W5’s Hour-Long Documentary Special Love & Legacy: The Rob Stewart Story Airing this Saturday, October 6th at 7:00 p.m. on CTV.
As many of you in our Dearcroft/West Wind community are aware, we place a strong emphasis in our curriculum on the development of environmental awareness and stewardship opportunities for our students, both in and beyond the classroom. For nearly a decade we have been closely involved with the conservation work and remarkable legacy of Canadian environmental filmmaker Rob Stewart. Over the years we developed a great relationship with Rob as he produced the remarkably powerful and world renowned documentaries, Sharkwater and Revolution. His works highlighted the demise of shark populations, especially as a result of finning, a highly destructive and deplorable form of exploitation leading to an over 90% decline in global shark species. These films also documented increased threats to ocean health due to pollution, micro plastics, ocean-acidification and climate change. Although they tackled difficult and seemingly overwhelming problems, Rob’s message was always positive, inspiring and hopeful. Countless students around the world have been mobilized to pursue studies in marine science and conservation or become vocal advocates for conservation after seeing his breathtaking films. Having visited our campus and worked with our students, Rob became a great friend and mentor to all of us.
We were most privileged to have known him and been inspired by his incredible passion. Tragically, Rob died in a diving accident in the Florida Keys nearly two years ago while filming Sharkwater Extinction, a follow up to his first documentary Sharkwater, an incredible movie that captured over 30 international film awards, leading to tremendous global awareness and policy changes protecting sharks and marine ecosystems… inspiring countless people around the globe. Rob was a truly great Canadian and world renowned eco hero. A giant in his field. Since Rob’s loss and in memory of his incredible life and legacy, in cooperation with Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, we have initiated the Rob Stewart Award, a memorial scholarship in Rob’s name. Supporting grad students pursuing studies in ocean research, this award is given annually to a Dalhousie student exemplifying Rob’s vision, drive and attention to detail in their research and passion for preserving marine biodiversity.Additionally we are thrilled to be adopting elements of Dalhousie’s Ocean School, a remarkably exciting and ambitious program developed for Grade 6-9 students. Featuring both virtual reality based and hands on laboratory/ field research, this amazing initiative is led by Dalhousie’s head of Marine Science, Dr. Boris Worm. As one of the world’s leading figures in marine research and ocean education, Boris worked closely with Rob on his films and is a true visionary in environmental advocacy and education. This week, two exciting developments are unfolding as both Sharkwater Extinction and Ocean School are getting set for wide release. Please consider watching the special CTV screening described below. Airing on Saturday it documents Rob Stewart’s incredible life and legacy.
As the term progresses we will be updating you on additional developments related to a school sponsored screening of Sharkwater Extinction and our exciting association with Dalhousie’s Ocean School. Warm wishes to you and your family for a relaxing and wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.
Gord & Lynda Phippen & the Dearcroft/West Wind staff