Eco double feature

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 4:15pm

The following was submitted by The Nature Conservancy and the Island Free Library:

Island Free Library and The Nature Conservancy’s April Film & Soup offering will be featuring two short documentaries (30 minutes each): “Smog of the Sea” and “Straws.” Watch these short films about the plight of plastics in our oceans, learn what you can do to solve the problem, and enjoy some homemade soup. They’re being shown at the Island Free Library on Tuesday, April 30 at 6 p.m.

The film’s website,, describes the documentary this way:

“‘The Smog of the Sea’ chronicles a one-week journey through the remote waters of the Sargasso Sea. Marine scientist Marcus Eriksen invited onboard an unusual crew to help him study the sea: renowned surfers Keith and Dan Malloy, musician Jack Johnson, spearfisher Kimi Werner, and bodysurfer Mark Cunningham become citizen scientists on a mission to assess the fate of plastics in the world’s oceans.”

“After [not finding expected giant “garbage patches” in the ocean’s gyres] the crew sieves the water and sorts through their haul, [and discovers] a more disturbing reality... a fog of microplastics permeates the world’s oceans, trillions of nearly invisible plastic shards making their way up the marine food chain.”

The use of plastic straws has also been a topic of discussion on Block Island. The film “Straws” is, according to IMDb, “a documentary film that charts the history of straws and continues to present day issues that surround our current culture's obsession of single use conveniences. Used once and tossed, billions of non-recyclable plastic straws are used annually winding up in landfills, littering streets and finding their way to oceans... Actor/Director Tim Robbins narrates a humorous history of straws, and Director Linda Booker interviews marine researchers, artists, citizen activists, and business owners in California, Costa Rica, and North Carolina about how it's possible to make a sea of change, one straw at a time.”

Everyone is invited to these short, entertaining and informative films. Most importantly, these films offer hope and suggestions about how each of us can contribute to the solutions. Of course, these films are of particular interest for residents and visitors to our island home in the sea. And, don’t forget your spoon and cup/bowl so that you can share in the soup.