Aired Wednesday April 2nd, 2008 at 7:00 pm
The Amazon: the most powerful of the world's rivers, its rapid transformation will alter the global climate. Emptying into the Atlantic Ocean, it flows through the world's largest tropical rainforest, the vast, natural theater where evolution has gone wild, creating the greatest biodiversity of any area on the planet. Twenty-five years ago, Jean-Michel Cousteau explored this fabled region with his father, the legendary Jacques Cousteau. Since then, an area the size of Texas has been deforested. With an intimate look at recent changes, Jean-Michel returns with a new expedition for the signature PBS environmental series, JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU: OCEAN ADVENTURES. Combining science and discovery with expert story-telling and astonishing HD footage, the new season premieres with "Return to the Amazon," airing Wednesdays, April 2-9, at 7 p.m. on KUED-Channel 7. Actor Delroy Lindo narrates.
Traveling down the Amazon River basin with Jean-Michel are his children Fabien and Celine and his crew of adventurous oceanauts. Over the course of 10 months, through wet and dry seasons, in the water and on land, the team encounters debilitating challenges and uplifting discoveries during multiple expeditions and forays into both wild and developed regions. All experienced ocean divers, the team members have the unique experience of investigating the murky waters of the Amazon basin - where there are more species of fish than in the entire Atlantic Ocean. The team encounters several unusual and rare species and experiences some surprises, including swimming with an anaconda, the world's largest - and perhaps most dangerous - snake; going nose-to-nose with the jacaré, the Amazon version of the crocodile; and playfully swimming with pink river dolphins.
More than 4,000 miles long without a single bridge crossing it, the Amazon is the world's longest and widest river. Negotiating it is not easy. Covering an area larger than the continental United States, the team travels together on long river passages, but breaks into small mobile groups with Fabien and Celine to investigate more leads. From the Brazilian city of Manaus - a hub of commerce on the main Amazon tributary, the Rio Negro - to protected areas in the Amazon such as Xixuaú and Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, the teams investigate projects aiming to end the destruction of the land and river. From the mouth of the Amazon at the Atlantic Ocean to a glacier in the Peruvian Andes, they explore remarkable natural phenomena and the catastrophic consequences of climate change and deforestation.
Issues, challenges and problems that exist in the Amazon have a direct connection to the rest of the world, especially through global commerce. Soybean farms, lumber companies, commercial fishing, illegal animal trafficking and other industries come under close scrutiny, and the Cousteau family and the Ocean Adventures team uncover both inspiring and shocking stories throughout Brazil and Peru. They investigate the crucial role of native people in sustaining the natural rainforest and river system and visit indigenous peoples in small, remote villages and large, protected reserves. New businesses, like ecotourism, fish farming, organized fish monitoring and developing and exporting sustainable rainforest products and medicines, are all examples of potential solutions to global problems, as clear progress is made in the Amazon.
From this region of urgency and conflict, where human
enterprise and expansion not only compromise the health and ecology of the
river and rainforest basin but inflict consequences on a global scale, come new
beacons of hope and sustainability. The fight for the future of the Amazon and
its people is underway, and "Return to
the Amazon" presents solutions already in motion for keeping the forest
alive and thriving.
Array ( [area] => pressReleases [action] => details [id] => MTg4 )
Array ( )