Tag Archives: Politics

Cyanobacteria infecting Florida political races

We are fortunate in the Suwannee River Basin in not having this bad a problem, but are similarities. Greg Allen, NPR, 7 September 2018, Toxic Algae Seeps Into Florida Congressional Races,

For months now, mats of algae from Lake Okeechobee have been flowing down the river, bringing toxins that can affect people and animals. In beach communities east of the lake, the algae have had a big impact on tourism and businesses.

With more toxic algae blooms on Florida’s west coast and a red tide algae bloom causing massive fish kills in the Gulf of Mexico, water quality is increasingly having a big impact on key midterm races in Florida. While Democrats tend to be more outspoken on environmental issues, Republican candidates are also speaking up because they’re feeling the heat.

Outflows from Lake Okeechobee

Seems to me all the candidates are dancing around the real issue, which is Continue reading

Madison County meeting about Valdosta sewage, plus Tom Potter of WWALS 2018-08-21

Valdosta sewage discussed yesterday morning in Madison, and in the evening on TV and in the WWALS Water Quality Testing Committee meeting in Valdosta, and again this evening at the Madison BOCC. Emma Wheeler, WCTV Eyewitness News, 21 August 2018, Sewage spills prompt concern over Withlacoochee River safety,

Sewage spills in Valdosta polluting the Withlacoochee River, Screenshots

MADISON, Fla. (WCTV) — A North Florida community is fighting for cleaner water.

Community members in Madison are pushing for safer waterways. It stems from concerns over sewage spills at Valdosta’s Withlacoochee Treatment Plant. The most recent of the spills happened in June.

Many of those concerned said their goal is to have no sewage spill into the river.

“These are public resources, they belong to us,” said Thomas Potter with the WWALS Watershed Coalition. “It’s our duty and our responsibility to make sure that they remain clean.”…

Emma Wheeler shot some footage Continue reading

Gretchen inviting Lowndes County Commission to Wild & Scenic Film Festival

WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman said “I’m here this evening to invite y’all and everybody present to come to a Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Thursday, May 31.”

Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter wanted to know time and place: 7PM at Mathis Auditorium. Gretchen added, “And we’re going to have a silent auction, and a raffle, and fun stuff. Please come.”

After, Still

Here’s the video:


Gretchen inviting Lowndes County Commission to Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE)
May 22, 2018 Regular Session of the Lowndes County Commission< ,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Tickets: Eventbrite Continue reading

Fossil fuels are a far bigger threat than the Russians

Leaks of hazardous materials, explosions, land takings, sinkholes, frac-outs: these are far bigger threats than Texas Rep. Lamar Smith’s Committee report “that states Russian agents were attempting to disrupt U.S. energy markets and using social media to purportedly stir up protests against pipelines such as Sabal Trail,” as a reporter asked me about recently. Smith’s report doesn’t mention that solar and wind power are growing far faster than his favorite, fracked methane gas.

Energy source growth by sector
Business Council for Sustainable Energy by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, February 2018, 2018 Sustainable Energy in America.

Elsewhere I already looked behind Lamar Smith’s fossil fuel smoke and mirrors, and found I post more on social media than the tiny Russian numbers that horrify him.

His actual examples are seriously rolling-on-the-floor laughable, such as this: Continue reading

Call Florida House today to stop bad springs amendment 2018-03-01

Update 2018-03-02: The amendment was withdrawn, thanks to all of you who called!

They’re going to vote tomorrow (Friday), so call today or very early tomorrow and ask your state rep to vote against Amendment 246447 by Rep. Ingoglia on HB 1149. That amendment would force septic tanks to be installed near springs while putting off useful actions for years during further “review” and “study”.

Contact numbers for them are here: http://myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/myrepresentative.aspx

Or here are all the ones in the Suwannee River Basin listed on a web page.

2015 onsite sewage final report
Illustration from the “2015 final report written as part of the study originally authorized in Specific Appropriation 1682 of chapter 2008-152, Laws of Florida”.

On House Bill 1149, a general environmental regulation bill, Rep. Blaise Ingoglia (R-35) this afternoon introduced Amendment 246447 which includes for example:

(3) As part of the pilot program, the department, in coordination with the Department of Health, must:

(a) Review and build upon Continue reading

Reclaiming Florida’s Future, Tallahassee 2018-01-31

We visited every Florida statehouse member who represents any part of the Suwannee River Basin, Wednesday in Tallahasse, we the people attending ReThink Energy Florida’s event.

