You can help.

Foundations and corporations interested in helping us reach a larger audience are invited to contact Richard Hydren at 508-954-1298.

Introduction to Danger in the Reeds with Senator Bruce Tarr
In State Senator Bruce Tarr's introduction to "Danger in the Reeds" he recalls the Task Force's history and urges communities in other regions of the country to follow their model to tackle the ongoing problem of Phragmites. Learn more.
The Common Reed, Phragmites
with Tim Simmons

Viewers who may never have the opportunity to visit the Great Marsh will quickly understand from Tim's clear and precise explanations why these 14 square miles of marsh lands are so important to all of us and how Phragmites has evolved into a "super" species capable of damaging ecosystems like the Great Marsh wherever it is allowed to expand. Learn more.

The Problems with
Monoculture Stands of Phragmites
with Geoff Walker

Geoff Walker, Newbury Selectman and Ducks Unlimited Marsh Chairperson, leads us through a mature stand of Phragmites on Ring Island to illustrate what happens when the invasive reed is allowed to expand without a rigorous management program. Learn more.

Taking Root in the High Marsh  
with Dr. Gregg Moore

We join Dr. Gregg Moore (UNH) in the Great Marsh as he compares root depth of Phragmites to native plants in the high marsh.  With the help of his seven year old, Grant, they seek to understand one of the ways this invasive plant gets a leg up on the competition. Learn more.
Healthy Habitats in the Great Marsh with Robert Buchsbaum
Dr. Buchsbaum, Mass Audubon, shares his well-researched concern over the effects of the Phragmites monocultures on resident and migratory birds that depend on native plant diversity to flourish. Learn more.
GPS Phragmites Mapping
with Peter Phippen

Peter Phippen takes us onto the Great Marsh to document the effectiveness of the past years' spraying program and to create detailed maps to be used in the coming year's program. Learn more.
Salinity Mapping with Dr Gregg Moore
Kurt, while riding his amphibious "MarshMaster" vehicle through rivers and across grassy marshes, explains the process of spraying Phragmites and the safety of this well-tested management strategy. This video is a must see simply to watch how efficiently Kurt is able to navigate the marsh while not leaving a trace of its presence. Learn more.
Spraying Phragmites
with Kurt Ehrhart

Kurt, while riding his amphibious "MarshMaster" vehicle through rivers and across grassy marshes, explains the process of spraying Phragmites and the safety of this well-tested management strategy. This video is a must see simply to watch how efficiently Kurt is able to navigate the marsh while not leaving a trace of its presence.
Learn more.

Mowing Phragmites
with Emily Sullivan

Emily Sullivan, Wetlands Project Coordinator for the Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control and wetlands Management District, explains how mowing efforts reduce fire hazards and helps control mosquitos while also helping to stop the expansion of Phragmites when combined with a vigorous spraying program. Learn more.

The Great Marsh Classroom
with Liz Duff and Lori LaFrance

Constrictions which alter the flow of salt and fresh water on the Great Marsh have a major effect on the conditions which can favor or restrain the growth of Phragmites stands. In this segment of Danger in the Reeds we follow the Ipswich High School Environmental Science Class as they learn about the effects constrictions have on tidal flow where salt and fresh water blend to create brackish water before and after a restoration project. Learn more.

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge with Frank Drauszewski
Dr Moore and Frank Drauszewski explore their concerns over Phragmites in the Great Marsh from the perspective of managing the National Parker River Wildlife Refuge, first established in 1942, the largest and most important marsh ecosystem located between New Jersey and Canada. Learn more.

Good Morning Great Marsh

Visit our
Great Marsh Art

Many images created during the making of Danger in the Reeds and a limited number of delux Phragwrites Pens may be ordered by clicking here, secured payments through PayPal. The color prints are carefully prepared and printed by a professional color lab. All proceeds will help us reach more people with Danger in the Reeds. Learn more.

The Great Marsh, Plum Island, parker river Wildlife Refuge boat Ramp

February 27, 2014

The eleventh and last segment is now online! Salintiy Mapping with Dr. Gregg Moore explores the science used to map salinity across the Great Marsh and it's role in shaping Phragmites management strategies.

February 9, 2014

The seemingly endless cold and weekly snow storms have provided the perfect weather for staying warm in my studio in front of my computer, editing the remaining segments of Danger in the Reeds.

