100 Yards of Hope
, a documentary about the unique restoration of a football field-sized coral reef, will make its world premiere virtually at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 27, at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium during NFL Draft Week.
The film features FORCE BLUE, a team of retired Special Operations military divers dedicated to saving America’s only barrier coral reef.
The film centers on the group that came together to save a portion of the reef off the coast of Miami and lay the groundwork for future coral restoration worldwide.
Those who are interested in watching the 100 Yards of Hope world premiere
can register to receive the link to watch for free on the Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s website at greaterclevelandaquarium.com/100-yards-of-hope
After the screening, students from the Cleveland area will direct questions to marine scientist Dalton Hesley and former Navy SEAL Steve “Gonzo” Gonzalez.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (NOAA CRCP) worked with FORCE BLUE and provided funding for the creation of the documentary to increase awareness of the threat to coral reefs and this unique collaboration to address it.
“We are so honored to work with FORCE BLUE and NFL Green on 100 Yards of Hope
s," says NOAA CRCP Director Jennifer Koss in a statement. "Innovative partnerships among scientists, military veteran divers, government and philanthropic groups help our coral reefs and teach us an important lesson about restoration, recovery and resilience.”
For Super Bowl LIV in Miami, NFL Green teamed up with scientists from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and its Rescue a Reef program, retired Special Ops combat divers from FORCE BLUE, researchers from the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, managers from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and NFL partner Verizon to plant 100 corals in honor of the NFL’s 100th season.
As a result, the corals thrived and eventually spawned.
With seed funding from DEP and under the direction of FORCE BLUE, the project was expanded for Super Bowl LV in Tampa to become 100 Yards of Hope, a football field-sized coral restoration project. The Florida Aquarium in Tampa supported the effort by providing genetically diverse corals.
"The football field-sized reef was completed recently with the addition of elkhorn coral (another threatened species), adding to the genetic diversity and complexity of the reef," reads a press release. "In total, more than 2,000 coral colonies and tens of thousands of coral larvae were planted utilizing the best restoration techniques to accelerate the recovery of key coral species and build a blueprint for large scale coral reef restorations around the world."
FORCE BLUE filmed the coral restoration project as it unfolded, with the hope of sharing it with a broad audience and inspiring others to take action. The film highlights the restoration effort, its impact and the partnerships that made it possible.
A short preview can be seen at vimeo.com/508937079
Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.