Skip to main content

tv   Earth Focus  LINKTV  February 27, 2017 4:30pm-4:58pm PST

4:30 pm
a couple of centuries of kind of disconnecting ourselves from rivers, and we're in the process of sort of getting back to that. so, my main motivation for this film was to really shine a light on what's really a national movement to reconnect to our rivers, and to begin to restore them. i hope that people will see in thihis film, um, , lots of exexs ofhohow you cacan sort o of idey yourself asas livining in watershed, , and living in n a community of people that are connected by water. the choices that we all make in our different parts of that watershed affect each and every perrson. >> we areo o luckin p porand to have the willamitte river. i mean, we're the bridge city. there are so many bridges, and people e cross them to go downtownanand, um, i b bet a lot of peoplele don't even lolook dn to see that the river is even still there. now in portland, ththe willamite river has a really badd reputation, especialllly among young people, because all the things that they've heard about the river. "the river is really dirty,
4:31 pm
don't touch it, there's sewage in there." and what they don't reale isis the amomount workk that's bbeen done on ththe rive, and the accomplishments that have been made in decreasing polluion. we're doing a great job, but obviously we're not done yet. it's not going to be fixed in 5 years, or 10 years, or 15 years.s. it's a multigeneneratil effort. you know, looking at it as a community, and as a community of neighbors, um, nobody likes a bad neighbor. so, i i think that knowing that, um, all of your neighborss are doing go t things for r the rivever also encncourages you to start doing good things for the river as well. i think that we're all interacting wi t the pple e th were herbebefores. we're ieracacti with h story, andwe're also teractining with the future of the river. >> that community of people thtt are activevely doing the work right now to r restore tthe willamitte riviver are certainla minority, but, relative to most other places you'll go, it's a remarkablele amount of people,ed labor forcece, and time, effort, and money that's really going
4:32 pm
into this river system. in the 1990s, a measure was passed to dedicate some of the statete's lolottery y fundso watershed and salmon restoration, and that really became sort of a seed for all these g grassroots-level ororganizations to pop u up in almost every mediuium or evenn small sized watershed ththere's a paid g group of peoe with a budget doing projecects o restore the river, to restore habitat, and that's not something you find d everywhehe. youu will find watereded groups all o over the cocountry, but ns active and, um, i guesss resourcrced as the organizatns in ororegon. >> we've b been through over a hundred years of rememoving wood out of strtreams. it takes big measures to--to restorre things s that haveve cd so mucuch. large wood basically is a--is a
4:33 pm
roughness element in a river. it interrupts flow and creates hydraulic complexity. and when you get a hydraulic complexity, you get habitat complexity. yoyou know, things like pools, side channels, gravel bars, eddies, backwater areas, and you need that complexity to support healthy, diverse e aquac cocommunities. for this project, we used a couple of diffeferent methods. we pulled d trees over, um, wita yarder, big trees, those pieces kind of acting as an anchor piecece. and thenen we would d g additional pieces in with a helicopteter to create ki off a log complex, or a log jam. this is all new gravel in here, and...a new red. walking up the channel, and
4:34 pm
seeing a red, a chinook red, you know, right below your--your proroject wood,d, and knowing ththat that gravel was only there because you placed that wood is pretty special. >> ♪ 'cause i'm almost home i'm almost home i'm almost me i'm almost home i'm almost home ♪ >> we value thihings most after we lolose them. and in a lolot of our rirs, , ad especiaially a lot of our bigig rivers, we've l lost a lot.t. and d so, the e last couple of generations,s, i think, are me of the first to reay y carra nsnsciouess s of"we caca sstroyhingngs.e can n stroy river systems. with th consciousness i i hope, a dese e to wt toto hl, and to wananto make enends t thosrivever syems.s. asas lo as we sll h havsalmon th want toome ba, and as
4:35 pm
lonas w we ha thoserystalal cleaheadwaters, weweave so of chances to make thiss bebette those things haven't given up on us yet. the choices that we all make in our r different parts of that watehehed afct each d every person. and so, there's a generation growing up in oregon right now, and actually across the nation, that gets opportunities to be part of these projects, that's going to have a different worldview. i think what's happening in oregon right now, and some of the things that we're highlighting in the film is really one model to start to get us back to a more river-conscious living. >> while some r rivers run wild, others, like the los angeles river, have been heavilily urbbanized. revitalizing these rivers has proven challenging. in the film "rock the boat," a kayaker fights to show that even
4:36 pm
an urban river deserves protection, and can be restored. >> we're here to defend the right of the people of los angeles to use their own river. [screeching] >> paris has the seine. london hahas the thahames. los angeles has the l.a. river. >> get out of the river now. >> there's a city ordinance that says you ain't supposeded to be in thee riverbed.
