Oregon Public Broadcasting’s THE SILENT INVASION: AN OREGON FIELD GUIDE SPECIAL received three Emmy Awards in the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences 46th Annual Northwest Regional Emmy Award competition, including the prestigious Community Service Award. The awards were presented in Seattle this past weekend. Earlier this year, THE SILENT INVASION received the acclaimed Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for broadcast journalism. The duPont Awards are considered the broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes.

THE SILENT INVASION also won the Emmy for Topical Documentary and for Best Writer. The documentary was produced and written by Ed Jahn. Sarah Fox was associate producer, Bruce Barrow, editor, and Todd Sonflieth and Nick Fisher were photographers.

“Since it is highly unusual for a public broadcaster to receive this award, we are particularly proud of the Emmy for Community Service,” said Steve Bass, OPB president and CEO. “The impact the program and its extensive outreach is making on our community is inspiring.”

THE SILENT INVASION focuses on how invasive species are changing the environment in Oregon, but further involves people working together to protect native fish and wildlife, and to defend Oregon’s economy and quality of life from invaders through its ongoing “Stop the Invasion” campaign.

Jeff Douglas, senior vice president, station manager and executive producer of THE SILENT INVASION was awarded the Community Service Emmy on behalf of OPB.

“Since the documentary premiered last April, community partners and citizens have collaborated in a wide range of efforts against invasive species,” explained Douglas. “What allowed us to develop such an effective action campaign was the involvement of our community partners such as The Nature Conservancy, SOLV, Oregon Invasive Species Council, OSU SeaGrant and others,” he said.

The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services also helped create and produce the “GardenSmart Oregon” guide, a booklet that describes more than 25 invasive plants that should be removed from gardens along with 200 non-invasive alternatives. Over 70,000 of these booklets have been distributed free of charge. In addition, Web sites were created to help people identify invasive species and take action to stop them. And OPB set up the Oregon Invasives Hotline for people to report suspected invasives online.

Oregon Invasive Species Council Coordinator Lisa DeBruyckere noted that THE SILENT INVASION and the “Stop the Invasion” campaign were instrumental in the introduction of 14 invasive species-related pieces of legislation in the 2009 legislative session, the majority of which have passed, and the convening of a summit of legislative leaders and scientists to come up with solutions to the invasive species problems. A second summit is planned for this year.

And the work goes on. Thousands of SOLV volunteers have joined work parties to remove invasive species from stream banks and other natural areas in order to restore habitats for fish and wildlife. And OREGON FIELD GUIDE continues to produce segments on invasive species, keeping the problem in the public eye.

The entire video and more information about THE SILENT INVASION and the “Stop the Invasion” campaign is available online at opb.org/silentinvasion.

About OPB
OPB is the state’s most far-reaching and accessible media resource, providing free access to programming for children and adults designed to give voice to community, connect Oregon and its neighbors and illuminate a wider world. Every week, over 1.5 million people tune in to or log on to OPB’s Television, Radio and Internet delivered services. As the hub of operations for the state’s Emergency Broadcast and Amber Alert services, OPB serves as the backbone for the distribution of critical information to broadcasters and homes throughout Oregon. Oregon Public Broadcasting is a statewide network that includes OPB Television, an affiliate of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and OPB Radio, presenting local news coverage and the programs of National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI) and American Public Media (APM). The OPB Web site is opb.org.