By Brandon Sutton

Kids are changing the world, with or without the help of adults. That’s the underlying message behind a new documentary film in the works called Kids of the Gulf.

Last summer and again this spring, I visited the Gulf coast to document the BP oil spill’s insidious, yet often hidden impacts on local communities along the coast. The work caught the attention of the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) and two of its young volunteers who are determined to have a positive impact on the oil spill, regardless of the waning national attention on the issue.

Somerhalder, best known for his leading roles in The Vampire Diaries and in Lost, is an outspoken activist and advocate for clean energy, animal rights, and environmental protection, and started ISF to champion these causes.

Devon, 7, and Devin, 13, are traveling to the Gulf this fall to learn about how the spill impacted kids and families along the coast.  They want to see for themselves what it’s like for kids just like them to live in the disaster’s aftermath day after day. Ultimately, they want to help the communities that were impacted by raising awareness of the human side of the disaster in the hopes that we can change things that are keeping our citizens and environment in constant jeopardy of tragic events like the 2010 oil spill.

We’re taking a professional film crew down to the Gulf to document the journey of these kids as they discover what’s really going on along the coast. Away from the slick advertisements that have lulled the country into complacency, the experiences in the bayous and on the beaches of the Gulf will provide Devon and Devin with a unique perspective to share with their global following.

Already, kids from 47 countries on six continents are supporting the film, and Twitter has been ablaze with mentions of the initiative since the day the fundraising campaign was announced.

Our Atlanta-based team is committed to helping share these stories with the world through a beautifully produced documentary film that we intend to show on network TV, in major film festivals, and other public and private screenings.

With the support and encouragement of ISF, the message these kids are sending to the world is being amplified significantly, and a whole new generation of change makers is being inspired to speak out and take action in their own communities.

To learn more, or to support/sponsor Kids of the Gulf, visit kidsofthegulf.com.

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