Port Orford, OR, a small fishing community on the southern Oregon coast, is where I called home for five years while I conducted my graduate work and then continued contract work with the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team. This community has worked on ocean stewardship for over a decade. In 2009, it was the first community along the Oregon coast to put forward a fishermen-driven proposal for a marine reserve; an area closed to all extractive activities, including commercial fishing. The Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve and marine protected areas are now in place – a huge step forward for sustainable resource management, and for the resource-based economy of the area. And now, to add to Port Orford’s growing legacy of ocean stewardship, their story is featured in a new full-length film by Green Fire Productions, “Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship“.
Ocean Frontiers is premiering across the nation—to inspire and mobilize communities from coast to coast to better manage and conserve America’s vital ocean resources. The film features inspiring stories from the frontiers of ocean conservation.
This film takes you on a journey from coast to coast, from the busy shipping lanes of Boston Harbor Massachusetts to a quiet fishing town on the southern Oregon coast; from the fields of agricultural Mississippi to the coral reefs of the Florida Keys. It shares the story of partnerships, collaboration, and creativity to meet one goal: a healthy, sustainable ocean ecosystem.
The world premier of “Ocean Frontiers” took place this February in Port Orford. Special guests Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and First Lady Cylvia Hayes attended and spoke during the premiere. Kitzhaber and Hayes also met with local fisherman of the Port Orford Ocean Resource Team, toured the new marine science facility, which is now under construction, and toured the recently designated Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve.
There are other areas across the nation taking proactive steps for conservation. Here are some snippets from the film:
MASSACHUSETTS BAY & STELLWAGEN BANK NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY
In the bustling shipping lanes of Boston Harbor, what was once a recurring collision of giant vessels and endangered whales, has become a model for conservation in a crowded sea. Marine biologists, shipping executives and an energy company have come together, taking cues from the great whales’ travelways, and finding room for both commerce and wildlife.
The coral reefs of the Florida Keys are America’s most popular marine destination, home of myriad sea creatures, magnet of sport fishers, divers and sightseers. Lately they are also America’s showcase of marine conservation zoning, providing refuge, recreation, and livelihoods, through a collaborative plan developed by all concerned.
GULF OF MEXICO AND IOWA
The Mississippi Delta—terminus of America’s mightiest river, nursery of one of the nation’s premier fisheries, and lately an unfortunate poster child for ecological disaster—is getting help from an unlikely team of people, in an unlikely place. More than a thousand miles upstream, in the cornfields of Iowa, farmers are changing their ways to send cleaner water and new life to the nation’s beleaguered Delta.
PORT ORFORD, OREGON
In a small fishing community on the coast of Oregon, the people of Port Orford are taking control of their destiny, by conducting their own brand of conservation. They are using local science to inform their fishery management, and protecting upstream forests to save their salmon—a farsighted perspective that considers both their links to the land and the future of their children.
Our work through the West Coast Governors Alliance supports this same cause; to better manage and conserve America’s vital ocean resources. Green Fire Productions brought it to life powerfully through film. I urge you to attend an Ocean Frontiers screening near you, and learn what you can do to take better care of the ocean that takes care of us.
Upcoming West coast screenings include:
Seattle, WA – April 16: Premiere with a panel discussion to follow including Caroline Gibson, Marine Program Manager Northwest Straits Commission; Kit Rawson, Conservation Science Program Manager, Tulalip Tribes; Scott Brewer, Executive Director, Hood Canal Coordinating Council; and Martha Kongsgaard, Chair, Puget Sound Partnership.
Coos Bay, OR – April 23: Premiere with Special Guest Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes at the Southwestern Oregon Community College Hales Center for the Performing Art.
Monterey, CA – September 24-30: Blue Oceans film festival (http://www.blueoceanfilmfestival.org/)
Screening times and locations here: http://ocean-frontiers.org/find-a-screening/
If you are interested in hosting your own screening of Ocean Frontiers, click here to fill out the form: www.ocean-frontiers.org/host-a-screening .