Film sequel Ocean Frontiers II continues work to inspire action on marine spatial planning

The Skimmer on Marine Ecosystems and Management

Green Fire Productions' Ocean Frontiers film series (http://ocean-frontiers.org) presents stories of ocean stakeholders working together to benefit marine ecosystems and economies, namely through marine spatial planning. The second film in the series, Ocean Frontiers II: A New England Story for Sustaining the Sea, released in September 2013, features insights on the US's first statewide ocean plan - the Ocean Special Area Management Plan for Rhode Island.

MEAM interviewed the films' producer Karen Anspacher-Meyer in our February-March 2013 issue ("Communications and marine spatial planning", MEAM 6:4). She spoke about the importance of stories in relating MSP to audiences. We caught up with her again to see how audiences are responding to the second film.

MEAM: What sort of response have you received to the new film?

Karen Anspacher-Meyer: We've had a tremendous response to Ocean Frontiers II. Boating groups, shellfish associations, the US Coast Guard and Navy, renewable energy companies, recreational fishing organizations, professors and teachers, representatives on the regional ocean planning bodies in the US, and several others are showing the film to promote discussion on marine planning. Through this outreach, they are helping to build awareness and support for marine planning.

MEAM: Can you see if this film is changing stakeholder behavior?

Anspacher-Meyer: Ocean Frontiers II has the potential to influence people who currently reject the notion of marine planning. At a recent meeting held to determine whether a region in the US was going to move ahead with forming a regional planning body, attendees had to decide whether they wanted to be part of such a planning body. Many voiced skepticism ahead of time. A screening of Ocean Frontiers II prior to the meeting provided an "a-ha" moment that appears to have changed their perception. The discussion turned to the value of collaboration and the need for marine planning. Key people in the film were on hand to respond directly to questions with the result being strong interest in the establishment of a regional planning body.

According to surveys completed by people after they watch one of our Ocean Frontiers films, more than 90% are inclined to participate in or support marine planning.

For more information:

Karen Anspacher-Meyer, Green Fire Productions, US. Email: karen [at] greenfireproductions.org

Note: Ocean Frontiers is available in multiple lengths (80 minutes, 60 minutes, 22 minutes), as well as with Spanish subtitles and related guidance for educators. Ocean Frontiers II is available at a length of 45 minutes. Each film is free of charge to all who would like to use it in their work. A screening toolkit provides promotion templates and a step-by-step screening guide. Visit the website http://ocean-frontiers.org to learn more. In the US, Ocean Frontiers will be broadcast on the national PBS television network starting in April - broadcast dates will be on the Ocean Frontiers website.

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