A quiet revolution is fomenting, with its epicenter here in Southwest Florida, where a handful of entrepreneurial pioneers are on a quest to develop renewable biofuels as alternatives to fossil fuels. It is a revolution that could create tens of thousands of jobs, have a profound impact on the national economy, change the way Americans fuel their cars and move the nation further down the path toward the elusive goal of energy independence.
For more than 20 years, the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed has been cleansing Southwest Florida’s water, educating its children, sheltering its wildlife and providing recreational opportunities for its people. But what will the next 20 years hold? Will CREW be able to expand beyond its 60,000 acres and enhance its offerings? Or will the fervor for environmental preservation wane in the face of tough economic times and shifting political priorities?
Through extensive interviews and on-site footage, this half-hour documentary traces the roots of the 60,000-acre Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) and the circumstances and conditions that led to its establishment, going back to the creation of the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The program examines the unique consortium of environmentalists, government agencies, landowners, developers and private citizens who came together in the CREW Land and Water Trust for a common cause: to preserve and protect one of the region’s most valuable and important resources, the watershed that refuels the aquifers and provides water to residents of Southwest Florida.
Produced during the summer of 2010, this half-hour documentary provides an in-depth look at how Southwest Florida's scientists, civil society and community leaders responsed to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. By documenting the local release of turtles and the rehabilitation of pelicans directly affected by the spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico as well as new regional methods for tracking the nesting of loggerhead sea turtles, the program investigates impacts to wildlife. The interviewees also address potential long-term environmental and economic impacts to our region.
In 1974, a new park was added to the National Park system -- the Big Cypress National Preserve. Unlike national parks, the country's first national preserve allowed traditional uses of the land, including hunting, air boats, swamp buggies -- even oil drilling. It was a landmark conservation compromise that allowed unprecedented resource usage, while protecting the vast swamp from development.
The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge complex represents promises kept: a promise to nature and the earth to preserve and protect its habitat and its inhabitants, and a promise to the American people to make this 8,000-acre sanctuary available for their enjoyment, reflection and education. It is a fragile, carefully orchestrated balancing act. But the result is a true partnership between man and nature that bears the name and the stamp – literally and figuratively -- of an unassuming political cartoonist from Iowa who led the initial charge to save Sanibel Island from unbridled development and exploitation.