4:37 pm
>> i know, but-- >> including myself [indistinct] for not even beingng where they are. soso, i want t them all ticketed, every o one of them. >> you rang? aqua-taxi? come on in! having come from the east coast, where i learned c canoeing, and the northwest, where i leararned kayyaking, there was somome stre attraction towoward the l.a. river, as kind of demented as i know that sounds. but i had a boat, and there's a 51-mile length of river, and i have this vision, i don't know why exactly, but i have this unreasonable vision to go from the beginning of the river to the end. i first got interested in the
4:38 pm
l.a. river a bit by accident in 2008. in t the spring of 2008, t thers a bit of a c controversy that ts brewing in l.a. at the time thatenenterearouound this nonotn of navigability, uh, asas it relatates to the e clean watete. >> the clclean water act t is supposed to protect navigable waters, and the question became, was the l.a. riverer and its tributaries navigable wateters, and subject to the protection of the l law? >> the stakes were very high. we're looking at largrge portios of statates that could lose federal protection. >> in 2006, the supreme court, um, in a s split decision,n, sad that for a w waterf ththe s. too be proteected undnder the clean water act, it had to be navigable, but they didn't specify what "navigable" means. should it be a tugboat, should it be a littttle paper bt?t? theyey didn't specify, so it lleft it up to the enfnforcement agencies. so in 2008, the army corps of engineers did a study of
4:39 pm
whether the l.a. river was going to be navigable, in fact, or not. so, this created a huge uproar in the environmental community in the country, because everybody realized that this was going to be, um, a landmark decision, and it wawas gog toto impapact the fututure of a all e rivers, and alall the wateters n the united statates. at the same time, george wolfe was planning to do this kind of tongue-in-cheek trip down the entire length of the l.a. river. so, he became a kind of pivotal question mark k on whether this could be decicided on a technhnicity, essentialally. if he couould prorove that the river's naviigable, that was all that it was going g to take. but it was a aind of absururd shot n the e dark. >> maybe in an hohour or s so fm now,w, people in k kayaks are gg to be setting g off down the e s angeles riviver, on a trip supposed to promote the recreational use of the river, and also to prove that it can be navigated. joining me fromom the, uh, about-t-to-launch h kayak centrs george wolfe, who is coordinator
4:40 pm
of the los angeles river expedition. what is the appeaal for you of the l.a. river? >> you k know, water's sucuch a fundamental thing, and dear t to us, and necessararforr all of us. . and so, we fl l lie that we're j just kind of, you know, figighting this fight for--for eveverybody, includuding the army c corps, ad the county, and thehe city. >> 4 out the 52 miles are designated as "traditional navigable waterway." but they'll tell you it's perfectly navigable. but you can't put a boat in it. >> 4 being... >> right, because it's an incompatible and unsafe activity, what you're doing. >> yeah, and didn't you love thatat phrasing? >> i i think there's anan, uh, innate appeal to this notion of, you u know, fighting for w what people reaeally know i is their. >> well, and here we are, fifinally. ultimately, we hope that this trip will raisese consciousness about the l.a. river. even on the way here, i was stuck in traffic, and i was thinking "i can't wait to get to that river..." >> [laughing] >> "and get my feet in that beauautiful water."
