Sharing the Hidden Rivers of Southern Appalachia
An immersive media campaign from Freshwaters Illustrated
The rivers and streams of the Southern Appalachia are among the most diverse ecosystems in North America, and host globally unique groups of fish, amphibians, crayfish, mussels, and more… most of them virtually unseen and unknown to most Americans. As aquatic documentarians, we see in these waters an opportunity to expose the intricate beauty of what river ecosystems are, and what is ultimately worth protecting in a region that has seen some of America’s worst environmental disasters. Our goal is to create a collection of media that can build more public awareness for the value of these waters, and a greater sense of pride and protection for their beauty.
We are currently working toward an ambitious media package that includes a feature length documentary for public television and community screenings, several short films for web, and a growing collection of still imagery for educators. As a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising public awareness of freshwater life, science, and conservation, we make our films and imagery widely available for educational use (see freshwatersillustrated.org and hiddenrivers.org).
Getting Deeper in 2013
An ambitious effort like this requires a great deal of underwater time, natural history research, cinematography, and luck. Over the last five years, we have piloted the approaches to capture some of the species and behaviors of these rich rivers, and we have connected with the scientists and conservationists that work to protect them. This work has been done on a shoestring budget, and the funds we are now seeking will help us to capture specific species and stories we are pursuing in 2013, including:
- River snorkeling as a watchable wildlife activity
- Watershed restoration work
- Brook trout restoration
- Hellbender salamanders
- Minnow and darter species and behaviors
- Mussel species and behaviors
The $14500 we are seeking for our 2013 work will support travel ($7000), digital storage ($2500), and postproduction labor ($5000) on a dedicated Hidden Rivers ‘Water Life’ episode to be released in 2013, while archiving imagery for our feature film. We will continue to raise funds through grants, donations, and sponsorships for this project in 2013-14 (sponsor proposal available upon request), and any contributions exceeding our goal will benefit our larger Hidden Rivers feature film effort.
Contributors will receive the following perks, along with project updates. Contributions are tax-deductible
- $25 - FI Supporting Membership (FI cap and RiverWebs DVD)
- $50 – Immediate exclusive access to an extended 8-minute private preview
- $100 – 16 x 24 Gallery Print of your choice
- $500 – Listing in Hidden Rivers - Water Life Sponsor Credits
- $1000 – Listing in Feature Film Sponsor credit
Project Partners & Cooperators
Current partners and cooperators include
- The Tennessee Aquarium
- US Forest Service
- Little Tennessee Land Trust
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
- North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
- Conservation Fisheries, Inc.
- World Wildlife Fund
We are seeking additional partnerships, and seeking grant funds (Partner prospectus available upon request). Freshwaters Illustrated is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Help us continue to share the beauty and diversity of America’s Hidden Rivers by making a contribution, and by sharing this project and campaign with others.
Freshwaters Illustrated is nonprofit organization dedicated raising public awareness of freshwater life, science, and conservation.