GA 133 and Knights Ferry in 2.5 weeks of Valdosta and Florida water quality data 2020-09-24

Mostly all clear on the Withlacoochee River in a bunch of data Valdosta and FDEP posted recently, except a bad reading at Knights Ferry Friday a week ago, and yet again a problem at GA 133 this past Monday.

The latest (Wednesday by Valdosta and Thursday by Madison Health) indicates good quality for this weekend. Since there has been hardly any rain to wash anything into the river, all the WWALS Withlacoochee River “beaches” remain green on Swim Guide.

Happy boating, so far as we can see!

[Charts and map]
Charts and map

Valdosta’s new data goes back two and a half weeks downstream, and FDEP filled in Tuesday a week ago as well as this Tuesday and Thursday.

That long chart is hard to read, so let’s take it a week at a time. Continue reading

One month to WWALS Boomerang paddle race into Florida and back to Georgia 2020-10-24

It was a lot of fun for all ages last year, and you can paddle this year! The WWALS Boomerang is coming up Saturday, October 24, 2020, at State Line Boat Ramp on the Withlacoochee River. You can choose 1, 2, or 3 miles downstream into Florida, and then back up.

[Pictures Banner]
Pictures Banner

There is plenty of room for distancing at the boat ramp, and even more room on the water.

Each of the winners in many categories gets one of those WWALS Boomerang tumblers, and there’s a $100 First Prize!

Tickets are on sale now, $20 online until October 15, then $30 at the event.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wwals-boomerang-paddle-race-2020-tickets-118844038719

Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boards are welcome to register starting at 9 AM, Saturday, October 24, 2020, with the race to begin at 11 AM.

It was a fast start last year: Continue reading

Bad far upstream and far downstream: Withlacoochee, Clyatt Mill Creek, Suwannee, Santa Fe 2020-09-21

The most diverse set of testing data ever! It’s not bad upstream on the Withlacoochee River, but worse the farther down the Suwannee River, and, surprisingly, also the Santa Fe River.

[Rivers and Results]
Rivers and Results

Valdosta has reported for upstream on the Withlacoochee River for last Wednesday (good) and Friday (bad at GA 133, good at US 84).

Suzy Hall reported for WWALS at Clyatt Mill Creek (not bad, and thanks Langdale Company), and on the Suwannee River at Gibson Park (good for E. coli but very puzzling) and Anderson Spring Launch (good).

Loretta Tennant reported for WWALS on the Santa Fe River at Lemmons Ramp (alert!) and on the Suwannee River at Ivey Metropolitan Park in Branford (bad) and at Yellow Jacket Ramp between Manatee Springs and Fowlers Bluff (horrible). That’s enough to make us wonder if some of what’s getting into the Lower Suwannee River might be coming from the Santa Fe River.

We have no new data from FDEP or other Florida government agencies. Floridians, maybe you’d like to ask your elected and appointed officials for more water quality testing, especially downstream where we’re finding these bad results.

Meanwhile, all the WWALS “beaches” on Swim Guide remain green. That’s because we don’t have as beaches GA 133 on the Withlacoochee River nor as yet anything on the Suwannee River.

[Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers]
Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers
in the WWALS map of all public boat access in the Suwannee River Basin.

Withlacoochee River

Valdosta reported late this afternoon on its usual Continue reading

Floyd’s Island Okefenokee Camping, Stephen C. Foster State Park, 2020-11-07

Overnight Camping at the Okefenokee Swamp: herons, fish, otters, and yes, gators! Maybe you’ll see the black bear that hangs around Stephen C. Foster State Park.

When: Gather 10 AM and launch 10:30 AM on Saturday, November 7, 2020
Camp overnight, in the Swamp if possible, otherwise at the State Park or Griffis Fish Camp.
end 5 PM Sunday, November 8, 2020

Put In: Stephen C. Foster State Park Ramp, 17515 GA-177, Fargo, GA 31631. From Fargo, travel south on US 441 to CR 177; turn left and proceed to Stephen C. Foster State Park, which is after you pass Griffis Fish Camp.

GPS: 30.826833, -82.361333

Take Out: Stephen C. Foster State Park Ramp

Bring: camping gear, and 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.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay the $10 at the outing, or online: wwals.net/donations/#outings

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
wwals.net/donations/#join

Boats: are for rent at the State Park.

Paddling: We’d like to paddle as far in as Floyd’s Island, but depending on conditions we may go to Billys Island or Minnies Lake. Camping on a platform is somewhat difficult in the virus pandemic situation, so this is currently planned as a day trip with camping at Griffis Fish Camp or at the State Park.

Camping: Griffis Fish Camp is at 10257 Ga Highway 177, Fargo, GA 31631-4547; 912-637-5289.
For reservations at Stephen C. Foster State Park, please use this form:
https://www.reserveamerica.com/explore/stephen-c-foster-state-park/GA/530194/overview

Health: We are watching the virus pandemic situation, which may affect campsite availability as well as other things. We will update as needed.

Event: facebook, meetup

[Many]
Map, heron, signs, gator, boats
The map is from the WWALS Suwannee River Wilderness Trail map.
That WWALS map includes the Okefenokee Wilderness Area Canoe Trails (OWACT).
Photos: Continue reading

Ordinances: Wood pellet plant, Adel, GA 2020-09-21

Thanks to Adel City Clerk Rhonda Rowe, here are the annexation and rezoning ordinances read on September 8. The second reading is this Monday, September 21, 2020, at 5:30 PM, at Adel City Hall. Presumably the Adel City Council will vote after the Public Hearing.

