Tag Archives: John S. Quarterman

Hike to Dead River Sink, Alapaha River, Jennings Bluff Launch, 2021-07-10

Join us for an approximately three-mile hike down the Dead River to the Dead River Sink, where the Alapaha River goes underground much of the year. We will be led by Practicing Geologist Dennis J. Price of Hamilton County, Florida. He will explain the geology, and how unusual this place is: there’s nothing like it in Florida (or Georgia).

This is a hike: no boat is needed.

[Karst limestone cracks by the Alapaha River, Dead River, Sink, Dennis J. Price]
Karst limestone cracks by the Alapaha River, Dead River, Sink, Dennis J. Price

When: Gather 9:00 AM, launch 9:15 AM, end 12:15 PM, Saturday, July 10, 2021

Put In: Jennings Bluff Launch. From Jennings, Hamilton County, FL, travel south on US 41 to NW 25 Lane; turn left; travel east to NW 82 Court and the entrance into the Suwannee River Water Management District’s Jennings Bluff tract; turn left and follow road to canoe launch.

GPS: 30.567183, -83.038911
You’re aiming for the Jennings Bluff Tract entrance.

[Jennings Bluff Tract sign, 11:42:18, 30.5670965, -83.0388653]
Jennings Bluff Tract sign, 11:42:18, 30.5670965, -83.0388653

Take Out: Jennings Bluff Launch

Bring: drinking water, snacks, 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:
https://www1.wwals.net/outings

We recommend you support the work of WWALS by becoming a WWALS member today!
https://www1.wwals.netdonations/#join

Event: facebook, meetup Continue reading

No rain, clean Withlacoochee River 2021-05-27

No rain has produced a quite low but clean Withlacoochee River. It’s fortunate WWALS testers sampled Wednesday and Thursday, so it looks like the Withlacoochee River remains about as clean as we’ve ever seen it. Happy boating, fishing, and swimming!

[Bridges, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide]
Bridges, Withlacoochee River, Swim Guide

The last results we have from Valdosta are for upstream on Wednesday. They got slightly higher results at US 41 than did WWALS tester Bobby McKenzie, yet lower at GA 133. Continue reading

VDT on Mayor’s Paddle

This one went well. Next year we’ll call it something like the Mayor and Chairman’s paddle. Thanks to everyone who came for supporting WWALS outings and advocacy.

[Troupville Boat Ramp, WWTP Outfall]
Troupville Boat Ramp, WWTP Outfall; Photos: John S. Quarterman

Down the River: Mayor’s Paddle back on track, Bryce Ethridge, Valdosta Daily Times, 29 March 2021,

VALDOSTA — Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson and 40-plus city and Lowndes County residents gathered Saturday for a three-hour trip down the Withlacoochee River.

The Mayor’s Paddle is a fundraiser and kayaking experience that started in 2020 via a partnership with WWALS Watershed Coalition. “Last year, we formed it just to have a conversation with the cities and municipalities to our south, and to anybody who loved the river here,” Matheson said. “It was our way of saying we’re fully and only committed to keeping this waterway clean and useful for everybody in the area.”

WWALS also partners with Banks Lake Outdoors for free boat rental for the Banks Lake Full Moon paddles.

We partner with Friends of Reed Bingham State Park (FORB) for the BIG Little River Paddle Race, coming up April 24, 2021, at Reed Bingham State Park, between Adel and Moultrie, Georgia, and FORB actually does about half the work on that one.

You could say we partner with the downstream Florida counties in advocating that they should be paid back by Valdosta for the expense they’ve gone to in well and river water quality testing since Valdosta’s December 2019 record sewage spill.

We didn’t have many participants from Florida or elsewhere this time. Maybe we’ll have to do another paddle downstream in Florida for that.

Meanwhile, thanks to The Langdale Company for access at Spook Bridge and at the lunch stop. Continue reading

The regulatory trap at SRWMD: 30 speakers, yet unanimous Nestle permit 2021-02-23

A textbook case: “We present our three-minute, passionate oration about the risk to community health, but in the end, nothing we say must be taken into account by the state in issuing the permit.&rdqup; Common Sense: Community Rights Organizing, by CELDF; thanks to Karma Norjin Lhamo for the reminder.