The segment called “Parker River National Wildlife” with Frank Drauszewski, the Deputy Refuge Manager, and Dr. Gregg Moore is now online and has been added to Frank and Gregg talk in some detail about the problems and possible solutions to the issues presented by Phragmites in the Great Marsh. In this video Frank talks about many of the species that depend upon this special habitat at different times of the year. So I took advantage of the great weather we enjoyed earlier this week to visit the Refuge in the hopes of capturing water fowl in the beautiful wintery landscape.

I was not disappointed and feel the results added a nice professional feeling to this piece. We hope you will take the time to enjoy this segment soon.

Today you will also find, at the top of the main page, another new segment called “Overview.” As we have gotten close to finishing the series, only two segments are not published at this writing, we felt the time was correct to create a 20 minute video showing a few minutes of each of all eleven segments. There is just enough work done on The Great Marsh Classroom with Liz Duff and Lori LaFrance and Dr. Moore’s Salinity Mapping to accomplish this.

We hope the Overview video will get wide distribution and help drive a lot of viewers to the the web site to watch the other segments in the library. After the cover story in last week’s Newburyport Daily, we have been receiving requests for this particular video from organizations wishing to educate the population in their area. Please contact me if you would like your local community TV station to broadcast it.

This morning I have republished the eight completed video segments after compressing the master files with a new application which promises better viewing on iPads. This gave me the perfect opportunity to upload the improved videos into a Youtube “Channel” which anyone can easily find on Youtube by searching for “Danger in the Reeds.”

Once again, thank you all for your support.
Cheerfully, Rick Hydren

January 20, 2014
8 completed Videos posted to Youtube and Displayed on the website

8 of the 11 videos are now available for you to review, enjoy and share. We were hoping to have all 11 videos ready to post this weekend, but 3 are still be reviewed and edited by the experts featured in the videos. It's very important that all the information contained in the videos is accurate and therefor we must afford them the time they need to do a careful job.

January 15, 2014
Great Mrsh Task Force Review of Danger in the Reeds videos

Senator Bruce Tarr reviewed his performance in the Introductoy segement of the project along with clips of another 9 segments Wednesday. He and Senator Katherine O'Connor Ives along with about 50 others had an opportunity to be the first to see a significant amount of the finished videos about Phragmites.

November 21, 2013
Great Marsh Classroom Final Video Session

Today marked a wonderful date in the progress of the Danger in the Reeds project with the last scheduled video session. A much anticipated and very successful day. Liz Duff, Mass Audubon, held the 17th Annual Coastal Science Conference at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Center. Students from 5 communities gave presentations. In particular Lori LaFrance's Ipswich High School Biology Class gave their report on their findings at the Town Farm Road site.

Looking ahead we have two segments heading out for transcripts with two more to follow shortly. Two more with completed transcripts which are just about ready for the final editing sessions. And two which are waiting for some voice over work. Really feels like we turned a corner!

October 24, 20123
Thank you to all our Kickstarter supporters.

If you are a supporter of $30 or more and wish to receive your DVD when it's ready, please click here to fil out the order form. We don't have our supporters' addresses and will not be able to mail your thank you gifts without it.

To all our wonderful supporters of $50 or more please click here to see the selection of four Great Marsh images and select the 16x12 color print you would like with our online form.

The Phragwrites pens are in and are ready to ship to all our generous supporters of $100 or more. Please click here to select your 16x12 color print from the four images we've created for this project with the onine order form.

death of a Phragmites stand

October 23, 2013
Documenting the death of a Phragmites Stand, Again

I had hoped to record this stand each week but the Federal shutdown restricted our access to the Refuge. I returned today mostly because it was such a wonderful morning and captured a few minutes of video along with a few stills. On the way, I stopped at the boat ramp to capture a few frames of the remarkable sky. By the time I had finished the Phragmites stand, all the clouds were gone. Just like that, the show was over. Nature is so much fun to watch.

