Suwannee Riverkeeper


John Quarterman
[email protected]
(229) 242-0102

The Suwannee River is a major river that runs through South Georgia southward into Florida in the southern United States. It is a wild blackwater river, about 246 miles long. The Suwannee River is the site of the prehistoric Suwanee Straits which separated peninsular Florida from the panhandle.The mouth of the Suwanee River starts at the Okefenokee Swamp in the town of Fargo, Georgia. The river runs southwestward into the Florida Panhandle, then drops in elevation through limestone layers into a rare Florida whitewater rapid. Past the rapid, the Suwanee turns west near the town of White Springs, Florida, then connects to the confluences of the Alapaha River and Withlacoochee River.

John S. Quarterman lives on the same land where he grew up, halfway between Atlanta and Orlando in Lowndes County, Georgia, with a creek running to the Withlacoochee River down to the Suwannee into Florida and the Gulf. He witnessed 700-year floods in 2009 with deadfalls, road closings, and sewage overflows that spanned many counties in Georgia and Florida. In 2012, Quarterman and other local people formed WWALS Watershed Coalition to assist local people, governments, and organizations with these and other issues. Serving since then as a WWALS board member and twice elected as President, Quarterman is also the initial Suwannee Riverkeeper.A graduate of Lowndes High School in the largest population center in the Suwannee River Basin, Quarterman has a B.A. in Computer Science from Harvard College and is the author or co-author of seven technical reference books about the Internet, especially how it all fits together. He finds this Internet background surprisingly useful because, in the absence of major single-source pollution, water conservation work in the Suwannee River Basin is mostly helping organize coordination among many people and organizations all supported by the same thing: in this case water. Like the Internet, water does not stop at state lines, the most local issues can require coordination at national and even international scale, and no one is in charge of the whole thing.


P.O. Box 88
Hahira, Georgia 31632