Narrated by Robert Redford, this lively and timely series is about one of America’s greatest natural resources – San Francisco Bay. Shot in high definition, it consists of four 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.
From the Gold Rush to the Golden Gate Bridge, and through World’s Fairs and World Wars, San Francisco Bay has been central to the identity of one of the world’s leading economic, academic, recreational, and cultural regions. This series explores its evolution, how we almost lost and then saved the Bay, and how we are planning 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.
Marvel of Nature (Prehistory – 1848) (#101) Duration: 56:31 CC Stereo TVG
In the first episode, photo-realistic animation illustrates the formation of the Bay following the last Ice Age. It introduces the first inhabitants along the Bay’s shores, including Native Peoples along with flora and fauna, and continues through European exploration and settlement, including Spanish, Russian and ultimately, American influences that dramatically altered the region.
Harbor of Harbors (1849 – 1906) (#102) Duration: 56:42 CC Stereo TVG
This episode follows San Francisco’s “rapid monstrous maturity” into a major metropolis following the California Gold Rush. Establishing the infrastructure to support the instant city meant radical change for San Francisco Bay. By the century’s end, San Francisco Bay was the center of a broad economic empire on the Pacific.
Miracle Workers (1906 – 1959) (#103) Duration: 56:58 CC Stereo TVG
This episode begins with The Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906, which accelerated the dispersion of people and industry to the East Bay region. Advances in engineering gave rise to the first of California’s massive water re-distribution projects, paralleling the era of great bridge building. World War II saw the Bay transformed into the greatest shipbuilding center the world had ever known.
Bay in the Balance (#104) Duration: 56:46 CC Stereo TVG
In the final episode, the very survival of the Bay is threatened by the postwar boom. Viewers are introduced to the leaders of the Save the Bay campaign of the 1960s and the birth of the national mass environmental movement. As the Bay Area looks to the future, the issue becomes how best to balance the competing demands of a major urban center set amidst an environmentally significant landscape.