The Living Arts Institute wrote -
Oysters 2 the Rescue
An edu-tainment campaign to help oysters for the benefit of humankind.
WHY DO OYSTERS MATTER? Oysters and their reef systems, like the keystone in an arch, keeps the marine eco-system “standing.” Oyster reef habitat is the most endangered worldwide - 85% of oyster reefs are gone. Once prolific in NY Harbor, the extent of destruction from hurricane Sandy is evidence of their absence.
If we help oysters and restore reefs, we help protect coastlines, the marine food chain, and ocean water quality - one oyster filters 50 gallons of water a day!
WHY THIS CAMPAIGN NOW? The predictable future if no action is taken:
Excessive coastal storm destruction – sky-rocketing costs to consumers
Marine ecosystem decline - diminished fish populations
Excess nitrogen and algae blooms – beach closings and unhealthy estuaries
THE CALL to ACTION: Give a public face and voice to oysters worldwide
Accomplished so far - Phase 1:
1. The full stage production, Cirque se Sea: A Tale About An Oyster Who Saves the World. Premiered on Cape Cod summer of 2012 (commercial for the show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HhCGlgOsdjo)
2. Oysters 2 the Rescue teaching curriculum - science, arts/theatre, life skills (bullying), and English
3. Audio theatre recording of the teaching tale
Donations of funds & services from people & organizations passionate about this project have totalled $100,000. - actors, directors, venues, administrative, research, studio time and production costs, artists, musicians, oyster farms, and restaurants. Now, we need to build on what's been created to reach a wider audience....
Phase 2 Goals - Your dollars will:
1. Featuring iconic super hero Sammy Spat from the stage comedy and teaching tale, Cirque de Sea: A Tale About An Oyster Who Saves the World, digital products about oysters and reef habitat will be produced for families and schools.
2. Interactive website, a game, and the first webisode report from Super Filtering Hero Sammy Spat will go out on the web.
JOIN TOGETHER: HELP OYSTER SAMMY SPAT GET THE MESSAGE OUT
CHIP IN TODAY! Oysters joined together in reef systems produce amazing results. Pooling our contributions can do the same. Together, we can forward the oyster reef restoration efforts. If we save oysters, we save the oceans and we save ourselves.
The Oysters thank you!
THE BACK STORY: GENESIS of Oysters 2 the Rescue
Once upon a time, when a woman committed to community and environmental betterment learned about the plight of oysters, she started talking about them at parties. People were intrigued. “Go on,” they would say soon becoming shocked when she revealed OYSTER HABITAT WAS THE MOST ENDNAGERED worldwide.
“I never knew how important oysters are and that they are functionally extinct in the wild,” people responded…even people who had involvement with them.
She then made the decision to make conversations about oysters intentional…so she held focus groups. She learned lack of oyster literacy was widespread - it appeared that only oyster scientists knew their plight. But because so many folks were intrigued with oyster conversation, the woman made another decision – to write a play, a comedy to shine a spotlight (pun intended) on the keystone crustacean. She called it Cirque de Sea: A Tale About an Oyster Who Saves the World. Young and old alike loved learning about oysters and marine ecology in such an enjoyable way. One audience member said, “I would have had to take a class to learn what I did in 1.5 hours.”
Then, the woman asked the BIG question, “Wouldn’t it be a good thing for everyone to know about a species that is so indispensible to our wellbeing and the ocean...and that, like the bees on land, perform such critical functions? Wouldn’t it be good to help oysters so they can help us?”
And this, friends, is how The World Oyster Initiative (WOI) came to be.
Now, the woman is working with the World Oyster Society and Creative Response to Conflict (Oysters 2 the Rescue is their first environmental non-violence program) to advance oyster awareness worldwide. In collaboration with the World Oyster Society and a host of oyster researchers, aficionados, purveyor, farmers, stewards, and political leaders, she is working to bring the next International Oyster Symposium to Cape Cod in 2015. The Symposium will be the capstone of the three year World Oyster Initiative lead by The Living Arts Institute (LAI), a 501(c)3 based on Cape Cod, MA. LAI’s mission is community and environmental betterment through multi-media/digital and performing arts. Now in the World Oyster Initiative's second year, Oysters 2 the Rescue is the next goal in the initiative - utilizing the media and Sammy Spat's story to create oyster literacy for our collective benefit.