October 18, 2013
We have only a couple video sessions left to record! Yah!
The Great Marsh has lost all of its summer colors and most of its fall colors, which are my favorite. So the rush to record our experts with the beautiful vistas behind has slowed to a much more comfortable pace, finally. And now it's time to update all our patient supporters and to reward your patience with a sampling of our videos and to get your rewards out in the mail.
Great Marsh Task Force Executive Meeting
October 16, 2013
Task Force Executive Meeting
After the video session with Senator Bruce Tarr we carried all the audio and video equipment into Audubon's Joppa Flats Visitor Center to record some of the Task Force Executive Meeting. There we presented a short montage of video excerts prepared just for the attendees at the meeting. The recording of the meeting went OK. With the lights turned down for presentation slides and speakers moving all around the cameras had a rough time of it. But the 15 minute sample video was received very well.
Senator Bruce Tarr, Peter Phippen, Geoff Walker
October 16, 2013
Video session with State Senator Bruce Tarr
The good senator agreed to record the introduction to Danger in the Reeds! With a complete understanding of the issues Phragmites represents as well as his personal knowledge of all the stakeholders and the efforts they have made to keep the Great Marsh healthy his video session was one of our most exciting to produce.
Dead Phragmites stand
October 13, 2013
Special Video Presentation Completed
In preparation for the Task Force Executive meeting on October 16th, we have been asked to prepare about 15 minutes of video demonstrating the extent of the material we have recorded over the past few months.
Ipswich High School Biology Class studies Phragmites in the Great Marsh
October 11, 2013
Ipswich High School Biology Class Field Trip
As the school bus full of high school students rolled to a stop on a crisp cool clear Friday morning I was being eaten alive my mosquitos while attending my cameras. I couldn't see what I was doing because they kept getting between my glasses and my eyes! Never thought I'd need the spray can of Deet this morning! After putting the Lav Mic on Liz Duff I followed the students around as they collected data from wells first driven into the marsh in 1996! This segment was not in the original plan but I think it will add a great perspective. While nearly no one my age seems to know what Phragmites are, just about very one I've talked to under the age of 30 has had some experience with them in high school and are able to talk about the subject with remarkable depth of knowledge.
Ipswhich high School Biology Class studies Salinity
October 9, 2013
Ipswich High School Biology Class
Lori LaFrance, Ipswich High School's Biology teacher had invited me into her Phragmites field day preparation class. To learn about salinity, students added small pinches of salt to a cup of water until a grape floated about half way between the top and the bottom. A fun experiment for the students.
Peerker River Wildlife Refuge boat ramp

October 6, 2013
First Three Segments Completed
Spraying Phragmites, High Marsh Healthy Plant Diversity, and Healthy Habitats in the Great Marsh are ready for review by the team.

Dr Gregg Moore and his UNH class on a field trip
October 4, 2013
UNH Field Trip with Dr Moore
Dr Gregg Moore leads his UNH class around the marsh today with a focus on plant diversity and soil samples. Not sure if I got a lot of usable material while in the field, but maybe with a voice over session we may have something interesting.
Death of a stand of Phragmites after spraying
October 3, 2013
Documenting the death of a Phragmites Stand, Again
With the Federal Government shut-down, access into the Wildlife Refuge by road was not an option. My boat is between motors! So Peter Phippen was good enough to take me out on his Boston Whaler to capture a few stills and some short videos of the stand I had captured as Kurt's MarshMaster and crew sprayed on September 17th. We also checked on several other stands that had been sprayed and had a look at the Plum Island Turnpike Bridge from the water.
Tim Simmons explaining the challenges Phregmites offers
October 1, 2013
Reshoot with Tim Simmons
The first session with Tim Simmons did not come out well. Fortunately Tim was kind enough to try again. This time the weather could not have been better. Plus, it was our first video session with which we could sit the subject under our new "Easy-Up," a 10x10 white canvas topped tent. I was really happy with the light on the speaker while out on the marsh in bright sunlight. Tim's passion for a subject which he has been deeply involved with for many years made this session my favorite so far.
Robert Buchsbaum explaining diversity on the Great Marsh
September 30, 2013
First Transcripts Completed
Dr. Gregg Moore's student, Brea Arvidson, completed the transcripts for the Spraying Phragmites and Healthy Habitats in the Great Marsh. And Gregg has highlighted each block of text he would like to see in the finished video segment.
Documenting the dead of a stand of Phragmites after the stand had been sprayed.

