Tag Archives: watershed

Hurricane Michael, Albany to Tifton 2018-10-11

Driving back from a long-scheduled conference in Alabama, from the state line to Tifton was widespread damage from Hurricane Michael. Nothing like the devastation on the Gulf coast, of course, but very unusual for inland Georgia.

[Traffic light repair 15:20:18, 31.6363489, -84.2473075]
Traffic light repair 15:20:18, 31.6363489, -84.2473075

We saw plenty of downed power lines, so don’t be surprised if everybody is power is not back everywhere for a while.

Hurricanes apparently aren’t good at obeying speed limit signs. Continue reading

Low water in Suwannee River Basin with Hurricane Michael 2018-10-11

Thursday morning, the day after Hurricane Michael passed by to the west and north of the Suwannee River Basin, only Gopher River and the New River gauge near Lake Butler were in Action Stage.

Gulf to Atlantic, After Gauges

Does a place that nearly floods even when a hurricane is a hundred miles west of it seem like a good location for the HPS II phosphate mine, in Union and Bradford Counties, Florida ? Continue reading

Okefenokee Campout and Paddle, Suwannee River, Stephen C. Foster State Park, Fargo, GA, 2018-12-07-09

Camp two nights and paddle in the Okefenokee Swamp. We will camp Friday and Saturday at Stephen C. Foster State Park near Fargo, Ga. This remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp.

When: Friday through Sunday, December 7-9, 2018
9AM, Saturday, December 8, start paddling

Put In: Stephen C. Foster State Park, Fargo, GA

GPS: 30.827659, -82.361819

Take Out: Stephen C. Foster State Park

Camping: Make your camp site reservation through Reserve America. Outing leader Shirley Kokidko has site #56. Let’s try to stay close together so we can share a camp fire and group meal Saturday evening. If you want to share a site and split the cost, post it in the comments (meetup, facebook, or blog) so others will see it. If you don’t want to camp, we want you to come out and join us for this paddle.

Paddling: Saturday morning we will meet at the marina at 9 a.m. to shuttle vehicles to the take out at the Sill. We will paddle from Billy’s Lake through the Narrows to the Sill. The current can be swift so you must be able to maneuver you boat around trees in a swift narrow stream. You must wear a PFD and have a tow rope. The park rents canoes, kayaks and bicycles. There will be an optional paddle Sunday morning.

Bring: You must wear a PFD and have a tow rope. Also boat, paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. And trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup.

After dark: The park will have a telescope for star gazing Friday night, this is one of the darkest places in the Southeast due to a lack of light pollution in the Okefenokee Swamp. The park also offers a boat tour after dark on Saturday. Telephone reception is mostly non-existent in this remote location so be prepared to put the electronics away and plug into nature.

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

Gretchen photographing Bret and Phil on the dock
Okefenokee Swamp, 2016-12-10

Continue reading

Deadline extended for WWALS Boomerang early-bird tickets, through 2018-10-13

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, October 8, 2018 — By popular demand at the Hahira Honeybee Festival, WWALS has extended the deadline for early-bird $20 tickets through Saturday, October 13, for the WWALS Boomerang paddle race, coming up Saturday, November 3, 2018. This new event goes downstream and back again on the Withlacoochee River and the west edge of Valdosta, the largest city in the Suwannee River Basin, only a few miles from Valdosta State University. Someone from the Atlantic coast of Florida won our spring BIG Little River Paddle Race this spring, and kayaks or canoes from everywhere are welcome at the Boomerang as well. If you don’t have a boat, two outfitters so far have signed up to supply those. There will be food and drink and music at this WWALS fall paddling festival.

WWALS, Parade
WWALS Boomerang organizer Bobby McKenzie and family with fellow WWALS board member Dan Phillips in the parade at the Hahira Honeybee Festival.

