Coastal Dune Lakes Documentary Update Winter 2013/2014

By Nic Stoltzfus


This is a general update for the coastal dune lakes documentary project.

First, we have selected a final title for the coastal dune lakes film. It is (drumroll please!) Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida’s Emerald Coast. This title was selected because from our interviews we heard people refer to the dune lakes as jewels or gems for the region. Since this part of the Florida coastline is referred to as the Emerald Coast (the former being a precious stone), the subtitle has a nice ring to it.

CDL Logo

Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida’s Emerald Coast

Dad and I returned from the Great Lakes region of Australia in August and most of our time has been spent completing the film for final review. Joey Dickinson, our editor, has been editing the film since late June. Along with the main production team, these are a few more people who are working towards completing the film:

Manley Fuller with the Florida Wildlife Federation; Celeste Cobena, soap pedaler and local activist; and Susan Paladini of the Coffeen Nature Preserve have all provided us with historical information that we will use for the film.

Rick Hord, a local from Okaloosa County, was selected as the narrator for the film after doing an extensive search and even asking our Facebook audience for suggestions.

Eric Schrotenboer, a local Panama City resident, is crafting an original film score for the hour-long documentary. He also scored the intro to all the coastal dune lakes shorts.

Justin Dyke, a graphic designer based out of Tallahassee, has crafted maps and graphs for the film.

Pete Winter, of Winterstone Productions in Tallahassee, will be doing the final sound mix. He did the final sound mix for works such as Ulee’s Gold and has worked on the sound design  for all of the feature length documentary films at Live Oak Production Group.

As you can see, we place a high emphasis on working with local talent. Why is that? In short, it is because we want to bring our community with us in whatever we do and that includes supporting the arts in our region.

Speaking of art in Northwest Florida, several photos from the coastal dune lakes project have been on display:

Three of my photos were placed in the Blountstown Public Library Reading Room for two months in September and October. These same three pictures were displayed at the Chipola College Sunday Afternoon with the Arts. The photos are currently back at the studio, and I am looking to find new public venues for display.

If you are in the Tallahassee area, one of my pictures will be hanging in the Tallahassee Regional Airport’s ArtPort Gallery until January 19th.


"Dancing Outfall" The image is now on display at the Tallahassee Artport until January 19th

“Dancing Outfall” The image is now on display at the Tallahassee Artport until January 19th


We will continue to release video shorts until the film premieres next year. Here are the dates and subjects for the shorts:

Dec. 4th: What is a Choctawhatchee Beach Mouse?

Dec. 18th: Water, Sand, Life as narrated by Claire Bannerman

Jan. 1st: Sea Turtles on the Dune Lakes?

Jan. 13th: The Great Lakes of Australia

Jan. 27th: Who is Elam Stoltzfus?

Feb. 12th: Who is Joey Dickinson?

Feb 26: Who is Eric Schrotenboer?

March 12: Who is Nic Stoltzfus?

March 26: Release of the Documentary Trailer

We are working closely with WUSF Public Media broadcast station out of Tampa to put in place all the final details it takes for the hour-long documentary for placement on Public Television as a national release. The plan is to make the documentary available for broadcast to all the stations the week of Earth Day.

We have three dates locked in public showings of the film. *All three of these showings will be before the film is released on public television.*

Here they are (save the dates!):

March 28th, 2015: At the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center there will be a special sneak peek of the film along with talks by scientists about the lakes in a first-ever Coastal Dune Lakes Symposium.

April 2nd, 2015: World premiere of Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida’s Emerald Coast. Come check it out at the green by WaterColor Boathouse! (Time TBA)

April 22nd, 2015: On Earth Day, the film will be shown at Gulf Place along with other activities. The event is from 6-8 PM on the Gulf Place green.


Also, we will be releasing a six-part blog series I wrote on our trip to Australia’s Great Lakes (the coastal dune lakes found in New South Wales) and that will be released over the holidays. Here is the timetable for that:

Dececember 9th: Part I: Getting There

Dec. 16th: Part II: Smiths Lake

Dec. 23rd: Part III: Myall River and the Broadwater

Dec. 30th: Part IV: An Aerial View and Interviewing Dr. Stock

January 6th: Part V: Myall Lake National Park and Smiths Lake Sandbar

Jan. 13th: Part VI: Mungo Brush and the Aftermath (with Australia video short attached)


We are working on a companion coffee-table book that will be released spring of 2015. I am heading up that project, and I am in the last stages of finishing the book. Cynthia Barnett, author of the upcoming Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, has agreed to write the foreword for us. Dad met her as a fellow artist-in-residence at Seaside’s Escape to Create program. I am working closely with Greg and Keri Atchley of Design 360, based in Santa Rosa Beach, for the layout and design of the book. This will be the first book by Live Oak Production Group, and it is exciting to be a part of that process!

Finally, I am working on a list of frequently asked questions about coastal dune lakes that I plan on completing before the film is released; I will share it on this site for public use. Any ideas or questions are welcome. Please e-mail them to with the tagline “Coastal Dune Lakes FAQ”.

Thanks much and stay tuned!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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