Date: 16th February, 2016
NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Pacific Rim Project, an initiative dedicated to protecting and preserving the critical ocean habitats of the Pacific Ocean and raising awareness of the threats they face, today launched with a documentary film highlighting the environmental and socio-economic impacts of trash in the Sea of Japan. The Project will also highlight environmental challenges in the South China Sea and the South Pacific.
The countries of the Pacific Rim constitute the most dynamic economic region in the world. This economic growth has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and transformed the global economy. Yet, this extraordinary growth brought with it a multitude of environmental challenges that demand the world’s attention.
Washed Ashore: The Singing Sands of Kotohiki Beach examines the increasing damage done to one the many coastal communities facing a daily tide of trash and ocean debris, threatening the region’s environment, tourism-dependent economy, and rich heritage. Previewed with select environmental audiences since December, the film already has more than 35,000 views.
Kotohiki Beach is located in Kyotango, part of Japan’s Kyoto prefecture, and across the Sea of Japan from the industrial region of South Korea, the source of much of the trash.
The film follows the community of Kyotango as it gathers for its weekly effort to protect its beaches from trash washing ashore and found in the water. The material ranges from Korean and Chinese consumer products, to even more damaging industrial, medical, and commercial waste, all of which has had a devastating impact the local economy and on the community’s status as a destination for tourism.
“A lot of the trash has Chinese or Korean writing on it,” said Yasushi Nakayama, the mayor of Kyotango, in the film. “We should carefully verify ocean dumping from these countries. It’s important to look into it.”
Japan is home to some of the finest “singing sands” beaches in the entire world. “Singing Sands” beaches are incredibly rare. They occur in places where the grain of sand is so fine that it makes a noise when someone walks on it or presses down onto it.
The South China Sea and the South Pacific region face important challenges of their own, including land reclamation, over-fishing, industrial pollution, and other factors threatening the fragile ocean environment and the flora and fauna that call the Pacific home.