Documentary, 19 Minutes, 2018


Phosphorus, the most critical element in modern agriculture, has been acquired through phosphate mining in Florida for over a century, but Florida’s phosphate is quickly running out. When it is gone, the United States will be dependent on phosphate imports. 

A new source of phosphate is discovered in North Florida that could extend America’s phosphate supply. Local land owners are determined to mine it, but environmentalists vow to stop them before they can begin. The environmentalists point to Central Florida, where strip mining for phosphate has polluted water and air for decades.

A county permit is all that stands in the way of the strip mining project. The fight between mineral security and a healthy environment embroils two rural counties in North Florida, where the future of American phosphate mining will be determined by a few public servants.


Alan Toth


Alan Toth is a video journalist based in San Francisco. His short film Mining Phosphorus is a finalist for the 2018 Student Academy awards.

His short film on human-lion conflict appeared in The Atlantic Selects, a series of short films curated by The Atlantic Magazine.

His feature documentary Posh Corps chronicled the experiences of Peace Corps Volunteers in South Africa as they struggled to be helpful in a rapidly changing country. The film screened at universities around the country and at USAID headquarters in Washington D.C. It has become an unofficial guide and for Peace Corps Volunteers around the world.

Alan has produced non-fiction videos in Africa, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. He is currently a video editor at WildAid in San Francisco, working to end the illegal wildlife trade.

Alan has a Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. He has a Bachelor of Science in Multimedia from the Art Institute of Portland. He also studied media and communications at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. 

Laura Newberry

Laura is a writer from Central Florida. She worked as an environment and education reporter in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts before attending UC Berkeley. She is focused on narrative writing at the journalism school, with a special interest in environmental and human rights reporting. Her work has appeared in the Tampa Bay Times, San Francisco Chronicle, the East Bay Express, the Indianapolis Star, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Orlando Sentinel and others.