HAHIRA — The Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe, and Suwannee River Watershed Coalition received the statewide Adopt-A-Stream Confluence conference Volunteer of the Year award Saturday while members of the environmental group were finishing a cleanup of Twomile Branch.
The award is for the “individual who has gone beyond the call of duty to improve water quality and meet AAS goals.”
WWALS Executive Director Gretchen Quarterman emphasized that it was not just one volunteer, but many responsible for the award, during an acceptance video.
Testers who have been vital to WWALS’ work include Sara Jay, Scotti Jay, Suzy Hall, Alex Chesna, Bobby McKenzie, Jacob Bachrach, Trudy Cole, Michael Bachrach, Conn Cole, Tasha LaFace, Renee Kirkland and Laura Bauer.
Adopt-A-Stream is a program of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Persons interested in being trained to become a WWALS water quality tester can attend a training session from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday. Th etraining will be mostly online, watching videos and through Zoom. Utilizing a grant from Georgia Power, WWALS has bought enough kits for trainees to have one for practice.
There is no charge for the training, and participants don’t have to test for WWALS after they’ve been trained. To test for WWALS, interested persons must be a WWALS member, which you can easily do online.
The group frequently tests on the Withlacoochee River, and also on the Little River and Alapaha River, Okapilco Creek, Onemile Branch, Twomile Branch, and Crooked Creek, among others, and sometimes on the Suwannee River.
For testing results, see wwals.net//issues/testing. We’ve seen mostly good results for the Withlacoochee River lately. The Alapaha River has always tested good for water quality, so E. coli in the Withlacoochee is not from deer.
For more details, including the WWALS award acceptance video, see: wwals.net/?p=53474.
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.