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Film: Solutions for Champlain Pollution

UVM team releases second in Bloom series

Watch a teaser for the film.

Bloom: the Emergence of Ecological Design — a new film in the Bloom series exploring the health of Lake Champlain and overseen by Jon Erickson, professor at the University of Vermont's Gund Institute for Ecological Economics — will open on Thursday, December 15.

The premiere is open to the public and begins at 7 p.m. at the Palace 9 Cinemas in South Burlington, Vt.

The new film is a follow-up to last year's Emmy Award-winning documentary, Bloom: the Plight of Lake Champlain. That film addressed the main sources of phosphorus pollution that are contributing to the growing problem of algae blooms in the sixth largest lake in the United States.

The new film further investigates pollution sources from wastewater, agricultural, and urban land use, but with a focus on design solutions.

"The first Bloom helped to open up the discussion of the lake's condition with a broader public during screenings, panel discussions, and debates, but we only scratched the surface in a 30-minute, made-for-PBS production," says Vic Guadagno, the films’ director and producer. "With the follow-up series we've presented the many solutions to redesigning our communities, food systems, and waste treatment in holistic ways that strengthen ecosystems and the economies they support."

The series features leading scholars and designers such as Bill McKibben, Maude Barlow, Bill Maclay and UVM professor John Todd, alongside farmers, urban planners, government officials, scientists, business leaders and environmental advocates.

The new film’s launch comes on the heels of recent public hearings about developing new phosphorus standards for the Vermont side of the lake, and a renewed statewide discussion of stormwater management after the devastation from Tropical Storm Irene.

"The original film was necessarily problem-oriented, released just as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was de-delegating, or taking back, the state's responsibility of managing phosphorus loads, due to years of missed targets," says Erickson. "The next three parts will hopefully stimulate further discussion on design solutions, many of which are already happening in incremental ways around the basin, but will require a sustained public demand and political will to truly curtail further pollution loads to the lake."

The Bloom series is narrated by Academy award winner Chris Cooper and produced by Bright Blue EcoMedia, a company that includes Guadagno, Erickson, Ben Falk (UVM '01) and Amy Seidl, a faculty member in UVM’s environmental program. The film series is funded by the Lintilhac Foundation of Vermont. The television broadcast premiere of the new series is planned for January with Mountain Lake PBS.

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