Boomerang paddlers will race from Langdale Park Boat Ramp, just off of North Valdosta Road (US 41), down the Withlacoochee River to Sugar Creek Landing, and back upstream. If you don’t want to race, you can just paddle, and if you don’t want to paddle upstream, you can take out onto Gornto Road. Bobby’s four-year-old son finished our other paddle race, so paddlers of all ages are welcome.

For all the details and to get tickets, Continue reading

Worse upstream and far downstream, Valdosta water quality testing 2018-09-19, 2018-09-25 2018-10-02

Water quality is worse upstream of Valdosta’s Withlacoochee WTP and far downstream of its Mud Creek WTP, according to Valdosta’s most recent data, received last week in response to a Georgia Open Records Act (GORA) request from WWALS. This is the recent data I mentioned in the tour of Valdosta WTPs.

Does this data mean Valdosta is perfect and will never spill again? Nope. But it does mean there’s more than one source of fecal coliform and E. coli. We need to find those other sources, which is one reason WWALS is starting a water quality testing program.

Mud Creek WTP

Valdosta’s smaller WTP is in the Alapaha River Basin.

Map, Mud Creek WTP

The WTP is the image left of top center, St. Augustine Road is the green diamond top left, Johnson Road is the grey diamond below and left of top center, and GA 135 Alapahoochee is the grey diamond bottom right.

Map, Mud Creek WTP

St. Augustine Rd., Mud Creek, Mud Creek WTP

100 and 10 are good readings for Fecal Coliform and E. coli, upstream of the Mud Creek WTP. Continue reading

Pictures, Hahira Honeybee Saturday 2018-10-06

Best parade ever! Saturday noon at the Hahira Honeybee Festival:

by Allison B. Freeman, Parade
Photo: Allison B. Freeman

We had quite a crew this time: Continue reading

Pictures, Hahira Honeybee Friday 2018-10-05

Gretchen and Dave and me had a fine time Friday at the Hahira Honeybee Festival. Families really like the EnviroScape. Come on down today and see Bobby and the McKenzie clan march in the parade with Suwannee Riverkeeper!

Family, Enviroscape, Gretchen, Enviroscape
Family, Enviroscape, Gretchen Quarterman

Thanks for the donation of the EnviroScape, Continue reading

Flyer and last discount ticket day for WWALS Boomerang Withlacoochee River paddle race by Valdosta

Update 2018-10-08: Early-bird $20 ticket deadline extended through October 13th!

Today is the last day for the $20 early registration for WWALS Boomerang, Langdale Park to Sugar Creek and Back Again, Withlacoochee River, Valdosta, Georgia.

Here is a flyer and a two-per-sheet version, both in PDF ready for printing.

Flyer, WWALS Boomerang
PDF flyer.

Get your $20 early-bird tickets today before they go up to $30!

And if you come to the Hahira Honeybee Festival today, you can see Bobby and the McKenzie clan march in the parade.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Videos: Tour of Valdosta WTPs 2018-10-03

Thanks to Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse and staff for the Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants Wednesday. Afterwards, I got them to sit down in a conference room and say again the most important points. They said what they had done to prevent future spills like the big ones this year.

Valdosta staff,
Counterclockwise from front: Utilities Director Darryl Muse, Public Information Officer Ashlyn Becton, Environmental Manager Scott Fowler, Mud Creek WTP Superintendent Mud Creek Stanley K. Martin.

We also elicited Valdosta Utilities’ view on the letter establishing the Middle and Lower Suwannee River and Withlacoochee River Task Force, which was mainly Continue reading

WCTV at Hagan Bridge on Withlacoochee sewage spills downstream into Florida 2018-10-02

WCTV came to Hagan Bridge Landing at GA 122 on the Withlacoochee River to interview Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman about what Madison County and 10 more Florida counties are doing about Valdosta sewage spills into local rivers. Don’t forget the Tour of Valdosta wastewater treatment plants 9:30 AM this morning, Wednesday, October 3, 2018.

Enough is enough when it comes to sewage spills in local rivers, Hagan Bridge

Emma Wheeler, WCTV, 2 October 2018, North Florida communities look to solve sewage spills in Valdosta, Continue reading