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VANISHING CORAL

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VANISHING CORAL reveals the devastating effects of warming oceans and bleaching events within the “coral triangle” of southeast Asia, and powerfully illustrates what some dedicated scientists and environmental activists are doing to save these unique coral populations. VANISHING CORAL comes at a pivotal moment, when coral reef populations are declining world-wide. Mass coral bleaching events due to elevated ocean temperatures occurred in 1998, 2002 and 2006, and coral bleaching is now expected to become an annual occurrence. The environmental costs are staggering: in 2016, one-third of the Great Barrier Reef along the eastern coast of Australia was decimated by a warm spell attributed to climate change. Coral reefs in the Florida Keys have declined by 80% over the past three decades. Scientists warn that all Caribbean coral could disappear in the next 20 years. Considered “the canary in the coal mine” of global warming, coral reefs are the most sensitive and diverse of all marine ecosystems. The film follows the work of marine biologist and coral expert Dr. Phil Dustan, who presents powerful insights and direct, visual evidence of the year-by-year dramatic decline in the coral triangle of southeast Asia, changes which are directly tied to the burning of fossil fuels, pollution and other human behaviors. Photographed aboard the 100 year-old sailing vessel “Mir”, a floating headquarters for a young, international group of environmental activists, VANISHING CORAL presents the insights and research of scientists and naturalists as they work with local Indonesian communities to protect the coral reefs. VANISHING CORAL offers an ecological alarm bell to the world, with specific suggestions on how viewers themselves can get involved and take action. Featured in the film are Abigail Alling, president of the Biosphere Foundation; marine biologist and coral expert Dr. Phil Dustan; Mark Van Thillo, captain of the research sailing vessel Mir; and Nono Suparno, a leading conservationist in Bali, Indonesia, and Nadja Low, a Singaporean filmmaker who recruits local youth to participate in her provocative music video to promote coral reef awareness in the local schools. VANISHING CORAL is Written, Produced, Directed & Photographed by Stephen Olsson A Production of Cultural & Educational Media (CEMproductions.org) Executive Producers for KCET: Kim Spencer and Juan Devis

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