For documentarians Justin Lewis and Michelle Stauffer, the meridian at 70 degree west is more than just a line on the globe. This degree of longitude, which runs down the Northeastern United States through parts of the Caribbean and the Amazon forest, is the subject of their multi-year project on the global impact of climate change.
Lewis, a photographer, and Stauffer, a writer, spent the past several months trekking up and down the 70th longitude chasing stories on how local communities have been affected by our evolving climate. They’ve jumped on dog-sleds with Greenland’s last batch of Innuit hunters, dived into the Sargasso Sea’s infamous trash gyre and have waded in Maine’s Penobscot Watershed. But their journey is far from over.
The duo have plans to trek down to the southern hemisphere, hitting the Caribbean marine sanctuary of Bonaire and the Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica. They’ve already created a Flipboard magazine where they are sharing their experiences.
Stauffer and Lewis came back to their native California (on the 122 degree west meridian if you were wondering) to talk about their project, the endangered cultures they’ve come across and the planning that goes into this kind of global expedition.