Tag Archives: Tifton

What causes sinkholes?

Fake and real sinkholes form in the same porous limestone underground here in the Floridan Aquifer, and we get an explanation of that from another limestone area in western New York.

Nalina Shapiro wrote for WIVB.com yesterday, What’s behind sinkholes in WNY?

So what causes these sinkholes to form?

University at Buffalo Geology Professor Dr. Marcus Bursik says there are two types of sinkholes. One type is caused by aging infrastructure, like old pipes that burst underground and eventually cause a collapse on the surface. This is more common and is sometimes called a “fake sinkhole.”

Like the Sinkhole on US 82 near Tifton August 2012, caused by a broken water main, and since filled in. The other type is much more common: Continue reading

Valdosta Plans Flooding Discussions

Valdosta is finally announcing the 11 April 2013 watershed-wide flooding meeting organized by the Army Corps of Engineers.

WCTV yesterday carried a press release from the City of Valdosta; PR which, oddly, does not appear to be on the city’s website. I have added a few links. Prominently missing from the PR is any mention of water quality, the Floridan Aquifer, or sinkholes. -jsq

The City of Valdosta initiated planning discussions recently that brought together representatives from key local, state and federal agencies to seek solutions to a regional flood issue.

The 50-year flood event that occurred in late February, early March 2013 was a vivid reminder of the 2009 flood event that significantly impacted south Georgia. Since 2009, the city has worked to help identify potential causes and the scope and area of the regional flooding that occurred. This information has been shared with various state and federal officials and agencies in the hopes of gaining their interest and support to work together to address the regional flooding. Since Valdosta is located

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Sinkhole on US 82 near Tifton August 2012

Water disasters of droughts and floods and sinkholes already affect us more here in south Georgia than the kinds of disasters TV news likes. In north Florida, next to a church in Albany, under a garage in Lowndes County, and next to the Shoney’s in Tifton, sinkholes are spreading: can we go beyond reacting to them and work on preventing them?

Next to a story yesterday about disaster preparedness, the Tifton Gazette posted this picture and caption:

Tift County experienced massive flooding in early August 2012. The heavy rains made the then-sinkhole located on Hwy. 82 into a massive waterfall. Tift County EMA has to be prepared for such events in our community. Photo credit: Latasha Everson/The Tifton Gazette

Here’s a 2011 YouTube video of the sinkhole that says the sinkhole had been next to the Shoney’s five years already then, two years ago. Stephanie Springer wrote for WALB 9 and 13 August 2012, Tifton sinkhole continues to grow,

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Watershed meeting organized by Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) didn’t know there was a large water problem hereabouts, but now they do, and they want to take a watershed-wide approach, from the headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico, including both surface water and aquifer issues, perhaps starting with redrawing FEMA’s flood maps, and maybe even including once again funding the state water council.

Thursday 11 April 2013 there was a rather large governmental meeting organized by USACE in response to the City of Valdosta’s request of 11 March 2103. Yesterday, Valdosta City Council District 5 Tim Carroll sent the appended list of attendees, augmented by a conversation with him on the phone 13 April and a blog comment by him later that same day on the original post on the WWALS blog, in which he also remarked:

Very good preliminary meeting that hopefully will yield real action on our region wide water issues. Thanks for sharing this info with WWALS.
We know little else, because no media or private citizens were invited.

