Twin Cities Public Television - TPT Channel 2
Sunday, April 25, 2010
4:00 p.m. CDT

Inside Echoes...

Chapter 1:

Chapter 2:
History of Farming, Wetlands
and Drainage

Chapter 3:
Minnesota Wetlands Today
and Environmental Costs

Chapter 4:
Bob Hartkopf and
the film Cry of the Marsh

Chapter 5:
Impact and Rural Communities


Echoes of Cry of the Marsh

Echoes of Cry of the Marsh is a one-hour documentary that takes a deeper look at wetland restoration in Minnesota, and chronicles one citizen’s dedication to that issue. The film is a collaborative effort among several public and private groups, including the University of Minnesota, Morris, the Upper Minnesota Watershed District, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Clean Up the River Environment (CURE).

Bob HartkopfEchoes of Cry of the Marsh explores the issue of wetland restoration through the eyes of Bob Hartkopf, one citizen who has worked more than 40 years to restore the marsh near his family farm in rural Minnesota.

In the 1960s Hartkopf produced a short film called Cry of the Marsh. With only a single 16mm camera, Hartkopf created a stunning portrait of drained wetlands, devastated wildlife, flood-prone conditions, and an environment cutoff from humans. The film received considerable acclaim, but Hartkopf is still waiting to see those wetlands return.

Wetland restoration affects anyone living in an area with industrial-scale agriculture, particularly in the upper Midwest and along the Mississippi River. Since the early 1900s when drainage of wetlands began, we have seen more frequent and severe flooding, degradation of water quality, and the slow decline of many animal species in rural ecosystems.

WetlandFederal and state governments have created programs to restore wetlands, but older drainage laws prevent them from having full impact. Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate those laws. Hartkopf’s inspirational work reminds us that we can find a healthy balance for our land use, that we can restore and strengthen our ecosystem, and that working for environmental change is possible.


Echoes of Cry of the Marsh is a production of the
University of Minnesota Morris
with cooperation with Pioneer Public Television • 2007