Chattahoochee River Documentary Project


Writer and photographer David Hanson and his brother Michael, a photographer and filmmaker, grew up in Atlanta, drinking the water of the Chattahoochee river. Now they’re combining their talents to share the rich and troubled story of this important watershed with the world. You can follow the expedition here on Duct Tape Diaries.

By David Hanson

If the human body is composed of 60% water, then we’re about half full of Chattahoochee. We grew up along its banks in Atlanta, but it wasn’t until we got older that we realized the stresses threatening that thin slice of wilderness cutting through our old suburbs.


Now my photographer-filmmaker brother, Michael, and I are going back to the river, along with Atlanta-based photographer-filmmaker Andrew Kornylak. We’re going to paddle the length of the Chattahoochee River and its paralleling brother, the Flint. We’ll take a month in canoes to float over 500 miles, from the Appalachian Mountains, through Atlanta, between peanut, soybean, and cotton farms, past power plants, through long, cypress-lined reservoirs until we hit the Florida border where the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers meet to become the Apalachicola River. The final 107 twisting miles flow undammed to the Gulf of Mexico.






These rivers have long been overlooked – scorned and polluted during floods and fought over during droughts. The Chattahoochee, Flint, and Apalachicola Rivers don’t have the broad, national-pride appeal of the Colorado or the Salmon, but they tell an all-too common American story of overuse. Now is the time to figure out water use in the eastern U.S. We intend to make a film to celebrate the watershed and to hear the voices of the people alongside it.


We launch on March 9. This is our last week to raise funds to support a legit documentary film – music rights, editing, aerial flights. Take a look at the film trailer and consider supporting the ‘Hooch! Follow this link to donate: CHATTAHOOCHEE: Who Owns Water?