Finalist films from the 2017 Ripple Effect Film Project ocean-themed video contest will be showcased at the historic Morton Theatre in Athens at 5 p.m. on Saturday March 25, 2017.

The contest was launched last fall as a partnership between a team of University of Georgia-based marine scientists and several local and statewide conservation agencies to promote increased understanding of the connection between human activities and ocean health.

The research consortium Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf includes 29 researchers from 15 institutions and is led by Samantha Joye, Athletic Association Professor in Arts and Sciences in UGA’s department of marine sciences. In addition to cutting-edge scientific research on the Gulf of Mexico, a primary goal of the consortium is to engage with the public about the group’s scientific activities and the importance of healthy ocean systems.

Filmmakers from around the state were asked to submit short films on a broad range of topics that connect human behavior to the health of the world’s oceans, including transportation choices, clean waterways, and the impact of our choices around food, water, and energy consumption.

“We’re excited to co-present with Ripple Effect—an important part of our work is to engage with the public about our research and the importance of ocean health and sustainability—not just for the Gulf of Mexico but for all oceans,” Joye said.

The Ripple Effect Film Project was founded in 2013 by the Athens-Clarke County Office of Water Conservation in conjunction with EcoFocus Film Festival. Since then hundreds of filmmakers have had their films included in the annual “Blue Carpet Premiere” event in Athens. In addition to ECOGIG and Athens-Clarke County Water Conservation, presenting partners include Athens-Clarke County Stormwater Division and Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful.

Tickets to the event $5 and are available for advance purchase at www.mortontheatre.tix.com

Further information about ECOGIG and Ripple Effect Film Project may be found at www.ecogig.org and www.rippleeffectfilmproject.org.