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Ursuline College presents award-winning documentary on plastic pollution in waterways, plus panel discussion, March 23

March 16, 2018

Mindful that 22 million pounds of plastic are discarded into the Great Lakes each year, Ursuline College is screening the award-film picturewinning documentary “Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” followed by a panel discussion about the threat of plastic pollution to the Great Lakes on Friday, March 23, 6-8:30pm. The event is free and open to the public.

The evening starts with a reception in Ursuline’s Florence O’Donnell Wasmer Gallery on the final night of the exhibition The New Masters: Women Artists of Northeast Ohio. Following that, at 6:30pm, the gathering will move to the attached Daley Hall to view the film and take in the panel discussion. Ursuline College is at 2550 Lander Road in Pepper Pike. Special Event signs will direct visitors to Wasmer Gallery and Daley Hall.

“Because our lives depend on the availability of clean water, we need to be educated about pollution threats,” said Ursuline Assistant Professor Jenise Snyder, Ph.D., convener of the film and panel discussion. “This film will open our eyes and our discussions afterward will be about solutions.”

“Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is an independent documentary film in which journalist/filmmaker Angela Sun travels to Midway Atoll, one of the most remote places on earth, to see the plastics washed there from three distant continents. Along the way, she meets scientists, researchers, influencers, and volunteers who shed light on the effects of plastic consumption and learns the problem is more insidious than we could have ever imagined.

Panelists represent several fields

Discussing the film and its implications for Great Lakes health will be the following panelists: Sherri Mason, Ph.D., chair of geology and environmental sciences, professor of chemistry, State University of New York, Fredonia; Crystal M.C. Davis, policy director, Alliance for the Great Lakes; Emily Kuzmick, M.S., coastal training program coordinator and wildlife communications specialist, Ohio Department of Natural Resources; Doreen Schreiber, business recycling specialist, Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District. 

To fund this free, public event, Dr. Snyder requested and received a “Let’s talk About Water” challenge grant from the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc., an organization sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Snyder’s research specialization is in wetland and aquatic ecology, specifically addressing the impact of anthropogenic nutrient enrichment on plant and soil communities and the cycling of nutrients within those systems.

A 2016 Rochester Institute of Technology study calculated that the U.S. and Canada together discard 22 million pounds of plastic into the waters of the Great Lakes each year.

"Plastic Paradise" has won the following awards:
2015: Best Cinematography, Global Inheritance Awards; 2014: Grand Jury Award-Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Best of Fest Award, Docuwest Film Festival, Best Medium Length Documentary, FICMA, Barcelona International Environmental Film Festival, Best Educational Film, Blue Ocean Film Festival, Best Documentary, Philadelphia Asian Film Festival; 2013: Gold Award Winner-California Film Awards, Best Environmental Film-San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, Best of Fest Award at Docuwest Film Festival, Broadcast Award-American Conservation Film Festival, and Isla Conservation Award-Catalina Film Festival.

No RSVP is required for this event.

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