Cape Cod is famous for its pristine beaches and estuaries, which provide pleasure and sustenance to all who live and visit there. But a dirty secret is lurking behind the beautiful views.

For decades, nutrients from human waste have been seeping out of septic systems and into the groundwater. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus now threaten a majority of Cape Cod’s estuaries, endangering critical ecosystems, the shellfish industry, and tourism-reliant economies.

In revealing portraits of the people affected by nutrient pollution, THE WATERSHED brings this mostly-invisible problem into sharp focus. With input from scientists, aquaculture experts, and local oyster farmers—including an incredible timelapse sequence of oysters filtering algae-laden water— this short documentary offers the natural filtering capacity of shellfish as a partial solution to the problem. Behind the scenes of a unique program run by the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, we discover answers that come from people who live according to nature’s principles. But despite the promises of aquaculture, the documentary questions whether it’s too much to ask Mother Nature to solve the problems of over-development.



Elise Hugus & Daniel Cojanu / 2014 / USA / 16 min.


 Festival news


2015 CFF Official Selection Laurels Black Print



Official Selection- 2015 Catalina Film Festival

Catalina Island, CA







Official Selection – Pelicam International Film Festival (2015)

Member of the Green Film Network

Tulcea, Romania





Official Selection –  International Film Festival Boston (2015)

Somerville, MA





Best Short Documentary – Roving Eye International Film Festival (2015)

Bristol, RI




SENE Laurels - Audience AwardSoutheastern New England Film, Music & Art Festival (SENE 2015)  SENE Laurels - HM

Audience Award for Best Regional Documentary Short

Honorable Mention for Best Regional Documentary Short

Providence, RI




SFIOFF laurels


Official Selection – San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival (2015)







Best Short Documentary (3rd Place) – Woods Hole Film Festival Audience Choice Award (2014)

Woods Hole, MA







Best Short Film (2nd Place) – 2014 International Green Culture Fest

Belgrade, Serbia









Official Selection – 2015 Annual Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival

Chilmark, MA






Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary – 2014 New England Film Festival