[Ordinances and Application maps]
Ordinances and Application maps

The ordinances refer to exhibits which are in the application she also sent, from the Adel Adel Industrial Development Authority (AIDA), for this annexation and rezoning. We had actually already seen those in the staff report to the Planning Commission.

See the previous post for context. And see you there Monday evening. Continue reading

OK Withlacoochee River Quality, sewage spill Suwannee, FL, Suwannee River 2020-09-17

Update 2020-09-22: Bad far upstream and far downstream: Withlacoochee, Clyatt Mill Creek, Suwannee, Santa Fe 2020-09-21

On the Withlacoochee River, for yesterday (Thursday, September 17, 2020), WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach got excellent results at Knights Ferry, Nankin, and State Line Boat Ramps, and Madison Health got good results at the GA-FL line and at the usual two places in Florida (CR 150 and FL 6).

Valdosta has reported good results upstream for Monday and Wednesday for US 41 and US 84. Not so good on Fecal coliform at GA 133 Wednesday, but still acceptable on E. coli.

So all the WWALS Withlacoochee River “beaches” remain green on Swim Guide. Happy boating, swimming, and fishing this weekend, so far as we know! Do be aware there was significant rain upstream, which could wash things into the rivers.

Not so good news at the bottom of the Suwannee River. The town of Suwannee, Florida, had a sewage spill. But there’s good news even for that: it was tiny (25-50 gallons) and did not last long.

[Chart and Map]
Chart and Map

Thanks to FDEP for the email alert for the Pollution Notice below, received at 10:10 AM this morning.

Hurricane Sally did not cause any other Continue reading

Banks Lake Full Hunter’s Halloween Moon paddle 2020-10-31

Yes, bring costumes: it’s Halloween! Leisurely Sunset and Full Moon Paddle, with bats, on our mini-Okefenokee, Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge, just west of Lakeland, Georgia.

When: Gather 6:15 PM, launch 6:30 PM, end 8:50 PM, Saturday, October 31, 2020

Put In: Banks Lake Boat Ramp, 307 Georgia 122, Lakeland, GA 31635, in Lanier County.

GPS: 31.035097, -83.097045

Take Out: Banks Lake Boat Ramp

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.

Lights: You must have a light for your boat or some type of light to have on yourself (glow sticks work well, or head lamp, flashlight, etc.) so other boaters can see you in the dark. It will be totally dark after sunset. You must wear a PFD. A whistle is not required, but it’s a good idea in the dark. Mosquitoes can be bad at dusk so come prepared.

Boats: Kayaks are available to borrow but please let us know at least 2 days prior to the event. Bring your own if you have it. Thanks to Banks Lake Outdoors for free boat rental for these WWALS Full Moon Paddles.

Free: This outing is free to WWALS members, and $10 (ten dollars) for non-members. You can pay the at the outing, or online: wwals.net/donations/#outings

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
wwals.net/donations/#join

Event: facebook, meetup

[Bat tree]
Photo: Bobby McKenzie, Bat tree, 2020-08-03.

Continue reading

Notice: WWALS Board meeting 2020-10-18

Paddle races, outings, cleanups, water quality testing, opposition to mines, water withdrawals, coal ash, and pellet plants, promotion of solar power, and of course finances: the WWALS board will be discussing all those in its 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, October 18, 2020

Where: Online: the zoom parameters will follow, as will an 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.

[WWALS Logo]
WWALS Logo

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!

Bad lower Suwannee, good Withlacoochee and Alapaha 2020-09-14

Update 2020-09-18: OK Withlacoochee River Quality, sewage spill Suwannee, FL, Suwannee River 2020-09-17

Sunday, Suzy Hall tested for WWALS at Sullivan Launch @ CR 15 on the Withlacoochee River, and got good results.

This despite a report of cows in a creek near the river just upstream in Hamilton County, Florida: that’s right, Florida, not Georgia.

Loretta Tennant’s WWALS results for the lower Suwannee were not so pretty.

And while Valdosta’s results for late last week corroborate those of WWALS and Madison Health, for Wedensday, September 2, Valdosta got bad results at State Line Boat Ramp.

[Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers]
Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers

Lower Suwannee River

Monday, September 14, 2020, Loretta Tennant tested again for WWALS at Continue reading

Alapaha River good water quality at Berrien Beach and Lakeland Boat Ramp, also Withlacoochee 2020-09-12

Update 2020-09-16: Bad lower Suwannee, good Withlacoochee and Alapaha 2020-09-14.

Results look good from the Alapaha River Saturday, at Berrien Beach and Lakeland Boat Ramp. Florida Thursday Withlacoochee River results corroborate the WWALS State Line results of that same Thursday we reported last time, and extend them downstream into Florida, also good.

However, more than half an inch of rain fell on Okapilco Creek Thursday, 0.75″ at Spence Field east of Moultrie, and also 0.6″ at Dixie in the west of Brooks County. Is that enough to wash some manure into the creek? We shall see.

[Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers]
Withlacoochee and Alapaha Rivers

Berrien Beach

After the Berrien Beach Boat Ramp (and Beach) cleanup, I collected a sample at Continue reading