August 29, 2011
What I Did On My Summer Vacation:
My heart goes out to everyone on the East Coast impacted by Hurricane Irene.Â After screening â€œThe River Whyâ€ June 4 at National River Rally, River Networkâ€™s annual conclave, we drove from Charleston, SC to Manchester, VT.Â Such lush and beautiful country the whole trip.
When I saw Vermontâ€™s swollen rivers on the news today, it made me think about my new friends in Manchester, VT – - especially those at the American Museum of Fly Fishing.Â We were back there in early June to attend the opening of â€œA Graceful Rise: Women in Fly Fishing Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrowâ€ .Â It is a gorgeous exhibit that honors the key roles women have played in fly-fishing history and how they continue to inspire anglers today.Â In attendance:Â Joan Wolff, Fanny Krieger, Diana Rudolph, Kathryn Maroun and so many more incredible women.Â They included me and â€œThe River Whyâ€ in the exhibit.Â I keep joking that Iâ€™m now old enough to be a museum artifact, but in truth, I am deeply honored to be part of such an amazing group.Â The exhibit runs through April 2012, so be sure to check it out.
All good wishes to those still wading through the after effects of the storm.
May 27, 2011
I’ve always wanted “The River Why” to be a part of Active Cinema. In this case, I hope our film inspires our audiences to take care of the rivers it so beautifully highlights.
I just received an email about Clean Water Act Protections from River Network and think it is important to share. I always figure if we don’t take action, who will? Ya can’t just sit around and wait for things to change. Here’s an opportunity to do something that could make a difference:
Support Restoring Clean Water Act Protections for Neglected Waters
This spring, the U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers released the Draft Guidance on Identifying Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act. The draft guidance attempts to answer a very critical question — which streams, wetlands and other waters are protected under the Clean Water Act? The guidance attempts to clear up confusion and protection problems following two Supreme Court decisions which muddied the waters on the question of “jurisdiction” or which waters receive Clean Water Act protections from pollution, dredge and fill, and other harmful activities.
This is the first important step to enable the federal government to once again recognize what science and Mother Nature have known for a long time – the waters of the United States are connected. In their announcement, the Obama Administration recognized that all waters of the U.S. (including critical wetlands, small streams and streams that flow part of the year) must be protected if we are truly going to enforce the Clean Water Act.
This guidance is a very important first step but the American public and more specifically, the thousands of river and watershed groups from around the country who are working hard to protect and restore their home waters, must speak up forcefully in favor of a strong guidance document and strong rules to restore these essential protections.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
Please take action today to speak out in support of the draft guidance. The guidance is out for public comment for 60 days, so it can still change for the better or for the worse! Please consider taking two actions:
1) Submit your own comments on the draft guidance.
2) If appropriate, ask the members of your organization to submit comments on the draft guidance – the more voices on this, the better!
The very best comments will include local information about how the issue of Clean Water Act coverage affects people, streams and wetlands in your watershed. More general talking points for your comments could include one or more of the following:
- Congress clearly intended to protect these critical water resources when they passed the Clean Water Act nearly 40 years ago.
- This action taken by the US. EPA and the Army Corps recognizes a simple fact – the waters of the U.S. are connected and therefore must be protected.
- Wrongheaded interpretations of two confusing U.S. Supreme Court in the last decade, have led to the loss of protections for 20 million acres of wetlands and 60% of the stream miles in the United States, effectively gutting much of the intent of the Clean Water Act.
- Wetlands act as nature’s kidneys, filtering pollutants and also acting as a natural sponge to soak up excess waters during big precipitation events. Wetland losses make flood events worse, damaging property, endangering lives and impacting myriad business enterprises from agriculture to the recreational tourism industry.
- Protecting these wetlands and small stream corridors can help to reduce the impacts of floods like those that we are seeing along the Mississippi River (insert your own river/watershed if flooding is occurring in your area) this spring. Many communities have been able to reduce flooding by restoring wetlands and removing pavement along waterways and river banks. A single acre of wetland can store 1-1.5 million gallons of flood water.
- According to a report recently issued by the National Wildlife Federation, “The Upper Mississippi River Basin states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, and Missouri have each lost 85-90 percent of their wetlands and countless headwater streams.” The report continues, “Just a 1 percent loss of a watershed’s wetlands can increase total flood volume by almost 7 percent.”
Comments are due July 1, 2011.
Submit your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and place the Docket Number: Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OW–2011–0409 in your subject line.
(Note: the email address in the Federal Register notice was wrong…this is the correct email! If you prefer to mail a hard copy, see the Federal Register notice at the first link below for the address and instructions.)
