Tag Archives: Suwannee Riverkeeper

Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest Committee Meeting 2019-03-24

Come on over to Live Oak this Sunday to help organize the Second Annual Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest! Thanks again to radio host Chris Beckham for agreeing to M.C. the Contest, which will be August 24, 2019, at The Salty Snapper in Valdosta, with submissions opening the first of April.

When: 6PM, Sunday, March 24, 2019

Where: Sakura Japanese Sushi and Grill, 1548 Ohio Avenue South, Live Oak, FL 32064-4514

Event: facebook, meetup

Tom H. Johnson Jr., Laura D'Alisera, Eileen Box, John S. Quarterman, Scotti Jay, Sara Jay; Photo: Mary Catherine Pindar, 2019-02-17
Tom H. Johnson Jr., Laura D’Alisera, Eileen Box, John S. Quarterman, Scotti Jay, Sara Jay; Photo: Mary Catherine Pindar, 2019-02-17

We made quite a bit of progress at last month’s meeting, including setting the date of the Contest, and we put out a press release.

Now we need to Continue reading

Valdosta Sewage Spills Workshop at Florida Senate 2019-03-20

A Florida Senate Committee has scheduled a Workshop on Valdosta Sewage Spills.

Table, Committee

The same session this Wednesday afternoon will hear three water bills, SB 1100 about funding water well testing, which is relevant to the recent detection of E. coli in for example Hamilton County wells, SB 1758, which includes some changes to Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) requirements and requirements for wastewater treatment plants to notify customers of unlawful discharges, and SB 1552 about Red Tide mitigation.

Event: facebook, meetup

Florida Senator Bill Montford, District 3 When I went by Senator Bill Montford’s office last Wednesday, his staffer said they would be scheduling this workshop, with public input. They have done so. Senator Montford is the Chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. His District 3 includes Hamilton, Madison, and Taylor Counties, all of which are members of the twelve-county Florida Rivers Task Force and signatories on its Resolution asking for assistance from Florida and Georgia about Valdosta sewage spills. The Withlacoochee River, into which much of Valdosta’s raw sewage spills have gone, is the border between Madison and Hamilton Counties, and the Alapaha River, into which basin other Valdosta spills have gone, runs through Hamilton County. Taylor County is not on either of those rivers nor on the Suwannee River, yet its economy is affected by the stigma of Valdosta’s sewage spills.

The Florida Senate, COMMITTEE MEETING NOTICE,

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Senator Montford, Chair
Senator Albritton, Vice Chair

MEETING DATE: Wednesday, March 20, 2019

TIME: 4:00—6:00 p.m.

PLACE: Mallory Horne Committee Room, 37 Senate Building [404 S. Monroe, Tallahassee, FL 32399]

AMENDMENT DEADLINE: Continue reading

WWALS at Suwannee Spring Reunion at the Music Park 2019-03-21-24

Join Suwannee Riverkeeper for music on the Suwannee River, and help us talk about paddling on our rives and advocacy. Yes, icluding wastewater and pipelines, as well as phosphate mines. Plus kayak raffle and froggy toss game! All at Suwannee Spring Reunion.

When:

Thursday March 21 through Sunday March 24, 2019

Where: Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
3076 95th Dr, Live Oak, Florida 32060

Event: facebook, meetup

Suwannee Riverkeeper, WWALS

What: Suwannee Spring Reunion, featuring Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Steep Canyon Rangers, Billy Strings, Donna The Buffalo, Larry Keel Experience, Chatham County Line, Jim lauderdale, Verlon Thompson, Shawn Camp Band, The Grass Is Dead, Jon Stickley Trio, Town Mountain, Joe Craven & Hattie Craven, Rev. Jeff Mosier, Daddy, The Mammals, Pigeon Kings, Roy Book Binder, Nikki Talley, Nora Jane Struthers, Ralph Roddenbery, TKO featuring Duke Bardwell, Cicada Rhythm, Bolkun Brothers, Quartermeen, Sloppy Joe Habanero, Habanero Honeys, and The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn.

If you want to help at the WWALS booth, send email to wwalswatershed@gmail.com or call 850-290-2350.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

E. coli at GA 133 Withlacoochee 2019-03-05

Valdosta’s monthly water quality testing data shows E. coli down at three out of their six remaining stations, and up at the other three, highest at US 41 on the Withlacoochee River, upstream of most of Valdosta and its Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant. This data is for Tuesday, March 5, 2019, and was obtained as usual by an open records request from WWALS.

Graph, Withlacoochee River Basin, Withlacoochee

Even that 265 cfu/100 ml E. coli is barely above the Georgia limit of 200, and far below the alert line of 1,000.

