Three screenings of the environmental documentary, A Plastic Ocean, reached over 1100 Aquidneck Island student in newportFILM’s biggest, most inclusive educational outreach effort yet.

The collaborative effort, which included 7 different public and private Aquidneck Island schools, was made in support of the latest initiative by Clean Ocean Access to spearhead a “Ban the Bag” campaign that aims to ban the use of plastic bags on Aquidneck Island by Earth Day 2017.

newportFILM’s executive director, Terri Conners said, “Thanks to support from critical partners like 11th Hour Racing and Aquidneck Land Trust, we were thrilled to be able to reach more students than ever before with this documentary about the importance of keeping our world’s oceans healthy, recycling, and the sheer wastefulness of single-use plastics.”

Students, grades 6th through 8th, not only learned the “consequences of our global disposable lifestyle” through the film, but were also able to ask questions and were given action-oriented takeaways on how to reduce their use of single use plastic from local experts during the post-film discussions.

Dave McLaughlin, director & co-founder of Clean Ocean Access, whose mission is to create a “healthy ocean that is free of marine debris,” spoke with Newport mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano after a screening on October 25th, while Dr. Jim Chace, professor of Biology & Biomedical Sciences, Cultural, Environmental, & Global Studies at Salve Regina University, took questions from the student audience after both November 22nd screenings, along with McLaughlin.

A Plastic Ocean was also shown to the general public to a sold out 450+ audience on November 1st.

McLaughlin said, “The multiple showings of A Plastic Ocean have raised awareness of the single-use plastic issue and will increase our belief that Aquidneck Island has to be, and will be, a leader for environmental stewardship and sustainability. The partnership with newportFILM has been terrific.”

All events were supported by 11th Hour Racing, an organization who works with the sailing community to advance solutions and practices that protect and restore the health of our oceans, as well as Aquidneck Land Trust, Salve Regina University & Jane Pickens Theater.

newportFILM youth is a series of documentaries curated specifically for students (1st through 12th grades) and their families.

A Plastic Ocean will become widely available on January, 20 2017.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).