Sunday, October 14, 2012

Share for Manta Ray Protections

Brazil, Ecuador, and Colombia have put forth a proposal to list manta rays at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.  If successful, governments will have to manage the trade of these charismatic animals.  Want to show your support?  Post this photo to Facebook and Twitter.  You can Pin it, too.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Micronesia Speaks Up to Save Sharks

Sharks are rapidly disappearing from the world's oceans, primarily as a result of the demand for their fins, which are valued as a soup ingredient in some cultures. Each year, up to 73 million of these animals are killed by humans. However, advocates in the Pacific would like to put a stop to this activity.

Soon, an area covering more than 2 million square miles of the western Pacific Ocean—approximately two-thirds the size of the land area of the United States—is slated to become the world's largest shark sanctuary, and the first created through a regional agreement among governments. The resolution, which was negotiated last year, also authorizes the development of a regional ban on the possession, sale, and trade of shark fins in the waters of Palau, the Marshall Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the Federated States of Micronesia, which includes Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae.

This short video, produced by the Pew Environment Group, demonstrates the need for countries to implement the agreement and recounts the successful efforts of Guam, where thousands of students and other citizens spoke out about the importance of safeguarding these important keystone species.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Cartoonist Jim Toomey on Sharks and Ocean Health

Jim Toomey, renowned ocean life cartoonist, says there's a lot we can learn from Sherman the shark.

For 15 years, Toomey has been creating the daily comic strip Sherman's Lagoon, which appears in over 150 newspapers in North America. It combines Toomey's two lifelong passions: drawing and the sea. Now, he's partnered with the Pew Environment Group to create a series of short films to help educate people about ocean life.

The inspiration for Toomey's comic strip can be traced back to a family vacation in the Bahamas where he saw a real shark swimming in a remote lagoon. The Bahamas also happens to be the site of one the world's first shark sanctuaries, a place where sharks are completely protected from fishing. Since they are at the top of the food chain, protecting sharks is an important part of maintaining a healthy marine life balance. In a new film, Toomey enlists the help of Sherman himself to illustrate just how important sharks are to ocean health.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

First Friday Films to Celebrate 2nd Anniversary with “Ocean Frontiers”

Come help us celebrate First Friday Film's 2nd anniversary and World Oceans Day!  They're celebrating by showing the film Ocean Frontiers, sponsored by the Pacific Marine Resources Institute on June 1st, 2012 at 6:30pm at the American Memorial Park Visitors Center. Following the film, audience members will also be invited into the courtyard of the Visitor’s Center for a brief reception.

Ocean Frontiers takes us on an inspiring voyage to seaports and watersheds across the country—from the busy shipping lanes of Boston Harbor to a small fishing community in the Pacific Northwest; from America’s coral reefs in the Florida Keys to the nation’s premier seafood nursery in the Mississippi Delta. Here we meet a mixture of unlikely allies, of industrial shippers and whale biologists, pig farmers and wetland ecologists, sport and commercial fishermen, reef snorkelers and many more, all of them embarking on a new course of cooperation, in defense of the seas that sustain us.  Filmed in HD, Ocean Frontiers is a documentary and outreach campaign to inspire and mobilize audiences to better care for the ocean, for the good of all.

Exhibits by DEQ Marine Monitoring Team, Pacific Marine Resources Institute, and Marianas Island Nature Alliance will be on display in the lobby area of the American Visitors Center before and after the film. After the film and courtyard reception, movie-goers are invited to join the First Friday Films crew for dinner at Spicy Thai across from the Park to discuss the films they’ve viewed and the future of our film program.

First Friday Films is a monthly film series brought to you through a partnership with the National Park Service and the Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ), with generous support from community groups and organizations such as the Pacific Marine Resources Institute, which is sponsoring this film.

For planning purposes, the movie runs about 80 minutes long. As always, First Friday Films is free and open to the public. 

Find more information about the film at Subscribe to the blog for regular updates on upcoming events.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

This month First Friday Films will be holding its 1st annual Environmental Film Festival and Picnic starting tomorrow!  See the schedule and notes below for details.  Please help us spread the word as we think this will be a great event!

FRIDAY April 27th
6:30pm Zero-Waste Picnic Kickoff* (location: AMP outdoor amphitheatre)

7:00pm FEATURE FILM: Addicted to Plastic (location: AMP outdoor amphitheatre, runtime 85 minutes)
SATURDAY April 28th
10am – 1pm CHILDREN’S FILMS (location: AMP Visitor’s Center indoor theatre)
10:00am The Lorax (animated 1972 version based on the book by Dr. Seuss, runtime 30 minutes)
10:45am The Man Who Planted Trees (runtime 30 minutes)
11:30am DisneyNature’s OCEANS (runtime 84 minutes)

2pm – 3pm MATINEE: Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific (location: AMP Visitor’s Center indoor theatre, runtime 60 minutes)

