7:15 pm | Documentary | Length TBA
Jon Bowermaster, Director and Executive Producer of Oceans 8 Films, is launching a new series of short films from their Hudson River Stories series. Co-sponsored by Riverkeeper, Sloop Clearwater, Hudson Valley Farm Hub, and Hudson Valley Seed Company.
CITY ON THE WATER
NEW YORK IS THE HUDSON’S ISLAND CITY
With 520-miles of waterfront and four-out-of-five boroughs islands, New York City is truly a water city. Everywhere you go, there are tunnels and bridges delivering you over water, to such a degree some have dubbed the waterways that encircle New York City “the sixth borough.” We spent several months filming both the natural water landscape and the activists trying to improve its health. From Brooklyn’s Newtown Creek to Queens’ Flush Meadow, waterways once thought ruined forever by industrial and manmade pollution are making a comeback. From the Billion Oyster Project to Dragon Boat races, from the Gowanus Canal to the Harlem River, there is brand new activity on all of the waterways that surround NYC, making this the cornerstone of our new ‘Hope on the Hudson’ series.
RESTORING THE CLEARWATER
THE SYMBOL AND LEGACY OF THE HUDSON ENDURES
For nearly a year the historic sloop ‘Clearwater’ was out of the water, on land, enduring what wooden boats have historically endured forever: Restoration. Onshore near the Hudson River Maritime Museum on the Rondout Creek in Kingston, swathed in tarps and protective sheets, the nearly 60-year-old wooden boat was carefully mended and updated. Our OCEANS 8 film crew carefully documented the restoration and the return of the classic ship to the Hudson River. Built under the visionary leadership of musician/activist and Hudson River resident Pete Seeger, the ‘Clearwater’ continues to fulfill the original mission he envisioned, to help educate and share the plight of our local Hudson River environment as it luffs its sails and roams America’s “First River.”
SEEDS OF HOPE
Oceans 8 Films spent a year following the planting-to-harvest of Native American seeds on a 200-acre plot of the Farm Hub.
ABOUT STORIES OF THE RIVER
For many years, the Hudson River, like so many waterways across the U.S., was treated like an infinite waste barrel, a receptacle for poisonous chemicals, hazardous waste and trash of all descriptions. During the past forty years, thanks to a committed group of environmentalists and their agencies, the river has become markedly cleaner, a far more welcoming place for small business and community investment. While the river is still an under-utilized natural resource, increasingly it is used by boaters, kayakers, even swimmers as a recreational playground.
But the river, in the words of Riverkeeper’s John Lipscomb, the Hudson River, from Troy to Manhattan, has “had a foot on its neck” for more than one hundred years due to all that pollution and unmonitored industrialization.
So despite all of the improvements the river and valley have witnessed thanks to the coordination of some of the savviest environmentalists in the country, there are still environmental risks and concerns.
The Hudson is known as America’s “First River.” About two years ago we undertook this project, “The Hudson, A River at Risk,” to draw attention to some of the ongoing environmental concerns, including bomb trains loaded with crude oil coursing along its banks, the continued pollution by PCBs going back to the 1940s, the serious debate over the future of the nuclear power plant at Indian Point.
We took on this unique multi-media project too because the Hudson is our river. Oceans 8 Films and the One Ocean Media Foundation originated in the Hudson Valley and the river and its beauty have been a backdrop of and inspiration to much of our work over the years. It is an environment to both be celebrated, and protected.