Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story
Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story
Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story
Item#: TBW-1026
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Running Time: 57 minutes
Grades 9 – Adult
Scene Selection • Closed Captioned
A Film by Larkin McPhee and Barbara Coffin
Produced by the Bell Museum of Natural History


"Highly recommended. Recounts the disturbing transformations in the Mississippi River, which has fueled America’s economic greatness, its mighty heartland, but at crippling environmental and social costs.By highlighting environmentally-friendly practices – and urging the government to switch its subsidies to conservation rather than maximizing crop yields – the film points a way to a solution.
- Educational Media Reviews Online

"An awesome example of mankind's impact on an ecosystem...a launching point for a research project on other troubled ecosystems. it not only presents the problem, it also presents both the causes and possible remedies for the long term health of the ecosystem."
– NSTA Recommends

"...Troubled Waters puts a much-needed spotlight on Mississippi River pollution and the threat posed by high sediment levels …"
– Star & Tribune

Troubled Waters invites us to have an open, honest discussion about the challenges of cleaning up the Mississippi River.”
– Whitney L. Clark Friends of the Mississippi River




Winner of Three Emmys, Including Best Topical Documentary

Environmental Film Festival in Our Nation’s Capital
Oneota Film Festival
Iowa Independent Film Festival
All prices include DVD and PPR

• K-12 Schools, Public Libraries & Community Groups: $89
• Colleges, Government, Businesses: $250
• Colleges, Government, Businesses (with DSL): $550

The Emmy Award-winning Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story tells the story of the unintended yet severe consequences of farming along the Mississippi, and the efforts being taken to reverse this damage. America’s heartland boasts some of the world’s most productive farmland, but this bounty has come with a price. Excess crop fertilizers are contaminating the nation’s rivers, lakes and aquifers, while at the same time precious soil is washing away.

The film traces the development of America’s bountiful harvest and examines its effect on the legendary river, as well as the “dead zone” created in the Gulf of Mexico. Knitting together federal energy, farm and environmental policies, the film makes a compelling case for revamping US agricultural policy and practices. It also helps viewers to grasp a profound truth – that a single drop of water in the upper Midwest has an impact far downstream.

Through beautiful photography and narrative, Troubled Waters emphasizes solutions, providing a hopeful blueprint for progress and positive change. The film tells the stories of farmers, scientists and citizens who are pursuing more sustainable land-use practices that meet the goals of an ambitious, food-producing nation, while ensuring the long-term health of its most precious natural resources.