Tag Archives: Suwannee River Basin

Georgia Adopt-A-Stream

First in a series of Where is the existing water quality data? In Georgia, it’s in Georgia Adopt-A-Stream’s database, online maps, charts, etc. And Adopt-A-Stream is not just for Georgia anymore.

Suwannee River Basin, Maps

The data record for the Suwannee River Basin is embarrassingly empty.

Suwannee River Basin, Maps

TN, SC, GA, FL, Maps

However, it turns out there’s data in Tennessee, South Carolina, and in Florida way down to Key West. So Georgia Adopt-A-Stream is a candidate for keeping Suwannee Riverkeeper data. Of which there turns out to be quite a bit already for Florida, Continue reading

Global Croplands, Suwannee River Basin

You can see on these maps that the Suwannee River Basin is massively agricultural, except where it’s forestry or swamp or other wetlands. Thus it’s no wonder that most of the nitrate runoff problem here is due to agriculture, as shown in the Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs).

Basin Wide, Maps

WWALS Science Committee Chair Tom Potter points to this Global Croplands map to illustrate the BMAP issues. The question remains of whether agricultural best management practices as advocated in the recent BMAP meetings will be sufficient to deal with the problem, considering they haven’t decreased it in the past decade.

Global Croplands About: Continue reading

Lead TMDL Evaluation for Three Segments in the Suwannee River Basin 2016-06-01

Through November 24, 2017, public comment is open about lead in our Georgia watersheds, in a new proposed Total Maximum Daily Load Evaluation.

Map: Streams Not Supporting Designated, Lead Criteria Violation

Map: Streams Not Supporting Designated, Lead Criteria Violation

Georgia EPD, Proposed TMDLs, 29 September 2017, NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF REVISED TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS FOR WATERS AND POLLUTANTS OF CONCERN IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA, Continue reading

Florida Public Notice of Pollution

While Alabama is thinking about it (actually, Alabama already does it) and Georgia requires an open records request with slow response, Florida has already required and is publishing timely notices of spills! Among them, surprisingly few in the Suwannee River Basin from Hurricane Irma: three in Baker and Bradford Counties from The Chemours Company, and two from Camp Blanding.

Florida, FDEP
Follow this link for the interactive google map.

Daniel H. Thompson, Lexology, 4 May 2017, Florida Legislature Passes “Public Notice of Pollution Act” Continue reading

Where nobody lives in the Suwannee River Basin

Obviously nobody lives in most of the Okefenokee Swamp or the Osceola National Forest, but also most of Clinch County is unpopulated west of the Swamp, as is much of the Gulf coast along the Suwannee River Estuary, from Cedar Key north to Horsehoe Bay, plus large parts of Dixie and Lafayette Counties west of the Suwannee River.

Screenshot 2017-05-12 13-15-46
Nobody Lives Here: Unpopulated U.S. Census Blocks, screenshot by jsq from interactive map by mapsbynik.

Update 2017-06-20: As someone pointed out, rangers do live in the Okefenokee Swamp, presumably in the white area along the access road.

Cedar Key is the island at the bottom of the map, and from a bit north on the Gulf Coast you can follow Continue reading

Only Valdosta and Tifton spilled sewage in Georgia in Suwannee River Basin in January 2017

GA-EPD’s Atlanta office sent their entire sewage spill database for January 2017 in response to an open records request from WWALS. For the Suwannee River Basin, I see only the known ones by Valdosta, plus a spill from Moultrie’s Carlton Woods Lift Station into the Ocholockonee River, with 36000 gallons, which matches the amount we got directly from Moultrie. That Ochlockonee spill is still not in the Suwannee River Basin.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) Southwest office in Albany handles the other sewage treatment operations in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia, and that Albany office already told us by telephone that they had no reported spills other than the Tifton spill into the New River which I had gotten directly from Tifton. So I think we can conclude there were no other sewage spills into the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia in January 2017 other than the ones from Valdosta and Tifton.

Interestingly, Valdosta with its 2.2 million gallon Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) leak (and three manhole spills) was not the winner. Continue reading

SRWMD responds about NFRWSP; come to Alachua Tuesday 2017-01-17

SRWMD did post responses to comments from WWALS and others on the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP). A week before the planned NFRWSP adoption, same as for the agenda for the joint SRWMD-SJRWMD meeting next Tuesday in Alachua. After OSFR and WWALS posted critical blog posts, SRWMD Executive Director Noah Valenstein sent us and others an offer to meet this Friday in Live Oak to discuss. While many (including me), thanked him for his collegial offer, nobody took him up on it. See you in Alachua Tuesday (facebook event).

Below are Noah Valenstein’s letter and my response. Continue reading

North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan on agenda for joint SRWMD-SJRWMD meeting 2017-01-17

Update 2017-01-12: SRWMD did post responses to comments on the NFRWSP: they posted them a week in advance of planned adoption. Come on down to Alachua Tuesday!

Next week in Alachua without further public meetings or response to those who wrote in, SRWMD and SJRWMD plan to approve the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP), as the only item on the agenda.

Agenda

When: 11AM Tuesday 17 January 2017

Where: 15100 NW 142nd Terrace, Alachua, FL 32615

Event: facebook

WWALS never got a response to our letter about the NFRWSP, not about less water withdrawal, nor about better modeling and data, nor about more water retention, nor specifically about ditching the Rube Goldberg Falling Creek Aquifer Recharge Project for Dennis Price P.G.’s more cost-effective solution, nor with any mention of participation from farther afield in Florida nor in Georgia, for that matter.

The language of the memorandum accompanying the agenda is rather Orwellian:

The NFRWSP has identified sufficient sources of water to meet the needs of the environment and the projected demands through 2035.

That sounds like the environment is making projected demands. Actually, the maps in the NFRWSP are pretty clear that Jacksonville is making the most demands for water, along with other cities and corporate agriculture, and the plan would take from the environment, mostly from the Suwannee River Basin, to get that water.

Our Santa Fe River sums it up pretty well: 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?

Here’s the NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF PROPOSED TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOADS FOR WATERS AND POLLUTANTS OF CONCERN IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA November 20, 2015, which includes: Continue reading

Withlacoochee River upstream, Langdale Park to US 41, kayaktivism against Sabal Trail pipeline 2015-10-03

Come paddle the idyllic Withlacoochee River in its most urbanized area, Valdosta, The bridge in sight 30.8907604, -83.3211441 help clean up trash, and do kayaktivism against the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline, which would cross only a few miles downstream. This is a WWALS Field Trip from Langdale Park upstream to the North Valdosta Road Bridge, Saturday morning October 3rd 2015, in support of the VSU Anthropology Club, the VSU Sociology Club, and Students Against Violating the Environment (S.A.V.E.), who invite you to Kayaktivism Day 2015!

Help us protect the Withlacoochee River!

If I’m not mistaken, Continue reading