The continent’s largest inter-coastal marsh, the Netley-Libau in Manitoba, Canada is at the brink of ecological disaster. Once rivaling the Everglades as the continent’s most productive and wondrous ecological treasure, this 250 square kilometer wetland is now flooded and choked with weed plants and toxic algae, rendering it unsupportive of waterfowl and aquatic creatures. Sadly, the story of Netley’s aquatic ecosystem is echoed in tens of thousands lakes, rivers and wetlands across North America.

Our initial research spawned the production of Save My Lake, a documentary for CBC’s flagship nature strand The Nature of Things, narrated by David Suzuki and produced by our sister company, Stornoway Productions. Watched by 1.5 million Canadians, an incredible number for a science documentary, the program uncovered causes behind the mysterious slow death of Netley marsh and neighbouring Lake Winnipeg, one of the largest lakes in the world. The film was a wake up call for the community and government in Manitoba and was instrumental in changing laws and attitudes to put Netley-Libau Marsh and Lake Winnipeg back on the path to recovery.

But this is just the beginning. Since then, The Great Watershed Project has expanded throughout North America, bringing together leaders in science and policy to examine the most pressing issues facing our watersheds today: flood, degraded water quality and wetland loss. As the Project focuses on the sustainable solutions to watershed management, we draw inspiration from our continent’s natural bounty of over 4.4 million square kilometers of fresh water ecosystems.

watershed-brochureThis incredible story will unfold in a major documentary, supported by community outreach, educational resources, and immersive online experiences. Wetlands are second only to the rainforest in terms of the life that they produce. The Great Watershed project will bring viewers into intimate contact with their wonders, and at long last, give these ecological cornerstones their proper due.

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