Mountainfilm, The Last Ocean and Travel to Antarctica

The Last Ocean Penguin

The Last Ocean Penguin

I’m grateful to live in Telluride, Colorado, a town that’s both environmentally aware and full of social consciousness. We’re far from perfect, although as I travel to other parts of the world, I realize how down-to-earth and forward-thinking most of us Telluriders are  and how that effects the way in which we live. From our desire to embrace the outdoors on a daily basis to championing a cause such as eliminating the use of plastic bags, most of us live more tuned in to our little slice of paradise—as well as the rest of the world—each and every day.

Mountainfilm, an important Telluride festival founded thirty-five years ago, is perhaps part of the reason for this awareness. Or, maybe it’s the reverse in that Mountainfilm is able to flourish in Telluride, a community that greatly values the outdoors and being a steward of your surroundings. Regardless, Mountainfilm and Telluride go hand-in-hand and whether here in T-ride or on the road, Mountainfilm is dedicated to educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter both in Telluride, Colorado and all over the planet.

There’s so much to glean from Mountainfilm that it’s hard to zero in on one particular film, talk or art exhibit. I typically do, however, and this year “The Last Ocean,” a documentary about the last most pristine body of water on earth, touched me the most. From the opening scene of a penguin scampering across the blinding-white ice to glorious views of whales, seals and other remarkable creatures frolicking in crystal-clear water, I dove into this film with great enthusiasm. As the film played on, I became increasingly heartbroken about how man is impacting this seemingly unspoiled sea, known as the Ross Sea, located in the Southern Ocean. I learned that although Antarctica, the land mass that borders the Ross Sea, is protected by international accords, the water surrounding it is not. Sadly, commercial fishing has made its mark in recent years, so much so, in fact, that this remarkable marine ecosystem is now in peril.

Soaring Through The Last Ocean

Soaring Through The Last Ocean

The Antarctic toothfish lies at the core of the ravaging of this magnificent sea, an unsightly creature commonly known as Chilean sea bass, a succulent fish that I will never again buy or order at a restaurant. (Note that some Chilean sea bass is OK as long as its provenance is not the Ross Sea. Many of these fish, however, are improperly marked sustainable, so you really have to ask.)

As is often the case, the filmmaker, New Zealand native Peter Young, spoke after the Mountainfilm screening. I was drawn in by his passion and seized the opportunity to do a Travel Fun interview with him at the closing of the festival. I encourage you to tune in below to hear Peter talk about this visually stunning film which features the awe-inspiring work of Colorado-based photographer, John Weller, what is really going on in the Ross Sea and what we can do to take notice and bring about change. Peter also chats about the supreme natural beauty of Antarctica and shares his thoughts about developing tourism in this remote part of the world. (Peter recommends you travel there by Heritage Expeditions, a New Zealand eco tourism operator, based in Christchurch, that offers trips and expeditions to the sub-Antarctic and Antarctica on a Polar Research Vessel.)

Charismatic Peter Young Inside the KOTO Studios for Travel Fun Taping

Charismatic Peter Young Inside the KOTO Studios for Travel Fun Taping

If you’re at all like me, you’ll find Peter’s passion for the Ross Sea contagious. Listen to our interview to be transported to a wondrous part of the world.

Note that “The Last Ocean” is now available on iTunes. If possible, try to catch it in a theater as well. Peter has been touring the world, attending film festivals across the globe, with his film for over a year. Next week it plays in London. Check “The Last Ocean” site for news about the film; click here to find out how you can help protect the Ross Sea and act now since there’s an important international meeting taking place in July that will determine the future of this last great ocean. Go to to make a donation to this cause. Hurry, since there’s only four days left to this campaign.

Check out my other Mountainfilm posts at Bonjour Colorado. Also, in this season of sea, sand and surf, I encourage you to increase your awareness about how you impact the marine environment as you recreate and enjoy the delights of the sea. Read my story and listen to my interview with Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols, marine biologist extraordinaire, to learn more about the sea, sea turtles and other forms of eco tourism that are helping to change the face of marine-based communities all over the world.

Another way to keep our oceans cleaner is to reduce (or even better, eliminate) the use of plastic. “Bag It,” another of my Mountainfilm discoveries, changed my life and I hope it will change yours as well. Check out Bag It and Green Travel to find out more and to listen to an interview with “Bag It” filmmaker Suzan Beraza.

On My Bucket List:  Travel to Antarctica

On My Bucket List: Travel to Antarctica

Click here to listen to my interview with Peter Young, filmmaker of “The Last Ocean.” 

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    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Maribeth Clemente. This blog sometimes accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, Web sites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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