Documentary on the Kissimmee River Restoration to Air on WUSF TV
WUSF recently went along with a thousand-mile journey through the heart of the state with the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition. But before that trip, another adventure was being captured in the lens of filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus.
In a documentary to be shown tonight on WUSF TV Channel 16, he takes a look at the history of how the Kissimmee River was straightened into a channel - how that devastated the wildlife in the headwaters of the Everglades - and how it's now being restored.
The Kissimmee Basin: The Northern Everglades takes a trip up the Kissimmee Valley back through time to discover the well-reasoned - yet unforeseen - consequences of a flood control project.
It turned the 103-mile long meandering river full of life, into a 52-mile long, multi-million dollar over-engineered channel that drained the surrounding wetlands, caused the disappearance of large flocks of wading birds, and a significant decline of an abundant freshwater fishery.
"Kissimmee Basin area ... that's one of the areas of Florida that you can still go to and, if you look for it, it's there. You can see Florida just like it was seventy-five, a hundred, or more years ago." Patrick Smith, Author, A Land Remembered.