Tag Archives: Valdosta

Bad Knights Ferry in Valdosta data down to state line, Monday and Wednesday 2020-07-08

This very high Valdosta Monday 1,600 E. coli data for Knights Ferry Boat Ramp and even higher 3,200 for Nankin Boat Ramp help explain the Florida high result downstream on Tuesday, which itself helped explain yesterday’s Florida bacterial alert for the Withlacoochee River.

[Valdosta Monday and Wednesday results]
Valdosta Monday and Wednesday results
For the complete WWALS composite spreadsheet of Georgia and Florida results and other context, see wwals.net/issues/testing/.

For how bad those numbers are, see What do these numbers mean?

Valdosta’s Wednesday Nankin result was better, and its Knights Ferry 570 result at least wasn’t as horrible, although that was still higher than the one-time sample 410 limit. Yet Okapilco Creek @ US 84 had actually gotten worse.

So we can hope the Florida downstream good results are a good indicator. But there could be more E. coli still coming down the Withlacoochee River.

WWALS testers are collecting samples today and tomorrow, so we shall see.

Meanwhile, we have to put Knights Ferry Boat Ramp back to red on Swim Guide, because that’s the most recent data we have for it. Nankin just barely squeaks by under 410, so it’s green like all the eight Withlacoochee River “beaches,” except Knights Ferry.

[Red Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, 2020-07-08]
Red Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River, 2020-07-08

Thanks to Valdosta PIO Ashlyn Johnson for getting this Valdosta downstream data published. Maybe that can become standard practice, so people will have a better idea of river conditions before the weekend. This is in Valdosta’s own interest, since it usually shows Continue reading

Deadline Extended for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, July 9, 2020 — “Last year a couple of winners got in through the extension,” said first year First Prize winner Laura D’Alisera. “And the first year, so did I, because someone emailed the songwriting community and l had my song 95% in place.” So the Contest Committee has voted to extend the deadline a week, to Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

“Please send in your song by midnight Tuesday,” said Committee Chair Tom H. Johnson, Jr. “We have some songs, but the committee would like more to choose finalists from.”

Follow this link to send in a song for the 2020 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, on August 22, 2020.

[Deadline Extended to July 14, 2020]
Deadline Extended to July 14, 2020

“Be sure to send it by Tuesday, July 14, 2020. That’s Bastille Day, if that helps in remembering it,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “Who knows? Maybe somebody can relate Bastille Day to the Suwannee River.”

You could win this year! Maybe a plaque for best in your genre, or $50 for best song from inside the Suwannee River Basin, or $50 for best song from outside. Or the $300 First Prize!

We’ll have a food truck, and a cash bar by The Pour House mobile bar.

The three judges are ready to hear your songs, 7-9 PM, Saturday, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601. Headliners will play, finalists will play, silent auction and kayak raffle, judges will judge, prizes will be awarded, winners will play. M.C.: Scott James of Talk 92.1 FM Radio.

Thanks to Dirty Bird and the Flu for handling sound.

Tickets to listen are on sale now, $10 online (children under 12 free), or $12 at the door. For VIP tables send email to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

Thanks to our top tier sponsor, Georgia Beer Company.

More sponsor opportunities are available. Sponsoring the contest is a great opportunity for Continue reading

Video: Save Our Suwannee –Jay Jourden; deadline today for your song for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020-08-22

Deadline today at midnight (11:59 PM, July 8, 2020) to send in your song. for the 2020 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, on August 22, 2020.

Last year, Jay Jourden and band sang their Save Our Suwannee. Jay and his band from Ponte Vedra, Florida, swept the awards, winning a plaque for Best Newgrass Bluegrass, and $50 for Best Song from Outside the Suwannee River Basin, and the $300 First Prize, all for “Save Our Suwannee.”

You could win this year!

[Jay Jourden Winning]
Jay Jourden Winning

“Yes, Jay submitted the same song the year before,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman. “But last year he stopped in the middle, said he forgot some verses, and rattled off names of a whole bunch of rivers, all in perfect time. Naming rivers was one of the criteria, and it’s a great song: Save Our Suwannee!”

The three judges are ready to hear your songs, 7-9 PM, Saturday, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601. Headliners will play, finalists will play, silent auction and kayak raffle, judges will judge, prizes will be awarded, winners will play M.C.: Scott James of Talk 92.1 FM Radio.

Thanks to Dirty Bird and the Flu for handling sound.

Tickets to listen are on sale now, $10 online (children under 12 free), or $12 at the door. For VIP tables send email to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

We’ll have a food truck, and a cash bar by The Pour House mobile bar.

Thanks to our top tier sponsor, Georgia Beer Company.

More sponsor opportunities are available. Sponsors get Continue reading

Video: Withlacoochee Watershed –Tom Hochschild; deadline tomorrow for your song for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020-08-22

Tomorrow at midnight (11:59 PM, July 8, 2020) is the deadline to send in your song. for the 2020 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, on August 22, 2020.