  • USACE Savannah office: Jeff Morris, Georgia Silver Jackets Coordinator and Beth Williams, Hydraulic Engineer
  • USACE Jacksonville office: David Apple, Chief, Watershed and Restoration Planning Section
  • GADNR: Christopher Hill and Tom Shillock, GAEPD Floodplain Management Unit
  • GEMA: Dee Langley, Planning Program Manager and Terry Lunn, Director, Hazard Mitigation Division
  • GEMA: Gary Rice – Regional Field Coordinator
  • USGS: Brian McCallum, Supv. Hydrologist/ADir and Keith McFadden, Physical Scientist
  • FEMA Region 4: Susan Wilson, CFM, Floodplain Management and Insurance Branch Chief and Janice Mitchell, Insurance Specialist and Lender Compliance

Those state and national agencies were brought by:

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Water trails for economic benefit —Bret Wagenhorst

This letter demonstrates many public uses of the Alapaha River at Hotchkiss Crossing by everyone from Boy Scouts to doctors, and indicates economic benefits of water trails. -jsq

February 4, 2013
Lowndes County Board of Commissioners
327 North Ashley Street – 3rd Floor
Valdosta, GA 31601
RE: Hotchkiss landing closure

Dear Commissioners:

I have lived in the South Georgia region for the past 16 years. I am also a practicing physician and have a love of the out of doors, especially canoeing, camping and hiking. I also serve on the board of WWALS Watershed Coalition, a local river advocacy group trying to promote awareness and preservation of our local rivers. It has recently come to my attention that you are considering the potential closure of the Hotchkiss landing site along the Alapaha River near Naylor. I would like to put in a word in favor of keeping the landing site open.

I have canoed dozens of different sections of the Alapaha River from north of Tifton all the way to Statenville, as well as portions that join with the Suwanee River in Florida. Without a doubt, one of the most fun and scenic sections to paddle is from the put-in near Burnt Church outside of Lakeland down to the Hotchkiss landing. I have taken various groups

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Watershed seminar tomorrow in Tifton

Boating, walking, birding, hunting, fishing: our watersheds provide us all that, plus what goes in upstream comes out in your drinking water. Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, and Little Rivers: WWALS Seminar tomorrow in Tifton. Good talks, good food, good water. Y’all come!


10:00 – 10:20 Dave Hetzel, WWALS President
10:20 – 10:35 Karen Hendrix, WATER MATTERS: Co-Chair
WATER MATTERS: Focus & Function
10:35 – 11:10 Neill Herring, Veteran Conservation Lobbyist at the GA General Assembly
The Political Economy of Water Conservation in Georgia
11:10 – 11:45 Jesslyn Shields, Georgia River Network
River Protection Success Stories in Georgia
11:45 – 11:55 Break
11:55 – 12:10 Bret Wagenhorst
Water Trails: Conservation and Development
12:10 – 12:45 Babe McGowan, Forester
Best Management Practices for Riparian Ecosystems
12:45 – 1:00 Karan Rawlins, University of Georgia
SEEDN smartphone app
1:00 – 2:00 Dave Hetzel
Open Discussion and Pot Luck Lunch
2:00 – 4:00pm Walk to the Arboretum and Practice SEEDN App
WWALS Watershed Seminar
10:00 am Saturday
22 September, 2012
Seminar Room
NESPAL Building
2360 Rainwater Road
Tifton Campus
University of Georgia
WWALS Watershed Coalition is an Advocacy Organization working for watershed conservation of the Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems watershed in south Georgia and north Florida through awareness, environmental monitoring, and citizen advocacy.
Introducing WWALS Board
Dave Hetzel — President
John S. Quarterman — VP
Brittney Hull — Treasurer
Nathan Wilkins — Secretary
Gretchen Quarterman
Bret Wagenhorst
Garry Gentry
Karan A. Rawlins
Al Browning
Pot Luck Lunch
All Attendees, please bring your favorite dish to share
WWALS is Providing the Main Course
In the spirit of conservation please bring your own set up: Plate, fork, knife, spoon, cup

Better cities and counties make better watersheds

Want jobs, low taxes, and less flooding? Help maintain our watersheds with good local planning.

What’s a watershed? Kaid Benfield wrote for Atlantic Cities today, The Cost of Sprawl on Clean Water:

Watersheds are topographic areas where all the rain that falls eventually ends up in a namesake steam, river, lake, or estuary.

