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Saving The Bay: Harbor Of Harbors (1849-1906)

Airs Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

New land created in San Francisco's Yerba Buena Cove c. 1855. Telegraph Hill ...

Credit: Courtesy of The Bancroft Library

Above: New land created in San Francisco's Yerba Buena Cove c. 1855. Telegraph Hill is in the background.

Narrated by Robert Redford, this award-winning documentary explores one of America's greatest natural resources – San Francisco Bay. Shot in high definition, "Saving The Bay" consists of four one-hour episodes focusing on the geological, cultural, and developmental history of San Francisco Bay and the larger northern California watershed, from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Farallon Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

The series explores the Bay’s evolution, how it was almost lost to development, and plans for the future, including wetland restoration, increased public access, and balancing the often competing needs of a fragile ecosystem that is the centerpiece of a major urban area.

"Saving The Bay" also tells the story of three women who rallied an entire region to save San Francisco Bay from becoming little more than a river, an inspirational example of how ordinary citizens can have an impact on protecting and enhancing our natural environment.

Episode Two: "Harbor Of Harbors (1849-1906)" - The California Gold Rush leads to San Francisco’s “rapid monstrous maturity” into a major metropolis. Establishing the infrastructure to support the instant city means radical change for San Francisco Bay. By century’s end, San Francisco Bay is the center of a broad economic empire on the Pacific.

"Saving The Bay" is on Facebook.

UP Next:

Episode Three: "Miracle Workers (1906 — 1959)" will air on Monday, August 29 at 11 p.m.

Episode Four: "Save The Bay! (1960 — Present)" will air on Tuesday, August 30 at 11 p.m.

Saving The Bay: The Aftermath of the Gold Rush

Beginning with the Gold Rush era, the legacy of mining activity in California remains in water systems today. Hydraulic mining practices caused massive amounts of sediment and mercury to enter the vast network of streams and rivers that feed into San Francisco Bay. Mercury continues to pollute the watershed, making many fish toxic to consume. For more information, go to:

Video Excerpt: Saving The Bay

Highlights from the PBS four-part series "Saving The Bay" narrated by Robert Redford. This series charts the history and progress in restoring and protecting the San Francisco Bay estuary.

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