Conservation Law Foundation To Present Rhode Island Premiere Of Ocean Frontiers, New Film About Stewardship Of Ocean Resources

Ben Carmichael

Free Screening to Take Place Wednesday, April 4 at URI Graduate School of Oceanography, Narragansett Bay Campus

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse to Deliver Opening Remarks

Karen Wood, CLF, kwood@clf.org or (617) 850-1722
Winston Vaughan, CLF, wvaughan@clf.org or (617) 850-1750
Karen Meyer, Green Fire Productions, karen@greenfireproductions.org
Or 503-709-5467, www.ocean-frontiers.org for film trailer and press images

PROVIDENCE, RI  March 29, 2012 – Ocean enthusiasts are invited to join Rhode Island’s foremost ocean experts and leading stakeholders at the Rhode Island premiere of Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship, a new documentary from Karen Meyer of Green Fire Productions. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Wednesday, April 4 from 6:30-9:00 PM at the Corless Auditorium, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, at the Narragansett Bay Campus. The evening will begin with a reception at 6:30 PM. A discussion with the filmmaker and a panel of ocean experts will follow the screening.

The event is hosted by Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), a leader in ocean conservation, in conjunction with: University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, The Environmental Council of Rhode Island (ECRI), Roger Williams School of Law, EA Engineering, The Rhode Island Chapter of the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, Save the Bay, Deepwater Wind, Clean Water Action of Rhode Island, Environment Rhode Island and Sailors for the Sea.

Ocean Frontiers is an inspiring voyage to seaports and watersheds across the country to meet industrial shippers and whale biologists, pig farmers and wetland ecologists, commercial and sport fishermen and reef snorkelers—all of them embarking on a new course of cooperation to sustain the sea and our coastal and ocean economies.

“Our oceans are sounding alarms we need to heed, to protect our marine industries and our natural environment and the economy it supports,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. “I hope this film helps build awareness and encourages the sensible cooperation that Rhode Island has demonstrated to harmonize different uses of our Bay and oceans.” Senator Whitehouse will deliver the opening remarks at the event and will serve as honorary co-host with Senator Jack Reed, Congressman James Langevin and Congressman David Cicilline.

“This film provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the contributions of the many stakeholders that make Rhode Island a leader in ocean research and preservation, and also to raise awareness about the significant challenges we face in these areas,” said Representative Langevin. “I want to especially recognize Senator Whitehouse for his leadership on ocean conservation issues and look forward to working with him and the organizations involved in this screening to ensure we preserve the environmental and economic value of our oceans.”

A panel discussion will follow the screening focusing on how Rhode Island has become a national leader in these new approaches through the development of the Rhode Island Special Area Management Plan (SAMP), a comprehensive plan for the future of Rhode Island’s ocean, and continues to lead through the development of a regional plan for New England’s waters. The panelists include: Tricia K. Jedele, Vice President and Director of CLF Rhode Island; Rick Bellavance, Charter Boat Captain; William J. Coffey, a maritime transportation advisor, and Adjunct Professor at Roger Williams University School of Law; Grover Fugate, Executive Director, Coastal Resources Management Council; Karen Meyer, the filmmaker, Greenfire Productions; and the panel moderator, Susan Farady, Director of the Marine Affairs Institute and the Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program at Roger Williams University.

Ocean Frontiers illustrates how holistic and collaborative ocean governance can benefit both our economy and our environment. From Boston Harbor, the first port to redirect shipping lanes to protect endangered whales; to Iowa, where farmers are changing their agricultural practices to diminish their impact on the Gulf of Mexico’s dying sea; to both Oregon, and the Florida Keys, where fishermen are protecting their marine environment to increase the health of the very habitats that their businesses depend on, Ocean Frontiers is a tribute to and a tool for a new era in ocean stewardship.

Green Fire Productions Executive Director and producer of Ocean Frontiers, Karen Meyer stated, “We are especially excited to present Ocean Frontiers in the Ocean State, where policymakers, ocean stakeholders and the public are embracing unique models of ocean stewardship and showing the rest of the country how it’s done. This documentary clearly conveys that win-win solutions are possible when industry, scientists, fishermen, conservationists, and government groups work together.”

“If we are going to be more active and responsible stewards of our ocean, we will need robust public involvement, access to good scientific data, and better coordination between the many government agencies that manage our use of the ocean,” said Tricia K. Jedele, Vice President and Director of CLF Rhode Island. “As the Ocean State, Rhode Islanders have a deep connection to our ocean. We have acted on that connection by pioneering new approaches to managing this resource that means so much to our economy and our way of life,” she said.

“Rhode Island’s fishing industry depends on healthy oceans,” said Rick Bellavance, Owner and Operator of Priority Fishing Charters based in Point Judith Rhode Island. “As our oceans become more crowded, we need fishermen, scientists and other ocean users to work together to ensure that our ocean and our communities survive and thrive together. If it gives ocean users and scientists a meaningful role in shaping our ocean future, the National Ocean Policy could be a big step in the right direction.”
A reception will precede the screening and will feature information tables from participating organizations and opportunities to learn more about what Rhode Islanders can do to help support improved management of their ocean and coast. Online registration is requested: tinyurl.com/rsvpfilm

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Focus Areas

Oceans

Places

Rhode Island