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Echoes of Cry of the Marsh
Client: U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Project Overview:
Echoes 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.

Federal 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.

My Role in Project:
I served as director, editor and chief videographer of the project. In addition, I also performed the DVD mastering and design of the DVD labeling and press kit creative work.


Echoes of Cry of the Marsh
Echoes of Cry of the Marsh
Type: Documentary
Running time: 58:00 (broadcast)
Acquisition format: DVCPRO 50
Date produced: April 2006
Producer: University of Minnesota Morris
Producer: Roger Boleman
Director: Mike Cihak
Writer: Christopher Butler
Editor: Mike Cihak
Videographer: Mike Cihak & Roger Boleman
Awards: Midwest Emmy nomination, 2007