Shifting Sands: On the Path to Sustainability

For more than a century, North America’s giants in manufacturing (US Steel, Standard Oil and Bethlehem Steel) and preservationists battled over a 47-mile stretch of sandy shore along Lake Michigan that contains one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet—the Indiana Dunes region. While the factories provided jobs and contributed to the community’s economic growth, they also wiped out a tremendous amount of rare habitat, and polluted the waterways.

In SHIFTING SANDS: ON THE PATH TO SUSTAINABILITY, the hour-long documentary takes a look at the decades-long effort to create the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore amid the presence of heavy industry along Lake Michigan. It also highlights the collaborative effort to clean up and restore the region. The clash over the Indiana Dunes—considered to be the birthplace of ecological science in North America—would lead to the creation of public policy with worldwide impact, and it would give the United States one of its first urban National Parks. Today, that decades-old battle has transformed into a new model of cooperation, where industrialists and environmentalists, once bitter adversaries, are now working together to steer this community toward sustainability.