Keeping the Potomac — The Politics of Water

American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking documentary Keeping the Potomac: The Politics of Water aired January 24th and 28th on Maryland Public TV. In May, it also aired in prime time as part of MPT’s 2017 Chesapeake Bay Week. The film, featuring Upper Potomac Brent Walls, Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks, and Shenandoah Riverkeeper Mark Frondorf, looks at efforts to stem agricultural nutrient pollution along the Shenandoah River in Virginia and West Virginia, a major tributary to the Potomac; a pipeline in Allegany County, Maryland that pumps effluent from a Westernport wastewater treatment plant into the upper Potomac River; and coal ash disposal ponds at Possum Point Power Plant in Dumfries, Virginia and their impact on the lower Potomac. The 2017 American Conservation Film Student Film Award went to filmmakers Sam Sheline, Kent Wagner and Elizabeth Hertzfedlt-Kamprath.


Potomac — The River Runs Through Us

Each of us is connected to rivers in our everyday lives. Most of the six million people living in the Potomac River watershed do not realize that their drinking water comes from the Potomac. Since the Clean Water Act passed in 1972, the health of the river has improved. However, it is still in trouble and faces a number of serious threats: urban development, population growth and runoff from farms, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. The film follows the flow of the Potomac water from its origin, into our homes and businesses and back into the river. We become aware of the need to protect this essential resource and of how our wellbeing and that of future generations is intertwined with the health of the Potomac. Co Directed, Produced and Written by Peggy Fleming and Sean Fumage. Released April 2013. Features Potomac Riverkeeper Ed Merrifield and PRKN Board Member Brent Blackwelder.


Our Nation’s River: A System on the Edge

From Alexandria Cousteau (former PRKN Board member), a Blue Legacy International film released April 2012. The final stop on our 17,100 mile journey across North America, visiting the Potomac River gave us the chance to reconnect with the watershed we call home. This story, about the river which runs through our nation’s capital—and through Blue Legacy’s own backyard—really speaks to who we are and the work we do with local water keepers. The Potomac is the lifeblood of this region and a constant reminder of the challenges we will face in the future. Features Potomac Riverkeeper Ed Merrifield.


Shenandoah: Voices of the River

Two minute trailer for the 2008 documentary film by The Downstream Project, examining the history, ecology, and beauty of this treasured natural resource—and the potentially devastating impacts on its future. With The Downstream Project founder George Ohrstrom as Executive Producer, and just one of many passionate “voices” to tell her story, “Shenandoah” comes to life through the masterful lens of documentary cameraman George Patterson and crew. This film was co-produced by Thaxton Green Studios and Barnyard Productions. Released May 2009. Features Shenandoah Riverkeeper Jeff Kelble.