A Simple Question: The Story of STRAW Documentary Wins the ‘Spirit of Activism Award’ at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Jan 19, 2010, 13:03 ET from The Bay Institute

NOVATO, Calif., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- A Simple Question: The Story of STRAW (Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed), a documentary highlighting the impact of The Bay Institute’s watershed education program, received the “Spirit of Activism Award” at last weekend’s Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, the largest environmental film festival in the country.  North Bay residents can catch this award-winning movie at two upcoming benefit showings: the Marin Civic Center on January 20, and Dance Palace Theatre in Point Reyes Station on February 28, 2010.

“We are delighted and honored that the documentary, which shares the story of The Bay Institute’s STRAW program, was selected out of one hundred and thirty Festival films to receive the Spirit of Activism award,” said John Frawley, President and CEO of The Bay Institute.  “Thanks and congratulations to Kevin White and David Donnenfield for creating this inspiring film.”

“Although the documentary was up against films dealing with ‘global’ issues, the jury was inspired by the accomplishments of a local effort that involved the community to bring nature back,” said filmmaker David Donnenfield.

“Since 1992, over 25,000 students have taken active roles in their STRAW restorations in their communities by installing more than 25,000 plants along 20 miles of creek banks,” stated The Bay Institute’s Watershed Education Director Laurette Rogers.

Produced and directed by Kevin White and David Donnenfield of Filmmakers Collaborative SF, A Simple Question chronicles The Bay Institute’s STRAW program, which has galvanized the local community and led to significant educational innovation.

STRAW grew out of the Shrimp Project, begun in 1992 by a fourth-grade class taught by Rogers at Brookside School in Marin County. The class wanted to do something about the problem of endangered species, and chose to focus on California freshwater shrimp. The class pioneered methods for students to conduct professional restoration of riparian corridors that provide habitat for the shrimp and other threatened and endangered species.  

Seventeen years later, The Bay Institute’s STRAW program sustains a network of teachers, students and restoration specialists that plans and implements watershed studies and restoration projects in Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties.

The filmmakers and STRAW leaders will hold a Q&A session following both upcoming North Bay screenings. A trailer of the film is available at www.asimplequestion.org.  Purchase tickets and learn more about the film and the STRAW Project, at www.bay.org.

About The Bay Institute

The Bay Institute is the leader in protecting, restoring and inspiring conservation of the San Francisco Bay and its watershed -- from the Sierra to the sea. For 28 years, The Bay Institute has been developing and leading model scientific research, habitat restoration, education and advocacy programs to preserve California's most important natural resource.  Learn more at www.bay.org.

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John Frawley


SOURCE The Bay Institute