Skip directly to content


Watersheds as systems: runoff to renewal

Alexandra and the Expedition Blue Planet crew spent some time in Canada to explore how a systems approach to watershed management ensures the quality and quantity of this most vital resource.

There is no better place to explore this subject than the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world. The Great Lakes hold 90% of North America's freshwater and yet 24 billion gallons of untreated sewage flow into the Great Lakes each day; each day one football field of its wetlands is lost. Alexandra interviewed scientists and other experts who spoke about why it is that the Great Lakes system could be on the verge of a sudden collapse, what that means for the 33 million people that call the Great Lakes water basin home, and how the problems that plague this system are representative of water crises around the globe.

In Canada, Blue Legacy explored the key facets of the water conversation taking place all across North America: how quantities of water are managed, what our impacts on water quality are, and how critical a focus on systems is to sustaining a healthy watershed. Here, Alexandra and her crew brought it all home by learning about how people are writing their own water stories, transforming runoff to renewal for communities, their economies, and their ecosystems.