[Mermaid, Suwannee Riverkeeper, OSFR, Regulatory Fallacy, Charles Keith, Attorneys, Motion to Permit, unanimous SRWMD Board]
Mermaid, Suwannee Riverkeeper, OSFR, Regulatory Fallacy, Charles Keith, Attorneys, Motion to Permit, unanimous SRWMD Board

About 30 speakers gave impassioned orations for denial, after which the Suwannee River Water Management District Board unanimously approved the Nestlé permit as fast as the roll could be called.

[SRWMD Board: Larry Thompson, Lower Suwannee Basin; Charles Keith, At Large; Virginia H. Johns, Chair, At Large; Virginia Sanchez, At Large; Charles Schwab, Coastal Rivers Basin; Harry Smith, At Large; Larry Sessions, Upper Suwannee Basin]
SRWMD Board: Larry Thompson, Lower Suwannee Basin; Charles Keith, At Large; Virginia H. Johns, Chair, At Large; Virginia Sanchez, At Large; Charles Schwab, Coastal Rivers Basin; Harry Smith, At Large; Larry Sessions, Upper Suwannee Basin. Notice nobody on the SRWMD Board representing the Santa Fe River Basin. Water taxation without representation.

As one prominent local activist said afterwards, “Two years out of my life I’ll never get back! I don’t know if I’ll ever come back here.”

Sure, voting in a governor who would appoint better WMD board members would help, and into the legislature, too. New legislators would help pass what is really needed: a Bill of Rights for Nature.

That is a way out of the Regulatory Fallacy Box. Continue reading

Pictures: Allen Ramp to SRSP with shoals and springs –Gretchen Quarterman 2019-06-01

Two photographers, three cameras, one outing: Allen Ramp to Suwannee River State Park, past Double Window Spring, Morgan Spring Run, Powerline Spring, Corbett Spring, Withlacoochee River, Suwannee River, and Suwanacoochee Spring, plus that chair on the old road bridge buttress, and let’s not forget Battery Shoals, Wipe-Out Shoals, Deer Shoals, Deer Shoals, and Melvin Shoals, where 1/3 of our paddlers (starting with me) fell in. Thanks, Shirley Kokidko for leading us from Allen Ramp to Suwannee River State Park, June 1, 2019.

[Left: Allen Ramp, Corbett Spring; Right: Melvin Shoals, Suwanacoochee Spring]
Left: Allen Ramp, Corbett Spring; Right: Melvin Shoals, Suwanacoochee Spring

We started at Allen Ramp. All pictures are by Gretchen Quarterman, except where marked jsq, when I took them. Click on any small picture for a bigger one. All the pictures are also on the WWALS website. Continue reading

Clean Forty Miles, Withlacoochee River 2021-02-04

Update 2021-02-11: Advisory lifted, Withlacoochee River, but big rains Tuesday 2021-02-09.

The Withlacoochee River tested clean at sites forty miles from US 41 to the state line on Thursday, February 4, 2021, in WWALS tests. We have no new data downstream, but chances are it was clean there, too. Plus the Little River at Troupville Boat Ramp was clean. The rains predicted for yesterday and today have been underwhelming, so chances are the Withlacoochee was clean into Florida, too. So according to the data we have, the Withlacoochee River is good for boating, swimming, and fishing at least from US 41 in Valdosta, Georgia, to CR 15 in Florida. Which serves us right, after we rescheduled the big paddle for today until February 27. It’s cold out there, though, and rain is still predicted.

[Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide]
Chart, Rivers, Swim Guide

However, the bacterial advisory by Madison and Hamilton Health has not been lifted. We now have four clean test results at State Line: WWALS, Valdosta, Madison Health, and WWALS again. But they probably won’t lift the Florida advisory until they get two successive clean test results themselves. Since more rain is predicted most of the coming week, don’t be surprised if they either don’t lift it for more than another week, or lift it and then issue another a few days later.

