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[06/12/24 - 12:15 PM]
Acclaimed Ocean Photographer Brian Skerry Documents Climate Change Impact on the Gulf of Maine
"Sea Change: The Gulf of Maine," a "Nova" Special Presentation will premiere Wednesdays, July 24 - August 7 at 10 p.m. ET on PBS.

[via press release from PBS]

ACCLAIMED OCEAN PHOTOGRAPHER BRIAN SKERRY DOCUMENTS CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT ON THE GULF OF MAINE

Three Part Series Produced by GBH Examines Global Ocean Change and How It is Impacting Wildlife, Ecosystems, and Surrounding Communities

Sea Change: The Gulf of Maine, a NOVA Special Presentation to Premiere Wednesday, July 24 on PBS

(Boston, MA - June 12, 2024) - Boston public media producer GBH today announced the new three-part documentary series Sea Change: The Gulf of Maine, a NOVA Special Presentation will premiere Wednesdays, July 24 - August 7 at 10 p.m. ET on PBS, the PBS App, and NOVA on YouTube.

Sea Change explores a body of water that is warming 97 percent faster than the global ocean, and what that means for the Gulf of Maine - for the animals, for the jobs dependent upon it, and the millions of people along its shores - and may serve as a preview of what could happen worldwide due to climate change. The acclaimed underwater photographer Brian Skerry is a producer of the series, which features his work capturing the beauty of the area in spite of the devastating impact of climate change over the last 40 years. This series is part of a larger project by Skerry to document how warming waters are affecting this unique ecosystem, and includes his cover story on the Gulf of Maine in National Geographic's June issue (read here).

Sea Change blends science, exploration, stunning natural history, and stories of human experience, to illuminate how what happens here could have profound global implications. Viewers will encounter the spectacular wilderness and wildlife that still teems in these waters. The series also documents the range of people including scientists, Native Americans, fishers, and entrepreneurs working to reveal the Gulf's complex history and helping to understand what role the ocean plays in all of our lives.

A marine treasure of some 36,000 square miles, the Gulf of Maine stretches from the tip of Cape Cod to Nova Scotia and is more than a thousand feet deep at its lowest point. It courses with cold, nutrient-rich water, mixed by the world's biggest tides. This rich environment feeds a web of over 3,000 species ranging from microscopic plankton to massive right whales. Millions of people have lived along the Gulf, drawing their sustenance and livelihood from its plentiful depths. It is a seminal body of water, a cradle to ancient peoples, and a lifeline to fragile marine ecosystems. But for all its storied bounty - and because of it - the Gulf is also in peril, with some of its fisheries now depleted to extreme levels.

"I've always had a deep love for the Gulf of Maine as a New England native and a current resident," said Brian Skerry, one of the producers of Sea Change and a longtime National Geographic photographer. "Every other breath we take is of oxygen that was generated from our oceans. But they are now in peril, something that we can document deeply in the Gulf of Maine, an area that has provided for this continent long-before the arrival of Europeans and far into the last century. What once provided a seemingly endless supply of cod fish, lobsters, and clams, now allows us to witness firsthand the devastating changes brought on by climate change. It's my hope that this series serves as a cautionary tale, as well as a tribute to one of my favorite places."

"The most striking thing to me about the series," says GBH co-executive producer, John Bredar, "is the characters that filmmakers, Chun-Wei Yi and Stella Cha, highlight. They tell an amazing story of resilience and are some of the thousands of people here working to sustain the Gulf, from a biologist who is also a lobsterman, to Native American clam farmers, from seaweed entrepreneurs to a team of intrepid scientists on an expedition to the remotest part of the Gulf - and those are just the humans in the story! The animals that we meet, from grain-of-rice-sized mud shrimp to literally hundreds of thousands of semipalmated sandpipers, and every imaginable creature in-between, round out a fantastically diverse story with unforgettable images."

We are at a crossroads for the future of the Gulf of Maine - and our oceans. Does the Gulf retain enough of its biodiversity and regenerative strength to weather the human-induced storm? Is the sheer beauty of the place and spectacular range of its creatures enough to wake us to the stakes? Sea Change tells this epic oceanic story, with stunning photography to drive home the endless wonder of this unmatched natural resource.

Descriptions and premiere dates for each of the three episodes are provided below:

Sea Change: The Gulf of Maine, a NOVA Special Presentation "Bounty" (Premieres Wednesday, July 24 at 10 p.m. ET)

The Gulf of Maine and its bounty was forever changed by European settlers and this episode lays bare how centuries of brilliant and often catastrophic innovation led to an unnatural extraction. Now with the Gulf warming faster than 97 percent of the global ocean, witness how people and wildlife are - or are not - adapting to rapid change.

Sea Change: The Gulf of Maine, a NOVA Special Presentation "Peril" (Premieres Wednesday, July 31 at 10 p.m. ET)

A remote - and relatively pristine - part of the Gulf, Cashes Ledge, is a gem of unimaginable bounty. From this vantage point, scientists can investigate how the Gulf came to be, coming to see how its cold waters, unique tides, and even geologic shape power a web of more than 3,000 species ranging from microscopic plankton to massive right whales.

