Tag Archives: Tom Potter

WWALS Honored at Georgia DNR Confluence Conference as Volunteers of the Year 2020-08-29

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, GA, August 31, 2020 — WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman zoomed into the annual Georgia Adopt-A-Stream Confluence conference on Saturday, August 29, 2020, so WWALS could receive the statewide Volunteer of the Year award while we were finishing the Twomile Branch Cleanup.

[Award and Cleanup]
Award and Cleanup

The award is for “Individual has gone beyond the call of duty to improve water quality and meet AAS goals.” We emphasized it was not just one volunteer, but many, in our one-minute award acceptance video. We also thanked Georgia Power again for a grant. We didn’t have time to mention we’re getting testing kits to WWALS testers in Florida, upcoming WWALS water quality testing training, and branching out to the Santa Fe River, but all that is in this post.

Testers shown in the video include Sara Jay, Scotti Jay, Suzy Hall, Alex Chesna, Bobby McKenzie, Jacob Bachrach, and Trudy Cole. Continue reading

Winners: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020-08-22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Winners and excellent music from the judges and headliner, too, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

Hahira, GA, August 24, 2020 — Everyone went away happy. The finalists got prizes, and the audience was impressed with the song each judge played, and with the headliner. The audience was impressed that one contestant, who couldn’t come due to the virus pandemic, was projected on the bandstand via zoom anyway.

[Winners*: Brian Barker* via zoom, accepting for, Scott Perkins*, Laura D'Alisera, Kathy Lou Gilman*, John S. Quarterman, Billy Ennis*, Ronni Dillon (not present)]
Winners*: Brian Barker via zoom*, accepting for him, Scott Perkins*, Laura D’Alisera, Kathy Lou Gilman*, John S. Quarterman, Sweet William Billy Ennis*, Ronni Dillon (not present)

The winners are: Continue reading

Songwriting Contest on Steve Nichols radio show 2020-08-18

Here is video of Steve Nichols and Suwannee Riverkeeper talking about the Songwriting Contest on the radio, last Tuesday morning at 8:30 AM, 105.9 FM WVGA.

Tickets to listen are available, $10 online or $12 at the door (children under 12 free).
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/third-annual-suwannee-riverkeeper-songwriting-contest-finals-tickets-110284875030

For VIP tables send email to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

[Radio, History, Waterworks, Georgia Beer Co.]
Radio, History, Waterworks, Georgia Beer Co.

The Contest Finals are this Saturday (tomorrow), 7-9 PM, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601.

Scott James of 92.1 FM will be the M.C. The headliner, Dirty Bird and the Flu, will play. Then each of the three judges will play. The finalists will play for the judges and you the audience. Somebody will win the $300 First Prize, and the other prizes.

[First Prize, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest]
First Prize, Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

There will be a silent auction and kayak raffle tickets will be available. Our top-tier sponsor, Georgia Beer Company, will say a few words, as will our host, the Turner Arts Center, and several WWALS people will speak about programs, projects, stewardship, and advocacy. Each elected official present will get three minutes to speak on any subject; just remember it’s a festival.

Bring your own chairs and tables if you can. We will have some, but if you can bring your own, that will be great. There’s plenty of room to have tables spaced apart. We will be requiring masks when you go up to the WWALS information tables or close to others not in your group.

Food will be by Rico’s Tacos’ food truck. Drinks will be provided by the Pour House.

For much more, follow this link: http://wwals.net/pictures/2020-08-22–songwriting/

Steve Nichols and I also talked about Why care about the waters?, WWALS Cleanups and Outings, Water Quality Testing, Masks at the Contest, and Georgia Beer Company, Top Tier Sponsor.

Why care about the waters?

Video at 3:33. Steve Nichols asked why I was so involved in this water stuff.

A century ago, my grandfather Continue reading

Songwriting Contest on Scott James Radio 2020-08-18

The first of three radio interviews yesterday about the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest was at 7:30 AM on the Scott James show, 92.1 FM.

Songwriting on the radio

Scott James will be the M.C. of the Contest, which is this Saturday, 7-9 PM, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601.

Tickets to listen are available, $10 online or $12 at the door (children under 12 free).
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/third-annual-suwannee-riverkeeper-songwriting-contest-finals-tickets-110284875030

For VIP tables send email to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

I’m pretty sure M.C. Scott James promised to keep the weather fine this Saturday evening. We will have a couple of tents for the M.C. and the judges.

After Scott James and I talked about that, I asked, “Please bring your own chairs and tables. We will have some, but if you can bring your own, that’s great.”

There’s more below about the Songwriting Contest, about Masks and Distance, and about Georgia Beer Company, Top Tier Sponsor.

We also talked about Current Situation of Water Quality Testing, Suwannee River Basin 2020-08-02, WWALS Summary of FDEP chemical and biological tracers, Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers 2020-08-05, and Troupville River Park, Outings: bike and paddle, full moons, and cleanups. Continue reading

Subaru featured Tom Potter for science, cleanup, outings, and water quality

“If you get people out on the river and they have a positive experience with nature, they will help protect it,” wrote Dr. Tom Potter, pictured during the March 2019 Onemile Branch Cleanup at Drexel Park during Azalea Festival.

Kara Pound, Subaru Drive, Winter 2019, 2019 Subaru Drive Community Champions,

We are thrilled to celebrate these exceptional Subaru owners who embody the Subaru Love Promise by giving their time and talent to help their communities.

