Disaster at Nightingale: Saving Penguins & Wildlife in Earth's Remote Places

Bringing lessons learned from the tragic oil spill at Nightingale Island to the U.S. through film screenings and conferences to protect wild, remote places.
David Guggenheim
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Washington, District of Columbia
United States
3 Team Members
On March 16, 2011, a horrific environmental disaster occurred at the most remote inhabited island group in the world, Tristan da Cunha, that threatened the second largest concentration of seabirds in the world.

Map of Tristan da CunhaMarine scientist Dr. David E. Guggenheim, president of the Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization, Ocean Doctor, was aboard a ship that received a distress call from a Maltese freighter that had run aground at Nightingale Island. The catastrophic oil spill that ensued was captured on film, and Dr. Guggenheim has turned that footage into a film that explores this tragedy and others like it, as a warning signal and call to action to prevent future tragedies and prepare local managers for any that might occur.

Rockhopper PenguinThe wreck unleashed a catastrophic oil spill at the doorstep of the second largest concentration of seabirds in the world, home to 65 percent of the world’s population of the endangered Northern Rockhopper penguin. Beloved and iconic, it is a surprise to many that most penguin species are in trouble and have declined by as much as 90 percent since the 1950s. Equally surprising is a growing global threat, hiding in plain sight: The common cargo vessel, whose dismal safety record is proving over and over again that it doesn’t take a supertanker or oil well blowout to create an oil spill disaster.
Disaster at Nightingale

The film reveals why the disaster occurred, its unthinkable aftermath, and how such “statistically impossible” disasters aren’t nearly as impossible as we once thought.

Past Screenings:
Upcoming Screenings: Now Ocean Doctor is working to share the message around the United States and the world by bringing the film conferences, film festivals, communities and schools. Trevor Glass, Director of the Department of Conservation for Tristan da Cuhna, co-authored a paper with Dr. Guggenheim that has been accepted to the International Oil Spill Conference in Savannah, Georgia in May 2014. Included in the paper's recommendations  is the importance of supporting resource managers in remote locations which are especially vulnerable to disasters around the world.

Tristan da CunhaOcean Doctor would like to bring Trevor to the United States this fall to participate in the American Conservation Film Festival and BLUE Ocean Film Festival, meet with environmental agencies and decisionmakers in Washington, DC and make presentations in schools. The funds will also be used to print copies of the DVD for distribution to groups interesting in hosting screenings. Please help us raise funds to spread this important message and share the tragedy in hopes that future disasters can be averted and also so local managers can be equipped with the tools required to mitigate the impacts of such tragedies.

In order for Trevor to visit the United States, he must endure a week-long journey by boat from Tristan da Cuhna to South Africa (Tristan has no airport.) followed by a 16-hour plane journey. Travel from remote areas of the world is a lengthy process and quite expensive. We'll house and feed him while he's with us and take him on an east coast tour of schools and fora with the goal of reaching people and inspiring them to take action for penguins and ecosystems.

Ocean Doctor Penguin T-Shirt
This limited-edition Ocean Doctor Penguin T-shirt, featuring our favorite, the Northern Rockhopper Penguin. Get this T-shirt, along with a signed DVD and your name in the credits for a contribution of $100 or more.

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This campaign ended on June 24, 2014
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    Donate $100 or more and we'll put your name in the credits, send you a signed copy of "Disaster At Nightingale" to share with your community, and send you a limited-edition Ocean Doctor Penguin T-Shirt featuring the adorable Northern Rockhopper Penguin. ($70 of this is tax deductible)

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