Created by Overview Collective
in partnership with
Billion Oyster Project
Filmed: New York, NY - August 2019
Co-Directors: Tarik Mohamed & Kristin Gutekunst
Director of Cinematography: Tarik Mohamed
Executive Producer: Kristin Gutekunst
Assistant-Director: Allison Gutekunst
Featuring: Agata Poniatowski & Steven Villegas
Special thanks to Helene Hetrick & the Billion Oyster Project team
In the 1600s, there were 220,000 acres of oyster reefs in a thriving NY Harbor; but by the 1900s, it was mostly lifeless due to pollution, dredging and overharvesting.
Explore how Billion Oyster Project staff, Research Associate Technicians, and volunteers incubate, harvest and regenerate this delicate keystone species with the goal of reintroducing one billion oysters into NY Harbor by 2030.
Billion Oyster Project is a citizen science project with the goal of restoring one billion live oysters to New York Harbor by 2035. The project grew out of the New York Harbor School, a NYC public high school on Governors Island, and aims to engage hundreds of thousands of school children during its lifetime in marine restoration-based STEM education programs.
"Pearls of New York" pre-screened at the HarborUp! Gala on 17 September 2019, and officially launched in New York City during Climate Week – at the Our Future Festival on Governor’s Island, and the 75th United Nations General Assembly.
It has also been shown at the Brooklyn Green Jobs Summit; Google’s 2019 Climate week; the UN Climate Conference COP25 in Madrid; BRIC Teen Media Careers Day; the Impact House at Sundance Film Festival, and the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences MARINE ROV workshop.
It was an official selection for the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Kids Film Festival, UN Global Festival of Action 2020, Games for Change 2020 and EarthXR 2020.
The experience has been used as an advocacy tool with decision makers at the UN, and as a fundraising tool to provide context on BOP's work for current and prospective donors.
At various career exploration events and educational workshops, it helped to guide discussion about possible careers in ocean conservation, or internship opportunities.
It has been screened to advance BOP's message, educating and engaging the public about BOP's work. It sparks and opens up conversation about behavior change and personal affiliation with the issues, especially for those living in New York City.