Gray’s Reef Ocean Film Festival Kicks Off This Weekend, Adds 3D Movies to the Mix
Living as we do in such close proximity to the beach, it’s far too easy for many in the Savannah area to take the ocean — and the beauty, inspiration and yes, even the prosperity which it provides — for granted.
Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary is our very own friendly neighborhood branch of the federal government’s network of protected underwater parks, which range from the coast of Washington state to the Florida Keys.
Gray’s Reef, which can be found 16 miles off Sapelo Island, comprises one of the largest near-shore sandstone reefs in the southeastern U.S. The sanctuary protects 22 square miles of open ocean, and has helped to make this “live bottom habitat” one of the most popular recreational and educational attractions on the Georgia coast.
This week marks the 13th year sanctuary staff have presented its namesake ocean-themed film festival, and this family-oriented event has made a name for itself as a spellbinding opportunity for big-screen environmental infotainment that captivates viewers of all ages.
“The primary focus of the film fest is raising awareness of what our sanctuary is all about,” says Gray’s Reef superintendent Sarah Fangman.
“It’s our biggest event of the year, and we do this to remind our community that Gray’s Reef is an underappreciated treasure on our coast. However, we also want people to learn about all sorts of ocean issues facing the world as a whole, so they can make well informed, ‘ocean smart’ choices in their own lives.”
Savannah is not unique in enjoying such an event.
Fangman says ocean-themed film festivals have become an established way of raising awareness — and much-needed operating funds — for marine sanctuaries around the world.