Wednesday, August 6, 2014

WHEN HOPE HATCHES will not be Hatching

It’s been a long time since I last communicated about my documentary project, When Hope Hatches, and I have both good and bad news regarding the Osprey. 

The good news is the Osprey are doing extremely well and have nested in the area of the Georgia Pacific lot for the 5th(?) year in a row! 

The unfortunate news is I will not be proceeding with the documentary. 

I’ve decided not to pursue the documentary mainly because the storyline I was originally pursuing has turned out not to be true. Personal observation, corroborated by experts on osprey, confirms that the birds simply aren’t consuming the majority of their diet from the Kalamazoo River. Consequently, the Osprey’s nesting presence offers little or no insight into the health of the river with regards to PCBs, as I and others originally thought.   

I’ve also been unable to secure necessary interviews with biologists working directly on the Kalamazoo River. It seems the tense, political atmosphere surrounding the pollution and clean-up of the river has put many people on guard and made it difficult to get experts to go on tape. 

These challenges, as well as limited funds for the documentary, has simply made the project untenable. 

Once again, the good news though is the Osprey are doing extremely well and new nests are cropping up everywhere in Southwest Michigan. The species in general has rebounded significantly in the wake of a universal ban of the harmful chemical DDT from the American landscape. 

I’ll continue to manage the Facebook page for the Osprey and post occasionally on our King Highway family. We suffered a set-back last year when the Osprey abandoned the platform we built for them and returned to one of the utility poles in the Georgia Pacific lot, making it a little more difficult to observe and film the birds. But they reared, and fledged, three chicks this year. So life goes on for our Osprey family.

Thank you once again for all your support and patience with the documentary. The project generated a healthy degree of awareness about Osprey in our community and will continue through our Facebook page. And for that reason, these efforts were certainly not in vain.

For those who contributed to the documentary, I'm refunding everyone and you should receive a letter in the mail with a refund check. If you contributed, and didn't receive a letter, please contact me at

Matt Clysdale