September 25, 2013
Documenting the Death of a Phragmites Stand
A week after recording Kurt's team spraying this stand, the same we had recorded Gregg and Frank standing next to, I went back to record any signs of the the effects that might be visible.

Spraying Phragmites from the MarshMaster
September 25, 2013
First Rough Edits Uploaded for Transcripts
After each video session we match the audio recording to the video, getting the mouth movements to synchronize with the voice track is usually not to hard. Before starting each clip we have the subject clap their hands in front of their face. Matching this action to the audio spike is a routine procedure. However, we like to use two cameras and I will often record the sound with two systems as well. Having two cameras gives us lots of options in editing. Two sound systems have proven more an insurance policy than a post production luxury. Ambient sounds from near by birds adds great authenticity, making the shotgun mic the go-to system. But all too often we need to opt for the more selective recording from the Lav Mic. All this makes for more post production work as we match up two sets of video to the better of the two audio tracks. Then we edit out all the "out-takes" in which the subject is asking us questions, we offer direction or topics to cover, they mess up, a car or truck drives by. Often it's a boat that screams past. What's left is anywhere from 12 to 18 minutes of "usable" video in which the subject has given us much more than we need for a 3 to 6 minute segment. So, these "Rough Edits," complete with a time code to assist in the final edit, are run out and shared via Dropbox with an intern who will transcribe each segment.
Mowing a stand of Phragmites
Sept 24, 2013
Mowing Phragmites with Emily Sullivan
If you have gone skiing in past 20 or 30 years you've most likely seen the lights from one of these snow cats roaming up and down the ski trails all night long. The big red cab looks out of place out on a flat marsh but it's wide treads make it a perfect choice for crossing ditches and tracking over native plants without causing any damage. Both Emily and Tim, the monster's expert driver, gave us a wonderful video session before I started recording the machine in action. It wasn't long before Tim invited me aboard, but best of all, he let me sit on top for a while. Riding that bull was great fun!
Spraying stand of Phragmites with the MarshMaster
September 18, 2013
Spraying Phragmites with the unique MarshMaster
This aluminum tractor with its high perched spray platform is as much fun to watch slowly trekking around the marsh as it is swimming across rivers and streams. Kurt Ehrhart is very well spoken on the subject of spraying Phragmites with over 15 years experience in the very tightly controlled wetland remediation procedures. Best of all, I got to ride in the MarshMaster!
Peter Phippen talks with robert Buchsbaum about native diversity in a healthy section of the Great Marsh
September 17, 2013
Great Marsh Habitats with Dr. Robert Buchsbaum
The Mill River, which empties into the Parker River, is relatively free of Phragmites. And an ideal place to record one of the most knowledgable persons on the subject of birds in this diverse wilderness. The weather worked out very well and no one was eager to return to the boat landing.
Dr Gregg Moore treks across the Great marsh with his son Grant.
September 16, 2013
Dr. Gregg Moore and his 7 year old son, Grant
While watching Gregg explain the diversity of native marsh plants to our Kickstarter supporters who received a guided boat ride on September 7th, Geoff Walker mentioned to me that we need to record Gregg's expert presentation. I immediately responded with the idea of having Gregg doing so with his own 7 year old son, Grant. As soon as Grant proclaimed, "OKAY" in the first few seconds of recording this morning I knew that suggestion was going to be my best idea of the entire project.
September 7, 2013
Kickstarter Lobster-bake
After weeks of researching locations and options Sharon and I were able to settle on the Joppa Flats Audubon Center in Newbury where the views are wonderful and the Audubon staff was awesome. Almost all of the $250 and above supporters were present for our presentation and all you could eat from the wonderful staff at Bob's Lobster which is located about a half a mile away.

