Emmy-nominated documentary coming to Thunder Bay sanctuary on Thursday

ALPENA — A documentary that is nominated for three Emmys will be shown at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary this week.

“Chasing Coral” will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

The doors to the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center will open at 6:20 p.m., said Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Director Katie Wolf. Before the movie, the Alpena Peace Coalition will host a program called “Visualizing Climate Change” in the Science on a Sphere area of the sanctuary.

Wolf noted the movie and climate change program are part of the 30 Days of Peace series of events throughout Alpena.

“The video series have been gaining momentum,” Wolf said.

She said the film is nominated for Outstanding Nature Documentary, Best Documentary and Outstanding Music and Sound Emmys.

Filmmaker and producer Jeff Orlowski made a previous film on the impact global warming has on the ice and glaciers in the Arctics.

Through the research for that film, he learned more about the impact on coral reefs, Wolf said.

“With coral reefs, there is an algae that lives in the coral and has a symbiotic relationship. When the temperatures heat up, they produce something the coral can no longer tolerate and so it spews out the algae and that’s its source of food,” Wolf said. “When they do that, they don’t have the protection from the sun and (ultraviolet) rays, so that’s how the reefs start dying off. It’s a really big concern.”

The documentary took three years to film and more than 500 hours under water and involved more than 400 people.

“The production quality is really stellar, so I think it will be exciting for people to see it on the large screen,” she said.

Jordan Spence can be reached at jspence@thealpenanews.com

If you go

∫ WHAT: “Chasing Coral” documentary screening

∫ WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Thursday

∫ WHERE: Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, 500 W. Fletcher St., Alpena