2010 FILM

SoLa

LOUISIANA WATER STORIES

Everywhere you look in Southern Louisiana there’s water: rivers, bayous, swamps, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico. And everyone in Cajun Country has a water story, or two or three or more. Its waterways support the biggest economies in Louisiana – a $70 billion a year oil and gas industry, a $2.4 billion a year fishing business, tourism and recreational sports. They are also home to some insidious polluters: the same oil and gas industry, 200 petrochemical plants along a 100-mile-long stretch of the Mississippi known “Cancer Alley,” the world’s largest Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico and erosion that is costing the coastline twenty five square miles of wetlands a year.

SOLA: LOUISIANA WATER STORIES

S
outhern Louisiana has historically had a legion of insidious polluters. At the same time, it’s one of America’s most vital and unique cultures; if everyone who lives there has a water story, they also most likely play the accordion, dance, can cook an etouffe, and hunt and fish.

Louisiana has long been known as both one of our most original and simultaneously most politically corrupt states. One legacy of that corruption is a handful of environmental problems that has turned Louisiana into America’s toilet bowl:

A Dead Zone that grows each year in the Gulf of Mexico thanks to farming fertilizers sent down from 31 states to the north.

Small fishermen squeezed out of business by a variety of pollutions, high fuel prices and international competition.

Cypress forests that once stood as a barrier between hurricanes and humans have been clear-cut for garden mulch and profit.

Coastal Erosion Thanks to man’s failed attempt to reign the Mississippi River, the state loses 25 square miles of coastline
each year.

Cancer Alley An 85-mile stretch of the Mississippi River has been turned over to the petrochemical industry. The risks are great.

Toxic Waste Decades of exploration for oil and natural gas has cut 10,000 miles of channels through the wetlands and left a wake of toxic waste in Louisiana’s waters.

Oil spills have long been business as usual in Louisiana, crowned by the ongoing BP nightmare which has focused attention on the region as our worst ecologic disaster escalates.

In SoLa, Louisiana Water Stories, we meet some of the most unique individuals working on each of the issues, giving voice and humanity to these man-made messes. The one-hour documentary captures what is most at risk environmentally as we continue to take the Gulf coast state for granted, while simultaneously reminding us of the culture that binds the region. If these voices are not heard, too soon what remains will all disappear, drowned by pollution, erosion, storms and man’s neglect.

films-sola1

SoLa: Louisiana Water Stories

Produced and Directed by Jon Bowermaster
Written by Jon Bowermaster and Chris Cavanagh
Videography by Jefferson Miller and C. Brian Richard
Music by Robbie Romero 

Produced and Directed by Jon Bowermaster
Written by Jon Bowermaster and Chris Cavanagh
Videography by Jefferson Miller and C. Brian Richard
Music by Robbie Romero