September 7, 2013
Kickstarter Boat Trip
Geoff Walker and Dr Gregg Moore were our guides, Sharon had fixed a wonderful lunch, and the generous owners of River Front Marine had donated the use of one of their very comfortable pontoon boats for our trip down the Parker River and up to Pine Island Creek where Gregg selected a section of the marsh ideally suited for his discussion on a healthy diversity of native plants and the problems Phragmites creates for them. After a delightful picnic we headed back, enjoying the perfect weather and green vistas.
Kickstarter supporters about to take off in their plane ride as a reward for their generous support
September 6, 2013
Kickstarter Plane Ride
The weather could not have been better for a plane ride over the Great Marsh. Clear, clear air, little wind, mild temperatures. Pictured above are our $1000 supporters standing on either side of Peter and their pilot on the far left side. The great team at Eagle East Aviation took them from Lawrence Airport over Newburyport and Salisbury, turning south along the inside of Plum Island and then east toward Gloucester. They returned along the western edge of the Great Marsh with Peter explaining everything they could see below. It should be noted one of these generous supporters traveled all the way from Philadelphia for the plane ride, boat trip and lobster-bake.
Liz Duff, Audubon, and Lori LaFrance, Ipswich High School Biology Teacher on Great Marsh Phragmites Project
August 30, 2013
Liz Duff and Lori LaFrance on Towns Farm Rd.
Mass Audubon's Liz Duff has been working with teachers in schools all around the Great Marsh for years. We joined her and Lori LaFrance, the Ipswich High School Biology teacher, who has been guiding students through a wonderful unit on Phragmites for 6 or 7 years. I asked them to join me now, before school starts, to record a session in the corner of the Great Marsh they have been monitoring since 1996 while everything is still green.
Geoff Walker, tim Simmons, Peter Phippen discuss Phragmites in the parker River Wildlife Visitor Center
August 29, 2013
Geoff Walker, Tim Simmons and Peter Phippen
talk about Phragmites

My first meeting with Tim. Wonderful man, really is one of the most knowledgeable people you'll ever find on the subject of Phragmites. Unfortunately, the wind was whiping and a nice marsh location for a video session was out of the question. We had planned to met at the Parker River Wildlife Center parking lot, across from the Audubon Visitor Center, so we asked if we could try recording the session inside. Between the air system and young pre-school visitors having a delightful time running about the exhibits the session did not go too well.
native plants on the Great Marsh
August 24, 2013
Refuge B-Roll
It does not matter how exciting and informative each speaker may be presenting their ideas and knowledge, watching talking heads gets old fast. My goal for this series is to show as many images and video clips as I can to illustrate that which the speakers are referring. Today was dedicated to building that library of so-called B-Roll.
Dr. Gregg Moore & Frank Drauszewski discuss Phragmites in the national Wildlife Refuge
August 22, 2013
Dr. Gregg Moore & Frank Drauszewski
Frank manages the Parker River Wildlife Refuge. He did not know anything about me before I visited him in his office a few weeks ago. After explaining I was working on a Phragmites project with Geoff, Peter and Gregg, he was eager to help anyway he could.
Today's session was the first with two people talking, two cameras rolling, and two volunteers helping. A special thanks to my usual assistant, Sharon and our newest volunteer, Will Winn. After meeting at the Wildlife Center, Frank invited us to pile the equipment into the van and drove us all down to parking lot 2 where everyone helped carry equipment about the length of a football field onto the marsh where a substantial Phragmites stand served as our backdrop. Frank's delivery was so professional I had a hard time brining the session to an end.
Cape May County
August 18, 2013
Ocean City, Cape May County Wildlife
After visiting the Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuges in Cape May County and meeting with its manager, Brian Braudis, we drove to a few locations he recommended for some stunning examples of what happens when state governments fail to manage their wetlands properly. Not far from the Federal Refuge we were directed to a state owned estuary where just enough mowing is done so the passing traveler can read their sign.
Road-side Phragmites stands Route 1 Salisbury
August 15, 2013
Route 1, Salisbury
Geoff Walker drove while I recorded the dense stands of Phragmites pressing against the road and businesses along Route 1 in Salisbury.
Geoff Walker leads us into a stand of Phragmites on Ring Island
August 14, 2013
Geoff Walker walking in the Phragmites stand on Ring Island
Geoff really wanted me to share both the visual and the audio experiences of walking through a mature, dense monoculture stand of Phrags. We were both unsure just what we might capture with our new shotgun mic, cloaked with a fuzzy wind-screen. The wind was very strong, causing the reeds to whip about and with each step in the stand, old dry reeds crackle loudly under foot. A good thing, Geoff has a robust voice. But who knew what we might hear with all that noise. I was astonished when I got home and tested the downloads.
Phragmites stands along the road into the salisbury State Park

August 12, 2013
Phragmites Stands going into Salisbury State Park
Not sure where I might use today's video clips, but I'm glad I took the time to capture these stands along the access road into the state park.

