Sustainability Film and discussion announced

HOUGHTON — The 12th Annual Sustainability Film & Facilitated Discussion Series begins this week, said Joan Schumaker Chadde Monday. Chadde is the director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach and director of the Family Engineering Program.

The public is invited to participate in a free online facilitated discussion from 7-8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 27, led by Casey Huckins, Professor, MTU Department of Biological Sciences, Great Lakes Research Center

The series will begin with a discussion of Chasing Coral, a 2017 film release, that examines how coral is vanishing around the world at an alarming rate. Between 2014-17, said Chadde.

Chasing Coral captured the most severe bleaching event in recorded history. During these years, 75% of corals suffered or died from heat stress brought on by climate change. It is predicted that if nothing changes, by 2034 there will be severe bleaching events every year, and by the end of the century every reef in the world will bleach.

According to a study published by climate.gov, the disappearance of coral, as well as its bleaching, has enormous consequences if not addressed.

Across the tropics, what rainforests are to the land, coral reefs are to the ocean, states the climate.gov study. They pack a tremendous diversity of plants and animals into a relatively small area. In addition to their recreational and cultural value, they provide a wide range of free “ecosystem services”: food for up to a billion people around the world, habitat for economically valuable fish species, sand for beaches, and protection from storms and waves.

From global warming to pollution and overfishing, reefs face a collection of serious threats. Writing in the American Meteorological Society’s State of the Climate in 2017, scientists documented an unprecedented three-year-long, global ocean heat wave that stressed corals, causing them to bleach and die off at tropical reefs worldwide. The film is 88 minutes and is available on YouTube.

The Sustainability Film & Facilitated Discussion Series is cosponsored by: Friends of the Land of Keweenaw, Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, College of Forest Resources & Environmental Science, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, MTU Sustainability Demonstration House, Keweenaw Land Trust, and Dept. of Social Sciences Sustainability Sciences Program

For more information, contact Joan Chadde via email at jchadde@mtu.edu.

Chadde said a $5 suggested donation per film is appreciated, to help to support the Sustainability Film Series. Anyone interested in attending via Zoom can request a link from Chadde.


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