In 1971, when the Environmental Protection Agency was in its early days, someone at the agency got the idea to send nearly 100 freelance photographers around America to document the country. These weren’t postcard shots, but pictures of street corners, freight yards, parking lots, alleyways — wherever people were working and living. It was called Documerica, and it went on for seven years.
A young photographer, Michael Philip Manheim, joined the Documerica project in 1973. His assignment was to take a good look at the noise pollution in Boston from Logan International Airport.
Forty years later, he went back to East Boston to take photos for the EPA’s next generation of the project, State of the Environment. Manheim joins Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon to talk about the project then, and now.
Photo Credit: Environmental Protection Agency