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‘Mission Blue’ teaches sustainability

‘Mission Blue’ teaches sustainability

One professor is bringing her love of the ocean to Florida Gulf Coast Univeristy. On Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m., the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education will be screening the documentary Mission Blue in Edwards 112. Mission Blue is about biologist Sylvia Earle’s discoveries of the fragile state of ocean systems.

As global warming, ocean acidification, rising sea levels and shifting weather patterns stress the natural systems above and below the ocean’s surface, the populations of many commercially exploited species of fish have declined by 90 percent. About half of the coral reefs in the world have disappeared or experienced serous damage and hundreds of coastal “dead zones” have developed. Destructive deep-sea mining activities are becoming more prevalent.

Professor Patricia Fay holds these issues close to her heart.

“The ocean has always been a source of great joy for me,” Fay said. “Every fall I teach my Ceramics 1 class, and our first major project is wrapped around the fantastic forms of the coral reef. In the process of setting up the assignment this fall, I discovered that one of my environmental heroes, Sylvia Earle, has launched a major campaign that insists that we rethink our destructive relationship with the world’s oceans,” Fay said.

“What started as an effort to show Earle’s film to my class became, with the help of my colleagues in the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education, an opportunity to bring the film to the campus community. I hope you can come, and if not, please find a way to see this film. In a very real sense, our lives depend on it,” Fay said.

The film is available for live streaming on Netflix, but the screening for Mission Blue will be free to students on campus. Refreshments and discussion will follow the full-length film. For additional information please visit the Mission Blue website at www.mission-blue.org, and for any further questions about the event feel free to contact CESE Senior Faculty Associates Patricia Fay  at pfay@fgcu.edu and Maria Roca  at mroca@fgcu.edu.

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