Living Ocean

Panel Discussion, Films, and Virtual Reality Experience
Saturday October 14th, 1-4pm | Cabrillo Marine Aquarium – John Olguin Auditorium

Join Heal the Bay, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, and the L.A. MPA Collaborative at SPIFF’s Living Ocean family film screening – a series of short films focused on ocean pollution, conservation and preservation. Learn about our local Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and how they are used to sustain healthy marine ecosystems. Plus, you’ll get a chance to put on some VR goggles and experience a breathtaking dive into a kelp forest without getting wet. There is a sea of marine life waiting to take you on an unforgettable ocean journey!

Tickets are limited but Free with registration.

About Heal the Bay

Founded in 1985, Heal the Bay is an environmental nonprofit organization dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds of Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy, and clean. To fulfill our mission, we use science, education, community action and advocacy. Heal the Bay is one of the most progressive environmental organizations in the region committed to long-term, sustainable change. With the support of 15,000 members and approximately 25,000 active volunteers, Heal the Bay educates the public, mobilizes community members, and protects the health of millions of California beachgoers and water users annually through its research, education, community engagement, coastal access, and advocacy programs.

About Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

With its spectacular natural setting adjacent to Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park and the Port of Los Angeles, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is uniquely suited to its leadership role in marine science education, aquaculture research and community recreation. The historic Frank Gehry-designed aquarium displays the largest collection of Southern California marine life in the world. Since 1935, CMA has provided visitors with both a natural and interactive approach to learning about the marine environment of Southern California.

About the L.A. MPA Collaborative

The L.A. MPA Collaborative formed in 2013. Composed of local municipalities, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, businesses, aquaria, and local, state, and federal government agencies involved with different aspects of MPA implementation, our collaborative is dedicated to sharing existing resources and building bridges between the Los Angeles area community and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) regarding the unique needs and goals of the MPAs in the L.A. region.

About the Panelists

Sarah Sikich, Vice President, Heal the Bay

Sarah is responsible for advancing Heal the Bay’s strategic priorities through scientific research, advocacy, and legislative campaigns. She also builds strategic partnerships with diverse stakeholders to advance Heal the Bay’s initiatives. Sarah earned her Bachelor’s in Marine and Freshwater Biology from the University of New Hampshire, and her Master’s from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB. When she’s not busy fighting for the ocean, Sarah can be found surfing it.

Mike Schaadt, Director, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
Mike Schaadt, a life-long Southern Californian, is Director of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium (CMA), which is owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles, Recreation and Parks Department with support from Friends of CMA. Mike has taught formal and informal marine science education for more than 35 years. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and a Master’s degree in Biology from CSU Long Beach. He has a keen interest in finding novel ways to motivate people to learn about and care for the oceans. His research interest is the natural history of plankton with special emphasis on deepsea forms. He has been a SCUBA diver for over 40 years and is an avid ocean swimmer spending many of his lunch hours in the waters of Cabrillo Beach.
Phyllis Grifman, USC Sea Grant

Phyllis Grifman is Associate Director of the USC Sea Grant Program. Her background in marine and environmental policy informs her work administering the NOAA Sea Grant Program at the University of Southern California. As Associate Director of the USC Sea Grant program, she manages the program’s research, outreach and education portfolios, in addition to working with stakeholders at state, local and federal levels. Phyllis received her B.A. and M.A. (Political Science) from the University of California Santa Barbara. Her major interests include marine policy development and implementation, and public education.

MPAs: A Virtual Paradise 

Directed by Alex Warham • Produced by Heal the Bay & Diatom Productions

Join Heal the Bay on a virtual reality tour

Ocean Docs

The End Game

Directed by Duane Sharman

29 mins, Canada

In a world where the effects of climate change are becoming the new norm, Dr. Ruth Gates is one of the world’s top coral scientists, engaged in the race to protect coral reefs from rising sea temperatures.

Code Yellow

Directed by Erica Jacques

12 mins, Canada

Code Yellow is a documentary telling the story of the endangered Yellow-Eyed penguin, it’s struggle for survival, and the people fighting to save it.

Captain Piers’ Whales

Directed by Carlos Virgili

20 mins, USA

More than 8 hours by boat from the shores of the Dominican Republic, in the middle of nowhere, lies the famous Silver Bank, stretching across 200 square miles. The coral heads sometimes appear at the surface and the average depth doesn’t even reach the 20 meter mark. It is easy to imagine what a deadly trap this was for those old galleons, without on-board GPS or sonar equipment. The same trap that some centuries later ensnared the freighter Polyxeni, now a rusted symbol of the whale sanctuary created by the Dominican government.

Manmade Waters

Directed by Dustin Elm

23 mins, USA

Manmade Waters follows the son of a professional fisherman as he explores the White Sea bass program alongside his father, an ardent supporter, and questions its long-term sustainability.

Hidden Life

Directed by Kat Satter & Hannah Mattner

18 mins, USA

An exploration of the controversy behind the “Rigs to Reefs” program, which allows decommissioned oil platforms to stay in the marine environment to act as artificial reefs.

Tickets are limited but Free with registration.