DVDS

Tidewater

42 min. Green Planet Films. 2017. Schools $89. Public libraries $49. UPC 714497274331.
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Gr 9 Up—The Hampton Roads area of southeastern Virginia is home to 14 military installations spanning 17 municipalities, including the city of Norfolk, home to the world's largest naval base. Long dependent upon the abundant natural water for its economy and defense, it is also increasingly vulnerable to rising sea level. Flooding related to rain storms swamps roads and damages critical infrastructure, not only challenging economic development but, according to this documentary, threatening America's military readiness and putting national security at risk as one in six residents of the area is associated with the defense industry. One interviewee describes having to wade up the street to return home after a rain. Military personnel interviewed include retired Rear Admiral Ann Phillips, a former surface warfare officer who has been active in climate and security policy. Some allusions refer to the contentious and highly politicized debate surrounding the causes of the rise in sea level, but the focus remains on efforts to address specific policies on water management and infrastructure challenges in the immediate future. Director Roger Sorkin is affiliated with the American Resilience Project, an advocacy organization that works in the intersection of environmental and national security policy.
VERDICT An intriguing look at an environmental challenge from a sometimes neglected perspective, this film could spark productive discussion in a high school environmental science or current affairs classroom.

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