Water is Life

Documenting the battles to keep Alaska’s waters clean through filmmaking

The Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund supported the creation of two short documentary films to spread awareness about the challenges facing Alaskans in keeping their waters cleanWe Eat Fish! and Water is Life.

We Eat Fish!

The Clean Water Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency to use Alaskans’ “fish consumption rate” to determine how much pollution is allowed in Alaska’s waters. Currently, the rate used in this formula is significantly too low and not an accurate reflection of how much fish Alaskans actually eat, particularly indigenous and coastal residents. As a result, Alaska’s waters are threatened by unnecessary pollution.

With support from the LEX-NG Fund, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council’s Inside Passage Waterkeeper Program produced a documentary called We Eat Fish! to spread awareness of the issue. As a result, the We Eat Fish! campaign has heightened the awareness of the EPA Region 10 Administrator, state government officials in Alaska, and the general public. Along with the film, SEACC’s Inside Passage Waterkeeper has created an accompanying action action that includes a petition to the state of Alaska and the EPA to urge them to protect Alaska’s waters.

To learn more, you can read a blog about the We Eat Fish! campaign here.

Water is Life

Several proposed mines near the Stikine River’s headwaters in Canada are threatening the character of the river and the communities that depend on it. To rally the public’s interest, the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council’s Inside Passage Waterkeeper program created Water is Life, a short film that tells the story of Alaskans’ relationship with the Stikine River. In the words of one resident, “You got the story right. And it’s an important story.” The documentary highlights the role of the Stikine River as a unifier of the diverse communities in Southeast Alaska and Bristish Columbia and has helped them rally around a common cause: battling for a clean Stikine.

Since the film’s completion, there have been several showings throughout Southeast Alaska to much positive critical response. Water is Life events have attracted a diverse cross-section of the population, from Native Alaskans to non-Natives, and people of all ages. Audience members consistently report that they believe in the film’s message and support the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council’s efforts to protect the clean waters of the Stikine River. The documentary is part of a larger grassroots lobbying effort to achieve government action to protect this critically important, life-sustaining river.

The Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund aims to protect the last wild places in the ocean while facilitating conservation, research, education, and community development programs in the places we explore. If you would like to learn more about projects supported by the LEX-NG Fund worldwide, please contact the Fund by email. To support our work by making a contribution to the LEX-NG Fund, click here.

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