4:41 pm
>> on your marks. get set. >> go! >> i feel like it's--uh, it's just crazy to keep people from their rivers. you knknow, no matter the condition of the rivers, they deseserve, uh, a fight foror th, and, uh, if we have to take some of the brunt of that, then we're willing to do that. personallyly, what i'd like to e in thehe future with the l.a.a. river is, , first of a alla vever wher people e engad cleaning up the water, um, reusing it in smart ways, having it be sustainable for l.a., so we don't have t to keep stealing water from upstate, and the cocolorado, and all these other places where we're notoririous for taking our w war from. if we can turn the l.a. river around, there's probably no river in the world that can't
4:42 pm
be turned around. it would be a fantatastic rags-to-richehes story, a and wd set a fantastitic precedenent for what o other peoplple couldo to, anand say,hey, they ddid this in l.a." >> we have major choices to make, or they're being made for us if don't participate, which is, where are billions and billions of dollars going to be spent to bring us more water? >> [chanting] we n need water! we need water! >> california already is struggling witith droughtt emergencies. >> is s it going to be on buildg damams below ththe sierraras to capture morre water and send d t here? which mosost science agrees iss not going to work anymore. we're losing the snowpack. another choice that's on the table is are we going to build billions of dollars s in de-sal plants? >> without water, we die. the way we're headed inin the mismanagementnt of it, the lackf appreciation of it is settinings up to fight for that resource. i always talk to my students, and i--and i give ththem the example, , and i asksk them, "w a diamond expensive?"
4:43 pm
and, you know,w, a the time thty get it, it's expensive because it's rare. and we're headed that way, where water is rarare, and only those who c can afford d it will be ae to access s it. >> we hadad a single e purpose n mind when we built this project, andd that w was to m move thhe r as q quilyly as we could to the ocean. >> we have a need for this water, and what do we do? we water the pacific ocean with it. >> get this. in one inch of rainfall, los angeles throws awaway, sheds, 7.6 billion galls of water. every timeme it rains an inch. lett me repeat that. 7.6 billio, with a "b," gallons of water run off, rush off to the storm drains to the river every time it rains an inch. ththat water that we thrhrow aw, if we were to c capture it, mane our landscapes efficiently, it's enough to meet at least half our needs, possibibly 60% or even 70% of our needs. >> uh, you know, we've got about a foot of water, so, that's
4:44 pm
just--just enough to comfortably float down here. >> our main goal now that the film is f finished is to o enere communitieies into taking g act. >> i in 1938, there was nono sof oversight to say, "how can we solve the water r runoff, butut also keep ththe steelhead in the river? how do we build a channel that can be friendly to people, rather than just a conduit for runoff? so now we have a multi, multi, multimillion dollar challenge to try y and revitalize and restore this rriver. >> the l.a. river is a perfect example of how we've built as much as we could harnessing the nature that was there, in ways
4:45 pm
that we felt suited our development and our industrializing mentality, and now we find ourselves in the 21st centurury really needing tt nature, and longiging for that nature, and trtrying to uncocovt from all this modernization, and from all this cement that we loved so much inin the past century. and trying to reconcile now our modern lifestyle and our modern society with what we've created out of our nature, and how do we start to bring that back. whetheher the difffferent agencies and people involved can pulll that off is yet too be seen, but there's a lotot of inerttia in thehe l.a. commmmunity now about being aable to m make good on these prpromises. you know, the army corps got paid a lot to put in all that concrete. yoyou know, maybe they'll make a a business o outf rerestoring the river, partly to itits formemer form. totalally awesome. oh, my g god.
4:46 pm
i started in cogan--whoa, i can't speak anymore! canoga park. that's a long way, man. that's two marathons. that is no easy thing. >> whoo! hey, we're here! [cheering] >> there it is, coming around the corner. >> let's go! >> [c[cheering] [indistincnct chatter]r] >> revevitalizing the l.a. r rir is increasingly important, as
4:47 pm
the colorado river may one day be unable to meet southern california's growing demand for water. the film "watershed" looks at efforts to save the colorado, and develop a new water ethic for the american west. >> it is said that nothing defines a region more than n a boddy of watater this i is particularlyly true it aamerican west. the c colorado river, a and the triributaries th makeup h her basin, shaped the spirit of her settlers. "el rio colorado," the river colored red from the land she flows through, made this dry land not only livable, but irresistiblble to settle. eveven still, her famed d early explorerer, john wesley popowe, warned d that combibining arid d with civilizaation woululd eventuallyy lead too a crisis.s. the relentless mararch towardsds progress s led to the 1922 colorado river compact t and
4:48 pm
other agreemenents among 7 american and 2 mexican states to divvy up the water. it transformed o one of the world's wildldest rivers, capabe of crereating grand canyons,s, d inlaland seas, into the momost dammed, , dibbed, and diveverted rivever basin in the world. machines supporting the needs of 30 million people. agriculture, induustry, urban ggrowth, mining, energy prproduction, claw for their share. soso much so, , that the m mighy colorado river of today rarely, if ever, reaches her delta in the gulflf of california.. with populations in the region expected to reach 50 million by 2050, tetemperatures r rising, d precipitation patterns becominig more erratic, demamand will outpace supply unless we embrace a a new water ethic, one that questions not only how we use water, butut how it affects the world around us.
