Ocean preservation to be showcased at GSU

Armond Snowden

Next Tuesday, Georgia Southern University students can expect to go under the sea at the Beneath the Waves Film festival.

In the Russell Union Theater, GSU will host the third leg of the 2014 iteration of the film festival. Past schools that have hosted include The University of South Dakota and The Florida Institute of Technology.

The Beneath the Waves, Inc. is a non-profit group, lead by graduate students that tours the country educating on a wide range of ocean-related topics.

Lissa Leege Ph. D., director of the Center of Sustainability and a co-organizer of the event, wants to expose students to an entity that affects our daily lives.

“There are films from all around the world to show both local problems and global problems, but to introduce students to what issues are beneath the waves and to end with what students can actually do,” Leege said.

There will be seven films that will show during the festival and many topics related to ocean preservation will be covered. These topics range from international fishing, fish farming and a documentary on indigenous people surviving on the coasts.

Students are encouraged to come out to learn, not only about the ocean, but to also find ways to help out around the area. Daniel Gleason Ph. D., director of the Institute for Coastal Plain Science and a festival co-organizer, believes students can have a profound impact.

“We’ll end up with a video that’ll show ocean problems, but then say, you know, what can you do? And give some suggestions about what you can do even though, you know, you’re 50 miles from the coast, living in Statesboro. What could you do to actually help in terms of ocean issues?” Gleason said.

After the screenings, there will be a panel featuring ocean experts. These experts are from around the Southeast and include the superintendent of the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, which is located down the road in Savannah. Students will have the opportunity to interact with the panelist and gain more information on the subject of ocean preservation.

The event is the first joint venture between the Center for Sustainability and the Institute for Coastal Plain Sciences.

The Beneath the Waves Ocean Film Festival will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Russell Union Theatre. Food and drinks will be available, provided attendees bring their own cup and bowl.