Now showing: Dive, snorkel, protect

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Posted on May 03 2006

Hello, folks! It’s me, CoCo! I am very excited to share with everyone my review of a new public service announcement, or PSA for short. Yes, I know! You may be saying, “CoCo, a PSA? That sounds boooooring!” Well, let me tell you what my excitement’s all about then.

The Coastal Resources Management Office, or CRMO, has been working hard in developing a short video that can help them get the message across that CNMI’s coral reefs need your protection. A lot of people enjoy swimming, SCUBA diving and snorkeling in our reefs, but some aren’t even aware that they may be causing harm to the marine environment.

The idea behind the project was to create a video that shows divers and snorkelers how to enjoy the marine environment while safeguarding it. CRMO will make the PSA available in incoming flights to the CNMI, marine sports outlets, and various local television stations, like the Visitor’s Channel, so that both residents and tourist can receive the message. To reach the tourist audience, the PSA has Japanese and Korean subtitles. CRMO contracted Eclipse Video Production to produce the five-minute PSA.

The cast

A cast of young actors especially selected and coached by Melody Actouka delivers the PSA. I think they did such an excellent job delivering clear messages to the viewers that they all seemed like veteran actors on film. The cast includes Christian Miller, Vanessa Mality, Anna Rose DL Guerrero, Sam Nepaial, Ilia Corell, and Shinji Nagata. They’re young, dynamic, and cute too!

The setting

The PSA was shot beautifully, showcasing many popular underwater sites on Saipan, Tinian and Rota. Underwater shots of the Grotto, Laulau Bay, the Shoun Maru, Ice cream, and other sites really highlight the amazing beauty that’s available to be enjoyed here.

The content

The initial message that the actors deliver makes it clear that the reefs are important to the way of life in the CNMI. One of the important functions of the reefs mentioned is that they provide us with food. I especially liked the scenes of a spear fisherman and of some barbecued fish at the street market. Yummy! The PSA also gives three tips that divers and snorkelers could easily follow to help protect the reefs: Look but don’t touch, don’t take or harass marine life, and don’t litter. The tips were well reinforced with great shots pertaining to them, for example, the scene with the thorny stingray makes it pretty clear why one should just “Look but don’t touch.” The litter scenes were pretty nasty too, and more people need to get the message: “Don’t litter.” Many sea creatures were also featured in the PSA like skip jacks, spotted eagle ray, clown fish, and marine snails. Beautiful!

Another important message given to the viewer addresses safety in the water. Advice is given to check the weather and water conditions before dives, and to utilize the many experienced dive businesses and professionals when planning to go down. There is a great shot of the Grotto during normal and storm conditions. The cavern looked like a brimming washing machine! Scary! The message is clear in that scene.

The music

The background island music was composed especially for the PSA by the brother-sister team of Gus and Rep. Cinta Kaipat of Olomwaay, and recorded by Joleo Studio. It gives the PSA that extra-added “island rhythm” that is soothing, blending easily with the underwater scenes.

The review

The actors were smooth in their delivery. The scenes nicely highlighted the beauty under the sea that is for you and me (You didn’t know CoCo was a poet, huh?). The messages on the reef’s importance, and how we can protect the marine environment were clear and straightforward. The music blends so smoothly with the underwater scenes that it makes you want to be in the water right then and there. All of these qualities make Dive, Snorkel, Protect a sweet five-minute PSA that everyone will enjoy. I give it two thumbs…I mean “claws” up!

So stay tuned and keep an eye out for CRMO’s new PSA. Continue to enjoy our reefs and remember to look but don’t touch, don’t take or harass marine life, and please don’t litter. If you would like to know more about the PSA please contact CRMO’s John Dax Moreno at 664-8300/1.

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