4pm – 6pm REGIONAL SHORTS (location: AMP Visitor Center’s indoor theatre)
4:00pm Fanihi: A Cultural Digest (runtime 15 minutes)
4:15pm Talakhaya: A look at the Rota Revegetation and Luta Livelihoods Project (runtime 15 minutes)
4:30pm Home for Hawksbill (runtime 30 minutes)
5:00pm Micronesia’s Changing Climate (runtime 30 minutes)
5:30pm The Voices of Laolao (runtime 15 minutes)

6:30pm Zero-Waste Picnic Kickoff *
 (location: AMP outdoor amphitheatre)

7:00pm FEATURE FILM: The Disappearing of Tuvalu 
 (location: AMP outdoor amphitheatre, runtime 75 minutes)

* Bring your dinner to the park for a Zero-waste picnic before and during the film. Movie-goers are encouraged to bring food, drinks and snacks that will create no trash to enjoy throughout the film. Bring reusable plates, utensils, drinking cups, water bottles, and cloth napkins. Package your food in Tupperware instead of plastic bags. Compost and recycling will be collected but trash bags will not be provided. Learn how to reduce trash on Saipan while enjoying the movie. (Please note: alcoholic beverages are not permitted within American Memorial Park.)

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

First Friday Films to show "Castaways" Friday

First Friday Films will be featuring another episode of BBC’s South Pacific, entitled Castaways, on April 6th, 2012 at 6:30pm at the American Memorial Park Visitor’s Center as part of their ongoing monthly environmental film series. 

Remote islands that emerge out of the ocean as a consequence of different geological events are initially barren of land-based living creatures, but not for long. This episode looks at how plants, animals and humans all eventually find their ways to even the smallest and most remote of islands by riding ocean and wind currents or taking advantage of storms. Some crafty organisms even find ways to hitchhike around by attaching themselves to other species or riding along on boats with people.  Come see another episode of this beautiful series presented in HD quality Blu-ray!  
First Friday Films is a monthly film series brought to you through a partnership with the National Park Service and the Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ), with generous support from community groups. This particular film is provided by the Bearden Foundation.
For planning purposes, the movie runs about 50 minutes long. As always, First Friday Films is free and open to the public. For more information about First Friday Films, check out their blog at or email to be added to our mailing list.
Stay tuned for more information regarding our upcoming Environmental Awareness Month Film Festival on April 27 and 28 at American Memorial Park.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

First Friday Films to show "There Once Was an Island" tomorrow

Its the first week of February, which means its time for another First Friday Film event!  Tomorrow (Friday 2/3), we will be screening the award-winning film There Once Was an Island: Te Henua e Nnoho, by New Zealand director Briar March. Showtime will be 6:30pm at the American Memorial Parks Visitors Center.
This very moving feature documentary is not to be missed. The film follows three people from Takuu atoll in the Solomon Islands as their community experiences the devastating effects of climate change firsthand. Will they decide to stay with their damaged and sinking island home or move to a new and unfamiliar land, leaving their culture and language behind forever?  You can see the trailer for the film here:

Additionally, we will have Noah Idechong,
Speaker of the House of Delegates of Palau and founding member of the Palau Conservation Society, giving a very special video presentation about the effects of climate change on Micronesia and how Palau and other Micronesian nations are looking to combat it through political means.

For planning purposes, the movie runs about 80 minutes long. As always, First Friday Films is free and open to the public.  A special thanks goes to the NMI Council for Humanities, who sponsored this film.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Talakhaya film to be show on channel 2 tonight!

A new documentary on Rota’s Talakhaya Revegetation Project will be featured tonight, Jan. 25, on Channel 2 at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

The Talakhaya Revegetation Project was implemented in 2006, where community planting efforts were greatly increased to reduce impacts of decades of deforestation by illegal burning.

The 14 minute, locally shot and produced documentary highlights the challenges they face with burning and soil erosion, the revegetation efforts of the community, and the project's successes over the last 5 years to reduce sediment from running off of the land and polluting adjacent coral reef ecosystems.   The short film will air immediately following Channel 2’s evening news programs.

Funding for the film and the Rota DLNR headed revegetation program has come from the U.S. Coral Reef Initiative.

Don't Miss it!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

First Friday Films to show "Economics of Happiness" Friday (Jan 6th)

First Friday Films will be featuring its first film of the year and you don’t want to miss it. The Economics of Happiness, a film by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Steven Gorelick, & John Page, will be showing on January 6, 2012, 6:30pm at the American Memorial Parks Visitors Center

Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of business and banking. The Economics of Happiness describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On one hand, the alliance between governments and big business continues to promote globalization and consolidation of corporate power. And on the other, people all over the world are resisting those policies. Communities are coming together to re-build more human-scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – the economics of localization.  More information about the film can be found here.

Anthony Pellegrino, owner of Saipan Aquaculture Co. Inc. and Cargo Air Bridge, will be on hand to discuss his vision for a sustainable local economy in the NMI as well as to share how he believes the community can participate in building it.  Additionally, he will be answering audience questions following the film.

For planning purposes, the movie runs about 65 minutes long. As always, First Friday Films is free and open to the public.