A film about the toxic mix of big agriculture, politics and water security rights.
"A searing look at a Great Lake gone bad."
~ Dan Egan, journalist and author of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes
– THE STORY –
How A Global Issue Is Impacting A Local Community
As climate, politics, and agricultural interests collide, the health of Lake Erie – and that of humans and wildlife – hang in the balance.
In 2014, the citizens of Toledo, Ohio had to go without running water for three days when a bloom of highly toxic algae entered the drinking water plant from Lake Erie. This should have been a wake up call for politicians, big agriculture, and citizens everywhere that freshwater resources are at risk of becoming toxic.
The Erie Situation explores the confluence of science, public sentiment, politics, and the powerful farming lobby as Ohio wrestles with how to confront the drivers of toxic algae in one of the Great Lakes.
What's at stake? Who's at risk? And will volunteer measures be enough to confront this growing crisis, both in Ohio and beyond?
42.0669° N, 81.3399° W
– LOCATION –
THE ERIE SITUATION takes place on and around the western basin of Lake Erie, near Toledo, Ohio, as scientists grapple to understand the chemistry of the lake. Further up the Maumee River, which feeds into the lake, lies an agricultural heartland. We venture from research labs to bait shops, and dairy farms to public gatherings.
– OUR VOICES –
KEN SABIN is a boat builder in Point Place, Ohio. A lover of the water, he was forced to quit spending so much time on Lake Erie when – he believes – the conditions of the lake began to give him respiratory issues. He is deeply concerned about the way the lake turns green every summer and believes the folks who could be doing something about it aren’t doing enough. Ken loves the lake and doesn’t want to see those in his community suffer financially or through health concerns related to the algal bloom issue.
JOE HAMMON has been a certified organic farmer in Defiance, Ohio, since 1997. He believes the lessons from the Bible apply to how we should treat the land. Joe struggles to convince others to adopt the organic farming practices he believes are sustainable for his farm, but also for the water it drains into and the public who consumes his product.
– TOPICS & THEMES –
Beneath the Surface
In addition to toxic algal blooms, THE ERIE SITUATION also examines pertinent questions about:
Runoff of Forever Chemicals
The film is co-produced by Plastic Oceans International, a global NGO with extensive experience in developing strong impact programs for films, including the award-winning documentary A PLASTIC OCEAN.