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Return of Harbor Porpoises to SF Bay
Running Time: 9 minutes
Venue: Playhouse Theater [40 Main Street, Tiburon]
Cast: Jonathan Stern, Bill Keener, Cara Gallager, Izzy Szczepaniak
Showtime: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 08:00 PM
Director: Jim Sugar
Description: By the end of World War II in 1945, San Francisco Bay had become a dead body of water. Stringing a large net across the Bay to trap Japanese and German submarines also prevented large predators such as porpoises, dolphins, whales, and sharks from entering or leaving the Bay. The dumping of sewage and the tailings from mines in the Sierras killed much of the remaining sea life such as anchovies and herring that had thrived in the Bay for thousands of years.
But all this began to change in 1961 with the formation of the Save the Bay Foundation. By reducing the pollutants that fouled the water and destroyed wildlife, one of the primary unexpected consequences was that cleaning the water promoted the return of predators to San Francisco Bay.
Five years ago Professor Jonathan Stern, a marine biologist at San Francisco State University, discovered—to his amazement—that harbor porpoises were once again swimming under the Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco Bay in large numbers. Two years ago, Dr. Stern and I agreed to join forces and produce a film that would tell the good news story about the environment. To date, we have shot about 15 hours of video.
The main point of our film—the return of harbor porpoises to San Francisco Bay—is to tell this good news story. The water is cleaner and safer for people for swimming and for visiting the beaches. Seeing the wildlife from the safe vantage point of the railings of the Golden Gate Bridge provides a remarkable opportunity to participate in citizen science. Observers of harbor porpoises can send in this information and photos to a website and participate in this bigger project.
Attending: Jim Sugar [director]
Screening with: Marin Filmmakers
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