Long Island native Alec Baldwin is using his star power to highlight a new Times Square environmental production that aims to encourage people to help protect the earth’s waters from pollution.
Wednesday evening, the two-time Emmy-winner, whose lampoon of President Donald Trump has put him in the political spotlight, attended the opening of a new National Geographic entertainment experience that has visitors walking the ocean floors and through coral reefs.
“There is no satire here. This is about protecting the environment,” Baldwin said Wednesday evening. “This is a National Geographic production that evokes life that is under water. . . The earth is in a period of decline.”
The production, “National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey” takes visitors and their families inside a 60,000-square-foot space that recreates the earth’s oceans and seas. In the immersive experience, audiences can get up close and personal with moving images of sharks, a 50-foot Humpback whale and giant Humboldt squids.
From the Solomon Islands of the South Pacific to the northwest waters of North America, visitors feel the sensation of the ocean’s current as stingrays and eels scurry at one’s feet.
“It’s scary,” shouted one little girl Wednesday night as her friends laughed.
Baldwin, 59, of Amagansett, grew up in Massapequa. He has kept his ties to his Long Island roots and his love for its ocean waters by advocating for the protection of the Island’s environment. In August, he hosted a panel discussion on climate change for the Hamptons Institute.
“We were at the beach yesterday with our little kids, and it was beautiful. But sometimes we forget that Long Island beaches get hammered and damaged from the storms,” he said, referring to the hurricanes and storms that have affected the island’s coastline.
The only water joke Baldwin mustered was having nature’s waters “flush out Washington.”
Penni Lugwig, 53, of Sag Harbor, is in the production. Her voice is part of a scene where beachcombers throw a birthday party and forget to collect the plastic balloons, which later end up in the water choking fish.
“I rescue wildlife all the time from plastic that they get entangled in and eat,” said Ludwig, adding she hopes the production will build awareness.
A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will fund National Geographic’s nonprofit Pristine Seas Project, which identifies ocean waters that should be protected from pollution.