Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Transforming the Quad Cities with “Moved by Waters”

On Thursday, April 4, Augustana hosted Emmy-Award winning directors Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films for a showing of their new film “Moved by Waters.” 

“Moved by Waters” shows the work being done with the Upper Mississippi watershed and the effects water pollution has had on the Quad Cities community. While interviewing farmers, members of the Upper Mississippi Center and volunteers, Fourth Wall Films pieced together the story and the history of water quality issues in the area. 

Kelly Rundle said that one of the most important aspects of the film is how this is very much a group problem and that we gain nothing from only blaming others for the issues in our waters. 

“Tammy and I, we’ve always felt like there’s a lot of concentration on how divided we are as Americans,” Kelly Rundle said. “For the most part, we agree on many things. But there is often a focus on what we disagree about. So the premise was that we have more in common than not.” 

The journey to uncovering the watershed story started just over a year ago with a proposal and grant from West Moline conservationist Roger Ross Gipple, who asked the Rundles to create a documentary about the water quality efforts from different organizations around the Quad Cities. 

Their first step was to reach out to Augustana and Michael Reisner, director of the Upper Mississippi Center and professor of environmental studies. 

Students at Augustana were already hard at work with research prior to the film, studying the wildlife at the riverfront and the water quality of smaller bodies of water around the Quad Cities. They are joined in the film by several other organizations like the Quad City Arts Metro Arts summer apprenticeship program, who dedicated time to paint a mural near the river banks to bring awareness to the watershed. 

Reisner said that something important for Augustana students to know about water quality efforts is that it is not something you have to be an environmental science major, and anyone has the ability to contribute to helping clean up the waters.

“Whether you’re interested in watersheds, social justice, climate change or helping with hunger and other types of issues, I think there are plenty of spaces to get involved in your community when you’re a student,” Reisner said. “My center focuses heavily on the kind of environmental sustainability issues, but there’s a center for health and wellness that focuses more on public health and the AD center for entrepreneurial opportunities.”

And the need for people to volunteer or even to take steps at home to improve their lifestyle habits, is a crucial part of water quality and fixing it. 

Peyton Heisch, sustainability manager of the Upper Mississippi Center and First-Year advisor at Augustana, said that one of the biggest issues surrounding water quality is that people simply don’t care. 

“We need to change people to actually think about these kinds of things,” Heisch said. “We need to realize that if we throw something out into the environment, it is there until another person makes sure it’s not. We need to have personal responsibility.”

The “Moved by Waters”  film will be shown throughout areas of the Quad cities and in other cities and states such as Washington D.C.

“I hope that the film demonstrates that there’s something everyone can do,” Kelly Rundle said. “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, you can take an interest and do something.”

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