Originally broadcast on April 2 and 9, 2008.
(check local listings for repeat airings)
The Amazon is the most powerful of the world's rivers, and its rapid transformation will alter the global climate. Emptying into the great Atlantic Ocean, it flows through the world's largest tropical rainforest, the vast, natural theater where evolution has gone wild, creating the greatest biodiversity of any area on the planet.
Twenty-five years ago, Jean-Michel Cousteau explored this fabled region with his father, the legendary Jacques Cousteau. Since then, an area the size of Texas has been deforested. This is a region of urgency and conflict, where human enterprise and expansion not only compromise the health and ecology of the river and rainforest basin but also inflict consequences on a global scale. Yet, as the Ocean Adventures team witnesses in this intimate exploration, new beacons of hope and sustainability are emerging from the Amazon as the fight for the future of the region unfolds.
- The Woods Hole Research Center's Amazon program site includes "at a glance" data about the Amazon, background information on the timber industry in the region and detailed information on the expansion of agriculture in the Amazon. (at whrc.org)
- The Amazon, the World's Largest Rainforest from Mongabay, explains how the Amazon transformed from a westward flowing river that emptied into the Pacific to a massive freshwater lake then, ultimately, to the eastward flowing river that it is today. This site also aggregates news items about the region. (at mongabay.com)
- FRONTLINE/World's "Jewel of the Amazon" examines the explosion of diamond mining in the Amazon. The site includes in-depth information on the indigenous people of the Amazon River region.
- Nature's "Deep Jungle: Monsters of the Forest" features videos on Amazonian tarantulas so fierce they're rumored to attack chickens and offers in-depth information about other Amazon species.
- The BBC's Amazon site covers adventurer Bruce Parry's journey downriver from the source of the Amazon, high in the Andes. (at bbc.co.uk)
- Journey Into Amazonia, a PBS series, explored the volatile waters of the world's largest river system, the dramas that occur in the treetops of the rainforest, and the habits of Amazon predators large and small, from army ants to jaguars.