One Ocean

One Ocean” is a four-part Nature of Things documentary that begins airing tonight on CBC. (National Geographic had a hand in it so I presume you’ll see it turning up on the National Geographic Channel at some point.) The series explores our planet’s oceans and their biosystems.

The companion site offers, in addition to other things, a series of pledges you can make to show your commitment to the oceans in particular and the environment in general. It’s an interesting way to try to engage the general public and encourage them to develop an interest in what’s happening to our oceans. But I question how it’s been implemented, and I question some of the pledges offered. For example, following the recent whale trainer death in Florida and the renewed criticisms of aquariums and captive marine life that erupted as a result, is a “visit an aquarium whenever possible” pledge (“Visiting an aquarium is a great opportunity to connect with marine life we may never get another chance to see. You’ll likely learn something new each time!“) really appropriate? Presumably the eco-credits assigned to each pledge will have something to do with the Biosphere gaming area that will be unveiled on March 11 since they seem to be valuing tasks that children can perform (pledging to go to aquariums or beaches more often) higher than tasks that adults are more likely to perform (presumably so as to not hinder their play time in the Biosphere). I’d be interested to know if anyone has actually been able to make a pledge — I tried it out and nothing at all happens. Perhaps it won’t be fully functional until the Biosphere is open.

The site appears to be somewhat under construction. The Biosphere isn’t ready yet; neither is the Ocean Explorer. But the Timeline works and is an interesting look at the history of ocean exploration and prehistoric creatures of the sea. There are video and audio extras (webisodes, interviews, and behind-the-scenes clips) and image galleries to go with each episode. (You can also see photos on their Flickr page.) There is supposed to be a blog, but I don’t see it there yet. Perhaps it’s still under construction as well.

In any case, it looks to be a really interesting series.

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