Sea Change: The Gulf of Maine, a NOVA Special Presentation "Survival" (Premieres Wednesday, August 7 at 10 p.m. ET)

We are at a crossroads for the future of the Gulf of Maine and our global oceans. Whether it is Indigenous scholars providing conservation leadership, scientists tracking the latest developments, or entrepreneurs finding new ways to make a living from the sea, people are charting a new course in these changing waters.

Sea Change will be accompanied by a six-part short-form digital series produced by Indigenous filmmakers in collaboration with Vision Maker Media and NOVA, focused on climate issues and solutions in Native communities across the country. PBS and GBH have also created a robust education collection around the rich stories from the program and the digital series for grades 6-12, launching in fall 2024.

Descriptions for the short form films from the digital series are provided below and release dates will be announced closer to the broadcast premiere of Sea Change:

Sands of Time: (Bristol Bay, Alaska) - In an observational survey, this short documentary presents the realities of coastal erosion by witnessing the experience of Bristol Bay community members. Interviews, local archives, and ancestral knowledge put the circumstances in stark relief as we detail the communities' adjustments to the retreating coastline.

We Won't Wait to Act (w.t.): (Smith River, California) - In 2023, the Tolowa Dee-ni' people alongside partnering tribes asserted sovereignty over the 700 square miles of their ancestral fisheries. Now in 2024, we see how marine science and resource management can be guided by community and culture.

Tides of Tradition (w.t.): (Unalaska, Alaska) - Communities like the Unangax̂ rely on traditional foodways in lieu of customary, expensive grocery suppliers. Following the journey of a local subsistence hunter, we learn the realities of food access in the changing Arctic and the values that inform their harvest.

Standing the Heat: (Navajo Nation) - In a journey of reconnection, filmmaker Steven Tallas explores the hogan - a small, unassuming traditional structure found across the Navajo Nation. Remaining cool in the summers and warm in the winters, this short film revisits the hogan amidst a warming American southwest.

Bears Ears (w.t.): (Navajo Nation) - The Southwestern United States is experiencing a megadrought, but this isn't the first time people have survived one in the region. By highlighting ideas and practices from Navajo tradition, the story recenters our relationship to water.

Original Rain Harvesters: (Tucson, Arizona) - Agriculture can thrive in the desert. The Hohokam people have used Ak Chin farming, a form of dry farming, to grow crops for thousands of years, and in this short documentary, cultural experts demonstrate these traditional practices as well as implementations for future community planning.

Sea Change: The Gulf of Maine, a NOVA Special Presentation, will be available to stream on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS App, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast, and VIZIO.

Sea Change: The Gulf of Maine, a NOVA Special Presentation, is a Co-Production of GBH and So World Media. Written and produced by Chun-Wei Yi and Stella Cha. Edited by Bryan Sullivan, Erin Cumming, Tim Wanlin, CCE, and Chun-Wei Yi. Series inspired by Producer Brian Skerry. Executive Producers are John Bredar and Laurie Donnelly. Executive Producers for NOVA are Julia Cort and Chris Schmidt. Diana El-Osta, Senior Director, Programming and Development, is Executive in Charge for PBS.

Companion Digital Series produced by Chris Neighbors, Wenona & Sal Baldenegro, Jeremy Charles, Anna Hoover, Kanesia McGlashan-Price, Len Necefer and Steven Tallas in association with Vision Maker Media and GBH, with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.

Major funding for Sea Change: The Gulf of Maine, a NOVA Special Presentation, is provided by PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation, Candis J. Stern, the Lawry Family Foundation, the GBH Climate and Environment Fund, and PBS viewers.

Funding for NOVA is provided by Carlisle Companies, the NOVA Science Trust, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers.

About GBH

GBH is the leading multiplatform creator for public media in America. As the largest producer of content for PBS and partner to NPR and PRX, GBH delivers compelling experiences, stories and information to audiences wherever they are. GBH produces digital and broadcast programming that engages, illuminates and inspires, through drama and science, history, arts, culture and journalism. It is the creator of such signature programs as MASTERPIECE, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, FRONTLINE, NOVA, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, Arthur and Molly of Denali, as well as WORLD Channel and a catalog of streaming series, podcasts and on-demand video. With studios and a newsroom headquartered in Boston, GBH reaches across New England with GBH 89.7, Boston's Local NPR(R); CRB Classical 99.5; and CAI, the Cape and Islands NPR(R) station. Dedicated to making media accessible to and inclusive of our diverse culture, GBH is a pioneer in delivering media to those who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired. GBH creates curriculum-based digital content for educators nationwide with PBS LearningMedia and has been recognized with hundreds of the nation's premier broadcast, digital and journalism awards. Find more information at wgbh.org.

About So World Media

So World Media is a production company that tells powerful stories at the intersection of people, animals, and our changing planet. Based in New York, clients and production partners include GBH, PBS, National Geographic, and the Department of Defense.

About PBS

PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 42 million adults on linear primetime television, more than 15 million users on PBS-owned streaming platforms, and 56 million people view PBS content on social media, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature, and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS's broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS LearningMedia for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. As the number one educational media brand, PBS KIDS helps children 2-8 build critical skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality content on TV - including a PBS KIDS channel - and streaming free on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Video app, games on the PBS KIDS Games app, and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, Facebook, Instagram, or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Communications on X.





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· NOVA (PBS)





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