Hudson Shad and Planning for Floods
Pete Seeger with grandson Tao Rodríguez-Seeger. Photo: Larry Long
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by George C. Stoney and James Brown
color, 18/29 min, 1974
Folk music legend and environmental activist Pete Seeger, in despair over the pollution of his beloved Hudson River, launched a project to clean it up in the sixties. In Hudson Shad, Seeger and others in the "River Keepers", make a statement about our responsibility for keeping the waters of the river clean enough for the shad to thrive.
Co-director James Brown, who grew up near the banks of the river, felt a responsibility for sharing through this film a general concern for the relationship between contamination of the river and the survival of its natural inhabitants. Showing the film to people concerned with the Hudson River helped them garner colleagues and supporters towards the cause.
Seeger has continued the work, with the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.
Hudson Shad has been recently restored with a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation.
Included on this DVD is Planning for Floods (color, 29 min, 1974) - watch a preview
The distribution and use of Planning for Floods by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) spread the message of public environmental responsibility well beyond the immediate community of the Mississippi River. It anticipates by more than 30 years the present concerns about global warming.
Significantly, it suggests positive action rather than just "ain't it awful". The film was commissioned by the EDF, an organization founded by Dennis Puleston and others, to raise public awareness of dangers inherent in the way we were responding to the environment a half-century ago.
Today this film is applicable to our environmental concerns especially if it is used to promote public action, legislation and education.
Planning for Floods is used courtesy of EDF.
This DVD is part of the George C. Stoney Collection
Pare Lorentz's The River on Internet Archive
George Stoney writes: “Showing The River to many kinds of audiences, including tenants in the Farm Security Administration program for which I worked as a press officer, stirred them mightily and convinced me I wanted to be a documentary filmmaker. Its message is current as the results of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina makes clear. The remarkable combination of sound and picture in The River is echoed in many of my own productions including Planning for Floods which is now available through DER.”