Videos: Radio: Full Wolf Moon Banks Lake, Mayor’s Paddle, Okefenokee 2021-01-25

It was good to talk about the Banks Lake Full Wolf Moon Paddle this Thursday, and the Mayor’s Paddle coming up in two weeks, Monday morning on Scott James Talk 92.1 FM radio. We also talked about water trails and water quality testing.

[Banks Lake Full Wolf Moon Paddle, Mayor's Paddle, Withlacoochee River, and Climate Change]
Banks Lake Full Wolf Moon Paddle, Mayor’s Paddle, Withlacoochee River, and Climate Change

Remember, you can ask the Georgia governor and other elected and appointed officials to stop a strip mine far too near the Okefenokee Swamp, and ask him to stop that wood pellet plant in Adel while you’re at it.

Here’s a WWALS video playlist, or you can pick individual videos below. Continue reading

Walter Parks, bard of Okefenokee Swamp Hollers

If you like the Okefenokee Swamp and you don’t know Walter Parks, you’ll thank yourself for listening to him.

Walter Parks on twitter

Here’s a video he did for the Library of Congress: Walter Parks: Haunting Swamp Hollers from Georgia.


Walter Parks was raised in Jacksonville, Florida. A consummate guitarist, he formed the duo The Nudes in 1991, and spent much of the 1990s touring with them around the US. The Nudes toured as a supporting act for Woodstock legend Richie Havens, and after the duo’s breakup Parks was enlisted as Havens’s guitarist and right-hand man. With Havens, Walter performed Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall and The Cannes Film Festival. With his trio Swamp Cabbage, Walter has performed The Breminale Festival in Germany and toured Spain twice. Through his deep interest in the music of his native region, he has become an expert on the American Folklife Center’s Francis Harper collection of folk music of the Okefenokee Swamp region of Georgia. For the Homegrown 2020 series, he will perform an entire program of material based on field recordings from the AFC’s collections.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Four paddling Okefenokee Swamp, Suwannee River, to the Gulf

The paddlers are currently in the Okefenokee Swamp, expecting to stay at Mixon’s Hammock, just downstream from Stephen C. Foster State Park, tomorrow. Thanks to Visit Dixie County for a place to park their shuttle vehicle for when they arrive at the end of their journey. We will continue to provide the paddlers information and assistance as they travel down the Suwannee River.

[Pictures and Map]
Pictures and Map; see also WWALS map of the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail.


Team to Paddle 340 Miles across Georgia and Florida’s Three Threatened Waterways

For Immediate Release (Gastonia, NC) — Four friends are embarking on an ambitious expedition to paddle 340 miles from Fort Clinch State Park on the Atlantic Ocean, up the St. Mary’s River, through the incomparable Okefenokee Swamp, and down the Suwannee River to the Gulf of Mexico. Why? For fun…and to help raise awareness for these beautiful and threatened waterways. Trip dates are January 20 — February 16, 2021.

The team consists of Continue reading

Bad Friday after rain, Better Sunday, Withlacoochee River 2021-01-24

As expected, the big rains Friday caused contamination on the Withlacoochee River, according to Valdosta’s upstream data for US 41, GA 133, and US 84. Everything was clean the day before, both upstream and down. We don’t know about downstream again until I tested Sunday. While Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps were not as clean as we like, they were well within the one-time test limit of 410 cfu/100 mL E. coli. So it appears that if the downstream sites were contaminated Friday, most of that had already washed away in the rest of the rainwater by Sunday.

[KF, Nankin, SL, chart, Swim Guide]
KF, Nankin, SL, chart, Swim Guide

Apparently the Withlacoochee River is clean again, although we do not have many datapoints yet. Be warned more rain is expected today. Continue reading

Radio: Full Wolf Moon Banks Lake, Mayor’s Paddle, Okefenokee 2021-01-25

Update 2021-01-27: Videos: Radio: Full Wolf Moon Banks Lake, Mayor’s Paddle, Okefenokee.

Monday morning at 8AM, Suwannee Riverkeeper will be on Scott James Talk 92.1 FM radio, about the Banks Lake Full Wolf Moon Paddle this Tuesday Thursday, the Mayor’s Paddle coming up in two weeks, and how you can ask the Georgia governor and other elected and appointed officials to stop a strip mine far too near the Okefenokee Swamp, and ask him to stop that wood pellet plant in Adel while you’re at it.

We’ll probably also talk about water trails, water quailty testing, and who knows what else.

[Last time, 2020-12-14]
Last time, 2020-12-14

When: 8 AM, Monday, January 25, 2021

Where: Talk 92.1 FM radio, Scott James drivetime show
https://talk921.com/

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

Event: facebook

For more WWALS outings and events as they are posted, see Continue reading

Clean Withlacoochee 2020-01-14 and Suwannee River tests 2021-01-18

Update 2021-01-26: Bad Friday after rain, Better Sunday, Withlacoochee River 2021-01-24.

Thanks to WWALS testers Jacob and Michael Bachrach, we know the Withlacoochee River at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp was finally low enough to test, and tested good. Ditto Nankin and State Line Boat Ramps, all from Thursday a week ago. This corroborated what Madison Health found at the state line and downstream that same day.

[Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line, chart, Gibson Park, Swim Guide]
Knights Ferry, Nankin, State Line, chart, Gibson Park, Swim Guide

Meanwhile, this Monday, Suzy Hall tested Gibson Park Ramp on the Suwannee River, and found it good. The most recent results we have from Valdosta are for upstream Wednesday aweek ago, but those were good for US 41, GA 133, and US 84. I did ask Valdosta yesterday for an update, but so far nothing.

There’s been no significant rain since last week. So, as far as we know, good to go, for boating, swimming, and fishing, in the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers.

