A bit of history from James Holland, moved here since the original page was compromised by spam

On 6/10/14 8:32 PM, James Holland wrote:
> Dear Ms. Vick, Mr Arrington and Mr. Carmichael,
> I would like to thank you all for meeting with the CoastkeeperĀ® (Jen Hilburn) and I this morning. The meeting was very informative, however, I would like to go back over parts of this meeting to make certain that I further clarify myself regarding the stream that flows through the above construction site. First I would like to restate what I told Mr. Arrington when he asked would I rather the fish be allowed to swim up and down the stream and allow sediment to enter the stream or would I rather have the rock filter dam blocking the stream impeding flow and stopping aquatic species the freedom of movement up and down the stream. For many years I have never tried to hide the fact that I speak for the animals and let humans speak for themselves because they (humans) have the ability to speak and protect themselves environmentally and animals do not. I think my response was quick and to the point, I told him (Mr. Arrington) to get that rock filter dam out of there and keep the sediment out of the stream. State law backs me up in that statement because all those waters including the drainage ways on that site are connected to federal and state waters.
> THE GEORGIA WATER QUALITY CONTROL ACT (GWQCA), “requires that all waters shall be free from material related to municipal, industrial or other discharges which produce turbidity, color, odor or other objectionable conditions which interfere with legitimate water users”.
> Attached are five photos that indicate that this site failed the above part of the GWQCA due to failing best management practices (BMP’S) constantly during rain events. The rock filter dam caused the flow in this stream to reverse its self and flow north rather than south which is its natural flow direction and the water was loaded with sediment at that time and I documented numerous serious BMP failures on that site that day The rock filter dam did let turbid water escape off site on that day as one of my photos indicates. Having said all the above, I am not happy with the restricting of flow on this site because it is not necessary. I am requesting that the rock filter dam be removed from this stream and BMP’S be installed that will control the sediment and keep it out of these state and federal waters.
> Now regarding that stream that the state contends that does not exist on this site. I have constantly repeated myself to the authorities that the first time I looked at this site I saw evidence that a stream does exist on this site.
> I have attached eight (8) Google Earth Images that historically show a stream in those hardwoods leading down to the site from the north. These 8 Google Images represent about twenty-five years of environmentally historical data showing a stream coming into this site from the north flowing to the south and some of these images show a stream leaving the site traveling south. These images also indicate jurisdictional ditches draining wetlands flowing in towards the stream and I have those highlighted also.
> There are three agencies copied on this e-mail, EPD, Ga. DOT and the Georgia State Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) and I am requesting that these site plans get another review because there has been some kind of stream flowing north to south through this site for at least 25 years. We all know the old adage that says pictures don’t lie.
> I know that at least two agencies say they have looked at this site and say it is only a wetland that is state waters. I also know that in these flat lands in coastal Georgia how easy it would be to make a mistake when talking about slow meandering streams that do not create deep banks and when flooded they could oh so easily be mistaken for just a state waters wetland. However, the historical images I am presenting to all of you indicate other wise.
> Thank all of you very much for giving my requests your sincere consideration.
> James Holland, Former Altamaha RiverkeeperĀ®


Good Afternoon Scott,
I only attended one meeting that you had where you had some exchange students present and I recall agreeing with your goal of beautifying areas of Glynn County called the Gateway. However, I also talked about getting this done, but not at the expense of the environment and if I recall in the past you have agreed with me.

I view what is under discussion as a violation of an unwritten pact with you because there are violations of environmental law at this site and this goes beyond just taking it up with Glynn County. This area has a long standing history of not caring about our marshes and it is obvious that Glynn County was not totally truthful when the Gateway Circle was built.

Now that you, as the person in charge of the tourism in Glynn County have been made aware of this ugliness by certain elements of county government you are slowly but surely working yourself and your organization into being participants of this situation. What you are saying is no different than the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA) when it touts the beauty of Jekyll Island while participating in destroying the beauty of the island in creating something that it isn’t.

Rather than suggesting that I contact Glynn County directly about the salt marsh that has the salt water flow cut off I suggest that you contact the county authorities and tell them something. I have already had the county on site out there and was told they would try to do something but I suppose they have already forgotten. I would like to make a suggestion to you, why don’t you contact the county and say there just might be a problem with some salt marsh over there and ask them if they can’t get it corrected. After all, Glynn County created the problem, not me. I did my best to tell the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee to be careful with Glynn County when they authorized the permit.

