• Morgan Atkinson

Ohio River love





In looking at the Atlantic Ocean from Wrightsville Beach, NC “awe” doesn’t do justice. Lakes often elicit the same reaction. Why not rivers and the Ohio River in particular? Maybe it’s because rivers are so often just “there”. We drive by them, drive across them and don’t give them a second thought. Taken for granted they are simply part of our everyday scenery. I interviewed New York Times contributor Tyler Kelley about this. He wrote a fine book called “Holding Back the River, The Struggle Against Nature on America’s Waterways.” Here’s what he had to say.


“Compared to the roads, which most Americans drive 11,000 miles on a year, the rivers are really almost invisible. Most Americans have very little interaction with the rivers, even people that live beside the river. They know there’s a barge here and there but they don’t understand where the barge is coming from, where it’s going, what it’s carrying… Everyone who lives inland probably thinks everything travels on a semi truck or on a train… It’s just a strange thing that I realized when I was working on this project, that nobody is aware of what’s going on on these rivers.”

My hope is that my documentary, “Ohio—Life, Death and Rebirth of the Beautiful River”, will cause more people to notice the Ohio, then care about it, then take steps to make it healthier. Maybe we’ll even see it can be as awesome as the ocean.




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