One month of production

Roberto Diaz de Villegas WFSU-TV

A little more than a month ago, I had just finished a documentary. It’s one of those things where you put a lot of work in and then it’s just done, and you think you’ll have some time to tie up some loose ends.  I had been so busy finishing the program that I was only peripherally aware that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig had exploded and that possibly the greatest ecological disaster in our nation’s history was unfolding.  I didn’t know that my next project was already lining itself up, and that it would take up most of my working hours for months to come.

A month after I first stepped into a salt marsh (and got stuck in mud and fell onto my rear), oil is just starting to reach Florida.  Tarballs are as close as Grayton Beach, and you have to wonder how much longer it’ll be until the sites we’ve been visiting in St. Joe’s Bay and Alligator Harbor will be affected.  Oystermen in Apalachicola are scrambling to harvest as many oysters as possible, and those who can are canceling hotel and rental reservations across the panhandle.

We should be going back “in the grass” and “on the reef” this week.  Weather got in our way last week as Dr. Kimbro had to call off location scouting in Alligator Harbor, and it’s been stormy all weekend (Dr. Kimbro’s first post will come tomorrow, along with some video of the first day of his study).  Hopefully we can get some favorable conditions, I’d like to see these places as they are as much as I can, while I can.

NOAA nearshore projection 6-5

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About Rob Diaz de Villegas

Rob Diaz de Villegas is a senior producer for WFSU-TV, covering outdoors and ecology. Early in his television career, Rob focused on music production. After a couple of years of producing and editing Spanish and bilingual music video shows in San Antonio, Rob returned to Tallahassee in 2002 to resume production of his local music performance show, OutLoud. From that, he transitioned to local music documentaries, until one day he found himself standing in a muddy salt marsh with a camera, and his life was changed forever. Rob created this blog for a National Science Foundation funded marine biology project called In the Grass, On the Reef. No one asked Rob to expand on this work and cover all ecology in our area, but it seemed like a good thing to do. Subsequent projects under the Ecology Blog umbrella include EcoShakespeare (funded by WNET and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) and Roaming the Red Hills (funded by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy). His most recent documentary follows the lives of four red wolf pups born at the Tallahassee Museum, apex predators that once hunted in our local wild spaces. Rob is married with two young sons, and they try to have outdoor family adventures as often as possible (you might see them on the blog from time to time).