Each of the characters in Washing Away are integrally tied to the land, having built lives and successful careers or businesses dependant in some way on Louisiana’s endangered coast. Each has roots in Louisiana that go back three to five generations, a legacy that is surprisingly common in the state.
While their families have lived in relative safety for generations in these communities, surviving devastating hurricanes and powerful storms that batter the Louisiana Gulf Coast year after year, today’s residents find themselves more vulnerable than any time in recorded history.
What has changed? In the last 50 years, protective marshes, ridges and coastal barriers that have slowed approaching Gulf storms for centuries have disappeared. As we saw with Katrina and Rita, the full force of these storms is now bearing down on low lying areas and levee systems that were never intended to stand alone against these storms.
Through their own accounts, each character testifies to the implications of this striking land loss. Their unfolding stories dramatize how this precarious existence is changing their families, businesses, and entire ways of life.
Viewers watch as these people try to rebuild their tenuous lives amidst hurricanes washing away their land and the oil now washing ashore.
Against what seems like overwhelming odds, viewers witness incredible determination and a passionate embrace of family, friends, a way of life and a lush landscape found nowhere else on earth.
Through this first person, observational approach, the program authentically and artfully addresses issues of economics, culture, poverty, and environmental crisis as they impact real people facing unprecedented environmental catastrophes.
Washing Away demonstrates that, although quite different from each other in some respects, the six share common ground--not only with each other, but with the two million people affected by the changing geography of this region.
These stories also illustrate how dependent America is on this region, whether it knows it or not.