About thirty paddlers made it upstream to Stone Bridge and back, although few people could paddle up the current under it.
Update 2020-05-26: Pictures: Stone Bridge paddle from Cook County Boat Ramp (GA 76) 2020-05-16.
Update 2020-05-21: Three Little River Landings in Swim Guide 2020-05-21
Update 2020-05-20: Clean weekend 2020-05-17.
Changed to put in at Cook County Boat Ramp on GA 76 and paddle upstream past Stone Bridge, and then back. This avoids the outings problem during the stay-home period of the novel coronavirus pandemic: no shuttle, so no crowding together. Yes, boating is not just permitted, it is encouraged by the state of Georgia; see Florida and Georgia Boat Ramps Status 2020-04-09. To keep it that way, everyone please remember to stay 6 feet apart on land and 10 feet apart on the water.
This is a leisurely paddle on a very seldom-paddled stretch of wild south Georgia blackwater river, the Little River, between Adel and Barney.
When: Gather 9:30 AM, launch 10 AM, Saturday, May 16, 2020
Cook County Boat Ramp,
Mile 31.41. 966 Quitman Highway (GA 76), Adel, GA 31620, in Cook County.
Between Adel and Barney, southeast side of GA 76, northeast side (left bank) of Little River, gravel ramp. Also known as Cook County Landing (GDOT). Left or right bank means when facing downstream.
Take Out: Same as Put In.
Bring: the usual personal flotation device, boat paddles, food, drinking water, warm clothes, and first aid kit. Also trash pickers and trash bags: every WWALS outing is also a cleanup. These days, a facemask would not be amiss.
Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
Photo: Burt Kornegay, March 2018, of Stone Bridge over Little River, SW of Adel, GA.
More about Stone Bridge, including more pictures: Stone Bridge, Little River, by Dan Phillips 2016-08-01.
Duration: 2 hours (depending on how far upstream we go)
Shuttle: None, so no crowding together.
Landmark 2: Continue reading
Update 2020-04-13: Bad water quality at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, Withlacoochee River 2020-04-11.
Good news: the Withlacoochee River has been very clean recently.
But watch out: Wednesday’s rain may have washed contamination into the river.
There was about half an inch of rain upstream Wednesday, plus a tornado just across Continue reading
Comment by this Monday, April 13, 2020, if you don’t want any of these creeks, rivers, or the Okefenokee Swamp affected by this strip mine, or the Floridan Aquifer, in Georgia or in Florida.
The Twin Pines Minerals strip mine site drains west from Trail Ridge into the River Styx, into the Okefenokee Swamp, and to the St. Marys River, which becomes the border between Georgia and Florida. On the east, it drains into Boone Creek and into the St. Marys River. If it affects the Swamp, it will affect the Suwannee River, which runs through Georgia and Florida to the Gulf of Mexico.
Please go ahead and tell the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers why you don’t want this strip mine near the Swamp.
You can also ask for an extension of the public comment deadline, and for public hearings in Georgia and Florida. Here is the Suwannee Riverkeeper extension and hearings request for WWALS.
The Rule the Corps is following for comments says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can require any other affected state to comment. So you can ask EPA to ask Florida to comment. Here is our request for that. Here’s a simple version you can use:
[Your Name or Your Organization Name] requests the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pursuant to 33 CFR § 325.2, (b), regarding permit application SAS-2018-0054 to determine that the mining activities of the subject Application may affect the quality of the waters of the state of Florida and to notify the state of Florida, the district engineer, and the applicant that Florida ‘has 60 days from receipt of EPA’s notice to determine if the proposed discharge will affect the quality of its waters so as to violate any water quality requirement in such state, to notify EPA and the district engineer in writing of its objection to permit issuance, and to request a public hearing.’
The inset map is from Figure 66 in the TPM application. TPM didn’t label the waterways, but that’s the River Styx where it says MSW-1, and Boone Creek where it says MSW-4. Both lead to the St. Marys River, which becomes the Georgia-Florida state line. The River Styx joins the St. Marys in the Okefenokee Swamp, which is the headwaters of the Suwannee River. Continue reading
Yes, you can boat, fish, and swim on rivers and lakes during the stay-home period, in both Florida and Georgia, as long as you keep your distance. Don’t gather in large groups unless you want your favorite river or lake access to get closed, not to mention unless you want to get or transmit the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, for which there is no vaccine. Stay six feet apart, no large groups (usually no more than 10), and on the water stay at least 10 feet apart or 50 feet apart in Florida.