Banner, thanks Kristin Rubin, Waller Park
Suwannee Riverkeeper Banner in Waller Park; thanks Kristin Rubin.

And a primary goal of that lobbying was achieved: the fracking ban bill is sheduled for a committee vote Monday.

When: 4:30 PM – 6PM, Monday, February 5, 2018

Where: Mallory Horne Committee Room, 37 Senate Office Building,
400 Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida

Event: facebook.

Stand with us and Continue reading

Hotchkiss Road Landing, Old State Road, and Naylor Boat Ramp

Common question: isn’t Hotchkiss closed? Answer: the old Hotchkiss Landing in Lowndes County is closed, private, and don’t go there! Caution! But Hotchkiss Road Landing in Lanier County is open as always, do go there to get to the Alapaha River. Boat landing And there’s a new park at US 84, with a Naylor Boat Ramp being built by Lowndes County, as urged by WWALS.

600x450 Bret Wagenhorst, Dave Hetzel, Gretchen Quarterman, at Hotchkiss Road, in Alapaha River Outing, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 24 August 2014
Bret Wagenhorst, Dave Hetzel, Gretchen Quarterman, at Hotchkiss Road (open, do go there Boat landing), in Alapaha River Outing, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 24 August 2014.

Previously there was some discussion of using a different name for Hotchkiss Road Landing in the Alapaha River Water Trail, but then nobody would know what we were referring to, since that’s what it’s always been called, down at the end of Hotchkiss Road off of US 84.

For those relatively new to WWALS, WWALS was heavily involved in Continue reading

Valdosta Wastewater Signals Uncrossed

Thanks to new Valdosta Utilities Director Darryl Muse, we think we have communication channels clarified between Valdosta and WWALS, and we have a proposal for the state of Georgia to do what Florida and Alabama are already doing to prevent communication issues in the future.

Especially since we expected paddlers from Atlanta and Gainesville, Florida, at the Saturday October 14 Withlacoochee outing and Rivers Alive Nankin Landing Cleanup in conjunction witih KLVB, I called upstream the Thursday before to check with Valdosta Utilities, and was told no spills in October.

Much to our surprise after the outing, WWALS E.D. Gretchen Quarterman noticed this online: Thomas Lynn, Valdosta Daily Times, 13 October 2017, Sewer blockage causes city pill,

A sewer line blockage caused nearly 4,000 gallons of sewage to spill earlier in the week.

The City of Valdosta Utilities Department staff responded to a sanitary sewer spill at the 400 block of Connell Road around noon Thursday, according to city officials Friday.

Map: Hydrologic Unit Boundaries, Overview
Hydrologic Unit Boundaries, Two Mile Branch Sub-Basin, Valdosta Master Stormwater Management Plan.

That’s in the top center edge of the Two Mile Branch watershed.

Noon was an hour before I called; keep reading for what happened.

The VDT story continues: Continue reading

Call Senators now to stop FERC nominees 2017-08-03

Update 2017-08-03: The Senate already did it. But there are more nominations to oppose and other things you can do.

FERC could suddenly get a quorum. Another FERC nominee went to the Senate Wednesday: no FERC rubberstamp Richard Click, general counsel to the minority party, the Democrats, on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Even the two nominees already forwarded to the full Senate June 6, 2017 if confirmed, added to the one still at FERC, would produce a quorum of 3 out of 5. So please call your Senators now and ask them not to vote to confirm any FERC nominee who does not vow to turn the agency to solar and wind power on a smart grid.

No, this won’t stop or turn off Sabal Trail. But it could stop further pipeline boondoggles from being confirmed. That’s good in itself, and could also erode the credibility of Sabal Trail with its creditors.

Here are telephone numbers for Georgia and Florida Senators, and there’s a script farther down. Continue reading

Support the Clean Water Act for our rivers and aquifer

This Fourth of July holiday, you can help promote continued independence of clean water by opposing the EPA’s attempt to repeal the Clean Water Rule and then undermine the Clean Water Act. FLoridians in the seven counties that have asked the EPA to do something about Valdosta’s wastewater: here’s your chance to make sure the EPA can still do anything. Georgians who don’t want coal ash in landfills or industrial waste in our waters: you can help save the Clean Water Act. Everybody in the Suwannee River Basin: the water we drink from the Floridan Aquifer interchanges with surface waters, and we need the EPA to help protect all those waters.

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