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ABOUT THE FILM

 

Synopsis

Climate change threatens to fundamentally alter our world’s oceans. Two young educators set out on a thrilling 2-year circumnavigation of the world in a 40-foot sailboat to see these changes happening first-hand and to learn how island and coastal communities are working to repair the world around them to mitigate the effects of climate change for a more resilient future.

For generations, coastal and island peoples’ lives and identities have been tied to the seas. As the oceans transform due to climate change and globalization, so do these communities’ relationship to their surrounding waters. With rising sea levels, increasingly severe weather patterns, diminishing maritime ecosystems, and exhaustive global exploitation of dwindling resources these communities are faced with a crisis of identity where they must adapt to a changing world or disappear with their homelands beneath the waves. Many are turning to restorative design by rebuilding and repairing the natural systems surrounding their communities through Hope Spots, naturally or culturally significant places vital to the resilience of the natural world. From restoring coastal wetlands to rebuilding keystone species populations, local communities are taking the lead to rebuild the natural world on a global scale.


The Sea Change team seeks to learn how island and coastal communities are dealing with the effects of climate change in order to address those problems they are seeing at home in the South Carolina Lowcountry, and to share what they learned with the world to empower individuals and communities to take action to protect and rebuild the natural world. From restoring coastal wetlands to planting new coral reefs, local communities are partnering with international organizations like Mission Blue to create Hope Spots.  Our explorers will witness the restoration of giant clams to Fiji’s reefs, the power of citizen science in Australia’s Moreton Bay and Great Barrier Reef, the birth of the second largest area of ocean covered by a sustainable business and conservation plan in Seychelles, the partnership of the South African government and indigenous communities to protect South Africa’s iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and the mapping and protection of Cape Town’s thriving kelp forest in the False Bay Hope Spot.


Upon their return to Charleston after two years at sea, our explorer hope to share what they learned with their community to empower individuals and surrounding communities to take action to protect and rebuild the natural world through a Hope Spot of their own in coastal South Carolina. Though this is the end of this story, it is rather the beginning of a new story of shared vision, resilience, and hope for the coastal communities of South Carolina and for those who are given hope in the power of natural systems to repair our world.

 

Key Cast

 
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Prentice "Tripp" Brower

Tripp Brower is the Founder and Executive Director of the Lowcountry Maritime Society, an extended education non-profit organization dedicated to partnering with Charleston-area schools to connect children with their maritime environment through traditional wooden boatbuilding and nautical exploration.

Zach Bjur

Zach Bjur is a Wildlife Biologist and Science Educator for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, specializing in marine biology and ecology. Through the South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement (SCORE) program, Zach works with community members and biologists to restore regional oyster populations while enhancing habitat for fish, shrimp, and crabs, improving water quality of estuarine areas, and informing and educating children, industry, and the general public about the value of keystone species like oysters to marine environments.

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Director's Statement

Sea Change is a really exciting project for me not only because of it being my first really big film but also because of the impact it can have on the people making the film, the people in the film, and the people who will watch the film.


For me, this is a story about hope. We arrive late in a legacy of brilliant environmental storytelling, sharing the wonders of our world and what we risk losing (and what we are losing) due to human activity. These films, though beautiful, paint a bleak and depressingly romantic picture of a disappearing world where we are watching it all crumble before our eyes.


This film will be different.


The actions that are being taken in the next few years will define the kind of world in which young people and children will live the majority of their lives. Instead of giving people a bleak look at the future, I want to show them reasons to hope so that they can take action on a local level but on a global scale. This film is about the empowerment of ordinary individuals and communities to realize that all is not yet lost and that they can be a part of what people around the world are already doing. It is about local communities working with international organizations to rebuild and manage their natural systems to help create a more resilient and vibrant world. It is about realizing the fragility of our seemingly infinite oceans and acting to return them to healthy abundance.


I hope to tell that story through the eyes of two young travelers from Charleston, South Carolina who set out on a two-year sailing circumnavigation of the globe to better understand the human effects of climate change and how they can help mitigate the threats facing the South Carolina Lowcountry through strategies being implemented by island and coastal peoples along their route. Through their experiences and through the knowledge of the experts and ordinary people we meet along the way, we hope to create global opportunities for education and outreach about the power of the Earth's natural systems (when healthy) and how communities can help responsibly repair and manage their local ecology. 

I invite you to join us on this once-of-a-lifetime journey of learning and renewal.  Global change starts at a local level.

 
 

Production Team

Grey Gowder

Producer & Director

Kendall Sweeney

Director of Photography

Kevin McCarey

Technical Advisor

Scott Snider

Technical Advisor