LAKE GEORGE, NY –9/15/2011 -- Two Lake George watershed protection organizations have joined with Mountain Lakes PBS and a documentary film team to highlight the challenges of aquatic invasive species management in the Lake George basin.
The film is to be produced as a 30-minute PBS special and will highlight both the successes and mounting challenges of aquatic invasive species control in the ‘Queen of American Lakes’, Lake George. Invasives include Eurasian milfoil, zebra mussels, and Asian clam, the newest threat to Lake George ecology.
“The Lake George example is one that can serve as a model for thousands of communities across North America, communities that are struggling to preserve their lakes and resilience of their ecosystem and interdependent economies,” said Jon Erickson of Bright Blue EcoMedia and University of Vermont professor.
The film will highlight the work of citizens, scientists and nonprofit organizations that have joined together to protect Lake George and its watershed. Two local entities – the Lake George Association and the Lake George Watershed Coalition – have pledged the initial production funds towards the production cost. An additional $35,000 must be raised in order to complete the project.
The documentary will be part of education programs at Mountain Lakes PBS, based in Plattsburgh, NY. “We're working with the nonprofit Bright Blue to provide quality lifelong learning content and curriculum while also telling a local success story to a much wider audience,” according to Colin Powers, Director of Programming at Mountain Lake. Mountain Lake is seeking distribution throughout all of New York’s PBS stations.
The production team, Bright Blue EcoMedia, includes multiple Emmy-award winning producer Vic Guadagno who, over the past few years, produced two series for Vermont Public Television, ‘Emerging Science’ and ‘Regeneration’. Bright Blue recently produced “Bloom: the Plight of Lake Champlain”, which this year won the New England Emmy Award for Outstanding Environmental Program, and helped to broaden the public dialogue around the future of the Lake Champlain basin, which Lake George is a part of. It traces the problems of phosphorous pollution – from urban areas, farms and wastewater treatment plants – to Lake Champlain. Bloom first aired on Mountain Lake PBS last December and on Vermont Public Television in January.
Given the growing problem of phosphorous pollution and algae blooms across the country, Bloom was distributed nationally by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA)and aired on PBS stations from California and Colorado to Michigan and New Hampshire. "Screenings in Vermont and New York at theaters and town halls alike have been filled to capacity, followed by lively public discussions," said Guadagno. "I'd expect a film on invasive species would have similar regional and national appeal, and bring much needed attention to both the management successes and the mounting challenges ahead".
“As a nonprofit, Bright Blue is able to pull together some significant horsepower on a limited budget to produce ecomedia that can help shed light on critical environmental and social issues,” said Erickson.
Filming is expected to begin in September. In addition to public television airings and regional screenings, Mountain Lake PBS would also create a web site, assemble curricular material for classroom use, and tap into social media networks to expand the film's educational impact.
Mountain Lake is also partnering with Bright Blue on a larger film project investigating the history, status and future of the Adirondack model of conservation. Based on a recently published book by Erickson and colleagues William Porter and Ross Whaley entitled “The Great Experiment in Conservation: Voices from the Adirondacks,” the film will explore the larger context of conservation and development in the Adirondack Park.
Bright Blue EcoMedia has an educational mission to produce digital media that will enhance, enrich, and sustain human cultures and the ecological systems on which they rely.
As a unique blend of academics, media professionals, educators, and artists, we are dedicated to communication of positive solutions. Our creative team has worked together in various forms over the past twenty years. Over the past few years, our vision of combining rich educational content with high quality video production has crystallized as Bright Blue EcoMedia. We believe that entertaining, high quality films, teacher’s guides, and new media can be powerful communication tools, translating complex issues to audiences of all ages. brightbluemedia.org
About Mountain Lake PBS
Mountain Lake PBS produces high quality programs for local and worldwide audiences, reaching over 3.9 million viewers in New York, Vermont, Quebec and Ontario. The station also provides a host of education and outreach services for learners of all ages and devotes at least eight hours a day to programming for children.
Mountain Lake PBS’ mission is to celebrate and strengthen the civic and cultural life of the Mountain Lake region by providing distinctive telecommunications programs and services that inform, educate, involve and entertain. mountainlake.org