Thanks to WWALS testers Michael and Jacob Bachrach, who got zero E. coli at Knights Ferry Boat Ramp, 33 at Nankin, and 133 at State Line Boat Ramp. Only that last one is above the 126 average test limit, and still well below the 410 one-time test limit. Continue reading

Ichetucknee up and back paddle 2021-01-02

A bit of TV coverage for conserving springs and the WWALS Ichetucknee upstream paddle.

Dylan Lyons, WJCB.com, January 2, 2021, Local environmental organization hits the springs for their first kayaking event of 2021 (follow the link for WCJB’s embedded video),

[WCJB, WWALS]
WCJB, WWALS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)—WWALS Watershed Coalition is an organization in North-Central Florida and South Georgia dedicated to conservation and education about natural springs. Their goal is to bring focus to problems like excessive water withdrawal. They do that by bringing people out to the springs to see the issues first hand and recognize the beauty of the natural waters.

“More exposure is great because the more people that see the rivers are there and that they are all great like they are and especially the people that get on them. The more they’ll help take care of them,” said John S. Quarterman, the Suwannee Riverkeeper.

Continue reading

Videos: Headliner Dirty Bird and the Flu at Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020

Everybody loved the judges playing at the 2020 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest, and they really loved the headliner, Dirty Bird and the Flu.

Dirty Bird and the Flu, Headliner, 2020 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest

So here is video of Dirty Bird and the Flu:

Don’t worry; video of the finalists will be up soon. And the winners. And more Dirty Bird and the Flu.

Yes, we’re preparing for the 2021 Songwriting Contest, and you can help.

Meanwhile, you can watch the entire contest up to just before the finalists in this WWALS video playlist:

Continue reading

Videos: Judges Play at Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest 2020

Here are videos of an unusual feature of the 2020 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest: the three judges each played a song.

[Judges play]
Judges play

Stay tuned for more videos, of the 2020 headliners, finalists, awards, and more.

The annually-reconstituted WWALS Songwriting Contest Committee now has four songwriters on it, and is considering right now who to ask to be judges and headliners for the 2021 Suwannee Riverkeeper Songwriting Contest. Send your suggestions to song@suwanneeriverkeeper.org.

Song submissions by contestants will commence in April.

Once again we thank our top-tier sponsor Georgia Beer Company, who said they would do it again in 2021.

More sponsors are welcome. It’s a good opportunity to get your name or your organization’s out there along with a fun time and a good cause.

Help Georgia stop titanium mine threatening Okefenokee Swamp –Dirty Dozen 2020, Georgia Water Coalition 2020-11-17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hahira, Georgia, November 17, 2020 — Once again, the Okefenokee Swamp features in the Georgia Water Coalition Dirty Dozen, “the worst offenses to Georgia’s water.” The Swamp and the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers and the Floridan Aquifer are still threatened by a strip mine, but this time only Georgia can stop it, with your help.

[Great Blue Heron, Suwannee River, Okefenokee Swamp, TPM mine site]
Great Blue Heron, Suwannee River, Okefenokee Swamp, TPM mine site

Contact: This Okefenokee item was submitted by Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman (229-242-0102, contact@suwanneeriverkeeper.org) and Georgia River Network Executive Director Rena Ann Peck, (404-395-6250, rena@garivers.org).

They also recently observed the mine site that threatens our ecosystems and drinking water for private profit. [TPM mine site with ONWR on left]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, TPM mine site with ONWR on left

They met again that same weekend on the Suwannee River in the Okefenokee Swamp with forty paddlers, experiencing the fragile natural beauty that makes the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge a great economic benefit to both Georgia and Florida.

[Great Blue Heron flying, Suwannee River, Okefenokee Swamp, 2019-12-07]
Photo: John S. Quarterman, Great Blue Heron flying, Suwannee River, Okefenokee Swamp, 2019-12-07

The entire text of the Okefenokee Dirty Dozen item is below. Also below is how you can help.

This year’s Dirty Dozen report includes the following: Continue reading