Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Dyke Marsh Film: Capital Wetlands In Crisis

The film, On the Edge: The Potomac River's Dyke Marsh has its World Premiere at the DC Environmentalist Film Festival. Dyke Marsh is one of the largest naturally-occurring freshwater tidal marshes in the national park system. A 380-acre wetland, Dyke Marsh is a remnant of the extensive marshes that once lined the river but have been lost to human activity. Congress preserved it in 1959, saying that here, wildlife values should be “paramount.” Naturalist Louis Halle wrote in the 1940s that Dyke Marsh was “the nearest thing to primeval wilderness in the immediate vicinity of the city [Washington].”

Like most vanishing tidal marshlands from Maine to Louisiana, it is disappearing as the result of a myriad of human abuses. As a safety buffer against hurricanes and floods, an ancient hatchery for bay and ocean fish and a focal point for migrating birds, Dyke Marsh affects all of our lives. This film provides a glimpse into the rich diversity of flora and fauna supported by the marsh and contrasts its health today to its condition in the past. The return of the Bald Eagle and the Osprey to the marsh is contrasted with the loss of habitat for most other resident species. Incorporating some of the marsh's historical lore, On the Edge, enlivened by an original soundtrack with Didgeridoo and rainforest percussion instruments, is a primal call to revive the diversity of life that provides sustenance and safety to the species that is destroying the country's tidal marshes–human beings.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The Atrium, Terrace Level, New Hampshire Ave. at Rock Creek Pkwy.
March 21 at 7:00 p. m

Old Town Theater
815 King Street, Alexandria
March 28, at 7:30 p.m.

Friends of Dyke Marsh is a volunteer group dedicated to preserving and enhancing Dyke Marsh, the last enduring substantial freshwater tidal marsh in the Washington, D.C. capital area, located on the Potomac River just south of Alexandria, Virginia. Dyke Marsh is administered by the National Park Service. Join Friends of Dyke Marsh.

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