Last Call For The Bayou
Last Call For The Bayou
Completed and airig on Smithsonian Channel: https://www.smithsonianchannel.com/shows/last-call-for-the-bayou/1006471
Louisiana’s delta is a veritable bounty of rich estuarine life, supporting a robust commercial fishing industry, fertile oil fields, millions of migrating waterfowl, and at the heart of it all the mighty Mississippi -- a navigation channel that allows the passage of goods worldwide. It is not an overstatement to say that it is the cradle of our economy and it is for that reason that the erosion of Louisiana’s wetlands is one of the greatest environmental threats the US faces today. Every hour a chunk the size of a football field is lost. Each year 25 square miles of land is gone forever, and without a mitigation strategy the marine economy, oil and gas, and even the citizens of New Orleans will be seeking refuge elsewhere in 50 years or so.
This set of films aims to shed a little more light on what is happening through the eyes of some who are experiencing the changes.
The project begins with five stories from the Bayou. We take to the skies with Ben Depp, a paragliding photographer who is memorializing the value and beauty of what we are losing while highlighting how the oil pipeline canals are perhaps public enemy number 1. We head out into the dawn with Albertine, a spirited duck hunter who’s home outside the levee system was flooded twice yet she still passionately believes that the damage the levees cause outstrips their role of keeping the Mississippi penned in. We take soil cores with Alex, a geologist at Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, as he determines how fast the city is sinking and whether or not the state’s effort to build sediment in the delta is working. We catch shrimp with Gleason, a generational fisherman down but not out, as he shares how his industry has been devastated by the salinity changes brought on by salt-water intrusion.
The project plans to expand into a feature-length documentary with aims to explore Louisiana’s battle-ready Coastal Master Plan as we race against the clock of mother nature and the continued exploitation of the region’s non-renewable resources.
Director: Dominic Gill
Producer: Nadia Gill
Company: Encompass Films (www.encompassfilms.com)
Advisors: Jeff Orlowski, Director Chasing Coral, Chasing Ice
Dr. Alex Kolker, Geologist, LUCMON research institute
Mike Tidwell, author Bayou Farewell.