Jellyfish project reaches thousands of students

Story:

Mindil Beach Markets (MBM) is taking environmentalism to the next generation through the Jellyfish Project, and their message is starting to reach the masses.

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Band mates Cam Ainslie (drums), Rod Campbell (vocals/keys), Patrick Codere (vocals/guitar), Daniel Kings-bury (vocals/guitar) and Matt Posnikoff (bass/guitar) are all former Coast students who have a love of making music and enjoying the outdoors.

They formed the band Mindil Beach Markets in 2010 and by 2011 decided to spread some environmental information while they had the attention of an audience.

Thats how the Jellyfish Project a concert/education session for middle and high school students was born.

The jellyfish was chosen as a symbol for the project because jellyfish are a species that change in numbers as their ecosystem changes.

Around the world today, jellyfish are showing up in record numbers, which is not good, the Jellyfish Project website states. This is happening due to a global increase in ocean temperature and acidity, and the overfishing of jellyfish predators.

Overfishing, plastic pollution and man-made global warming are the main topics the band tackles during their Jellyfish Project presentations. The information is given after MBM delivers a concert of original music, which helps the band connect with the teens they are targeting.

Through slideshows and speeches, shocking statistics are given and images of environmental devastation are shown, but in the end students receive tangible tools to help improve the health of the world's oceans and overall environment.

While the Jellyfish Project started in 2011, it didn't gain much off-Coast attention until 2012. Between last year and this one MBM has seen exponential growth of their project.

It used to be just word of mouth and it was a big struggle just to get bookings at all, Campbell said. Now it's the other way. Instead of having to push it on people there's the pull. Now everyone wants it.

The popularity of the Jellyfish Project may have something to do with the two television morning shows the band performed on earlier this year, CTV's Canada AM and the Global Morning News in Vancouver.

Both morning show interviews went well and the band got to play a song for those who tuned in, which helped up their fan base.

David Suzuki lent his support to the project by talking about it during his Suzuki Report, which was aired on 29 different radio stations in March and April.

The band also got the nod of approval from the Vancouver Aquarium, which has teamed up with MBM and will be bringing live animals to some of their future school presentations.

The band is also linked with Oceanwise, a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to educate consumers about sustainable seafood.

Since the Jellyfish Project started, the band has talked to more than 13,000 students and they plan to reach another 25,000 students who have booked presentations for this fall.

All the school presentations are free, and Kingsbury said schools can still book a show in the coming school year.

To find out more or request a show, go to www.thejellyfishproject.org. Find out more about the Mindil Beach Markets band and hear their music at www.mindilbeachmarkets.com.

© Copyright Coast Reporter

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