For many years, the Hudson River, like so many waterways across the U.S., was treated like an infinite waste barrel, a receptacle for poisonous chemicals, hazardous waste and trash of all descriptions. During the past forty years, thanks to a committed group of environmentalists and their agencies, the river has become markedly cleaner, a far more welcoming place for small business and community investment. While the river is still an under-utilized natural resource, increasingly it is used by boaters, kayakers, even swimmers as a recreational playground.

But the river, in the words of Riverkeeper’s John Lipscomb, the Hudson River, from Troy to Manhattan, has “had a foot on its neck” for more than one hundred years due to all that pollution and unmonitored industrialization.

So despite all of the improvements the river and valley have witnessed thanks to the coordination of some of the savviest environmentalists in the country, there are still environmental risks and concerns.

The Hudson is known as America’s “First River.” About two years ago we undertook this project, “The Hudson, A River at Risk,” to draw attention to some of the ongoing environmental concerns, including bomb trains loaded with crude oil coursing along its banks, the continued pollution by PCBs going back to the 1940s, the serious debate over the future of the nuclear power plant at Indian Point.

We took on this unique multi-media project too because the Hudson is our river. Oceans 8 Films and the One Ocean Media Foundation originated in the Hudson Valley and the river and its beauty have been a backdrop of and inspiration to much of our work over the years. It is an environment to both be celebrated, and protected.

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Oceans 8 Films focuses on documentaries about threats to the planet’s interconnected environment — especially its one ocean — with an emphasis on the people who live along its edges and those who work to protect it.


    Writer, filmmaker and adventurer, Jon is the executive producer of Oceans 8 Films. A six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council and one of the Society’s ‘Ocean Heroes,’ his first assignment for National Geographic Magazine was documenting a 3,741 mile crossing of Antarctica by dogsled. Jon has written a dozen books and produced/directed more than fifteen documentary films.


    A lifelong Hudson Valley resident and creative pro, Chris serves as Oceans 8 Films production manager and lead editor. In addition to being a field producer, editor and cinematographer for Hudson River Stories, he designs and directs the project’s web experience.  Chris has been part of many other Oceans 8 projects in recent years; editing Dear President Obama and Antarctica 3D: On The Edge. Partnered with his Oceans 8 colleague Devin Pickering, they run Northguild Production, producing commercial, documentary and narrative films.


    An accomplished cinematographer and editor, Devin has worked on several Oceans 8 Films projects; editing Sink or Swim: Learning the Crawl in the Maldives and Dear Governor Brown among others.  In addition to his camerawork and editing, his aerial cinematography is a key element to the project, providing a uniquely beautiful perspective of the Hudson River. Partnered with his Oceans 8 colleague Chris Rahm, they run Northguild Production, producing commercial, documentary and narrative films.