an advocacy organization working for watershed conservation of the Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems watershed in south Georgia and north Florida through awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen advocacy.
Why yes, yes it has.
For example, Valdosta became famous for this all the way to the Gulf
3 March 2013,
and there were two more spills in 2013 to add to the big one in 2009.
However, the City of Valdosta has promised to use SPLOST and other funding
to fix it within a few years. As
AP reported Friday:
The city of Valdosta says it is making improvements to the
Withlacoochee Water Pollution Control Plant to prevent future
Live Oak — The Florida Department of Health (DOH) today issued
an advisory to residents in counties surrounding the Withlacoochee
and Suwannee rivers. The City of Valdosta has reported a spill, made
up of a combination of storm water and partially treated sewage,
that has overflowed into the Withlacoochee River. The Withlacoochee
flows south and connects with the Suwannee River.
The WWALS outing was location in Statenville, Georgia DNR boat ramp on the Alapaha river. The water level @ the time of the outing was around 9 ft, but the river was within the backs. But the weather was sunny but cool day with a moderate wind. So the participants for this outing was John Quarterman, Gretchen Quarterman, Bret Wagenhorst, Christopher Graham, Dawn Olson. We all launch @ 2pm to paddle upstream against a strong current for forty minutes and paddle downstream for twenty minutes because of the fast current. We did some invasive species monitoring and mapping but we didn’t see any on this trip.
We did encountered with some natives along the banks, which included palmetto, live oak, pine, may haw, tupelo, native blueberries, liverwort, mosses and ferns, kings birds , few small minnows and tadpoles.
There was some limestone seeps lined the banks on the right in places. Gretchen notices there was a very limited buffer on this section of river. Because there was a clear fields near the river edge. So we GPS that location near that large oak tree where we all turn around @, so we can do a review of the river buffer regulations.
Which there was a few small streams flowing into river from either side along the way. There was a slough on the right not far from the start had a old cement dam.
The Alapaha river is like a Jungle-like wildness in its remoteness and luxurious with exotic vegetation, the dark reddish-brown waters of the Alapaha wind through a swampy wonderland teeming with wildlife. Signs of habitation are rare along the river’s course; only a few isolated cabins intrude on the remote tranquility.
One month from now!
Paddle at your own leisure, or race for prizes
Saturday, March 22nd,
BIG Little River Paddle Event,
at Reed Bingham State Park, Adel, Georgia.
Proceeds to benefit
Friends of Reed Bingham State Park
and WWALS Watershed Coalition.
sign up and pay online or you can do that at the event.
Bret Wagenhorst has prepared a poster suitable for hanging up at your place of fun or business:
Comment on this post if you want a paper copy.
WWALS February outing scheduled for tomorrow the 22nd has been cancelled. It was planned to be on the Alapaha River. The launching point would have been from the HWY 84 bridge near Naylor to the landing point at Mayday bridge on Howell Rd. near Howell. It is an 11.1 mile section of the Alapaha with rapids and a small waterfall. We hope to enjoy this trip sometime in the future.
At this time, the water levels on the Alapaha River are rising. The level at the HWY 84 bridge is currently over 11′ with a fast moving current. Unfortunately, high water and fast currents are not safe for recreational canoeing and kayaking.
It would be great to see all WWALS members at our scheduled outing for next month! The Second Annual Big Little River Paddle Event scheduled for March 22nd at 9:30AM.
Update 15 Feb 2014:
You can also apply to Sponsor (Gold, Silver, or Bronze) on
the event page.
A fundraiser for nonprofits Friends of Reed Bingham State Park and WWALS Watershed Coalition, this is a scenic three mile flatwater paddle on the Little River from Red Roberts landing (at Rountree Bridge, 31 11 32.05 N 83 31 13.25 W) in the north end of the park, to the boat ramp on the Colquitt Co. side of the park lake (park map).
You can do it as a race, or as a scenic leisure paddle. Cost is $25
per boat if you register before March 15, and $30 per boat after that
(registration includes park day pass/admission). You must either provide
your own boat or rent one at the park (separate fee). Participants get
a free shuttle and lunch. Fastest boats in various categories win a
prize. Registration is at Red Roberts landing between 9:30 and 10:30
a.m. (to allow time for a shuttle). Mass start at 11 a.m.
More reasons, by
Camo Coalition, of the Georgia Wildlife Federation, starting with:
Siltation kills streams. Siltation can fill lakes making boat access
difficult or impossible. Silt destroys the habitat of aquatic
invertebrates—caddis flies, mayflies, stone flies, and such.
Pollutants can kill fish and these aquatic animals directly. Destroy
the food chain; destroy the fishery.
This bill is not anything like its name.
It’s actually a water grab that would
stuff Flint River water into our fragile Floridan Aquifer
and during droughts take it back out, but not for downstream use,
rather for shipping to Atlanta.
Even though it’s a Senate bill, it’s currently in the
House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee, which has not
yet convened this session, so now is a good time to
contact your state rep.
