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“Coral Nerds” from Chasing Coral Netflix Original Film Visit Mount Pleasant

Bryan Lin, Staff Writer

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Under the sea, under the sea, corals are duller, down where it’s wetter, take it from the Chasing Corals production team.

Chasing Corals is a film that was presented to the Wando AP Environmental Sciences class on Oct. 12, in the Wando Performing Arts Center.

“The film captures the largest coral bleaching event that has happened within the Great Barrier Reef to date,” said Savannah Miller, the regional campaigns manager.

In fact, not only does it address the cause for the bleaching of the reef, it also tells a story of Zackery Rago, the resident “coral nerd”, and his trip to the Great Barrier Reef and his experience in capturing, on film, the effects that global warming has on the corals.

Despite the difficulties encountered, the team managed to accomplish what they had originally set out to do and they are thoroughly satisfied with the results.

“I have the greatest team in the world and we have an impact campaign that’s going along with this film and it allows me to do things like this. It allows me to share my personal story and its content with students and people around the world. And so we’re just trying to find out exactly how much movement we can start alongside the film, and if we can utilize it to promote you guys to design a better future,” Rago said.

The team expects another project soon. In fact, Rago has already made plans for a return trip to the Great Barrier Reef to study the surviving corals.

“I’m going back into the Great Barrier Reef and nobody has been into that far north region yet, nobody lives there, they’re very extremely difficult to get to. So, very remote. We’re going go up with a team of 10 scientists and we’re going to go to find the living corals that are left on these reefs that got hit very hard and take samples of their gametes and of the corals to look at what makes you different, you’ve got something special and we want to know what that is. And that’s our goal of this upcoming research that we’re gonna be doing on the GBR. So, identifying what genes already exist in nature that are beneficial as well as trying to promote new genes to come about,” Rago said.

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“Coral Nerds” from Chasing Coral Netflix Original Film Visit Mount Pleasant