It’s crab season in California, and commercial fishermen can’t unload their catches fast enough to satisfy the crowds filling Fisherman’s Wharf. But out on the public piers behind the Embarcadero, away from the big boats, you’ll find a different breed of fisherman. They set out their poles, unroll their lines, add some bait, and wait quietly for dinner to arrive.
One of the most imminent effects of climate change is sea level rise – especially in low-lying coastal areas like the San Francisco Bay. To documentarian Claire Schoen, this story isn’t about the science of what’s going to happen. That part is settled. She says the question is how we’re going to adapt.
KALW’s Ben Trefny sat down with Schoen to discuss her latest documentary about climate change, RISE.
BEN TREFNY: What inspired you to make this documentary?
At Maritime National Historical Park, the golden age of shantey-ing comes alive again as sailors and sea music enthusiasts gather around an ancient vessel, the "Balclutha.” Peter Kasin’s job is to preserve these ancient shanties, and in turn to preserve San Francisco’s dangerous Barbary Coast past. But not everyone likes their shanties; some say they’re more bouncy than they were in the past, and should capture the sweat of the sailors who sang these songs way back in the 1800s to help make their rough shipboard jobs a bit more rhythmic.