Those in WWALS watersheds include at least:
Georgia’s environment regulators urged keep hog waste out rivers.This article is by Jennette Gayer who work with Environment Georgia Advocate.
Georgia’s Environmental Regulators have proposed serious rollbacks to existing rules that protect Georgia’s waterways from pollution created at large industrial hog operations. At a public hearing held by the Enviornmental Protection Division on October 25th, 2013 Environment Georgia’s State Advocate Jennette Gayer offered the following as public testimony.
“Water quality in Georgia will continue to suffer if the swine and hog threshold is increased from 3000 to 5000 animal units as proposed, and those facilities are not required to obtain individual National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits (NPDES). If we know – and we do know based on historic examples – that these operations can discharge to and impair waters, why is the state making it easier for these operations to function with less oversight?
In addition to being charged with regulating CAFOs, EPD is also charged with assessing the water quality of our state’s waterways, identifying the impairments, and where impairments exist – addressing those problems to clean up the streams and creeks Georgians fish in, swim in and drink from.
I want to provide a few quick examples of water segments and reaches where permitted swine operations have been determined by EPD studies to be negatively affected by animal production facilities. I’ve pulled this information from Georgia EPD’s 2012 305(b)/303(d) List Documents, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation Plans, and permitting data.
Seven swine operations that had individual NPDES permits were immediately upstream or adjacent to state waters in the Savannah, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, Ogeechee, Canoochee, Oconee and Ocmulgee basins that do not support their designated use. The designated uses of these streams is fishing, and the primary reason for impaired waters is fecal coliform contamination, low dissolved oxygen levels, or non-point sources. In these watersheds, that fecal coliform and non-point sources are typically associated with agricultural operations.
Rather than rolling back safeguards for Georgia’s waterways we should be investigating these examples of pollution near existing Hog CAFO’s and working to solve them. I urge you to act in the best interest of Georgia’s waterways and not move forward with this rule change.”
 Georgia Water Quality Standards are connected by three components. Every water body in Georgia has one of six designated uses: fishing, drinking water supply, recreation, coastal fishing, wild river, and scenic river. And each of those designated uses must meet specific water quality criteria (such as dissolved oxygen or bacterial levels). Finally, the Clean Water Act has an anti-degradation component which is designed to protect existing designated uses and water quality. In other words, water quality is not allowed to degrade and threaten the designated use. And a downgrade in designated use “is prohibited if it would remove protection from any existing use.” (River Network)
EPD is required by the Clean Water Act to assemble a list of creeks, streams, rivers and lakes that do not meet water quality standards. EPD uses the list – which is created every two years – to target areas for restoration and to remove water bodies from the list (de-list) where water quality has improved.
If a water body is impaired and the designated use is threatened, EPD can place the water body on the 305b/303d list of waters. EPD can develop plans – such as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) – to improve water quality. Furthermore, the data can help EPD assess the state of a specific water body that is or might be affected by a new or renewed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, water withdrawal permit, or other permit that might affect designated uses and water quality standards.
Which it remind us how valuable our precious rivers are to us. Because we use that clean water to drink, shower, cooking.etc, So we can live, no water mean their no human life, no wildlife or plants habitat.
The company behind the massive chemical spill that made tap water unsafe for more than 300,000 West Virginians has has filed for bankruptcy, according to documents obtained by The Huffington Post.
According to bankruptcy filings, Freedom Industries, wholly owned by Chemstream Holdings Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday. Freedom Industries owns the storage facility responsible for leaking up to 7,500 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (a coal-cleaning chemical also known as crude MCHM) into West Virginia’s Elk River.
Hundreds of thousands of people in nine counties were given orders not to use water for bathing or drinking for days as the company scrambled to clean up, exposing disturbing vulnerabilities in the water supply and a lack of data about hazardous chemicals and where they’re stored. A second site owned by the company was also cited for safety violations shortly after the spill.
A representative for Freedom Industries told HuffPost that the company would not be commenting on the bankruptcy.
Despite the filings, the U.S. attorney’s office in West Virginia told HuffPost that the new development would not have any effect on its ongoing investigation into the leak. Freedom Industries currently owes $3.66 million to its top 20 creditors, including more than $2.4 million in unpaid taxes to the IRS.
January 13th 2014
Statement of American Rivers’ President Bob Irvin:
“We support the communities that depend on the Elk River for their drinking water and call upon all citizens, industry, and state officials to protect this vital resource. The recent spill of coal-processing chemicals into the Elk River, contaminating the drinking water supply for hundreds of thousands of West Virginians, brings our reliance on clean, healthy rivers into sharp focus. The Elk River, like all waterways in West Virginia, is designated for use as a source of public drinking water. The Freedom Industries spill clearly shows the importance and need for upholding and enforcing laws that protect clean drinking water and public health. Preventing future spills of this kind is one reason American Rivers advocates for strong legal protections for our rivers provided by laws such as the federal Clean Water Act and related state laws.”This map shows the status of water safety in the Kanawha Valley on January 13, 2014 at 5:34 pm after the chemical spill into the Elk River
About American Rivers
American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 200,000 members, supporters, and volunteers.