This American Land
A unique series of magazine-style episodes hosted by Bruce Burkhardt, former environmental reporter for CNN, and middle-school science teacher Caroline Raville. Each episode links 3 or 4 stories, sometimes in a theme, showing how conservationists, fishermen, hunters and outdoor recreationists are sharing responsibilities for protecting America's natural heritage for future generations. The focus is on whild and beautiful places you've never heard about, and on passionate people protecting vital American landscapes, waters, and wildlife.
Seamount of Life. Arctic Traffic, Altamaha River Pollution, Diatoms and Climate Change (#404) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Using special recording technology to document the spawning of endangered fish like the Nassau grouper, scientists in the Caribbean study spawning aggregation sites that are critically important for the survival of many ocean species. We follow them to one of these sites off the western coast of Puerto Rico that has been severely impacted by overfishing; conservationists say an effectively enforced marine protected area is urgently needed there. Climate change is causing a rapid loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, opening the region to more shipping traffic, oil exploration and other industrial activities that were never possible before. This is creating growing risks to whales, walruses, seals and seabirds - especially in the narrow migration corridor in the Bering Strait. The traffic also poses new risks to the region's local native people who hunt and fish in small boats. Conservationists are pressing for new measures to protect the marine environment, wildlife and welfare of local residents in the changing Arctic. The Altamaha River in southern Georgia is a major waterway, still undammed, flowing in its natural state more than a hundred miles to the Atlantic and its spectacular estuary. But there's a large pulp mill on the river that has been operating for decades, and critics say it has been discharging pollution into the river which they allege the pulp company refuses to clean up, and which the state of Georgia has been slow to address. We go to the river to see for ourselves. In another story on the warming Arctic, we meet researchers in Greenland who gather samples of fossilized microscopic algae in lake sediments, discovering vital clues about past and current climate change in the region.
Fish Lifts for River Herring, Biofuel Start-ups, Fabulous Fungi, Prickly Pear Cactus for Clean Water (#405) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Every spring, on the Saugatucket River in Rhode Island, tens of thousands of river herring try to swim upriver from the Atlantic to spawn, facing dams on the river that block their way. Many fish find it too exhausting to use fish ladders on the dams, and they give up their struggle. But happily there are people who volunteer to help the fish on their journey, using buckets in an effort called a "fish lift" to get the herring over the dams. We look at the new frontier in renewable sources of energy - sources grown as agricultural crops. New biofuel enterprises based on switchgrass, corn stover and wood waste are still in the start-up stage, trying to develop their technologies, scale up their production, and secure a market for their ethanol product with some controversial government support. Living on the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington State means being conscious about protecting the land, water, and wildlife High school students on Orca Island are keeping their water clean with some help from Mother Nature. Our Science Nation report takes us to a lab where researchers are testing a Mexican folk recipe: using the "goo" inside prickly pear cactus to purify water contaminated by chemicals or oil spills.