DEP neither acknowledged nor addressed the EPA concerns raised by WWALS –Politico

National news notes Florida doesn’t want DOAH to listen to EPA about Sabal Trail, after WWALS asked DOAH to do so.

DEP over EPA Bruce Ritchie, POLITICO Florida, 25 November 2015, Scott administration helped keep scathing EPA pipeline report out of legal challenge,

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott’s top environmental agency helped block a scathing federal report outlining environmental concerns from being submitted as part of a challenge to a controversial natural gas pipeline that would run across some of Florida’s most “environmentally sensitive areas.”

The Sabal Trail pipeline, a joint venture of Spectra Energy, Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light Co.’s parent company, would extend 515 miles from central Alabama to Osceola County. The project, which covers more than 260 miles in Florida, faces a legal challenge to a state permit in Florida from an environmental group named the WWALS Watershed Coalition.

On Oct. 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, saying it had “very significant concerns” about Continue reading

Thanks to WWALS members!

Thanks to all WWALS members on this Thanksgiving Day!

Thanks for coming on outings, for helping build the water trails, for following the Valdosta wastewater situation, for tracking down recent corporate agricultural land purchases, and for helping fight an unnecessary pipeline and promote clean energy!

Lots of outings are coming up, starting with a hike that needs no boats, at Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area between Valdosta and Lakeland. Then a brief paddle on the Little River and a much longer one on the Alapaha River, plus the Withlacoochee and Little River Water Trail logo contest Continue reading

Silver Springs, FL, benefit for Florida Springs Institute

WWALS is a member of the Florida Springs Council (FSC), which is headquartered at Florida Springs Institute (FSI).

The Florida Springs Institute is hosting its end-of-year benefit at Silver Springs this year on December 11 from 6-9 p.m.

and we would like to extend an invitation to all FSC organizations and their members to join us for this fun-filled event. Our keynote speaker for the evening is the former SJRWMD and SWFWMD Executive Director and current author of the blog, SWFWMD Matters (, Emilio “Sonny” Vergara. Tickets for the event are $75 and include admission to Silver Springs State Park and the Silver River Museum, food and drinks, and an opportunity to meet and hear from well-known springs advocates. There will also be a silent auction and a raffle for a Silver River boat tour for 20 people! All proceeds will benefit the work of FSI, a nonprofit organization.

Silver Springs is a famous example of water problems throughout Florida and south Georgia. Greg Allen, NPR, 13 April 2013, Now Endangered, Florida’s Silver Springs Once Lured Tourists, Continue reading

WWALS Outings and Events late 2015 – early 2016

We just paddled down the Suwannee River from FL 6 to Cone Bridge Road. Coming up next: Grand Bay

All these outings are in Georgia. Which is a switch, since Continue reading

Pictures: FL 6 to Cone Bridge, Suwannee River –Gretchen Quarterman

A nice cloudy day on the iconic Suwannee River, with a ghost bridge. Pictures by Gretchen Quarterman on the November 22nd 2015 WWALS Outing from Florida 6 to Cone Bridge Road.

Lunch banner

Click on any picture for a bigger one. Continue reading

Draft TMDL for Suwannee River Basin

Downstream from Valdosta and Tifton on the Withlacoochee River, and downstream from Fitzgerald on the Willacoochee River: room for improvement in fecal coliform, Figure 2. Impaired Stream Segments in Suwannee River Basin said the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in a draft report issued Friday. The comment deadline is January 20th, 2016. On a quick read, the various wastewater treatment plants do not seem to be the main source of the contamination. Other likely culprits include leaking septic tanks, concentrated livestock operations, and landfills and land application sites, both closed and operating. Also notice the proposed Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline would cross most if not all of these TMDL locations in Lowndes County. Would drilling under the Withlacoochee River and open cuts in these areas help the TMDL problem?