Documentaries to Inspire and Educate

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Happy Earth Day!

This year for Earth Day, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is asking you to pledge to learn more about the threats to ocean health. The world is, after all, a Blue Planet.

One way you can do this is by watching documentary films that educate you about critical ocean issues and inspire you to take action. We have selected a few of our favorites below that are currently streaming, one for each day of Earth Week. These films address the biggest threats to our ocean—such as overfishing, climate change, and pollution—but they also showcase what is being done to save them. We encourage you to pick one of these films to watch tonight in celebration of Earth Day.

1. Mission Blue

This film from our partners at Mission Blue follows Her Deepness, Sylvia Earle, as she travels the globe on an urgent mission to shed light on the dire condition of Earth’s oceans. This film highlights the plight of our oceans and how marine protected areas (MPAs) can help save them. The full film is currently playing on Netflix.

2. Coral Reefs: Trouble in Paradise

To learn more about coral bleaching and the impact of rising ocean temperatures on coral reefs, watch Coral Reefs: Trouble in Paradise. A finalist at the Blue Ocean Film Festival, this film illustrates that human impacts are found even on the most remote and well-protected coral reefs on Earth. 

3. Chasing Coral

Dive deeper into the coral reef crisis and learn how our partners at XL Catlin Seaview Survey brought the issue of coral bleaching into the mainstream media by documenting the largest global coral bleaching event in stunning (and heartbreaking) time-lapse video. Prior to their work documenting coral bleaching, Catlin joined us on the Global Reef Expedition in the Solomon Islands to take 3D imagery of the reefs for Google Underwater Street View. Watch Chasing Coral on Netflix.

4. An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch

Learn about the threat of overfishing and how scientists are addressing illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing by watching our award-winning feature film, “An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch.” This film is playing on the Smithsonian Channel, but you can stream it tonight right here on our website

5. Sharks of the Coral Canyon

Sharks of the Coral Canyon tells the story of how sharks and coral reefs are intricately linked. The film uncovers how two of the most threatened groups of animals in the ocean—corals and sharks—depend on each other and must be protected together if either of them is to survive into the future. This film is playing on PBS, but you can stream the full film here

6. Global Reef Expedition

Follow scientists aboard the Global Reef Expedition as they travel around the world studying the health and resiliency of coral reefs in an effort to address the coral reef crisis. This Global Reef Expedition 6-part series showcases the Foundation’s work to assess the status of reefs in The Bahamas, Jamaica, the Cook Islands, the Galapagos, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Indian Ocean. Join us on this cinematic journey as we make new discoveries about life in our oceans.

7. Secrets of the Whales

We can’t wait to learn more about the largest mammals on Earth in this new National Geographic series released today on Disney+Although we haven’t seen it yet, we are big fans of the director, the conservation photographers, and even one of the editors involved (congratulations, Charles!). We are excited to hear about what scientists discovered about the social structure of whales and how they communicate with one another in this new series.

Want to learn more about life in the ocean? Dive into our Education Portal, which includes even more educational videos about life beneath the waves. This online educational resource is used by middle and high school students and teachers around the world, but it contains excellent information for life-long learners of any age. 

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