Saving Atlantis is a feature documentary currently in production by a team from Oregon State University with support from the National Science Foundation and the OSU Foundation. It focuses on the dramatic loss of coral reef ecosystems around the world and those who are fighting to uncover the causes and find solutions before it’s too late. Saving Atlantis tells stories of personal connection to magnificent coral habitats and explain the cost of losing them. The film is an emotional exploration of some of our planet's greatest natural wonders.

The Problem


Coral reefs cover only 0.1 percent of the Earth’s surface, but they’re home to 25 percent of all marine species, and they’re being lost at an alarming rate. Pollution, overfishing and climate change are some of the human-influenced culprits in the dramatic decline of these magnificent natural structures. Coral reefs serve as a lynchpin in the global food web. Their decline leads our entire planet in a perilous direction. But research from scientists around the world hints at bright spots where real strides can be made in preservation and protection of these habitats.

About Oregon State University


Oregon State University, one of the world’s great land-grant universities, is devoted to research, outreach and engagement on issues of global significance. OSU is uniquely positioned to provide a lens on the issue of coral decline, with a cluster of world-class coral experts and an expansive capability and expertise in the marine sciences.

Project Videos


Friends & Supporters

The Team


Rebecca Vega-Thurber, Ph.D.

Rebecca Vega-Thurber, Ph.D.

Primary Investigator

Dr. Thurber’s research at Oregon State University has led her to study coral reefs and the microbial communities that surround them around the world. Her work and publications have led to startling discoveries on the causes of coral reef decline and their potential resiliency.

Justin Smith

Justin Smith

Co-director/producer

Justin directed two award-winning documentaries for Oregon State University, including Relentless and Kel Wer. His filmmaking has led him around the world. He has also worked in the feature film industry in Los Angeles. He holds a degree in film from the University of Utah and an MBA from Oregon State.

David Baker

David Baker

Co-director/producer

David directed the feature-length documentary American Wine Story, released in 2014. He has served as the Director of Interactive Communications at Oregon State since 2008, and his team has produce multiple award-winning websites and video projects.

Additional Credits


Callie Newton: Story Producer
Oliver Day: Design

Contact Us

David Baker
Oregon State University
102 Adams Hall
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
(541) 737-8323
david.baker@oregonstate.edu