Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean. This is on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulates in our marine environments. Plastic can enter the ocean as large, identifiable objects or as micro plastics – pieces less than five millimeters in length. Both pose a serious threat to marine life. Over 1 million marine animals (including mammals, fish, sharks, turtles, and birds) are killed each year due to plastic debris in the ocean (UNESCO Facts & Figures on Marine Pollution). Plastic is virtually indestructible – which helped make the material such a success from a commercial point of view. Once entering the ocean, plastic gets smaller but never will fully disappear. Plastic is with us forever. Everyday we produce plastic waste, it is impossible not to. The majority of this waste ends up in our oceans, whether you live inland or along the coast. Only 7% or less of recyclable plastics containers are recycled. In countries that don’t have the capacity to recycle, plastic ends up in the ground or in our oceans. The problem is enormous. The amount of plastic trash that flows into the oceans every year is expected to nearly triple by 2040 to 29 million metric tons. It is important to act now before there is more plastic in the ocean than fish. The story of Tess Felix’s art is a micro view of a macro problem that can only be solved by: personal responsibility in refusing single use plastic; redesigning our future; and pressuring governments to legislate corporate responsibility with regards to producing and recycling plastic.
Cynthia Abbott is an independent producer/director of short form environmental films who believes in the power of storytelling can change our collective vision of the ocean and create a new vision for the ocean’s future – protected and thriving. Abbott is an experienced cinematographer, editor, and producer and has worked in Burma and Thailand. She has spent her adult life living near the ocean and thus has been witness to its environmental demise. She is the founder of Every Second Breath Project, a short-film series that gives voice to (extra)ordinary people whose lives have been transformed by the ocean, who are doing something to heal the ocean and shares this with their community
Andrea Leland has produced and directed award-winning documentaries focusing on Caribbean cultures having won numerous awards and have screened at museums, conferences, and festivals throughout Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Residing both in Northern California and St John, USVI she has seen first-hand the urgency of creating films about the ocean crisis. Leland is a member of New Day Film and has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She is the co-founder of Every Second Breath Project, a short-film series that gives voice to (extra)ordinary people whose lives have been transformed by the ocean, who are doing something to heal the ocean and shares this with their community – thus becoming agents of change.