I am very excited to announce that The Count: Conserving Long Island’s Horseshoe Crabs will not only be making it’s world premiere at the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival next month in New York City, it has also been honored with the 2015 Best Amateur Film Award!
It’s finally ready! After nearly a year of shooting and editing, I completed my newest short documentary – The Count: Conserving Long Island’s Horseshoe Crabs. I interviewed several researchers and citizen scientists working to collect data surveying the horseshoe crab population on Long Island – at a critical time when the Red Knot shorebird (who depend on horseshoe crab eggs for food) were recently added to the federal endangered species list. I really enjoyed working on this film – shooting in my new backyard on the Long Island Sound, meeting many wonderful people working to make sure Long Island’s waterways remain living and thriving, and filming wildlife for the first time. Watch the film below and learn more here.
I’ve started a new video project with Coastal Steward on their shellfish restoration program. Last weekend I began shooting as volunteers pulled oyster cages from deeper waters. At this stage, the oysters are almost fully grown. They need to be cleaned and sorted and will soon be planted in the harbor.
The story of horseshoe crabs on the eastern seaboard is largely intertwined with the story of migratory shorebirds. These birds stop along the beaches of the east coast during their great migrations between the arctic and South America each year. This journey is timed in sync with horseshoe crab spawning so the birds can feed on the crabs’ newly laid eggs. For my film, I shot some great footage of shorebirds at Mt. Sinai Harbor during late summer. This project is the first I’ve really shot wildlife in action and I’m always amazed to look back at my footage and see nature at work. Learn more about the film here.
This is an excerpt of an interview I shot with David Chase, a former commercial fisherman and marine sciences teacher. David also the Educational Programs Director of Coastal Steward. He is the site coordinator for the Horseshoe Crab Spawning Survey at Mt. Sinai Harbor.
Last month I spent International Coastal Cleanup Day with Coastal Steward on the Long Island Sound. Over 20 years ago Coastal Steward founders were diving in Port Jefferson Harbor and discovered that marine debris and trash were piling up. They started a group to do beach cleanups and today have expanded the organization into four additional programs, including shellfish restoration, osprey platforms, fish tagging, and marine science education. My favorite part of working on this project was the opportunity to help protect the beaches and coastal areas where I spend so much of my time.
An excerpt from an interview I shot with citizen scientist Diane SanRoman. Diane volunteers with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s horseshoe crab monitoring project. She coordinates spawning surveys at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn and others in NYC and Long Island. Learn more here.
My short doc HOPPED UPSTATE will be screening at Glimmerglass Film Days in Cooperstown, NY on Nov. 6th. I’ll be there along with Dave, the subject of the film, to talk hops production in New York State.
Leslie Von Pless, director, will present her video project following the resurrection of hop farming in New York State. Over the last decade, the country has seen an enormous shift in beer consumption from the mass-market lagers to dynamic, flavorful, homegrown brews created by small, region-specific microbreweries. New York ranks in the top three states with the fastest growing craft beer industry. It’s been called a “bright spot” in the economy and the rapid growth is continuing. In 2012, Governor Cuomo and the state legislature passed the Farm Brewery Act, which includes tax incentives and other benefits to give financial relief to burgeoning breweries. The legislation also requires that 20% of ingredients used by breweries must come from NYS farms, and that increases eventually to 90%. In response to the Farm Brewery Law, Dave Pasick is starting a hops yard on his family farm near Utica, NY. Feeling confident that Upstate New York’s craft beer scene will continue growing, he’s hoping it will create a new market for hops needed by local breweries. Dave is now onto his second growing season and is not only looking to produce a larger harvest this year, but to be a part of a budding economic movement in his rural hometown. Following the screening, Brewery Ommegang’s brewers will discuss Ommegang’s collaboration with Cornell to find the best hops for Otsego’s growing conditions. 2013, USA, 15 mins.
This is a video I created for the CNY Arts Center in Fulton, NY. In 2011, Executive Director Nancy Fox started organizing members of the community around the idea of bringing the arts to CNY, as well as the economic and cultural benefits that would come with it. Three years later, they provide fine arts, performing arts, culinary arts, and writing arts for all ages – and are continuously working to make CNY a better place. I especially enjoyed working on this project because my mom is a member of the Center and exhibits her work in the gallery.
This is an excerpt from an interview I shot with Environmental Educator Eileen Gerle. Eileen leads horseshoe crab walks at West Meadow Beach in Stony Brook, NY and is the horseshoe crab survey site coordinator there for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. Learn more here.