Mining Phosphorus

Documentary, 25 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 filmmaker and journalist. He is educated in journalism, multimedia production, and fine art. He worked for many years in cable television and publishing. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa from 2010 – 2012.

He directed and produced the feature documentary Posh Corps in 2013. He's worked with numerous San Francisco Bay Area media groups including KQED in San Francisco. He studied at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and 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.