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Ocean Cities:  Exploring Our Connection to the Sea   cover photo

Ocean Cities: Exploring Our Connection to the Sea 2018

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Green Planet Films, PO Box 247, Corte Madera, CA 94976-0247; 415-377-5471
Produced by Chuck Davis, Throughline Productions
Directed by Timothy Beatley and Chuck Davis
DVD , color, 88 min.

High School - General Adult
Climate Change, Global Warming

Date Entered: 10/26/2018

Reviewed by Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State University Libraries, Bowling Green, OH

An expert on sustainable cities, Professor Tim Beatley, University of Virginia, explores local responses to rising sea levels in eight cities in North America and Europe. The Baltimore National Aquarium has successfully begun to connect people with water through urban boating and the design of alleyways. In Miami Beach, where projections of sea level rise are from 2 ½ to 6 feet by 2100, the Biscayne Nature Center provides education and stresses the impact of trash and plastic on drainage, while attempting to raise streets and upgrade storm water infrastructure.

In San Francisco, response to warming currents includes a community supported fisheries program to locally source seafood from sustainable species identified by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch Program.” The Jamaica Bay breakwater oyster reef envisions protecting New York waterfronts from storm surges as a means of climate change survival.

In Rotterdam, where the aim is to make the city “climate-proof by 2025,” by making cities that float, and designing attractive, resilient public spaces that can be called on to aid in storm water management. The tour of an Amsterdam community composed of two story floating houses is fascinating, really mind-expanding.

Ocean Cities is highly recommended for general audiences interested in climate change and projected sea level rise. Though the construction and resource allocation projects are extremely expensive, the cooperative associations supporting locally sourced seafood and cooperative building of a barrier oyster reef are much less so. If sea rise happens, and many will deny that it will, concepts in this film should give us hope that we can adapt to changes in the macro-environment. Rotterdam has a long history of dealing with water. There they live with it rather than try to conquer it.