Last year, Tom Hoschchild sang his song Withlacoochee Watershed and won a plaque for Best Folk. You could win a plaque, or one of the $50 regional prizes, or the $300 First Prize.

[Playing]
Playing

We’ll have a food truck, and a cash bar by The Pour House mobile bar.

The three judges are ready to hear your songs, 7-9 PM, Saturday, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601. Headliners will play, finalists will play, silent auction and kayak raffle, judges will judge, prizes will be awarded, winners will play M.C.: Scott James of Talk 92.1 FM Radio.

Thanks to Dirty Bird and the Flu for handling sound.

Tickets to listen are on sale now, $10 online (children under 12 free), or $12 at the door. For VIP tables send email to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

Thanks to our top tier sponsor, Georgia Beer Company.

More sponsor opportunities are available. Sponsors get named in the program, on the stage, in the sponsor banner, online, on radio, TV, newspapers, etc., as well as other perks.

Here’s Tom Hoschchild playing Withlacoochee Watershed last year: Continue reading

On Scott James Talk 92.1 FM: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020-07-06

Monday morning at 8AM, Suwannee Riverkeeper will be on Scott James Talk 92.1 FM radio, about the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest. Once again I’d like to thank Scott James for agreeing to be the Master of Ceremonies for the Contest.

[Scott James Talk 92.1 banner]
Scott James Talk 92.1 banner

The radio interview

When: 8 AM, Monday, July 6, 2020

Where: Talk 92.1 FM radio, Scott James drivetime show

Listen: Over the air, or through the radio show’s own website, or through any of several online listening services.

Event: facebook

The Songwriting Contest

You can still send in your song until this Wednesday, July 8.

The three judges are ready to hear your songs, 7-9 PM, Saturday, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601. Headliners will play, food truck and cash bar, finalists will play, silent auction and kayak raffle, judges will judge, prizes will be awarded, winners will play

Tickets to listen are on sale now, $10 online (children under 12 free), or $12 at the door. For VIP tables send email to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

Songs can be about the Suwannee River, or the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Alapahoochee, Little, New, Dead, or Gopher Rivers, Okapilco, Piscola, etc. Creeks, the Okefenokee Swamp, Grand Bay, or springs, sinks, swamps, or ponds. (But not the Santa Fe River; which has its own contest.)

For much more about the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, see: wwals.net/pictures/2020-08-22–songwriting/ Continue reading

Clean Waterways Act won’t fix water quality –Waterkeepers Florida 2020-07-01

Plus FL SB 712 still doesn’t fund or implement regular, frequent, water quality monitoring from the state line to the Gulf, like Valdosta, GA, is doing three times weekly on 40 miles of the Withlacoochee River to the state line.

Jen Lomberk, Orlando Sentinel, 1 July 2020, Clean Waterways Act won’t fix water quality,

[Orlando Sentinel screenshot]
Orlando Sentinel screenshot

Gov. Ron DeSantis just signed into law SB 712 — the self-proclaimed “Clean Waterways Act” — an ambitious misnomer for a bill that claims to be the solution to our mounting water quality issues, but falls far short of that mark.

This bill has been praised by its supporters (”Sen. Mayfield: Clean Waterways Act would be major step forward,” June 30 online) as one of the most environmentally progressive pieces of legislation in over a decade. But looking back at the cuts and rollbacks that our environmental regulations were subjected to under the last state administration, that really isn’t saying much. Jen Lomberk Jen Lomberk (Courtesy photo)

At 111 pages, the bill largely pays lip service to most of Florida’s major sources of pollution, but lacks the specificity and enforceability to actually solve any of the problems.

Proponents of the bill claim that it implements recommendations of the Blue Green Algae Task Force, but even those common sense, albeit vague recommendations will not be nearly achieved through the implementation of SB 712. For example, the Task Force recommended that projected changes in demographics, land use, and hydrology should be incorporated into the BMAP process.

Think about it. We have 1,000 people moving to our state every day. That means that over the 20-year life of a BMAP, millions of people will have Continue reading

Clean weekend water quality, Withlacoochee River 2020-06-28

2020-07-04: Clean Little and Withlacoochee Rivers to GA-FL line 2020-07-03

More good news: the Little River at Troupville Boat Ramp tested good Saturday, and the Withlacoochee River tested good last week and Sunday.

[Troupville and State Line Boat Ramps (left)]
Photo: Suzy Hall, Troupville and State Line Boat Ramps

Thanks to Suzy Hall for the weekend testing. You can help by donating to the WWALS water quality testing program.

