Thousands of tons of war wreckage sank into the fabled lagoons of the South Pacific islands during the naval and air battles of World War II. But instead of devastating the region’s underwater ecology, the detritus of human conflict turned into artificial reefs, upon which fantastic mini-ecosystems took shape. NATURE gives viewers a new perspective on wildlife in the South Pacific when its cameras board the WAR WRECKS OF THE CORAL SEAS.
The Solomon Islands and the waters that surround them constitute an enormous battlefield, where 60 years ago U.S. Navy and Marine forces began a monumental assault that eventually would drive Japanese forces northward, back toward their homeland. In addition to its enormous human toll, the fighting left countless ships and aircraft, including fuel and noxious cargo, on the beds of the formerly pristine shallow waters. Surprisingly, however, this intrusion into paradise did not repel wildlife from those waters. Instead, it attracted it.
Written and Produced by
Scientific & Historical Advisers:
DR ANDREW BAIRD
UNIVERSITY OF THE RYUKYUS, OKINAWA
PROFESSOR RONNIE DAY
UNIVERSITY OF EAST TENNESSEE
Location Services — Solomons
The BBC wishes to thank:
Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau
British High Commission, Solomon Islands
Crew Of The Yacht Wyuna
Solomon Sea Divers
Sir George Lepping & The People Of The Shortlands
The Government Of Chuuk, Federated States Of Micronesia
Crew Of The SS Thorfinn
Helen & Reg Thomas
Family Of Jean Daugherty
(c) BBC Bristol MMI
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN
Executive In Charge
A Co-Production Of Thirteen/WNET New York And The BBC
This program was produced by Thirteen/WNET New York,
which is solely responsible for its content.
(c) 2003 Educational Broadcasting Corporation
DANIEL B. GREENBERG
About the Writer
David Malakoff is a journalist covering research discoveries and the politics of science for SCIENCE MAGAZINE in Washington, D.C. His writing has appeared in a wide range of venues, including THE ECONOMIST, THE WASHINGTON POST, and ABCNews.com.
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Online content for WAR WRECKS OF THE CORAL SEAS was originally posted May 2003.