

Re: Applicant: Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, Application Number: SAS-2018-00554

Dear Colonel Hibner,

Regarding permit application SAS-2018-0054 by Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, of Birmingham, Alabama, Suwannee Riverkeeper for WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) asks the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to extend the public comment period and to hold public hearings, as detailed at the end of this letter.

Review of the current 219-page Application and the hundreds of pages of appendices is not practicable in Continue reading

Water fast and dirty at Nankin Boat Ramp after Valdosta record sewage spill 2019-12-26

2019-12-28: High E. coli at state line in Florida DOH water quality data 2019-12-24.

At Nankin Thursday: 533 cfu/100 mL E. coli, well above the state limit of 200, and up from 33 on December 15, and zero on December 11 and 8 and November 23.

Florida already saw elevated bacterial counts at the state line on Tuesday, so the Withlacoochee River is apparently contaminated with Valdosta sewage all the way from Sugar Creek down to the Florida line. Yet Valdosta still hasn’t put up any warning signs on the Withlacoochee River downstream from Sugar Creek.

[Across]
Across

That December 26th reading by Suzy Hall at Nankin Boat Ramp isn’t as high as her recent numbers at Knights Ferry: 6,767 on December 24 and 4,966 on December 21st (with 100 on December 15th and zero on December 11th). Nonetheless, it looks like Valdosta’s sewage has spread downstream from Knights Ferry to Nankin.

At 533 cfu/100 ml, you probably don’t want to get that river water on you. Georgia standards indicate Continue reading

WCTV: Valdosta City Council to consider supporting Troupville River Camp 2019-12-02

She got a quote from the Mayor:

“We have the park out there where there’s a landing and parking areas and things like that, so it could be a tourist attraction, and people stopping in here to buy supplies and getting ready for their river trips,” said Valdosta Mayor John Gayle. “It could be a plus for us.”

He’s not in the WCTV video, but you may recognize the logo on this cap:

[at the confluence of the two rivers]
at the confluence of the two rivers

The Troupville River Camp project goes beyond what’s out there now; see this TV report: Continue reading

Okefenokee Swamp on GWC Dirty Dozen because Titanium Mine 2019-11-14

Announced yesterday to press across Georgia and beyond, the titanium mine near Georgia and Florida’s Okefenokee Swamp proposed by Twin Pines Minerals of Alabama made the Georgia Water Coalition Dirty Dozen (see also PDF).

You can still file a comment with the Army Corps and GA-EPD asking them to reject the mine or at least require an Environmental Impact Statement. Convenience for miners is no excuse to risk the fishing, boating, and birding in the swamp and hunting and forestry nearby.

[Closeup]
Closeup of TPM equipment on mine site from GA 94 westbound.
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, November 14, 2019

2019’s
Worst Offenses Against
GEORGIA’S WATER
OKEFENOKEE SWAMP, ST. MARYS AND SUWANNEE RIVERS

Proposed 2,400-Acre Titanium Mine Threatens Signature Landscape of Georgia

INTRODUCTION:

Twenty years ago when chemical giant DuPont proposed mining titanium dioxide ore near the Okefenokee Swamp, opposition to the plan was so strong— Continue reading

Waterkeepers Florida passes resolution against titanium mine application near Okefenokee Swamp

Waterkeepers Florida asks the Army Corps to require Twin Pines Minerals to supply all the information missing from its application for a titanium mine near the Okefenokee Swamp, to prepare a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), to hold Public Hearings, including in Florida, and “to answer how the Corps has or will determine that the Applicant’s proposed mine would not adversely affect the Okefenokee Swamp, the St. Marys River, the Suwannee River, the Floridan Aquifer, or the State of Florida.”

You can also still comment to the Army Corps.

[TPM Equipment closeup, Wayne Morgan]
TPM Equipment closeup Photo: Wayne Morgan for Suwannee Riverkeeper on Southwings flight, pilot Allen Nodorft, 2019-10-05.

Continue reading

WCTV on mining proposed near Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge 2019-08-21

“Because of the coal plants in Georgia, there’s mercury deposition on the surface of the ground for years. If they go stir all that up, that could run in to the swamp,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John Quarterman. “Why should we risk the Okefenokee, its boating, its fishing, its birding.”

Quoted by a reporter based in Valdosta, GA for WCTV in Tallahassee, FL, Emma Wheeler, WCTV, 21 August 2019, Heavy mining facility proposed near Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge,

[Sign]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, Okefenokee NWR Entrance Sign, 2019-07-18

…Last week the Charlton County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution of support for the project. County officials said the reason is because Charlton County does not have many industry opportunities of its own, and many residents leave to surrounding counties for work. officials said the 150 jobs created from the project could be beneficial to the county.

The Okefenokee Swamp is the headwater for the Suwannee River, which is why community members across the region are fighting the proposal, saying it could have consequences in both states.

In the proposal, the Continue reading

Adel passes Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail resolution 2018-01-16

Thanks, City of Adel, for passing this resolution last Tuesday! The next BIG Little River Paddle Race at Reed Bingham State Park will be April 28, 2018, pending final approval by GA DNR. Meanwhile, come paddle with WWALS from Hagan Bridge (GA 122) to Franklinville on the Withlacoochee River, February 11, 2018.

[Under the cypress]
Photo: Phil Hubbard, Under Reed Bingham State Park cypress at the 2017 BIG Little River Paddle Race.

Text of the resolution (see also PDF)

Continue reading

Organizational Meeting for Alapaha River Water Trail 2014-12-13

300x638 ARWT, in Alapaha River Water Trail draft map, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 7 November 2014 WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.
a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation
3338 Country Club Road #L336
Valdosta, GA 31605
17 November 2014

Re: Alapaha River Water Trail

Dear Neighbor,

You are invited to an organizational meeting for the Alapaha River Water Trail by WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS). This updates and slightly extends the old Alapaha Canoe Trail from the 1970s, with new map, brochure, and website in the making.

When: 1-4PM Saturday December 13th 2014
Where: Continue reading

The Alapaha River, unspoiled, wild, and scenic –1979 Soil Survey

300x205 Alapaha, in oil Survey of Lowndes County, by USDA, for WWALS.net, 0 August 1979 The Alapaha River is the first illustration in the Soil Survey of Lowndes County of August 1979. This A+ gem of a blackwater river remains “unspoiled, wild, and scenic” and still “provides water sports and fishing for hundreds of people”. More people will know about it soon, due to the Alapaha River Water Trail. Come see an unuusal feature farther downstream: the Alapaha Sink, where the river goes underground. Come with WWALS to the Sink October 26th. Continue reading

Access to rivers: legal issues

Legal access to rivers and other waterways in Georgia is unclear, and federal law may trump state law anyway.

Dan Washburn wrote some time in 2000 for The Times of Gainesville, GA, Access denied: Owners, users spar over land, which applies as much to the rest of Georgia as to north Georgia:

Photo by Tom Reed The conflict in North Georgia is a confusing amalgam of the old and the new, of state and federal laws, of mountains and streams. Its cast of characters includes landowners and land managers, bureaucrats and businessmen, environmentalists and adventure seekers — and lawyers, plenty of lawyers.

And much of it involves a splitting of legal and philosophical hairs that would make Mother Nature and Uncle Sam cringe.

Nowhere has this tug-of-war played out more dramatically than on Georgia’s rivers and streams, where the dispute over what is public and what is private is as murky as the Chattahoochee River after a hard rain.

There’s a lot more in the article, including this box:

Getting to the water an issue for paddlers, anglers alike

Continue reading