Big Blue Live is a live television and online event celebrating some of the world’s most amazing marine creatures converging off California’s coast. Set in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the bay has experienced an environmental rebirth. This wildlife success story attracts humpback whales, blue whales, sea lions, dolphins, elephant seals, sea otters, great white sharks, shearwaters, and much more for a once-a-year marine animal phenomenon.

A presentation of PBS and the BBC, Big Blue Live will bring together scientists, filmmakers and photographers, animal behaviorists, and other experts over the course of three spectacular nights. The program will be anchored live from a hub at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and from a national marine sanctuary research vessel. Viewers can watch one of nature’s great “reality shows” delivered through state-of-the-art filming technologies and live reports from air, sea, and below the waves.

Big Blue Live airs live on KUED over three nights, August 31-September 2, at 9pm.

Monterey Bay

One of our nation's most spectacular marine protected areas, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the world. This "Serengeti of the Sea" stretches along the central coast from San Francisco to Cambria and includes pristine beaches, jewel-like tide pools, lush kelp forests, steep canyons and an offshore seamount teeming with life—from tiny shrimp to giant blue whales.

Big Blue Live will be following the stories of the humpback whales, blue whales, dolphins, Southern sea otters, great white sharks, sea lions, Northern elephant seals, shearwaters, pelicans and more. Many have made long and difficult migrations to reach Monterey Bay, counting on a glut of fish and plankton as their reward. Some won’t survive the journey, and if they do reach their destination safely, the feast isn’t guaranteed. 

Monterey Bay Sanctuary Facts

  • Shoreline Length: 276 Statute Miles (almost exactly, which is about one quarter of California's coast!)
  • Size: 6,094 square statute miles or 4,601 square nautical miles—about the size of Connecticut.
  • Deepest Point: 12,713 feet or 3,250 meters in the Monterey Bay Submarine Canyon, which is deeper than the Grand Canyon.
  • Volume: 4,480 cubic miles or 7,469,681,093 olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • Average Ocean Surface Temperature: 55F
  • Marine Mammals: 34 species
  • Seabirds and Shorebirds: more than 180 species
  • Fishes: at least 525 species
  • Turtles: 4 species Invertebrates: 31 phyla
  • Marine algae: 450-plus species
  • Historical Sites: 1,276 reported shipwrecks and 718 prehistoric sites

Information courtesy of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. See more at

Co-host Dr. M. Sanjayan explains the yearly migratory event in Monterey Bay that inspired Big Blue Live.


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Big Blue Live Episodes