WATERSHED: "That area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community."
- John Wesley Powell
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In this short film Alexandra Cousteau dashes into the line kitchen of EPIC in Toronto, the Fairmont Royal York’s lauded restaurant, for a chat with Executive Chef David Garcelon. Not only does Garcelon zip up the elevator to the roof top garden to harvest herbs and heirloom tomatoes but he is hyper aware of the sustainable choices he and his kitchen make when it comes to what they put on the plate, especially when it comes to subscribing to the Ocean Wise program that promotes sustainable seafood menu options.
Our Director of Photography Ian Kellett recounts tales from his three-day stint on the Ocean Alliance’s research sailboat the Odyssey as it searches for whales in the Gulf of Mexico:
Aboard the RV Odyssey off the coast of Mobile, Alabama, eight miles from the epicenter of the Deepwater Horizon site, Ethan Roth, a fit self-assured 25-year old scientist from Scripps uses an acoustic ping to release a 250-pound, underwater audio recording device from the bottom. His lab is hoping to collect valuable data about whale activity in the area of the oil spill.
In the desert there are large bugs called cicadas. Here's what cicadas do: they buzz. It's a delightful buzz really, one that we associate with scenes of dramatic desert dehydration or illicit border crossings. Think Sergio Leone turning up the tumbleweeds to eleven.
So the cicadas start doing their thing around noon. Their song predictably waxes and wanes with the heat of the sun, for reasons that will make more sense to an entomologist than to me. But while it seems intuitively right to associate buzzing cicadas with the impossibly hot and dry, our friends at arkive.org, an online
“…Let her go. Give this river back her soul. Let her waters be released. Let this mighty river flow…”
I’ve been off the river and lying here under the stars of Glen Canyon for almost an hour but TR Ritchie’s words are still echoing through my head punctuated now then by distant yelps of coyotes and the chirping of crickets. We were somewhere near our ninetieth mile on the river when TR pulled his guitar from a drybag and picked a song for the Colorado.
Maybe it was the sun. Maybe it was the two solid days of feeling the raw power of this river throwing us at her will.
We've traveled over 20,000 km, slept more than 100 nights away from the comfort of our homes, we've practically circumnavigated North America in the 'Rolling Calypso' and collected a massive 54 terabytes worth of amazing video and photo media along the way. And now with only one month to go in this unforgettable journey it isn't time to relax just yet.
In this last month we are all hands on deck in production, eyes glued to screens in post-production – and we make our way south from Canada back through New York and then onto Washington D.C.
Just one week into Expedition Blue Planet: North America and the bus is already turning into our home away from home. Twelve creative individuals from the far corners of the earth all meeting, many for the first time, and being thrown into a bus for 138 days - this is almost a reality TV show in itself, complete with Christoph, 24/7 with camera in arm, ready to capture every moment of this journey. Our mission: tell the stories of our water planet across North America.
We are traveling, working, even sleeping on the bus, and nearly 2,200 miles into our epic journey we are already living and
The water of the Sea of Cortez was salty and warm, the sunset flamingo pink and daffodil yellow. My thoughts lingered mostly on how shark infested the whole thing looked. Unlike some around me I have a healthy fear of being eaten from below. I headed for the shower, a trickle of cold water too close to the wall to cover my body. Later, I wondered if the briny waters had not once been sweet, when the Colorado still met the sea.
“From the time I was old enough to stand in a creek I was fascinated by running water, quite frankly,” says Jim Siscoe, manager of the Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company (MVIC) in Cortez, Colorado. MVIC owns about $1.5 billion dollars worth of water rights in the area that revolve around the McPhee Dam on the Dolores River, a tributary of the Colorado River.
While Siscoe is a scientist by training he is a rancher at heart; he and his wife, Loretta, have just begun an organic cattle operation that has 40 head of Black Angus cattle.
One of the hottest topics in this area revolves around the
Now that we’ve finally wrapped up production in the headwater’s region of the Colorado River, we’re sorting through the rich bounty of all the stories we’ve gathered and the voices we’ve heard.
One such voice that still rings loud in our ears is that of John Echohawk, veteran Native American rights lawyer and Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) based in Boulder, Colorado.
We first met Echohawk at the NARF offices in Boulder, Colorado on Wednesday July 9th.
We asked our beloved hosts and guides in Mexico, Osvel Hinojosa-Huerta, Pronatura Noroeste's Director of the Water and Wetlands Program and his partner Yamilett Carillo Guerrero, the coordinator of Pronatura’s Sustainable Watershed’s initiative in Northwestern Mexico to write us a blog post about our exploits south of the border. Enjoy! And thanks Osvel and Yami for such an insightful and enriching visit throughout the Colorado River delta!!
This was certainly a life changing experience for us, and we hope it is for the Colorado River too.