On Friday, January 25th, the Mountain View High School Environmental Club held its third annual Save our Seas (S.O.S) film festival in the MVHS theater from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Around 50 people attended the presentation, which featured three films and two guest speakers. The films and speakers focused on issues that affect the health of oceans and marine wildlife, and the steps that can be taken to improve the current situation.
The first film presented was Ocean Frontiers, which described the varying oceanic problems the United States is facing. From the safety of whales that reside in shipping lanes of the Boston Harbor to conserving both the environmental and economic health of the Florida Keys, Ocean Frontiers not only brought attention to these problems but also highlighted the ways people throughout the country have begun to solve them.
After Ocean Frontiers club president, senior Abby Cunniff, and vice president, junior Ray Uyeda, introduced themselves and then the first guest speaker, Laura Kasa. Kasa is the Executive Director of Save our Shores, a non-profit marine conservation organization established in Santa Cruz in 1978. The organization set up the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and now leads shore clean-ups throughout the year. In Kasa’s presentation, she focused on the fact that more than 78% of what Save Our Shores collects during beach clean ups has plastic in it.
“Styrofoam and plastic bags are the most detrimental to our environment,” Kasa said, encouraging the community to get involved in raising awareness and volunteering.
The next film presented was Bag It, which followed a man on his journey to discovering the effects of plastic bags and the extent of our plastic society. The film asserts that we use 800 pounds of plastic every year, per person. Bag It commends cities all over the world who have either placed fees on plastic bags or even prohibited usage of them.
After Bag It, Steve Attinger,the Mountain View sustainability coordinator, spoke about community involvement and the current improvements Mountain View is embodying to be promote green living. Attinger stressed the importance of the environmental problems that we are facing, such as limited resources and pollution.
“The bottom line is we are living beyond the planet’s ability to sustain the population, which is creating a greater and greater problem,” Attinger said.
He advised students and community members to look into the many job opportunities in the sustainability community, but mainly focused on the importance of participation.
“Regardless of your age, pick something that interests you, and get involved. Your actions matter.” Attinger concluded.
After a short intermission, the final film, The Island President, was presented. This film focused on the political and environmental issues of the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. As worldwide sea levels rise, this nation of around 1,190 islands is threatened with being completely eroded away. Throughout the movie, we follow the then president, Mohamed Nasheed, on his journey to secure the safety of his nation by pushing for carbon neutrality.
“It was really informative about the issues that small countries, that we may not know about, [or how to]deal with. It showed a different kind of environmental issue that we have to get used to dealing with.” MVHS sophomore, Kyle Knochenhauer said.
At the end of the presentation Mary Heeney, a club coordinator, commented on the success of the film festival. “This is our third annual, so we are continuing to grow and learn, and it’s hard. I would like to see more participation but I’m just glad that people come out and that there’s a lot of good energy. I’m very positive for the future.”