Now that Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the toll road bill, SB 7068, Suwannee Riverkeeper — which was among the 90 organizations throughout Florida that asked him to veto it — continues to oppose that boondoggle and propose actual benefits to Florida’s economy and waters.
Google map of one likely route of the Suncoast Connector.
One of these three unneeded turnpikes would have to cross the Suwannee River, plowing through counties where we have many members. All this very poorly written bill says about its route is: “Suncoast Connector, extending from Citrus County to 164 Jefferson County.” Apparently that means from Crystal River to Monticello, and on to Thomasville, Georgia, through farms, forests and swamps. If this toll road builds its bypasses, bye-bye local businesses in Chiefland, Fanning Springs, Old Town and Cross City.
Yes, the turnpike bill has a “project development phase” for $45 million and increasing each year, with a Continue reading
The deputy went in to see what the ruckus was about. It was Lu Merritt, Mike Roth, Jim Tatum, Mike Kern, and then me, in extensive discussion about a water withdrawal permit request, that Jim Tatum called Words of Truth to the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) Board.
On the agenda for that Monday, 14 May 2019:
20. Approval of New Water Use Permit 2-001-234425-1, Authorizing a Maximum 0.1462 mgd of Groundwater for Agricultural Use at the Parker Pond Project, Alachua County
I was actually there for this later item:
30. Valdosta Wastewater Update
In interaction with Tom Mirti, I confirmed that FDEP is doing DNA and sucralose (human waste marker) testing monthly at the GA-FL line on the Withlacoochee and Alapaha (not Alapahoochee) Rivers, and at the Withlacoochee Confluence with the Suwannee River. However, SRWMD has no plans for doing complementary weeks.
I found the public relations method research by Katelyn Potter to be fascinating.
Below are links to each WWALS video of each speaker, with some notes, followed by a WWALS video playlist. Continue reading
Update 2019-10-25: next Georgia water quality testing training.
You can help find out what is getting into our rivers, springs, and wells beyond sewage spills: fertilizer nitrates, livestock, wildlife, septic tanks, other. We also want to follow up after sewage spills, because the limited testing required by states doesn’t tell us how far the spill went.
The next WWALS quality testing training is:
9 AM to 3 PM, Saturday, November 9, 2019
at SGRC, 327 W. Savannah Ave., Valdosta, GA 31601.
Be sure to fill out the google form above so we will know how many. Be ready to test regularly after you get trained.
We will also schedule another Florida water quality testing training.
Those of you who already got trained, you know we’re starting testing in Georgia. Continue reading
Despite what we heard at the BMAP meeting Tuesday, it turns out Best Management Practices (BMP) are not all that can be done to fix fertilizer nitrate runoff in the Suwannee Rier Basin. “More than $1 million of the Pilgrim’s penalty would fund a program to help nearby farmers reduce their pollution as well.” The Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) could also ask the legislature for further such funding, in addition to recommending BMPs. Congratulations, Environment Florida and Sierra Club, for doing what the state of Florida has not!
Another chicken breeder is setting up in the Suwannee River Basin, near Quitman in Brooks County Georgia, next to Okapilco Creek, which flows into the Withlacoochee River and then the Suwannee River. We’ll be watching.