[Troupville Boat Ramp with foam]
Photo: Suzy Hall, Troupville Boat Ramp with foam 2020-06-27

Suzy Hall took samples both in the foam and in the main flow of the Little River at Troupville Boat Ramp Saturday, June 27, 2020. She got 33 cfu/100 mL in the flow and 66 in the foam, both well below the 126 long-term average limit for E. coli.

[State Line Boat Ramp (left)]
Photo: Suzy Hall, State Line Boat Ramp 2020-06-28

Results were even better at State Line Boat Ramp Sunday: Continue reading

Video: Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest on Steve Nichols Radio 2020-06-23

On the Steve Nichols radio show we talked about how song submissions are open until July 8, 2020, for the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest. We also talked about fishing, bacterial contamination and mercury in the rivers, coal plants, solar power, and upcoming WWALS outings on Banks Lake and the Suwannee River.

[Flyer]
Flyer

Tickets to listen to the finalists play 7-9PM Saturday, August, 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park in Valdosta, GA, are $10 online (children under 12 free) or $12 at the door. For VIP tables send email to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

The Steve Nichols show was the first to reveal the judges are selected. Continue reading

Watching over the Waters: WWALS paddles, songwriting contest –VDT 2020-06-27

Amanda M. Usher, Valdosta Daily Times, 27 June 2020, Watching over the Waters: WWALS sponsors paddles, songwriting contest,

[Paddle Georgia from Spook Bridge, Withlacoochee River]
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, Paddle Georgia from Spook Bridge, between Quitman and Valdosta, GA, Withlacoochee River, June 15, 2019.

VALDOSTA — John Quarterman has been around the Suwannee River Basin since his childhood.

Living on land his [grand-]father purchased near rivers and swamps in 1921, he has always felt attracted to rivers and works to keep them clean.

Quarterman is the Suwannee [R]iverkeeper with WWALS Watershed Coalition. WWALS is an acronym for Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little[, Santa Fe,] and Suwannee.

The coalition was established in June 2012 to eliminate issues with rivers and creeks such as sewage spills, he said. Quarterman became the Suwannee [R]iverkeeper in 201[6].

WWALS Watershed Coalition serves a significant purpose of water quality testing, he said. The City of Valdosta tests waters three times a week from U.S. 41 North to the southern state line, he said.

Through the years, the group has hosted cleanups at the Troupville boat ramp and holds two or three paddles monthly.

[Lakeland cleanup, Alapaha River]
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, Rivers Alive Cleanup, Pafford’s Landing near Lakeland, GA, Alapaha River, October 12, 2019.

“We’re not just a paddling organization,” Quarterman said. “… We do paddles, but we’re also an advocacy organization. We want to do conservation of stewardship.”

Quarterman is about awareness. He strives to bring attention to the rivers’ existence and informing people they can make use of the recreational rivers by boating or fishing.

“Getting people out there on the rivers to see what it is they are trying to conserve and protect is really important because until you see it for yourself, you’re not really appreciating the beauty of these rivers,” he said.

The rest of the article is about the upcoming paddle outings at Banks Lake at 7:30 PM Sunday, July 5, and at Dowling Park River Camp; for that one please be at Dowling Park Boat Ramp a 11:30 AM, Saturday, July 18, with camping gear.

The article concludes with the Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, 7-9 PM, Saturday, August 22, 2020, at Turner Center Art Park, 605 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta, GA.

Come on down!

Thanks Amanda M. Usher, for Continue reading

Video: Dear Ol’ Suwannee –Dick Grillo; send your song for Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020-08-22

Last year, Dick Grillo sang his song “Dear Ol’ Suwannee,” and got written up in the Suwannee Democrat for that song, Live Oak’s Grillo wins at Songwriting Contest. He won Best Song from Inside the Suwannee River Basin with a $50 prize, and a plaque for Best Folk/Country song.

This year, you can send in your song until July 8, for the 2020 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, on August 22, 2020.

[Dick Grillo Singing 'Dear Ol' Suwannee' in Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2019]
Photo: John S. Quarterman for WWALS, Dick Grillo Singing ‘Dear Ol’ Suwannee’ in Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2019.

The three judges are ready to hear your songs, 7-9 PM, Saturday, August 22, 2020, at the Turner Center Art Park, 605 North Patterson Street, Valdosta, Georgia 31601. Headliners will play, food truck and cash bar, finalists will play, silent auction and kayak raffle, judges will judge, prizes will be awarded, winners will play M.C.: Scott James of Talk 92.1 FM Radio.

Tickets to listen are on sale now, $10 online (children under 12 free), or $12 at the door. For VIP tables send email to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

Songs can be about the Suwannee River, or the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Alapahoochee, Little, New, Dead, or Gopher Rivers, Okapilco, Piscola, etc. Creeks, the Okefenokee Swamp, Grand Bay, or springs, sinks, swamps, or ponds. (But not the Santa Fe River; which has its own contest.)

Here’s Dick Grillo last year with Dear Ol’ Suwannee: Continue reading