Posted on December 20, 2016

Essex County Greenbelt 

For Immediate release: December 20, 2016


Andrew Mahoney

Essex County Greenbelt Association

978.768.7241 x22

Greenbelt Presents “State of Our Oceans” Lecture/Film Series

Our oceans are in a critically damaged state, and their survival is dependent on understanding the challenges they face, and the determination to protect them for future generations. 

“Human activity, particularly over the last few decades, has finally pushed oceans to their limits,” according to a recent World Wildlife Fund Report, Threats to Oceans and Coasts. “Overfished, polluted, taken for granted, carelessly abused and destroyed…the largest living space on Earth is fast deteriorating.”

Beginning in January, Greenbelt, Essex County’s Land Trust will present a free five-part lecture and film series that dives deep into the current state of our oceans. The public is welcome to explore, along with experts in the field, the importance of different ocean ecosystems, and steps that can be taken to repair the damage, and ensure the protection and health of the oceans for future generations.

The first installment of the 2016 Greenbelt “State of Our Oceans” lecture/film series will take place on Thursday January 12th, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Robert Buchsbaum, Regional Scientist for Mass Audubon, will speak on “The Importance of Salt Marsh Ecosystems.” Learn more about the problems today’s salt marsh ecosystems face, the negative effects of human activities, andwhyitis imperative to conserve and protect these critical buffers to assure the safety of our coastlines and the organisms that live within the habitat.

On Thursday February 2nd, Greenbelt will host a screening of the documentary Sea the Truth from 2:00-4:00 p.m. This film outlines the issues of overfishing and its repercussions on the ocean ecosystems and society at large, with a specific emphasis on the North Atlantic Ocean.

Continuing with the development of this series, on Wednesday February 22nd, Dr. Joe Buttner of Salem State University will present his work on “Aquaculture and its Growing Importance” from 2:00-3:30 pm. The presentation will emphasize the growing importance of aquaculture and how it can help minimize the problems associated with overfishing.

The critically acclaimed documentary A Sea Change will be shown on Thursday March 23rd, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Explore the topics of rising sea temperatures and its effects, human involvement and negative activities, and what can be done to prevent additional damage. This film will take a broader look at the ocean network as a whole.

Dave Rimmer, Director of Land Stewardship at Greenbelt, will close out the series with a presentation on “Protecting the Piping Plovers” on Thursday, April 27th from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Rimmer will provide a tutorial on the tiny bird, their habitat, and what can be done to help protect them from natural and human dangers.

Greenbelt’s State of Our Oceans Lecture and Film Series is designed for community members of all knowledge-levels, and will be informative, thought-provoking, and inspiring.

All events will take place at the Cox Reservation, 82 Eastern Avenue (Rt. 133), in Essex. For more information contact Greenbelt at or 978-768-7241.

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About Greenbelt:

Since 1961, Greenbelt has been working with local individuals, families, farmers and communities to protect the farmland, wildlife habitat and scenic vistas of Essex County. Greenbelt has protected more than 16,000 acres of local land and has had a direct role in 75% of all land conserved in the last decade.  For more information about Greenbelt programs, visit or call 978-768-7241.

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