Healthy salt marsh, Pine Island, Newbury, Massachusetts
August 11, 2013
Collecting B-Roll on the Great Marsh
When the weather is right it's best to take full advantage of it, even if there is nobody on the schedule to record. Picture above is one of the Kickstarter gift choices.
Mapping salinity on the Great Marsh with Dr gregg Moore using his EMI recorder.
August 6, 2013
Salinity Mapping with Gregg Moore
The EMI is that long orange box Gregg caries across the marsh. It records conductivity data linked to highly accurate global positioning system (GPS).  Later, his team at UNH use an algorythm they developed to convert the data into salinity and later project the data onto aerial imagery.  The whole process yields a 'salinity contour map' that is used to pinpoint critical management areas and make management strategies a lot more cost effective.
Peter Phippen mapping the Phragmites stands on the Great Marsh
July 25, 2013
Phragmites Mapping with Peter, Again.
There is nothing so memorable as being on the marsh during an extra high tide, when a full moon drowns the grassy surface under a foot and a half of salt water. But trying to record a video of a guy roaming around stands of Phragmites with a handheld GPS, recording details of new growth, old growth, stand height, shape and then spray painting a few reeds to mark the area as having been recorded in water that was above our knees is something I'm sure to remember for a long time. And did I mention the rain?
Peter Phippen mapping the Phragmites stands on the Great Marsh
July 17, 2013
Phragmites Mapping with Peter
Hot. Hot. Hot. No kidding. It was over 100º today. Why we went out onto the windless, sun-baked marsh during the mid part of the day is beyond me. But Peter seemed to see no reason to wait. It should be noted that he had rubbed 3 coats of sunscreen and bug stuff all over himself. If he fell on any sort of incline, he was going to slide for ever. As for me, well, let's just say I was a little over dressed for the heat. Hay, I had lyme last summer and I don't want a repeat of that mess. Not much to show for today's efforts if your wondering where the video is.

Thank you
to all
our generous
Kickstarter supporters:

The Echo
Charitable Foundation

Ann Bacon
Linda Comb

Lisa O'Donnell
Peter Dorsey
Claire Morse

Cary Perry
Warren Jay Eggly
Stephen H. Baird
Henry Phippen

Gregory Crockett
Rose Robinson
Philip Halle
David E Bruschi
Robert Williams
Kurt Ehrhart
Debra A Higgins
John M Bergdahl
Florence Mercer
Suzanne E. deLesdernier
Alison Clark
Jack Winninghof
Gillian P. Ongram
John & Renee Zimmerman

Jerry V Klima
Gregg Moore
Mary Parisella
Tim Simmons
Emily Skin Soothers
Mary Eggly
Leo Garza
Mary Ann Webber
Grordon & Marjorie Densmore
Christine M. Chimirello
Rick Michell
Barry Brodil
Jene Carli
Joe Ann Hart
Carol Long

Christopher Haight
Kevin Wood
Erin Collins-Moore
George Dagostino
Mike Prendergast
Jillian Fejszes
Susan Sacco
Terri Davidson
Chas Chesler
Lisa Santagate
William Collins
Donald & Amber Hovey

Michael Enright
Elena Panesis
John Whedon
Josh Kastorf
Mo Levasseur
holly mello
Debbie Tompson
Hunt Durey
Eric Gundrum
Alex Van Alen
Mercy Deleidi
Michael Hedetniemi
Nathaniel Dummer
Michael Khadavi
Nancy & Skip Cribari

Susan Lippman
Elaine A. Byrne
Madeliane Harris
Sean Sibson
Kim Natoli

Special thanks to:
Sharon Hydren
Jay Hydren

Their support and help has made the difference between success and failure.

Danger in the Reeds is being produced by Staddles Productions
with the help of Dr Gregg Moore, Peter Phippen and Geoff Walker.

We would all like to express our graditude to our many Kickstarter supporters
without whom this project would not be possible.

Rick Hydren  ~ Office: 978-948-3346, Cell: 508-954-1298
PO Box 715, Rowley MA 01969


Portrait Photography ~ Real Estate Photography