New PBS series 'Saving the Ocean' takes a look at how people are trying to help world's oceans
"Saving the Ocean" promises to be different kind of environmentally focused PBS series — different because it is hosted by marine biologist, conservationist and author, Carl Safina. Different also because it focuses on people with solutions to the problems the world's oceans are facing, not just the problems themselves.
This show will focus on stories about people and communities working to develop solutions for environmental problems facing the world's oceans. The show's production company, Chedd-Angier, was founded by members of the team that created public television's "Nova" series. They have also produced other PBS programming, such as "Scientific American Frontier."
Episodes will take viewers from a marine reserve in Belize, where once-threatened sharks are making a comeback, to Zanzibar, where local Imams are working to save the coral reefs using teachings from the Koran.
Another episode focuses on Trinidad's leatherback turtles and how local leaders have launched their own crusade to stop the slaughter of these massive turtles. The turtles have been saved from being shark bait to flourishing as a major tourist attraction. It also shows how villages are now making a living catering to tourists that come to see the turtles.
"Saving the Ocean" will also feature a two-part special that has Safina venturing out to sea with some of the last swordfish harpooners left in the world. Viewers will get to experience harpoon fishing for creatures that are part of what Safina calls "one of the world's most sustainable fisheries."
Safina, the show's host, is a best-selling author of books focusing on the ocean and the founder of the Blue Ocean Institute, a leading conservation organization. His most recent book, "The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World," was awarded the 2012 Orion Book Award.
According to his bio, Safina has studied the ocean as a scientist, stood for it as an advocate and conveyed his global travels among sea creatures and fishing people in lyrical non-fiction writing. He is a professor at Stony Brook University. His awards include a Pew and Guggenheim Fellowships, Lannan Literary Award, John Burroughs Medal and a MacArthur Prize.
Safina believes this PBS program is going to be different. Its focus on people with solutions offers more than the usual "doom-and-gloom." He notes, "throughout my 30-year career, I've crisscrossed the globe and seen destruction of our vital ecosystems firsthand. The problems we see in headlines — over fishing, pollution and coral-reef troubles — are real. But 'Saving the Ocean' profiles people who are solving the problems. With this new PBS series, we're letting people see how some of these problems can be fixed."
"Saving the Ocean" features beautiful underwater footage and shots of some rare marine life filmed all over the world. Season 1 includes 10 half-hour episodes shot in high definition by an Emmy Award-winning team.
Episode 1 of "Saving the Ocean" will air on PBS stations nationwide starting Oct. 11. For more information, visit the PBS website.
Steve Larson is one of the founders of Information Alliance, a Utah-based data collection company. He currently serves as vice president of sales. Steve spends his free time writing and practicing photography. He also enjoys spending time outdoors.
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