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Saving The Bay: Marvel Of Nature (Prehistory - 1848)

Airs Monday, August 22, 2011 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: A silver sky over the waters of San Francisco Bay.

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.

The founders of the Save San Francisco Bay Association, (L to R) Esther Gulick, Sylvia McLaughlin, and Catherine Kerr.
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Above: The founders of the Save San Francisco Bay Association, (L to R) Esther Gulick, Sylvia McLaughlin, and Catherine Kerr.

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

"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 One: "Marvel Of Nature (Prehistory - 1848)" - Through photo-realistic animation we experience how the Bay was created following the last Ice Age. We then meet Native Peoples along the Bay’s shores 3,000 years ago and continue through European exploration and settlement, including Spanish, Russian and ultimately, American influences.

"Saving The Bay" is on Facebook.

UP Next:

Episode Two: "Harbor Of Harbors (1849-1906)" will air on Tuesday, August 23 at 11 p.m.

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.

Video

Saving The Bay: The Formation of San Francisco Bay

Above: The San Francisco Bay as we know it is a very young landform in geologic time, formed at the end of the last ice age by rising sea levels. For more information, go to: http://education.savingthebay.org/the-formation-of-san-francisco-bay/

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Saving The Bay: Discovering San Francisco Bay: The Portolá Expedition

Above: In 1769, Gaspar de Portolá led a Spanish expedition bound for Monterey, California. By accident, the expedition ended up at San Francisco Bay, which was the largest inland network of tidal wetlands and marshes they had ever seen. For more information, go to: http://education.savingthebay.org/discovering-san-francisco-bay/

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Saving The Bay: A Parade of Grasses

Above: The early visitors and settlers of the San Francisco Bay Area greatly impacted the flora and fauna of the region. By 1830, the fur trade had decimated the sea otter population of the Bay and nearby coast. Native perennial grasses were threatened by livestock and the introduction of exotic annual grasses. For more information, go to: http://education.savingthebay.org/a-parade-of-grasses/

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Saving The Bay: Cultivating an Abundant San Francisco Bay

Above: Early human inhabitants of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Ohlone and the Coast Miwok, cultivated their abundant environment. These civilizations left behind shellmounds and shaped the landscape with controlled burns. Today, tribal members are working together to restore their lost culture. For more information, go to: http://education.savingthebay.org/cultivating-an-abundant-san-francisco-bay/

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