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Earth Day Video to Debut on YouTube

The Tijuana River flows across the U.S.-Mexico border just south of San Diego, and it carries loads of pollution that contaminate coastal waters.

A new five-minute video titled “Shifting Baselines in the Tijuana Tide” has been produced by a well-known graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and will be available on YouTube starting today (Earth Day).

The film was produced by the Shifting Baselines Ocean Media Project based in Hollywood, an enterprise that was started by Randy Olson, a marine biologist who entered the USC School of Cinematic Arts, earned his MFA in 1997 and has since produced films on the marine environment and scientific controversies.

“The Tijuana River is one of the worst sources of ocean pollution in North America,” said Tyler Carlisle, the writer and director of the video. “It’s a problem that is currently caught up on a cross-border blame game as the large scale problems continue to go unaddressed.”

Sixty percent of Tijuana’s raw sewage flows directly into the river, through the Tijuana River Estuary and into the ocean. North of the border, this creates problems at Imperial Beach, where beaches are closed for much of the year because of poor water quality and where high levels of Hepatitis A sometimes appear in coastal waters.

The video presentation is designed to support cleanup efforts along the Tijuana River by helping conservationists communicate more effectively about the problems there.

The production of “Shifting Baselines in the Tijuana Tide” was supported by the USC Sea Grant program, the California Sea Grant at the University of California, San Diego, the Annenberg Foundation and the Surfrider Foundation. Another partner in the production is WiLDCOAST, a marine conservation organization that has offices in located in Imperial Beach and Baja Calif. Fay Crevoshay, the organization’s communication director, produced the Spanish-language version of the video.

The video about the Tijuana River is part of Olson’s ongoing work with the Shifting Baselines Ocean Media Project, which brings together ocean conservationists and filmmakers in an effort to communicate the problems to wider audiences. Shifting Baselines is based at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and has more than 20 partners.

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