UA professor's documentary on Alabama's coastal region airs on television

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UA professor's documentary on Alabama's coastal region airs on television

Photo courtesy of Doug Phillips.

Cydney Nichols

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The natural beauty of Alabama’s coastal region is the subject of a new documentary by University of Alabama professor Doug Phillips.

“Discovering Alabama– Coastal Paradise” is a three part special that aired on Alabama Public Television on June 7th, and and focused on the ecology, historical heritage and educational assets of the coastal region after the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill of 2010. It’s the latest series in the long-running and Emmy-winning program “Discovering Alabama.” 

The show’s inception occurred in 1985 when Phillips was approached by the state of Alabama to create and produce the series. 

“The state had the money. I had the crew. I knew the area, and knew I could produce the footage for a lot less than a professional film company could,” he said.

Each section of the latest series had a different theme. The first part, Coastal Ecology, featured commentary from numerous leading ecological experts and highlighted the coastal region’s unique geological, hydrological, and biological richness. The second part, Coastal History, detailed the historical significance of the coast to New World exploration, settlement, and important events. The third part, Coastal Education, discussed the myriad of educational resources and opportunities available for all age groups.

In conjunction with the state, Phillips has hopes that the special will remind people of the importance of Alabama’s coastal system.

“The show’s been viewed about one million times, maybe even more, so based on that we assume that the films are having at least some effect on people,” Phillips said.