Vanishing Wetlands 1997
Distributed by Distributed by Bullfrog Films, PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547; 800-543-FROG (3764)
Produced by Produced by Ray Burley as part of CBC's The Nature of Things
Directed by Directed by Ray Burley
VHS, color, 88 min.
Japan, Popular Culture, Music Trade, Singers
Date Entered: 11/09/2018
Reviewed by: Reviewed by Barb Butler, University of Oregon Institute of Marine Biology
We now understand the importance of wetlands to our watersheds, but this has not always been the case. Vanishing Wetlands describes how almost all of the wetlands in Europe and North America have been drained and filled to make way for industrial development and agriculture. For instance, in the past century over half of the Florida Everglades have been filled and this reduction in habitat means there are now over fifty threatened or endangered species in that ecosystem.
I was impressed with the level of detail and the amount of information included in this video. The viewer learns a good deal about the water cycle and how wetlands store excess water during flooding events. The increased frequency and magnified severity of flooding that occurs as a result of wetlands removal is well documented by dramatic film footage of recent floods. Wetlands also act as filters and allow sediment to settle before reaching waterways. Vanishing Wetlands describes the foodweb that exists within wetlands and clearly explains how a wetland changes throughout the season and is utilized by both aquatic and terrestrial species. The importance of wetlands to migratory birds is emphasized by this video as well.
Vanishing Wetlands includes interviews with Richard Sparks from the Illinois Natural History Survey and profiles some of the wetlands related research conducted by this organization. Also featured are stories of successful marsh and wetland restoration projects in Canada and the Great Lakes region.
Vanishing Wetlands is part of The Nature of Things video series and is intended for Grades 7-12 and college audiences. It is also available in two parts (31 and 14.5 minutes) for classroom use. This video makes use of stunning film footage to reinforce the script. I highly recommend this video for public libraries, school libraries and college audiences as well.