Season Four

Episode #401

Tiny Fish: Big Deal, Wild Olympics, Biofuel from Cornfield Residue, Fire Ants

Researchers on the Oregon coast study the role that forage fish play in the food chain. Sometimes called “bait fish”, sardines, anchovies, smelt and other small fish are vitally important in sustaining larger species – including sea birds, salmon, and marine mammals like sea lions. Humans also catch forage fish, mainly for animal feed, and there’s growing concern that large-scale commercial harvesting of forage fish comes at the expense of other marine life, potentially with catastrophic results.

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Episode #402

Owyhee Canyonlands, Sustainable Alaskan Village, Algae Power, Climbing Fish

Much of Oregon is a desert; and in the dry, remote southeastern corner of the state there’s a wild and captivating canyon landscape carved by the Owyhee River. It’s been described as the largest intact, unprotected stretch of the American West, but it needs more protection from development pressure, including mining. A robust campaign for wilderness designation is making progress.

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Episode #403

Wilderness Anniversary, Arkansas Oil Pipeline, Fungi Fuel

Marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Wilderness Act, we explore its origins and success in protecting more than 100 million acres of unspoiled natural wilderness, a distinctly American
achievement. There are still many more areas of wild nature that deserve protection, and the Wilderness Act remains an essential law in the cause of conservation.

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Episode #404

Seamount of Life. Arctic Traffic, Altamaha River Pollution, Diatoms and Climate Change

Using special recording technology to document the spawning of endangered fish like the Nassau grouper, scientists in the Caribbean study spawning aggregation sites that are critically important for the survival of many ocean species. We follow them to one of these sites off the western coast of Puerto Rico that has been severely impacted by overfishing; conservationists say an effectively enforced marine protected area is urgently needed there.

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Episode #405

Herring Lift, Biofuel Start-ups, Fabulous Filtering Fungi, Prickly Pear Cactus for Clean Water

Every spring, on the Saugatucket River in Rhode Island, tens of thousands of river herring try to swim upriver from the Atlantic to spawn, facing dams on the river that block their way. Many fish find it too exhausting to use fish ladders on the dams, and they give up their struggle. But happily there are people who volunteer to help the fish on their journey, using buckets in an effort called a “fish lift” to get the herring over the dams.

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THIS AMERICAN LAND is the leading conservation news magazine program on public television stations nationwide. Opening windows to our country’s amazing natural heritage, we report compelling stories on America’s landscapes, waters and wildlife, taking our viewers to the front lines of conservation, science and outdoor adventure with stories that inform and entertain.
Full episodes of THIS AMERICAN LAND can be viewed here.
THIS AMERICAN LAND AND SCIENCE NATION We are proud to partner with the National Science Foundation to bring our viewers exceptional reports from its SCIENCE NATION series in many of our episodes. Fast-paced and informative, each of these stories explores new scientific efforts to understand and conserve our natural resources.
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