The Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust is joining forces with Green Long Beach to raise awareness of the effects of climate change worldwide and right in our backyard. On September 21 from 10:00AM to 2:00PM, in solidarity with the People’s Climate March to the Climate Crisis Summit in NYC, The Art Theatre will be screening Watershed, a critically acclaimed documentary about the once-extraordinary Colorado River and what we can do to restore it.
As part of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust’s second annual Sustainable Sunday Cinema event, Watershed will also explore the possibility of a “new water ethic for the New West,” according to the film description, compelling viewers to make a much-needed change in water usage during a time of severe drought.
Tiffany Chen, lead organizer for Green Long Beach since 2009 and board member of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust for nearly 3 years, spoke passionately about connecting community members from all parts of Long Beach for the sake of preserving and understanding our wetlands. “It’s a thriving ecological system that a lot of people don’t understand. We want to pull people from downtown Long Beach, West Long Beach, North Long Beach, all of Long Beach and connect them with the wetlands to help them understand how vital they to our community here,” Chen said.
Chen’s strategy is to encourage all levels of environmentalists to convene in one place, from the most well-known advocates and scientific experts to those just starting to consider where their most-used resources come from.
Chen explained, “It’s easier to rally behind an issue or to frame a question like, ‘Where does our water come from?’ or ‘How do we foster food security in our city?’, if we bring it to a mutual table or setting like a movie screening. People can meet different people in the field...wetlands advocates, local food movement advocates, urban environmentalists, people can meet people from different environmental sectors.”
Connections are key in helping residents grow accustomed to appreciating resources that are too often taken for granted and for starting to change that attitude. Chen said, “There are a lot of passionate people in Long Beach that aren't necessarily connected to the right resources. If we can put faces to these people like, ‘Hey look, here's the person that organizes the beach cleanup every weekend,’ then we’ve taken a step in the right direction.”
Alongside Watershed, Time to Grow, a 15-minute short produced and shot by Long Beach local Dan Corson, will highlight the Long Beach local foods movement. Chen described the film as just one local answer to improving sustainability in Long Beach. Created in collaboration with CSULB Anthropology students, Time to Grow takes viewers on an educational journey through what exactly local food production looks like in an urban city like Long Beach.
Chen said, “You know how they say, ‘think global, act local’? Well this is exactly what we want to highlight. Any action, no matter how small or large—is an action that can have a bigger impact than any of us can imagine. Especially if it's a collective one. And that can swing either way... i mean look how we got ourselves into the global warming, pollution issues, and water scarcity problems in the first place. Why not make an action for positive change?”
Green Drinks LB, a community organization that hosts monthly gatherings for “green-minded” people in the Long Beach area, will be providing free mimosas before the screening. SoCal Harvest will be donating three gallons of freshly squeezed orange juice for the drinks and Long Beach Fresh will be tabling. Non-alcoholic beverages will also be available.
After the screening, all participants will be invited to join in a discussion moderated by Green Long Beach at a location that is still to be decided. Show up at 10:00AM for a mixer and mimosas, Watershed will be shown at 11:00AM, at 12:15PM Time to Grow starts and at 1:00PM the lunch and discussion will commence.
Sustainable Sunday Cinema is also partnering with the Friends of Colorado Lagoon for this year's Coastal Cleanup Day on September 20 at the Colorado Lagoon from 9:00AM to 12:00PM. Anyone who participates in the cleanup will receive a $2 off coupon for the movie screening if they buy their ticket at the door. Tickets are $12 at the door so with the coupon the price goes down to $10, the original presale price. The Friends of Colorado Lagoon will also be present at the screening.