4:49 pm
>> " "watershed" is a a film tht is really exploring a regionon of the e southwesest of america, the coloradado riverr plateau. and d it's lookiking aeverythihg that relies on the flow of that river, everything from urban water use, to farming, to energy sources,s, to recreaeation. and d what we dodo know is that there is an approaoaching shorte coming. >> i h had the good fortune ofof going down the colorado river in 2008. ththis is before i i kw anything ababout the prproject.d i noticed on thhe river evevery nigght you had to pullll your bs up and tieie therealally tight.. and i said "why do we have to do that? you know, e river i is just the river, w why--why doest change at t night?" and i camame to realilize that s vegegas, the lights come e on, y releaease more water throughout the river. so, i got a sesense that, "waita second, so this i is a--this isa man-m-made machinine, this incredible e canyon thahat we're in." and then, i think i realized
4:50 pm
shortly after that that the water in the river does not reach its end. and thatat was--there was a certain amount of outrage a abot that. the mighty colorado river does not reach its end. it was a s story that i needed o tell. >> to prevent disputes over water rights, the 1922 colorado river compact divvied up the river. thee problem w was allocacatione based oon an unusually wetet period. average river flows were much less than assumed, so the compact promised more water than the river could deliver. due to clilimate changnge, the bureaeau of reclalamation proros even greatater shortagages by 2. with thahat, the likelihood of even greater disputes. >> i beeve thate are in period of clclimate change. um, other people say we're just in a sustained period off aridity, , but one thing we doo know is there's not as much water in the southwhwest rit t w as ththere habebeen historicall. and y you can h hear that f from
4:51 pm
scientntists, and d you can also hehear it fromom navajo eleldero tetell storiries that were pasad down generation to generation. and you put thatat on top of the inincreased impact opopopulaon,, andd it's a doublele whammy. >> 34 years from now, i think it could be bleak. i mean, there are things that could be done. the characters in the film do show u us positive examples. i mean, i--i i laugd d withamie, and the other proroducers of the sh, , becae ththeyaid, " " want you to do a film on water, but we want i it to be a a posie fifilm." and i first signed up for ththa, i was like, "susure, no problem" and then i realized how difficult that is. >> you can't really change thiings if f people areren't aware of wt the i issue is. so e film, in a sense, is a totool. it's jujust not--wewe're not gg to be able to livive the wayy we did inin the 20th h century inie wesest. it's simple. i m mean, you k know, anand there's no o reason to consider ththat alarmisist or negative. it--itit's a reaealit, and youou can approach it witith
4:52 pm
creativity,y, likthesese folks have. overalall goalal of the f films to get to coconnect the river to ththe sea again. the greatest riverer in the west doesn't reacach its end d right. i personalllly am going to feel muchch better knowing thatat tht river does reachch the sea. >> john w wesley powell, the fit explorer of the c colorado river basin, was coconvinced ofof one thing, that the e growth off civivilization w would be cocont on the size a and health h of e watersheds. with the coloradriver no longer r reaching herer delta, d greater demand looooming, perhas powell was right. by reshaping the historirical compacts that burden us, we e cn explore new frontiers of cooperation, conservation, and reusese. we can c change how w we produce food, create energy, and grow our cities to restore a mighty river''s conneioion to the s se.
4:53 pm
all the while renewiwing our appreciation for a reresource we have most certainly taken for granted. qéa
4:54 pm
4:55 pm
4:56 pm
4:57 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on