Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Portland Eco-Film Fest

This month I was lucky enough to be able to attend one night of the Portland Eco-Film Festival and had a chance to see two brand new environmental documentaries.

The first was titled The Breach, and is about the plight of salmon and all of the obstacles that have impeded their survival. From dams that block river passageways, to rivers so polluted that salmon can't survive in them. The onslaught of diseases, sea lice, and competition for food brought from farmed salmon, and the threats from mining operation.

The European salmon population has already been gone for about 100 years. The Atlantic salmon populations of the United States are endangered and many local runs have gone extinct. Pacific salmon are doing a little bit better, but their populations are drastically lower than they were 100 years ago, and much of their native habitat is no longer available to them.

One of the last remaining salmon populations that is truly thriving is in Bristol Bay, Alaska. And now this population may soon be threatened from a huge mine. The Pebble Mine has been proposed to come in and mine out large quantities of low-grade gold and copper. Gold and copper are important metals, to be sure, but they are available in many other less pristine places. Proponents say that the mine would bring much needed jobs to the area... however, the salmon are the life-blood of the culture in Bristol Bay, providing thousands of jobs, as well as food for humans and nutrients for the ecosystem. The potential threats from the mine are just too risky for this important salmon haven. To learn more, or to take action, go to:

The second documentary was Monsoon, all about the rains of India and how they bring life as well as destruction. The film was beautiful, and showed why water is so very important, for all of us. This hits home now in Oregon, where much of the state is suffering from a drought. Most of our mountains have no snow, and water shortages and forest fires will likely be commonplace this summer. in India, it seems that children are raised being taught the importance of the rain, the life that water brings. Here, in the U.S., it seems less so. Water is something to swim in, often a nuisance when it rains. Our water comes to us in pipes, regardless of whether it rains or not, and groceries stores will have food as well. Most of us don't feel the effects of drought like someone in India would, and we therefore take water for granted. This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, and want to make sure that my children revere water for the life-bringing power that it has.

Both films were wonderful and worth watching. Have you seen either one?

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