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Tuesday September 30th 2014

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“Earth Action” Video Series Coming to WSRE
By Jessica Forbes

Earth Ethics, Inc., a Pensacola-based nonprofit organization, has produced a series of environmentally focused programs that will begin airing on WSRE in April.

The organization’s mission is to create awareness of environmental and social issues through outreach and education efforts, and the “Earth Action” video series is just one in a string of projects designed to do just that.

Mary Gutierrez founded Earth Ethics as part of a career working in environmental planning. The nonprofit initially focused on animal advocacy, but Gutierrez states she “quickly moved to my other passion, the environment, when the time presented itself.”
Community engagement is a priority in all of the organization’s undertakings, which are primarily grant-funded.

The organization sponsors lecture series and community meetings such as February’s session on the Florida Water and Land Legacy Campaign, and an upcoming March 20 meeting on proposed uses of RESTORE Act funds in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

In addition, several programs with local school districts fulfill the group’s aim. Milton High School is a partner in the Yellow River Aquatic Preserve Shoreline Restoration project. Having recently received funding from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Earth Ethics is poised to coordinate development of a Gulf Coast Environmental Education Plan. In 2011, after receiving a private donation to be used for an environmental outreach project, Gutierrez decided an environmental video series would be a suitable step forward.

When conceiving the series, Gutierrez determined, “I wanted a PBS quality product,” with, “topics to be broad enough for a more national and global reach. I didn’t want them to be so specific to one area that somebody in Montana couldn’t watch them and identify. “

Gutierrez recruited environmental consultant Christian Wagley as the writer and host of the series: “I felt that Christian would be an asset because he is very knowledgeable, is well-spoken, and has good presence. Although I had considered others for the spot, I knew that he would be the perfect fit for this.”

Each episode of the series focuses on an individual environmental topic, including community and neighborhood development, beach erosion and renourishment, climate change, food production, and energy use.

Locally owned Watkins Productions produced each of the five 26-minute episodes.

“I had actually worked with Watkins productions in a previous life and was impressed with the quality of their work,” explained Gutierrez, “and I felt that they could deliver the project I was looking for.”

With former WSRE staff members on the Watkins Productions team, the company also brought a PBS connection that helped lead to the series’ current spot on WSRE’s lineup.

With a goal common to most PBS programming, Gutierrez wanted the “Earth Action” series to be widely accessible, “formatted so that people of all ages and backgrounds could under that subject matter. We got just that.”

Currently, Earth Ethics is planning and soliciting funding for a second series of episodes. “Earth Action” may be the beginning of more multimedia-based projects for the organization as Gutierrez explains, “I can definitely see doing more of these [videos], as well as other productions. The possibilities are endless.”

”Earth Action” episodes will air weekly beginning Thursday, April 4. Each episode will air on a Thursday at 7 p.m., then again on the following Sunday at 10 a.m. For additional information and to view episode clips, visit earthethics.us.

Check out our other Green Issue stories.