Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Lost Rivers

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Lost Rivers

Article excerpt

Lost Rivers

Directed by Caroline Bacle. $390. Icarus Films. Brooklyn, NY. 2012. ISBN: 9781938946189.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Lost Rivers, a film by Caroline Bacle, explores the effects of urban development on local rivers. During initial urban development, the rivers facilitate commerce and provide power, water, and waste disposal. As development progresses, waste disposal overwhelms the other uses, and the rivers turn into open sewers and reservoirs of disease. Then they often get paved over but continue to flow as part of city sewage systems. Still fed by their drainage basins and street runoff during rainstorms, these rivers present a danger when storm runoff exceeds the capacity of sewage treatment, and untreated waste is released into bays and rivers.

Environmentally concerned "drainers" have been exploring this underground system for years, in some cases guiding public tours. The video allows us to join their subterranean world. Environmentalists have recognized that channeling runoff increases its speed, resulting in higher frequencies of flooding. They have argued for "daylighting" these buried rivers, allowing flood water to spread across flood basins and percolate into the soil. …

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