Opportunity

NSU to Host US-Debut of Film Exploring Effects of Helium Balloons on Environment

Rubber Jellyfish is a feature-length documentary that explores the effects helium-filled balloons have on the environment, wildlife and humans

Harnessing the power of art and community to draw attention to our interconnectedness with the ocean, Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography is proud to join with Free Our Seas to bring the Australian documentary Rubber Jellyfish to South Florida. This is the first showing of the documentary in the United States.

Rubber Jellyfish is a feature-length documentary that explores the effects helium-filled balloons have on the environment, wildlife and humans. Carly Wilson seeks to understand the science and various points of view along her personal journey. What better place to debut this documentary than at the Halmos College’s Ocean Campus, located on the Intracoastal Waterway at the entrance to Port Everglades from the Atlantic Ocean.

The showing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Jan. 17th at NSU’s Ocean Campus, 8000 N. Ocean Drive, in the Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park. There are a limited number of tickets available to the public ONLINE – cost is $10 and includes light refreshments, a raffle and a Q&A session. Proceeds will benefit NSU’s Marine Environmental Education Center (MEEC) at the Carpenter House and Balloons Blow.

“People don’t realize that when they release helium balloons there are consequences,” said Amy Hupp, the program coordinator of NSU’s MEEC. “Remember, what goes up must come down, and when it comes to balloons, that reality can be deadly for marine creatures, especially sea turtles who mistake balloons for one of their favorite foods, jellyfish.”

Hupp is also the caretaker of Captain, the forever resident and ambassador green sea turtle that calls the MEEC at the Carpenter House home.

Bringing awareness to the impact plastics and balloons have on the environment has been garnering a significant amount of media attention locally, nationally and globally. Recently NSU took its first step in addressing the issue of “single use plastics” by banning plastic straws on its Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus via its Skip The Straw, Save the Turtles program (other NSU locations are soon to follow.) This documentary brings additional awareness to this important issue.

“Free Our Seas is absolutely thrilled to be able to bring this documentary for the first time to the United States,” said Elaine Fiore, Free our Seas executive director. “Our ocean-loving beach community is the perfect place to debut the film. Balloons Blow and NSU’s MEEC have been making a huge impact in raising awareness of issues affecting our oceans and we are honored to support them.”

Story by Nova Southeastern University

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