In 1971 the Environmental Protection Agency, a new government bureau at the time, embarked on a photo documentary project that would attempt to show Americans their diverse and changing country from a variety of perspectives.
DOCUMERICA would serve as a visual baseline and record of the environment during a period of rising concern about pollution and the adverse effects of modern life; the agency’s purpose was/ is to protect human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress.
By ’74 some 80,000 images by more than 110 photographers showed how Americans interacted with the environment. It might have been more than the organizers knew what to do with, because, as curbed.com reports, the results were never fully promoted or assembled for any grander purpose; the negatives currently sit in the National Archives (this link leads to a Dallas-specific search).
Captions are taken directly from the project, except parenthetical.
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lake Highlands.