The Swim Guide map of WWALS “beaches” now includes Gibson Park Ramp, which, even though it is on the Suwannee River, is the last downstream stop on the WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail.

[Map: Swim Guide]
Map: Swim Guide

The Langdale Park and US 84 “beaches” show up yellow for historically mixed results, because those most recent Valdosta tests at US 41 and US 84 (and GA 31) are now more than a week old. Continue reading

You can sign on to ask new U.S. administration for clean water

Suwannee Riverkeeper is one of the many signatories on this Waterkeeper Alliance first 100 days plan:


With the Biden administration set to assume power next month, we’re strategizing what the next four years will mean for our movement to protect clean water and a healthy environment. We cannot celebrate until every environmental protection is restored and strengthened.

As the new administration prepares its plans for the next four years, it’s essential that key clean water and climate priorities are addressed at the outset. The first 100 days of Biden’s presidency will set the stage for the administration’s environmental policies — they must get things right from the start.

Our Climate Our Future

The last four years have posed immeasurable challenges to environmental protection — devastating more than 100 environmental safeguards and undoing decades of progress in the fight for clean water and a sustainable planet.

We have a plan to right those wrongs and chart a new course — one that puts clean water and a healthy environment front and center. And, as always, we’ll need your help to execute it.

Sign your name today to support our proposal for the Biden administration to immediately prioritize our waterways, communities, and planet in its first 100 days.

Our asks for the Biden administration’s first 100 days are:

  • Protect Public Lands and Waters from Fossil Fuel Extraction: Ban new fossil fuel leasing and permitting on publicly owned federal lands;
  • Prioritize Environmental Justice: Immediately prioritize reversing the grave systemic damage done to environmental justice policy and enforcement in the United States over the past four years and charting a new just and equitable course for the 21st century;
  • Issue a New Executive Order to Restore the Clean Water Act: Expedite the process for repairing the broken definition of “waters of the United States,” repealing the Trump Dirty Waters Rule and replacing it with science-based protections for our waterways, and reinstating state and tribal authority and public participation rights under section 401 of the Clean Water Act;
  • Restore the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Repeal Trump’s NEPA rollback and strengthen public participation in projects impacting the environment; and
  • Rescind Trump’s Most Damaging Environmental Executive Orders: Revoke executive orders that directed all federal agencies to roll back our environmental protections in favor of the outgoing administration’s pro-polluter agenda.

These are the issues that will guide our advocacy efforts as the new administration assumes leadership — the same issues that the Waterkeeper movement has been advocating for for years. It’s now on all of us to ensure they become priorities of the new administration.

Show your support today by signing on to our proposal for the Biden administration’s first 100 days. We need each and every one of you to join in the fight for drinkable, fishable, swimmable water.


Follow this link to sign on:
http://action.waterkeeper.org/landing-pages/tell-biden-its-time-to-put-clean-water-and-a-healthy-environment-front-and-center

You may also want to ask for repeal of this EO, which promotes mining at the expense of everything else, including environment and property rights:

Executive Order 13817 of December 20, 2017 (A Federal Strategy To Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals)

That EO is being used as an excuse by the Alabama company that wants to mine titanium far too near the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia, which also affects Florida directly. Continue reading

Agenda: WWALS Quarterly Board Meeting 2021-01-17

Here is the agenda for today’s 2PM WWALS Quarterly Board Meeting.

The public is invited. We will be meeting online by zoom, so you don’t even have to go anywhere.

When: 2PM, Sunday, January 17, 2021

Where: Online: see below for the zoom parameters and the agenda.

Event: facebook

Much of the work of WWALS is done by committees of members, and many of them have some good results to report. If you’d like to join a committee, please fill out the application.

[Three-page agenda]
Three-page agenda
Agenda pages (follow the link or see below to read the agenda)

The board itself does most of its business online via email, but it’s good to have these gatherings once a quarter.

The current board members, officers, and staff are listed on the Board web page.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

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

Agenda

See also PDF. Continue reading

Withlacoochee advisory lifted; more FDEP DNA marker and chemical tracer data 2021-01-12

Update 2021-01-21: Clean Withlacoochee 2020-01-14 and Suwannee River tests 2021-01-18.

It’s lifted: the bacterial advisory from Madison and Hamilton Health Departments, because of two successive good sets of results from Madison Health on the Withlacoochee River, the lastest for Tuesday. And Valdosta got good results upstream for Monday. All of which corroborates the Thursday Madison Health, Friday Valdosta, and Saturday WWALS results.

[Lifted, Chart, Markers, Map]
Lifted, Chart, Markers, Map

We also have more DNA marker data from FDEP, for Wednesday, January 6, 2021, which shows continued high ruminant DNA marker results on the Withlacoochee River, this time for Horn Bridge at the State Line, plus CR 150 at Sullivan Launch, and FL 6 just above Madison Blue Spring. Plus some clarifications of what I wrote in the previous blog post.

Before we get into all that, happy boating, swimming, and fishing on the Withlacoochee River! Continue reading

Okefenokee Flyover 2021-01-10

Yes, Twin Pines Minerals still has mining equipment on its site near GA 94, only a few miles from the Okefenokee Swamp. And yes, the land TPM owns still extends northwest to within a few hundred feet of the Swamp and a few thousand feet of the National Wildlife Refuge. Here are some context aerials, showing proximity to the Swamp, Moniac, St. George, and the Cherokee of Georgia Tribal Grounds.

[Twin Pines Minerals mine land, maps, Cherokee of Georgia Tribal Grounds]
Twin Pines Minerals mine land, maps, Cherokee of Georgia Tribal Grounds

You can help stop that strip mine for paint, by contacting the Georgia governor and other elected officials; see below for how.

Here’s a closeup of the current mine staging site: Continue reading