US 41, Withlacochee River, Withlacoochee

GA 133, Withlacochee River, Withlacoochee

At the next station downstream from US 41, at GA 133, the Withlacoochee River still showed Continue reading

Waterkeepers in Tallahassee 2019-03-13

Three of the Waterkeepers of Florida were at the Capitol in Tallahassee Wednesday, two of them for Reclaiming Florida’s Future for All, an annual event organized by ReThink Energy Florida and others. Of course Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) was prominently represented. Banning fracking was top of the long list of issues on the agenda. Water Quality and Quantity included Valdosta (and other) wastewater.

[Speaking]
Speaking

Lake Worth Waterkeeper Reinaldo Diaz advocates for the Lake Worth Lagoon and its watershed, a coastal estuary running along the eastern edge of Palm Beach County.

[Lisa Rinaman et al.]
Lisa Rinaman et al.

Scariest of all to polluters is St Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman, seen here with Continue reading

Video: BIG Little River Paddle Race, Paddle Georgia, Songwriting Contest, coal ash, trust funds, and wastewater, on Scott James Radio 2019-02-22

On WWALS TV radio Scott James and Valdosta Airport Executive Director James Galloway and I discussed alligators, karst limestone, and water levels on the Suwannee, Withlacoochee, and Alapaha Rivers. If I have to fly, I much prefer flying out of Valdosta to Atlanta, because if you forget about your pocketknife, security will just ask you if you want to take it to your car.

WWALS banner, Scott James

Before outings, we talked about coal ash and how Continue reading

Help upgrade our Suwannee River Basins in Georgia

We asked the state of Georgia to upgrede our main Suwannee River Basin rivers (and some lakes and swamps) from their current lowest water quality classification as Fishing to what they really are: Recreational Use. You can help!

[Georgia landings in Suwannee River Basin]

Every three years, federal law requires each state to review its water quality standards. 2019 is such a year for Georgia, so the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA-EPD) is conducting a Triennial Review. The request WWALS sent to GA-EPD, background, and their response are all on the WWALS website. Our request was rather long, with 23 pages asking for reclassification of the Suwannee River, the Okefenokee Swamp, the Alapaha River, Lake Irma, Banks Lake, Grand Bay, the Withlacoochee River, the Little River, and Reed Bingham State Park Lake, all from Fishing to Recreational Use. The WWALS cover letter is included at the end of this blog post. For the rest, see the WWALS website.

The response thus far from GA-EPD has some good news: Continue reading

Appeal against pipeline eminent domain to U.S. Supreme Court 2019-03-13

Ain’t that the truth: “The upshot of this is that the pipeline companies get everything they want, and the property owners get nothing.”

[Transco]
Transco

A lasting solution would be to remove private eminent domain from the Natural Gas Act (NGA), as proposed by the Georgia House of Representatives in 2017. Meanwhile, this Writ attempts at least to limit the damage.

[Question]
Question

This Pennsylvania case is about Transcontinental Pipeline Company (Transco), which is also behind the Hillabee Expansion Project in Alabama, the source of Sabal Trail’s fracked methane in the Continue reading

Elected officials from Valdosta and 12 downstream Florida Counties 2019-04-10

Update 2019-03-14: The Valdosta City Clerk says the Valdosta City Manager says “the public will have an opportunity to speak.”

As discussed in Lake City when the dozen downstream Florida counties passed their resolution, and as foreshadowed by Emma Wheeler on WCTV, and now confirmed by Valdosta City Clerk Teresa Bolden, elected officials from Valdosta and twelve Florida counties will meet to discuss Valdosta wastewater spills and how to stop them. She also confirmed that since there will be a quorum of the Valdosta City Council there, this will be a public meeting.

When: 6PM, Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Where: General Purpose Room,
Valdosta City Hall Annex,
300 North Lee Street, Valdosta, GA 31601

Event: facebook, meetup

Valdosta City Hall Annex
Photo: Ellis, Ricket & Associates.

It’s not clear the public will be able to speak, but you can come and see for yourself. As I told the Valdosta City Clerk, this afternoon I already invited the Suwannee River Water Management District and everybody else who was in their meeting. Valdosta will probably publish an announcement soon, but so far we at least know the meeting will happen and it will be public. Y’all come.

Back on Continue reading

The #Trashtag Challenge: Cleanups are good, but throwaway plastic needs to be stopped

It’s great the #Trashtag Challenge is getting people to clean up litter, but remember the straw and the sea turtle. Let’s also get on with fixing the problem, which is throwaway plastic and other discardable containers and wrappers.

[A new challenge.]
A new challenge.

It’s fun and useful to clean up a creek, like we did Sunday on Onemile Branch at Azalea Festival in Valdosta.

[Scotti downstream]
Scotti downstream

WWALS does this on every outing, which is also a cleanup, plus some specific cleanups, such as two at Troupville Boat Ramp on the Little River and one at Sheboggy on the Alapaha River last year. We find the amount of trash tends to go down, as more people catch on that we need to take care of our waters.

Yet more needs to be done. Remember last year at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, the sea turtle and the straw? Continue reading