Green Heroes award to marine activist Mary Gorman!

Local activist getting set for filming of documentary about gulf protection

July 7, 2011
The News (New Glasgow)
Jennifer Vardy Little

MERIGOMISH – A local marine activist is preparing for her day in the spotlight.

Merigomish resident Mary Gorman was named Canada’s latest Green Hero in April for her work in trying to protect the waters in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. As part of the recognition, she’ll be the subject of a documentary next month by, a television series and Internet channel that tells stories of regular people who become environmental heroes.

“The TV Ontario crew will be coming down in mid- to late-August to shoot the documentary, and it will be aired sometime in the fall on TVO,” Gorman said.

The backdrop of the documentary will be the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but it’s not certain yet whether it will be filmed in Pictou County or in Cape Breton. And it’s looking likely that Gorman won’t be the only familiar face featured on the show – writer Farley Mowat has expressed interest in participating.

“We’re hoping he’ll be able to do it – it’s very exciting, I’ve spoken to him and he’s expressed interest, now the producers are talking to him,” Gorman said. “It’s very good news, he’s an internationally renowned writer and I’m certain that will bode well for us.”
He’s also passionate about the cause, she adds.

“I’m very thankful he’s willing to do it, having his name attached will certainly broaden awareness about protecting the most precious ecosystem on Earth,” Gorman said. “He lives in Cape Breton in the summers and he’s a pioneer in environmental protection of the Gulf. He was involved before the rest of us had any inkling in what was coming.”

Raising awareness is the whole reason Gorman entered the Green Heroes competition.

“The Gulf of St. Lawrence is the home of over 2,000 marine species,” she said. “Do we really want to risk it? Look at the Yellowstone spill happening right now, just as they couldn’t stop the oil spill in Mexico a year ago. The oil companies have proven they can drill wells in the ocean, but they’ve also proven they are incapable of stopping these spills. Drilling in the Gulf wouldn’t benefit people in Nova Scotia in any way.”

Gorman is hoping Pictou County residents will rally in advance of the documentary filming and contact Central Nova MP Peter MacKay to ask him to throw his support behind the issue.

“We want to appeal to the citizens in Pictou County to contact their MP, Peter MacKay. He’s obviously very popular but he’s done very little to focus on protecting the Gulf of St. Lawrence,” she said. “Those who support him – particularly the individuals with water frontage – need to approach him and ask if he’s willing to support us. Once an oil spill happens, it’s too late then, after the fact, to do anything.”

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