I also blame the construction of the Gateway circle for the failure of the salt water stream leaving the site and not draining properly. About half way to the Frederica River it is clogging up with sand and chunks of marsh are breaking off helping to cause this problem in the portion of the creek nearest Kings Way that is not draining out but only about half way. When chunks of marsh start breaking off it is normally caused by the velocity of the flow breaking it off. When I photographed that site from the air a few weeks ago there was a dolphin trapped in there and could not get out due to low tide on one end of the creek near Frederica River. Quite frankly, creating that traffic circle someone did not do a hydrological model to determine what was going to happen when they stopped up all the drains by allowing flow in only one direction in that area. I think the county readily admits they did not know how much sea water they were allowing into the circle and that also would tell you they had no idea of the negative impacts created by that screw up, just look at the dead tree’s.

Scott, do you think I believe this is having fun trying to protect the marshes? It is in no way fun when the bureaucracy has a systematic attitude that only one thing matters and that is money. Thank you for hearing me out but I just feel that you should not try to hide ugliness behind a phony veil of beauty. James Holland

From: scott@goldenisles.com
To: jamesrholland@hotmail.com; kelly@goldenisles.com
Subject: RE: Gateway Working Group Meeting
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2014 20:01:53 +0000

Hi James,

We understand that there are several issues with the back portion of the St. Simons Gateway triangle. As elaborated in your most recent email these issues go beyond just landscaping and making a more interesting entrance to the island.

For that reason, we feel that the county is best suited to address the rear portion of the property and the wetland areas. I would contact the county directly to discuss those issues as this meeting will be simply to make some landscape improvements to the first triangle and create a new entrance sign.

Many thanks!

Best Regards,

Scott McQuade

From: James Holland [mailto:jamesrholland@hotmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2014 7:26 PM
To: Kelly Greene; Scott McQuade
Subject: Gateway Working Group Meeting

Good Evening Kelly,
Someone forwarded me the e-mail regarding the meeting above on the 25th. Could you please elaborate a little for me on the water retention area on the backside of the Gateway area? For instance, exactly where is this water retention area located because I am not familiar with any designed water retention area near that site. Thank You, James Holland

Alice, I appreciate this but would you please forward to me the law that says EPD can block the flow from its original flows at this site. I still do not concede the fact that there is not a stream on this site and it will be too late but when they finish construction at this site I will prove it. There is at minimum a large jurisdictional ditch that comes down through the swamp that was placed there many years ago by the timber industry and a stream buffer is required on these jurisdictional areas. Do you have a stream buffer variance for this site? I don’t need to look at the USACOE Permit to know that it says you must be in compliance with all other state and local laws.

Even if there was not what you call a legitimate stream at this site, the body of water (swamp) has/had a southerly flow direction until Rob Arrington stopped it up with those rocks. It was quite clear at the meeting we had at EPD Rob was not authorized to tell the contractor he could place a rock filter dam in that stream. “YOU TOLD HIM YOURSELF AT THAT MEETING HE COULD NOT DO THAT”!

The biological integrity of that water body has been disrupted under the instructions of your on site EPD representative and until that dam is removed to allow the flow to move naturally I am not going to quit complaining. Pretty soon it will quit raining and the water you have blocked on the construction site will get hot and start evaporating and a fish kill will occur and you know it. Please do not let that happen, those fish may die any way because the construction has disrupted those flows but it must not be said that EPD did it. That is very obvious because when I started complaining about mud leaving the site EPD’S solution was to block off the flow so sediment could no longer go off site onto private property that joins the construction site.

It is not my fault, nor is it the fault of the aquatic species on this site that the Ga. DOT does not have adequate provisions to keep the sediment on site without disrupting the biological integrity of this water body. The DOT knew better than to block flow on this site, but apparently someone on your staff did not know better.

Once again, I as a concerned citizen am requesting once again that the state open up the flow on this site. If the DOT Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan is not adequate to control the sediment on site they should stop work and get a plan and implement it that will control on site sediment and not interfere with the nesting, feeding and propagation of aquatic species using this body of water and that doesn’t just mean fin fish, it means all aquatic species in this body of water.

Attached is a series of Google Earth Images showing over time that there is a body of water on this site with flow banks.