Below is a snapshot of conditions today. Check on your local park or ramp or launch before going for current conditions.
Also check on bacterial conditions, especially since last night’s rain.
Here’s a handy map that shows status of Florida boat ramps and launches. Red means closed. Blue means open.
Tony Acevedo, SaltStrong, 31 March 2020, This Map Shows Which Boat Ramps Are Closed & Which Are Open, Continue reading
The meeting of the Valdosta City Council with the Florida Rivers Task Force scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled, according to Task Force Chair Rick Davis just now via telephone.
This meeting never actually appeared on Continue reading
I was afraid this would happen: an inch of rain, and suddenly the Withlacoochee River was dirty again. Unfortunately, the most recent results we have are for last Thursday, April 2, 2020.
Those Valdosta results at US 41, GA 133, and US 84 for Wednesday, April 1, 2020, cannot be Quitman nor the usual agricultural suspects in Brooks County, although Okapilco Creek was also plenty bad.
No, nobody reported any sewage spills in the Suwannee River Basin in Georgia, and also not in Florida. So most likely this contamination is mostly from livestock. Yes, there are horses, cows, and hogs upstream from Valdosta.
The contamination apparently had not really reached Knights Ferry or Nankin yet that day, and not State Line at all.
But the next day Madison Health saw a red 431 cfu/100 mL E. coli at CR 145 (aka GA 31, Madison Highway, State Line Boat Ramp, and Mozell Spells). See also what do these numbers mean?
So it’s not hard to guess that contamination probably reached Florida by Continue reading
Does this look anywhere near completion to you?
Yet on March 26, 2020, Sabal Trail asked FERC to extend the May 1st deadline for its Phase II construction of the Dunnellon and Albany Compressor Stations because of the virus pandemic, after FERC already extended way past the original February 2, 2018, deadline for completion of all phases.
FERC surprisingly did not immediately rubberstamp that request, instead opening a comment period until April 13, 2020. WWALS today filed a Motion to Intervene in that comment process on that request.
Your organization, if it was a party to the underlying Sabal Trail proceeding in FERC Docket CP15-17, can also move to intervene.
Anyone can comment, without needing to intervene:
Due to the pandemic of the novel Coronavirus, and to help prevent the spread of the virus-caused disease COVID-19, WWALS and FORB are postponing the Eighth Annual BIG Little River Paddle Race (BLRPR), until a date to be announced later.
Anyone who has bought a BLRPR ticket and wants a refund, let us know. Otherwise, all tickets will remain valid at the eventual rescheduled date and time.
If Georgia state parks are open at the originally scheduled date and race start time of 9:30 AM, Saturday, April 25, 2020, one or two WWALS members will livestream from the BLRPR site and race course; six feet apart, of course. Stay tuned for details.
For more Continue reading
We urge everyone else to also send the Army Corps a comment letter asking for an extension of the comment deadline and for public hearings.
For more things you can do to oppose this bad mining application, see How to Comment.
Map: TPM Mine, Okefenokee Swamp, Suwannee River
in the WWALS map of All Public Landings in the Suwannee River Basin.
The TPM mine is marked in the right center by the highlighted crossed hammers,
due north of the line of four Chemours titanium mines in north Florida.
Below is the text of the letter WWALS just sent to the Corps as a PDF.
March 19, 2020
To: Col. Daniel Hibner, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District
Attention: Ms. Holly Ross, firstname.lastname@example.org,
1104 North Westover Boulevard, Suite 9, Albany, Georgia 31707
Cc: Stephen Wiedl, Wetlands Unit, email@example.com
Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division,
Water Protection Branch, 7 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA 30334
Re: Applicant: Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, Application Number: SAS-2018-00554
Dear Colonel Hibner,
Regarding permit application SAS-2018-0054 by Twin Pines Minerals, LLC, of Birmingham, Alabama, Suwannee Riverkeeper for WWALS Watershed Coalition (WWALS) asks the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to extend the public comment period and to hold public hearings, as detailed at the end of this letter.
Review of the current 219-page Application and the hundreds of pages of appendices is not practicable in Continue reading