Thursday was the kick-off of an absolutely fantastic program that continued for four days through Sunday. The program involved the work of scientists and students of marine science and many of its disciplines.
The end product was entertaining, educational and amazing. The lectures and the visual aids in the form of films produced by both professional and amateur sources were unsurpassed in the quality of content.
The effort that goes into this educational production is immeasurable. The credentials of the lecturers and the quality of the films are unsurpassed. The volunteerism and the dedicated people who make it all happen do not get the recognition deserved.
At 3 p.m. Sunday at the Trustees Theater at 216 E. Broughton St. in Savannah, the very last of a marvelous program involving our oceans and their inhabitants was presented – “Turtle: The Incredible Journey.”
It’s about sea turtles. There are seven species and all are endangered or threatened. They are truly amazing creatures. Their story is a good place to start to attempt to understand the complexities of the marine environment and its tremendous value to us humans.
I’m sorry that I did not try to bring attention to this marvelous event earlier. I have rallied every year at the absence of our youth at this fantastic presentation that serves to encapsulate the efforts of so many into a format that is understandable to us layman. Every year it has been entertaining, educational and certainly inspiring.
Two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. We need to have a better understanding of that ecosystem, of that environment. In the long run, how well we understand it and how well we manage it will dictate the quality of our life.
Every year I ask why the student bodies of the surrounding counties do not take advantage of the very valuable source of information and training provided almost as a by-product of the Ocean Film Festival. Students will travel all the way to Atlanta, pay a fortune to go through an aquarium that has little or no teaching value and very little to do with Georgia – even though it is named after the state. But we can’t make it 15 miles to a truly magnificent four-day program about marine science and exploration right in our own back yard.
I wonder at the measurable absence of youth in the audience. At the same time, I wonder at the obvious indifference of some of the youth who were present to the subject matter being presented when their cell phones and iPods seemed to be more important.
I have suggested that perhaps a point system be devised. Give individual students, who demonstrate and interest in the subject matter, credit in some form for their attendance – perhaps accompanied by a written report on their experience.
The Ocean Film Festival, right here in our coastal community, is field trip 101 and it’s free!
Hubbard is a charter boat captain and environmental activist living in Richmond Hill. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.