July 27, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Georgia Power grants funds to WWALS for Water Quality Testing
Hahira, GA, July 27, 2020 — Aiding our attempts to clean up
the Withlacoochee River, Georgia Power Foundation has provided a
substantial grant to WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.
(“WWALS”). WWALS will buy more water quality testing
kits and supplies with the funds, as well as other expenses related
to our volunteer water quality testing program.
“Please accept our most sincere thanks for your recognition
and support of WWALS Watershed Coalition and our work for clean,
fishable, swimmable, boatable water,” said WWALS Executive
Director Gretchen Quarterman. “We look forward to a productive
water quality testing program this year.”
“We’re honored to get to help,” said Joe Brownlee,
Georgia Power Southwest Region Director. “One of our goals is
to make sure the people of Georgia know about our great natural
resources. And also that they’re safe. And y’all help do that by
making awareness around water testing. And you build strong
relationships I know now, coordinating with the City of Valdosta,
making sure they publish their test results. Everything seems to be
working and getting better. We’re on a sharp upward curve of getting
better with what we do with water and getting to enjoy it. And my
little girl, I’m working for her future, and Georgia Power is. Thank
y’all, thank you to the volunteer testers, and the
Photo: WWALS, of Georgia Power Southwest District Director Joe Brownlee, Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman, WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman, and WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy Hall, at Troupville Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River, near Valdosta, Georgia.
“The response of the Georgia Power grant and Mr. Brownlee’s
comments are quite touching (to me) due to the recognition of how
difficult it is for a volunteer organization to do biological water
testing over a huge area. The grant enables regular testing that can
pinpoint multi-source pollution, which requires a varied response.
It’s quite gratifying that both individuals and large companies
realize this is a complex situation,” said WWALS President Tom
H. Johnson, Jr.
“We have several testers already trained, waiting for testing
kits. Thanks to Georgia Power, we can buy them kits and get them
started testing!” said WWALS Testing Committee Chair Suzy
Hall. “Plus we can buy enough kits to train new testers with
physical distancing even during the virus pandemic.”
“We like to think WWALS water quality testing has already done
some good, helping warn people when the waterways are contaminated,
helping find contamination sources, and encouraging several
governmental organizations in Georgia and Florida to test
more,” said Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman.
“With these funds from Georgia Power we can do much more. Also
thanks to Valdosta Mayor Scott James for introducing us to Joe
“The more testing, the more we can also check to see whether
fixes such as fencing cattle away from waterways are actually
working to improve the situation,” said WWALS Science
Committee Chair Dr. Tom Potter. “Interested governmental,
educational, or agricultural organizations please contact us about
About WWALS: Founded in June 2012, WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc.
(WWALS) advocates for conservation and stewardship of the
Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee
River watersheds in south Georgia and north Florida through
education, awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen
activities. John S. Quarterman is the Suwannee Riverkeeper®, which
is a staff position and a project of WWALS as the member of
Waterkeeper® Alliance for the Suwannee River Basin.
WWALS Water Quality Testing
is summarized here:
Here is a video about this grant:
Contact: Gretchen Quarterman, Executive Director
WWALS Watershed Coalition
PO Box 88, Hahira, GA 31632
(See also PDF.)