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Public invited to free screening of the film ‘Chasing Coral’

By Staff | Jul 27, 2017

The “Chasing Coral” team's goal was to record bleaching events as they happened. PHOTOS BY THE OCEAN AGENCY - XL CATLIN SEAVIEW.

KIHEI – On Thursday, July 27, a free screening of the award-winning film “Chasing Coral” will be held at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (726 South Kihei Road), followed by a panel discussion and Q&A session with a team of researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography who study Maui’s coral reefs.

The film will be shown at 6 p.m., followed by the panel at 7:40 p.m.

“Chasing Coral” will resonate with Maui residents, especially those who have observed the impacts of coral bleaching locally over the past two years.

The film, which won “Best Documentary” at Sundance, was shot in Australia and Hawaii.

As shared by the film’s producers, “‘Chasing Coral’ taps into the collective will and wisdom of an ad man, a self-proclaimed coral nerd, top-notch camera designers and renowned marine biologists, as they invent the first time-lapse camera to record bleaching events as they happen.

“Unfortunately, the effort is anything but simple, and the team doggedly battles technical malfunctions and the force of nature in pursuit of their golden fleece: documenting the indisputable and tragic transformation below the waves. With its breathtaking photography, nail-biting suspense and startling emotion, Chasing Coral is a dramatic revelation that won’t have audiences sitting idle for long.”

The team from Scripps Institution of Oceanography includes Dr. Emily Kelly, Dr. Maya deVries and Maurizio Martinelli. Their laboratories at Scripps have been studying Maui’s reefs for decades.

While the three scientists are on Maui to conduct field research, they seek to share their work with the community whenever they can.

In addition to the panel, they are also presenting their work in the form of Science Cafes at Kohola Brewery in Lahaina at 6:30 p.m. over two consecutive Wednesdays, July 26 and Aug. 2.

According to Dr. Kelly, “We’re so happy to be on island for an action-packed two weeks of research on and discussion of Maui’s reefs. Being able to join in community events is a highlight of every research trip. We’re excited to share the results of our data so far in how reefs responded to the 2015-16 bleaching event as well as new projects to explore the inner workings of the coral reef environment.”

This event is being co-sponsored by Project S.E.A.-Link and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, with support from the Atherton Family Foundation.

For more information, contact Liz Foote at (808) 283-1631 or Lfoote@hawaii.rr.com.