These are our local watersheds. Purple is the Little River Watershed, blue is the Withlacoochee Watershed, and Valdosta is where the Little River flows south into the Withlacoochee. Green is the Alapaha watershed, and Tifton is where all three meet. Every drop of rain or used well water or wastewater overflow or pesticide runoff or soapy shower water or clearcut mud that runs downhill into one of these rivers is in their (and our) watersheds.

Becoming greener doesn’t just mean a municipality’s adding a pleasant new park here and there, or planting more trees, although both components may be useful parts of a larger effort. How a town is designed and developed is related to how well it functions, how well it functions is related to how sustainable it really is, and how sustainable it is, is directly related to how it affects its local waters and those who use those same waters downstream.

Compact, mixed-use, well-designed in-town growth can take some of the pressure off of its opposite on the outskirts — or beyond the outskirts — of towns and cities. We know that sprawling growth is generally pretty bad for maintaining environmental quality in a region (air pollution from cars that become necessary in such circumstances, displacement of open land, water pollution from new roads and shopping centers that are begot by such growth patterns).

We also know, as UGA Prof. Dorfman told us several years ago,

Local governments must ensure balanced growth, as
sprawling residential growth is a certain ticket to fiscal ruin*
* Or at least big tax increases.

Kaid Benfield explains how town planning is related to watersheds:

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NDAA does not protect US citizens from detention without due process –Barbara Stratton

Received today on What about NDAA? Questions for Austin Scott in Tift County. -jsq

I did not stay for the luncheon with Austin Scott because I’ve had conversations with him already. The question in this video on NDAA does need to be addressed. Every legislator who voted for the bill that included sections 1021 & 1022 needs to either encourage legislation to repeal or correct these sections or be replaced.

However the Ron Paul supporters do not have a corner on dissatisfation with NDAA. Ron Paul has stated that he will fix everything wrong with the country. I would be more trusting of his statements if they allowed that he will have to work with Congress to fix problems instead of inferring he can totally accomplish change on his own. Gary Johnson is running on the Libertarian platform also. Neither of them can win the GOP nomination without upstaging the delegate voting process and both are running on almost identical platforms. Are they both going to vie for the GOP spot over Romney or will one or both pull off to run as a third party candidate?

Back to the NDAA question—KrisAnne Hall is a constitutional lawyer who has detailed sections 1021 and 1022 and verified the same conclusion I did when I asked Saxby Chambliss why he voted for the bill back in December. It does not protect US citizens from detention without due process and she details why. She will be speaking at the Valdosta Tea Party meeting Thursday night, April 26, 7:00 at the Holiday Inn on Hwy 84. Hopefully she will also have updates on what is being done to correct this injustice. We do need to let our senators and representatives know we are expecting an amendment to correct this travesty against us or we will fight to see they are defeated for their crimes against the Constitution.

-Barbara Stratton

Hey, I’m a Democrat, and I’ve been opposed to NDAA, FISAA, for many years now. -jsq

Farm Bill Forum in Tifton 2012-03-16

Here’s a playlist of videos of Saxby Chambliss’ Farm Bill Forum in Tifton. It seems the Farm Bill is about big agro crops like corn and soybeans. Peanuts are considered a specialty crop. Fruits and vegetables are not really considered.

Some more videos will be added, but here is the first bunch:

Farm Bill Forum, Senator Saxby Chambliss,
Gary Black, Charles Hall, Robert Redding, John Maguire,
UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, Tifton, Tift County, Georgia, 16 March 2012.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).




School lunches, speculators —Garry Gentry

Garry Gentry from Tifton at Saxby Chambliss's Farm Bill Forum in Tifton wanted to know how much of food prices was due to Wall Street speculation.

Here's the video:

School lunches, speculators —Garry Gentry
Farm Bill Forum, Senator Saxby Chambliss,
Gary Black, Charles Hall, Robert Redding, John Maguire,
Tifton, Tift County, Georgia, 16 March 2012.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).