“The Fellowship Of The Springs”
Two-part documentary spotlights activists!”efforts to save springs from extinction
The growing fragility of Florida’s freshwater springs, and the grassroots groups fighting to save these natural waters from extinction, are the focus of a new two-part documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Oscar Corral.
Scheduled to air on WPBT South Florida PBS around Earth Day (April 21-22), “The Fellowship of the Springs” tells the story of the struggle to preserve the state’s 1,000+ artesian springs. The fight pits resident activists and independent scientists against major industries and the state agencies that regulate the springs.
Florida is home to the world’s biggest and largest concentration of natural springs. They dot central and northern Florida, roughly from Orlando to Pensacola. The state’s first tourist destination, the springs draw hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
But their future is imperiled by population growth, encroaching development and intensive agriculture. The impacts of industries like phosphate mining, farming and water bottlers such as Nestlé are explored in the film.
A veteran journalist and native Floridian, Corral spent two years tracking the plight of the springs. The investigative narrative of the documentary underscores the need to address Florida’s environmental dilemmas, and questions politicians, business leaders and state regulators about their positions on the springs.
“I set out to make a film about the beauty and wonder that define the springs. But along the way, I discovered that the springs are in a fight for survival,” Corral said. “What’s happening to them is a story of community and conflict. The challenge is to strike a balance between the wants of industry, and the needs of nature to keep the springs alive.”
Tune in to watch “The Fellowship of the Springs,” on WPBT South Florida PBS:
Part 1: Magic Waters, airs April 18 at 11 a.m. and again on April 21 at 11 p.m.
Part 2: Blue Rebellion, airs April 22 at 11 p.m. and again on April 25 at 11 a.m.
A theatrical tour in select theaters across Florida is also being planned.