Tag Archives: Georgia

Gas pipeline leak near Withlacoochee River in Valdosta

If a small city gas pipeline leak shuts down major roads, imagine what the much larger Sabal Trail pipeline could do.

North Valdosta Road is US 41, and the section between Country Club Road and Val Del that was shut down is there it crosses the Withlacoochee River:

Music Funeral Services
Map from Lowndes County Property Appraiser.

I can’t find this notice anywhere on the city’s website or the Valdosta Police website, so here it is from the VDT:

Valdosta Daily Times, 27 April 2017, City issues gas leak caution, Continue reading

Paddle or Race, Scott James Talk 92.1 FM radio 2017-04-27

Paddle Race logo Scott James had already been talking to WWALS Outings Chair Phil Hubbard about the BIG Little River Paddle Race Saturday morning at Reed Bingham State Park, so he knew some good questions to ask on his Talk 92.1 FM Radio show this morning. Scott also had this morning’s Valdosta Daily Times, which has a nice writeup on the paddle race on the top of page 5A.

Remember to register online or at the event Saturday morning. On-site registration is at Red Roberts Landing, from Exit 41 on I-75.

You do not have to actually race, you can just paddle. But the long-time winner has some real competition this year, with multiple people training seriously to win that $50 first place prize. You could win one of many other prizes, for young, old, male, female, or single, double, or triple kayak or canoe.

Come on down and paddle, eat the lunch grilled by Phil Hubbard, and bid in the silent auction!

And you can get tickets for the kayak raffle, either at the race or online.

Here’s the video: Continue reading

FL Sen. Nelson to EPA about Valdosta sewage and response

Here is a letter from Florida Senator Bill Nelson to the EPA about the Valdosta wastewater situation, and the EPA’s response, which was underwhelming.

A suggestion: say what it is you’d like the EPA, GA-EPD, FDEP, etc. to actually do. And what I’d suggest is get them all to fund and implement regular, frequent, closely spaced, water quality monitoring along all the rivers in the Suwannee River Basin. That way we’d know where pollution is coming from, we’d be able to calibrate what cities including Valdosta say from their own monitoring, and we’d have baselines to compare to.

Sen. Bill Nelson to EPA

Continue reading

Protection of the Suwannee River against Valdosta Sewage –City of Fanning Springs, FL 2017-04-11

Not just for all seven downstream Florida counties anymore: the City of Fanning Springs has also passed a resolution asking the Florida governor to help stop Valdosta wastewater spills. Maybe Valdosta will pay attention this time.

The Valdosta City Council and Mayor didn’t seem to understand when I used the Suwannee County resolution to draw attention to the part about:

“which again resulted in the Florida Department of Health issuing public health advisories warning the public of wastewater contamination in the Withlacoochee River and portions of the Historic Suwannee River, which resulted in warnings being posted at all public access areas along the rivers stating that the rivers were not safe for recreational use and every precaution should be taken to avoid any contact with the river;”

Maybe I should have tried this pithier part at the end: Continue reading

Gretchen Quarterman about WWALS at Kiwanis 2017-04-07

WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman explained WWALS and Suwannee Riverkeeper to the Kiwanis Club of Valdosta, Friday, April 7, 2017. After a brief exercise in getting the windows covered to enhance the video projector brightness, the group was engaged and asked questions about river access, agricultural run off, land stewardship, and some shared their experiences of being on the rivers. It is always a pleasure to share our love of the rivers and our efforts to protect water quality with those in our community.

Wade Kruger of Kiwanis and Gretchen Quarterman of WWALS
Wade Krueger of Kiwanis and Gretchen Quarterman of WWALS
Picture by Justin Cabral of Kiwanis Club of Valdosta

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

BIG Little River Paddle Race on Scott James Radio 8AM 2017-04-27

At least three people are seriously training for the Fifth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race. Maybe it won’t be the usual winner this time! Plus there are prizes in a wide range of categories (solo, double, male, female, ages, etc.) this Saturday April 29th, at Reed Bingham State Park between Adel and Moultrie, GA.

I’ll be on the radio 8AM this Thursday April 27th talking about that and related matters, such as WWALS is now also Suwannee Riverkeeper, with Scott James on his Talk 92.1 drive-time radio show, out of Valdosta, Georgia.

When: 8AM, Thursday, April 27, 2017

Where: You can listen on the air, or through the radio show’s own website, or through several online listening services.

Register: Don’t forget to register for the paddle race, either online or at the event. Continue reading

Videos: More people, equipment, and smoke: West Mims Fire Okefenokee update 2017-04-16

Naturally a party of people we know were paddling across the Okefenokee Swamp over the weekend, but far north of the fire, so they had no problems, getting out just before the overnight stops in the Okefenokee NWR close today. Apparently they could see skyglow of the West Mims Fire on the southern horizon at night. Meanwhile, smoke has been seen as far north as North Carolina and I can smell it in Lowndes County, 60 miles west of the fire.

InciWeb map
Map by InciWeb, 16 April 2017.

Hannah Patrick, WWAYTV3, Wilmington, NC, 16 April 2017, Strong winds drive smoke from Georgia Wildfire into NC,

Multiple media outlets report that the National Weather Service in Raleigh said southwest winds pushed the smoke up Sunday from the southeast Georgia fire.

The Division of Environmental Quality air quality index number for the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill hit the orange alert level Sunday. That means people who are sensitive to air quality should stay inside.

Officials believe the smoke is coming from the Georgia fire and not one in McDowell County, North Carolina, that the U.S. Forest Service said was about 85 percent contained as of Sunday.

InciWeb says the number of personnel has increased to 184, the number of engines to 17, and the number of tractor plows to 27; still 5 dozers and one hot shot crew. However, the acreage burned has increased to 18,551, with still only 3% contained, and the same estimated containment date two months out of Thursday June 15th, 2017 approx. 12:00 AM.

The fire still seems to be staying within the mile-wide buffer zone around the NWR established by the Okefenokee-Osceola Local Implementation Team.

Before we and our ancestors massively modified the environment of the U.S. southeastern coastal plains, back when there was a longleaf pine forest from southern Virginia to eastern Texas, lightning-lit fires would burn for many miles and many days.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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