Thank You, James Holland, Concerned Citizen

From: Alice.Vick@dnr.state.ga.us
To: jamesrholland@hotmail.com
CC: Bruce.Foisy@dnr.state.ga.us
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:41:33 -0400
Subject: RE: Spur 25 & The Georgia Water Quality Control Act (GWQCA)

Good Afternoon James,

Part IV C of the Infrastructure Construction Permit requires the amendment of E&S plans should the original plan prove ineffective in controlling sediment. The Rock Filter Dam is approved for use on Page 6-117 of the 5th addition of the Green Book and on page 6-175 of the 6th Green Book addition.

Please contact the USACE with questions regarding compliance with their permit issued under the Federal Clean Water Act Section 404.


Alice Vick

Program Manager

EPD Coastal District Office

400 Commerce Center Drive

Brunswick, Georgia 31523

(912) 264-7284

From: James Holland [mailto:jamesrholland@hotmail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 07, 2014 5:34 PM
To: Vick, Alice; Foisy, Bruce; Arrington, Robby; Michael Carmichael; Rahn Milligan; Brent Dykes; Steve Caley; Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, GreenLaw
Subject: Spur 25 & The Georgia Water Quality Control Act (GWQCA)

Good Afternoon All,
As you all already know that I believe the Spur 25 Road Widening Project near Ga. HiWay 99 is mistreating the stream and swamp draining that very large area. The area I am concerned about includes silviculture lands with jurisdictional ditches and development right beside and downstream of this large drainage area.

On 6-19-14 during a routine photo coastal flight I photographed this area from the air so I could better understand how that road widening project may be negatively impacting a large drainage system containing aquatic species and other wildlife.

Photo Images;
Image #3970 shows the area where the flow is impeded altering the movement of aquatic species.

Image #4649 Shows the water is backed up due to the what I am calling the unauthorized BMP at the construction site.

Image #4653 Indicates the probable hydrological flow to the south of this entire area north of the Spur construction site.

Image #4655 Indicates stream flow through the hardwoods draining to the south.

Image #4656 Indicates the entire drainage system including development (north and south) silviculture area with jurisdictional ditches and the stream coming down thru the hardwoods flowing to the south.

The reason I am doing this further work in this area is because this road construction site is impacting all the state waters in that area. Obviously when I complained about the sediment leaving the site, the answer to that was just shut the flow down for the entire system (see image #3970). At the meeting I attended with EPD and the Ga DOT I protested strongly the idea of placing a rock filter dam in the stream flow thereby stopping water and aquatic species movement. This particular BMP was not on the original site plans because the people that prepared the site plans knew that blocking flow was wrong and probably illegal. It was the idea of EPD to place this rock filter dam in the stream so I decided on another approach trying to get water flows started back up in this area.

It is my belief that the Georgia Water Quality Control Act (GWQCA) is being violated at this site. I have attached to this what I call page 1 and page 2 of the GWQCA.

391-3-6-.03 Water use classifications and water quality standards.* Amended.
(1) Purpose The establishment of water quality standards.
(2) Water quality enhancement.

(a) The purpose and intent of the state in establishing Water Quality Standards are to provide enhancement of water quality and prevention of pollution; to protect the public health or welfare in accordance with the public interest for drinking water supplies, conservation of fish and other beneficial aquatic life, and agricultural, industrial, recreational, and other reasonable and necessary uses and to maintain and improve the biological integrity of the waters of the State. (Add emphasis to last sentence).

*Applicable to intrastate and interstate Waters of Georgia.
(3)(b) “Biological integrity” is functionally defined as the condition of the aquatic community inhabiting least impaired waterbodies of a specified habitat measured by community structure and function. (Emphasized)

(5) General criteria for all waters. The following criteria are deemed to be necessary and applicable to all waters of the State:

(c) All waters shall be free from material related to municipal, industrial or other discharges which produce turbidity, color, odor, or other objectionable conditions which interfere with legitimate water uses. (Emphasis added to “other objectionable conditions which interfere with legitimate water uses”)(Bad BMP’S).


These areas may have permits but I do not believe any permit trumps the GWQCA and any and all BMP’S on this site are requested to be removed if they interfere with the movement of flow (water quality) and the movement of aquatic species (a violation of the biological integrity of the State Waters clause). This water out in the open and not being able to move will cause water temperatures to rise dramatically and cause greatly reduced dissolved oxygen content. Fish and other aquatic species that can not retreat back into the cooler shaded areas of these waters may die for lack of dissolved oxygen and that would be a crying shame.

I would like to thank all of you in advance for giving my request(s) your consideration. James Holland, Retired Altamaha RiverkeeperĀ®