[The catch]
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Tom Potter at Onemile Branch Cleanup during Azalea Festival, Drexel Park, Valdosta, GA, 2019-03-10.

The Watershed Protector

Tom Potter, 69
Valdosta, Georgia
Vehicle:
Subaru Outback
Volunteering: WWALS Watershed Coalition, which works to protect watersheds in South Georgia and North Florida

“I have a Ph.D. in environmental chemistry and a lengthy background in the science of water quality — I worked as Continue reading

Sturgeons Catching Air –Ken Sulak, USGS, retired 2012-10-01

Why do those prehistoric hundred-pound fish jump so far out of the water? Many reasons, explained in Catching Air—Those Magnificent Jumping Suwannee Sturgeons, by Ken Sulak.

[Page 1 of 3]
Page 1 of 3

Source: Continue reading

Send your comment on GA-EPD Valdosta wastewater Consent Order –Albany Herald

In the Albany Herald, May 9, 2020, Deadline set to comment on Valdosta EPD Enforcement Order,

The Enforcement Order includes a fine, plus many requirements for management and technology.

“Well, I’m glad they are doing the enforcement order, requiring them to get the fixes in place,” said Deanna Mericle of Hamilton County, Fla., who was among the WWALS members who met with the city of Valdosta back in 2015 about these same sewage issues. “I’m not sure what the $122,000 will be used for, but the fine seems small. I just want the problem fixed for good if possible.”

The rest of the article is from the WWALS press release.

Send your comments by Wednesday, May 27, 2020, to:
   Mr. Lewis Hays
   Manager, Watershed Compliance
   Environmental Protection Division
   2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, Suite 1152 East
   Atlanta, GA 30334
   Lewis.Hays@dnr.ga.gov
   404-463-4953

This is not the kind of black water we want:

[Photo 4: Confluence of Sugar Creek and Withlacoochee River.]
Photo 4: Confluence of Sugar Creek and Withlacoochee River. By Tim Bonvechio.

The entire 93-page Order is on the WWALS website, here:
http://wwals.net/pictures/2020-04-13–ga-epd-vld-enforcement-order

“This Order has been a long time coming. It includes an outline of a sad history of mistakes and neglect. I hope the Order Continue reading

Better Saturday at Knights Ferry, Nankin, Withlacoochee River, but rain 2020-04-18

Update 2020-04-24: OK quality mid-week, but much rain yesterday, Withlacoochee River 2020-04-22.

WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall got 300 cfu/100 mL E. coli at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp Saturday, and 333 at Nankin Boat Ramp, both on the Withlacoochee River. That’s similar to Thursday at Knights Ferry, and better at Nankin; both not good, but not terrible. See also What do these numbers mean?

But watch out: it rained a quarter inch in Brooks County, Georgia, Sunday. WWALS continues testing and correlating results from various sources with rainfall.

You can help by donating for water quality collection supplies. Even those metal yellow Caution signs cost money. See below for those signs going up during the livestreamed virtual Earth Day cleanup at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp.

[Boaters, Suzy, signs, trash, Bobby]
Boaters, Suzy, signs, trash, Bobby

There were a bunch of boaters, all keeping their distance. They were already aware of the contamination, but did not plan to get in the river water.

Apparently most of the previous contamination had washed down the river, but how far? Continue reading

Zero E. coli at Nankin and State Line, Withlacoochee River 2020-03-29

Update 2020-04-06: Rain and dirty Withlacoochee River again 2020-04-02

A clean river is what we like to see, and the most recent bacterial tests show the Withlacoochee River clean. You can help us keep determining when it is clean.

[Downstream]
Photo: Suzy Hall, Nankin Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, Downstream, Sunday, March 29, 2020.

We haven’t seen this in more than three months: zero (0) cfu/100 mL E. coli at multiple landings on the Withlacoochee River:

[Zero E. coli, Nankin, State Line]
Zero E. coli, Nankin, State Line
For context and the entire WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida data, see wwals.net/issues/testing/.

Madison Florida Health Department get zero at CR 150 (near Sullivan Launch) last Thursday, and only Continue reading

Rivers maybe finally clean after Valdosta sewage: but Okapilco Creek and need weekly testing 2020-01-31

Update 2020-02-04: Clean Withlacoochee, Okapilco Creek (mostly), and Little River 2020-02-02.

More good news: the Withlacoochee River above the Little River Confluence tested zero (0) for E. coli on Friday, for the first time since Valdosta’s record-largest raw sewage spill. If this good news continues, eventually WWALS (and Lowndes County) will take down our warning signs at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps.

Testing continues by WWALS volunteers and Lowndes County, Georgia. Please continue to be cautious in your interaction with the Withlacoochee until we get clean readings for a prolonged period.

But we still need to find out what is the source of the contamination Lowndes County keeps finding in Okapilco Creek downstream of US 84. Okapilco Creek demonstrates that testing after a spill is not good enough: we need ongoing, at least weekly, testing.

If you’re going to paddle, swim, or fish in one of our rivers, wouldn’t you want to know what the latest test results are? I know I would.

[Green upstream Withlacoochee]
Photo: Scotti Jay, of green water upstream from the Little River Confluence on the Withlacoochee River, December 21, 2019.
It’s back to its usual tea color now.
The entire WWALS composite testing results spreadsheet is on the WWALS website.

That January 31 Confluence result is from WWALS tester Sara Jay.

WWALS testers Suzy Hall and Conn and Trudy Cole pulled samples yesterday Continue reading