1. The ultimate full moon shot. Dean Potter walks a highline at Cathedral Peak as the sun sets and the moon rises. Shot from over 1 mile away with a Canon 800mm and 2X by Mikey Schaefer.

    This shot was part of a bigger project for National Geographic called The Man Who Can Fly.


    Directed by Mikey Schaefer...mikeylikesrocks.com
    Produced by Bryan Smith
    Concept by Dean Potter

    Slate - By Wil Bolton
    From the Album: Time Lapse on Hibernate Recordings
    Licensed through: Audiomoves - audiomoves.com

    # vimeo.com/56298775 Uploaded
  2. The Swinomish Tribe has lived on the coasts of the Salish Sea for thousands of years. Today, rising seas not only threaten cultural traditions, but also the economic vitality of this small island nation in the shadow of two oil refineries.

    After scientists identified sea level rise as a threat to the Lower Skagit River area, the tribe launched a climate change initiative to study the long-term impacts of climate change on their reservation, and to develop an action plan to adapt. Impacts of sea level rise on the island, including coastal erosion, habitat loss, and declining water quality, raised central concerns. The study presented the Swinomish with a difficult question: whether to plan for inches or feet of rise?

    Planning must embrace a range of possibilities. Important factors used to calculate global sea level rise, such as melt rates of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, vary widely. In addition, regional estimates must include local factors such as wind patterns and tectonic activity.

    Sea level rise projections for Puget Sound range from very low (three inches by 2050) to very high (50 inches by 2100). Rising seas threaten to inundate up to 15 percent of low-lying Swinomish Reservation lands. Approximately 160 homes (worth over $83 million), 18 businesses (worth $19 million), critical roads and docks, areas of traditional tribal shellfish harvest, and sensitive cultural sites are all vulnerable to inundation. When sea level rise combines with more frequent and intense storms, a likely scenario in a warming world, the risks of damaging floods are even higher.

    Planning for future change can thus feel like staring into a murky crystal ball. What if climate change cuts off mainland access to the Swinomish's Fidalgo Island Reservation? What if buildings relocated to higher ground in forested areas just swap the risk of flooding for increased risk of wildfire? What if sea levels change faster than scientists predict, and tribal peoples continue to bear a disproportionate burden of climate risk?

    With millions of dollars invested in low-lying properties that include a bingo hall, casino, and hotel, the Swinomish are planning for a Puget Sound that is up to four feet higher than it is today. They are considering raising or relocating buildings, engineering shorelines to better support construction, and insuring properties against financial loss. But the coastal tribe cannot relocate inland or replace culturally significant lands and practices very easily. Tribal peoples worldwide have survived and thrived by adapting to change. The Swinomish will try to continue following the sea, living in rhythm with its rise.


    # vimeo.com/48120951 Uploaded
  3. Kathleen Nisbet and her father, Dave, farm oysters in Washington's Willapa Bay. They recently shifted some of their business to Hawai'i, after ocean acidification started killing baby oysters in local hatcheries.

    Over the past 250 years, the world's oceans have absorbed about 25 percent of the carbon dioxide that humans have put into the air by burning fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide lowers the pH of oceans, turning waters more acidic. The Northwest is home to some of the most corrosive waters on earth. Washington State in particular is an ocean acidification hotspot due to coastal upwelling that delivers cold water, low in pH and rich in carbon dioxide, from the deep ocean to its coasts. In Hawai'i, where coastal upwelling does not occur, the water is warmer and acidity is increasing less rapidly.

    Ocean acidification makes it more difficult for oyster larvae and young oysters to grow and maintain their protective shells. Shells may even dissolve in increasingly acidic waters, leading to higher mortality in young oysters. Dave finds success in shipping baby oysters from Hawai'i and maturing them in Willapa Bay.

    The Nisbet's story may be unique, but they are not alone. Washington supports the most productive commercial shellfish operation on the West Coast, a multi-million dollar industry at risk. Yet the issue exceeds lost profits. Not all farmers can invest in warmer waters. Coastal tribes harvest wild shellfish for economic and subsistence uses. Healthy seas help build livelihoods in rural communities. So what next?

    Under rising emissions scenarios, ocean acidity may increase 100 to 150 percent by the end of the century. In response, farmers are using new technologies to monitor the acidity levels of hatchery waters. Young scientists are devoting their careers to understanding risk and resilience. Former Washington Governor Gregoire formed a blue ribbon panel on ocean acidification and issued an Executive Order to implement key actions. Washington State is pioneering efforts to tackle ocean acidification so that its waters continue to serve as a source of prosperity and inspiration. We need all hands on deck.


    # vimeo.com/43828686 Uploaded
  4. John O'Conner grew Idaho potatoes where they had never been grown before. Then the state bought his water rights, and land that once grew thirsty crops is now providing wind energy.

    A warmer climate is changing agricultural landscapes throughout the Pacific Northwest. Droughts are expected to occur more frequently, and in some places, more precipitation will fall as rain instead of snow. In the Columbia River Basin, spring snowpack is projected to decrease by more than half by 2100. These factors will make summer water less available in some rivers, presenting difficult choices to farmers who depend on summer stream flow for irrigation.

    The Bell Rapids Project developed 25,000 acres of irrigated farmland high above the Snake River when water was cheap and plentiful. As competition for that water grew, irrigation costs rose and crop prices fell, making irrigation at Bell Rapids harder to justify. The state purchased the project's water rights to support salmon and steelhead recovery. New wind farms pick up speed in the fallow fields as the local economy – and farmers like John O'Conner – capitalize on more profitable uses.

    Less snowmelt will impact hydropower, salmon, farmers, and cities all across the West. While the farmers of Bell Rapids successfully navigated the transition from irrigated agriculture to other uses, other farms may not be as fortunate. The winds of change are blowing in all directions, creating new opportunities and challenges for the landscapes and livelihoods of those in their path.


    # vimeo.com/36951242 Uploaded
  5. Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang have been collecting plastic debris off one beach in Northern California for over ten years. Each piece of plastic Richard and Judith pick up comes back to their house, where it gets cleaned, categorized and stored before being used for their art. The couple make sculptures, prints, jewelry and installations with the plastic they find washed up, raising a deeper concern with the problem of plastic pollution in our seas.

    To learn more about their work, visit:


    and to learn more about the Gyre:

    Camera / Edit - Eric Slatkin ericslatkin.com
    Producer - Tess Thackara

    Gyre Footage Courtesy of Macdonald Productions

    # vimeo.com/18672227 Uploaded 173K Plays 35 Comments


Natalie Costanzo

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