CLCA In The News

CLCA Sponsored Rock the Boat Wins ISLA Earth Award of Merit at the Catalina Film Festival

May 9, 2012

CLCA Sponsored Rock the Boat Wins ISLA Earth Award of Merit at the Catalina Film Festival
SACRAMENTO, California (May 9, 2012) — The California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) is pleased to announce the documentary Rock the Boat is the recipient of the ISLA Earth Award of Merit in Environmental Filmmaking at the Catalina Film Festival, May 6, 2012 on Catalina Island, California. CLCA is a sponsor and co-producer for the documentary Rock the Boat, the controversial tale of a group's 51- mile boating expedition down the cemented canals known as the Los Angeles River in 2008. The cement walls were originally built by the Army Corps of Engineers to move water away from Los Angeles to prevent flooding. The group, organized by George Wolfe, lead kayaker and environmentalist, defied local authorities and the Army Corps of Engineers hoping to have the EPA declare it a navigable river so that it could gain protection under the Clean Water Act.

On July 7, 2010, the EPA declared the Los Angeles River a navigable river, making it eligible for federal protection and funding under the Clean Water Act. Since that time, Los Angeles has also become one of seven cities chosen for a pilot project to revitalize polluted urban waterways. The program is called the Urban Waters Federal Partnership and it works with President Barack Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative. This partnership aims to create local jobs, improve quality of life and health by revitalizing waterways. “When we met with the Director Thea Mercouffer of Rock the Boat, we were very excited about the possibilities of what the Los Angeles River could become, not only from a recreational and flood prevention perspective, but also as a significant water source for the area. With California’s water issues, rather than see all the water pushed out to sea, there are lots of ways to harness some of that water for Los Angeles to use. We think this movie brings attention to what the river is now and what it could be in the future and CLCA is excited to be a part of it,” said Chuck Carr, Director of Communications of the California Landscape Contractors Association.

“Others are just as excited about the film as we were when we saw it,” said Carr. Rock the Boat was selected to receive the People's Choice Award at the Wild & Scenic Film festival in January 2012 and now it has received the ISLA Earth Award of Merit for Environmental Filmmaking at the Catalina Film Festival. George Wolfe, the lead kayaker highlighted in the film, was also awarded the 2012 River Hero Award by the River Network and WaterKeeper Alliance Monday, May 7, 2012 for his hard work, which led to increased protection for the LA River. George and his team of volunteers show that we can all make a difference to improve our environment and make the most use of our natural resources.”

“I am deeply honored the film received the ISLA Earth Award of Merit in the Conservation Series,” said Director Thea Mercouffer. “This award is presented by the  Catalina Island Conservancy, a world leader in wildlife, plant life, marine life and endangered species protection, to honor a film that has a similar mission in protecting, educating and promoting the power of nature. We are very touched to be worthy of this type of award and hope film viewers are empowered to make a difference in their own communities. Thank you to everyone who has helped this film along the way. We could not do it without you!” For a list of Catalina Film Festival winners go to To find out more about the film, visit Rock the Boat's website at Rock the Boat will be screening next at the Green Film Festival in Seoul, North Korea, May 9-15, and at the FILManthropy Festival in Santa Monica, CA, May 17-19, 2012.

Barbara Landrith
Outreach Specialist
California Landscape Contractors Association
1491 River Park Dr#100
Sacramento, Ca 95815
(916) 830-2780