The film begins with Richard Vevers, a former London advertising executive, explaining the lack of awareness with this issue. He explains that unlike many environmental issues, coral bleaching is out of sight and out of mind.
Vevers had seen the effectiveness of media like “Chasing Ice,” a documentary illustrating the rapid rate of the planet’s glacial melt. “Chasing Coral” follows Vevers and expert divers, photographers and scientists in their creation of an underwater time lapse.
In addition to the documentary, the Conservancy offered several additional resources intended to encourage attendees to join the effort.
Viewers were handed postcards pre-addressed to U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. These post cards, written by Chasing Coral’s digital community, urged legislators to explore solutions that will reduce emissions and improve our economy.
“Science shows us that climate change is the most urgent threat facing our planet today,” the postcards read.
Following the screening, there was a brief panel discussion with Wear, Kalies and the North Carolina Coastal Engagement Coordinator, Lora Eddy, on the Conservancy’s work to reduce threats to coral reefs around the globe and nature-based solutions in North Carolina.
The panelists encouraged attendees to contact lawmakers, host their own screenings of “Chasing Coral” and reduce their own carbon footprints.
“The reality is, it does take getting involved in your community,” Wear said.
Despite the loss demonstrated in the documentary, Wear remains optimistic about the reefs.
She said she was comforted for three primary reasons. First, experts are working on this issue all over the world and second, coral reefs have the ability to recover.
“The third thing that makes me optimistic is you," Wear told the audience. "You guys have all shown up and taken time out of your busy schedule to learn."
Screenings of “Chasing Coral” regularly take place throughout the United States. The film is also available on Netflix. Please see www.ChasingCoral.com for more information.