April 1, 2011
There will be a special screening of “The River Why” at Rausch Auditorium at the University of Puget Sound on April 8 at 7 pm. The event will be preceded at 6 pm by a conversation with the producer, Kristi Denton Cohen (me) , and Todd Ambs, the President of River Network, a national organization whose mission is to empower and unite people and communities to protect and restore rivers and other waters that sustain the health of our country.
On April 9, University of Puget Sound students and other volunteers will be joining members of the Puget Creek Restoration Society to clean up Puget Creek. Those interested in volunteering are welcome to either meet at the President’s House on the University of Puget Sound campus at 8:40am (in order to walk over), or meet at Puget Creek at 9am. Gear will be provided. Signing up ahead of time (by contacting email@example.com) is preferred, though not necessary.
The students at the University are doing exactly what I hope other viewers of the film will be inspired to do: not only enjoy the film, but follow that up with action to protect the rivers and fish it so beautifully portrays. April 9 is also my birthday, and this is the best present ever!
February 17, 2011
We’ve got several great screenings of “The River Why” coming up.
The Sedona Film Festival (http://www.sedonafilmfestival.com/) is screening “The River Why” on February 20 at 8 pm and on February 22 at 9:10 pm. We are really looking forward to this festival in such a gorgeous setting.
On February 24, “The River Why” is screening at the “Festival of the Fly” in Hood River, Oregon. (http://www.skylighttheater.com/web/movies/nowshowing.cfm). A significant portion of the money raised by this event will go to stream restoration in honor of Glen Haack on both the big White and the Hood River … Friends of the White Salmon.Org.
As many of you know, I’m a big believer in “Active Cinema” and look forward to future screenings that will raise the profile of issues around river and fish conservation. We’ll have more news about that and our summer limited theatrical release in the weeks ahead. Thanks to “Festival of the Fly” for sharing our goals. I’m always open to other great ideas on how we can share information about these important issues, so please get in touch with me if you have any thoughts or new social media ideas. I’d like to make it a win/win for both the film and the non-profits with which we’re working.
On February 25, at 7 pm in Point Reyes, CA, “The River Why” is the opening night film for the first ever “Geography of Hope Film Festival”. This year’s theme for the festival is “Reflections on Water”. All of the films will spotlight eco-conscious, water-related issues. It will also feature art installations by the amazing David Best, who has erected incredible sculptures at many Burning Man events. More information about the festival and their beautiful trailer is at: http://www.ptreyesbooks.com/goh/film-festival.
Our next screening will be at the Omaha Film Festival on March 5 at 4:15 pm. (http://www.omahafilmfestival.org/films.html). We are quite honored to be invited to this festival and hope many of you will be able to attend.
Then, it’s on to the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capitol. on March 21 at pm (at American University). (http://www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org/) This festival explores explore one of the most controversial and timely topics of our day: the critical relationship between energy and the environment. Check it out.
November 1, 2010
Three great events coming up this weekend – and three great opportunities in three different places to see the film, greet our star who plays “Gus” , Zach Gilford, meet our director, Matthew Leutwyler and support a good cause.
Zach Gilford will be appearing at the Savannah Film Festival on November 5 at 9:30 pm for a special screening of “The River Why. http://filmfest.scad.edu/event/the-river-why/
That same night, a little further south, our director/editor Matthew Leutwyler will be appearing at the Naples International Film Festival in Florida for a screening November 5 at 8 pm. The film will screen again on November 6 at 12 pm and on November 7 at 11:30 a.m. http://naples.bside.com/2010/films/theriverwhy_matthewleutwyler_naples2010
The filmmakers of “The River Why” donated 25 tickets to veterans from Walter Reed Hospital who are participating in Project Healing Waters so they could see the film when it screens at the Alexandria Film Festival (Virginia), November 6 at 7 pm. Project Healing Waters is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of disabled active military service personnel and veterans through fly fishing and fly tying education and outings. For tickets, please go to: http://alexandriafilm.org/schedule/
August 16, 2010
One of our partners on the special benefit screening of “The River Why” last June, California Trout, has come up with a pretty amazing way to spread the word that “Cold, clean, fresh water is the most important resource of the 21st century and that fish are the best indicator of a healthy watershed.”
Shannon Moon, the Outreach Manager for California Trout, is going to bicycle 1400 miles across California to deliver this important message. I worked with Shannon on our special event in June and she is one great, energetic, fun and committed lady. Please lend your support to her great cause!
(and don’t forget to add “The River Why” to your Netflix queue!)