Reel South: Can't Stop the Water

About This Episode


Behind Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill, there is a much larger, more devastating problem: the loss of thousands of miles of marshlands protecting the Gulf Coast. Southeast Louisiana is the fastest disappearing landmass on earth. As its fertile lands are destroyed, America is losing one of its most extraordinary regions.

No community has been hit harder than Isle de Jean Charles. Home to a once thriving community of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians, the community is now dwindling as the marsh erodes. A government-funded levee system built close enough to be seen from shore teases the residents; they need it extended for their protection from the storms that are increasingly exacerbated by climate change. This leaves the island defenseless against the ocean tide that will eventually destroy it. As each new storm destroys more homes, families are forced to move to higher ground, breaking up the cultural cohesion of the tribe.

Can't Stop the Water is an intimate portrait of a community persevering in the face of an uncertain future. At what point will they finally be forced off their sacred land? And at what point will other coastal communities realize that they are the next to be washed away?

Reel South is a collaboration between UNC-TV and SCETV, and the Southern Documentary Fund (SDF).