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The Island Diaries

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America ReFramed

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Stories from the Stage

Stories from the Stage

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Upfront

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Bioneers

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Link Voices

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Foreign Correspondent

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Four Corners

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Tending Nature

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Earth Focus

Vanishing Coral

“Vanishing Coral” presents the personal story of scientists and naturalists who are working with local communities to protect coral reefs that are being destroyed by warming seas, pollution, and destructive fishing practices. Featured in the documentary is the President of the Biosphere 2 Foundation Abigail Alling, marine biologist and coral expert Phil Dustan, captain of the Mir research sailing vessel Mark Van Thillo, and Nono Suparno, a leading conservationist in Bali.

“Vanishing Coral” comes during a pivotal time when coral reef populations are declining at a rapid pace. In 2016, a warm spell attributed to climate change caused bleaching of one-third of the Great Barrier Reef along the eastern coast of Australia that is 5,000 to 10,000 years old. Reefs in the Florida Keys have declined by 80 percent over the past three decades and scientists warn that all Caribbean coral could disappear in the next 20 years. One of the most diverse and complex ecosystems on the planet, the coral reefs provide livelihoods, food and important shoreline protection in many regions. Though they make up less than 1 percent of the oceans, reefs are home to 25 percent of fish and other marine life.

Funding for this program was provided by the Orange County Community Foundation and individual donors. “Vanishing Coral” was produced and directed by Stephen Olsson, CEM Productions.The "Earth Focus" series was created by Raisa Scriabine.

For action resources and to learn more about the issues, visit our special CORAL pages, and these articles:

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Full Episodes
Season
P-22 | Earth Focus
Episode
24:28
Earth Focus

S1 E6: Urban Habitat

Los Angeles is one of the biggest biodiversity hotspots in the world, despite its smog, urban sprawl and snarling freeways.
A woman cleans her pen at a sea cucumber reserve in Madagascar. | Nicky Milne/Thomson Reuters Foundation
Episode
25:44
Earth Focus

S1 E5: Future of Food

Communities and innovators all over the world are creating new sustainable food sources that are resilient to climate change and growing populations.
Canal along agricultural field near Los Baños, California. | Carla Pineda
Episode
25:44
Earth Focus

S1 E4: Adaptation to Global Water Shortages

Anticipating future water needs, two regions on opposite sides of the world turn to technology for answers.
Aerial image of urban density in Freetown, Sierra Leone. | Nicky Milne/Thomson Reuters Foundation
Episode
25:26
Earth Focus

S1 E3: City Planning

Two cities, San Francisco and Freetown, brace for climate change using vastly different methodologies.
Aerial image of island off Louisiana coast. | Nicky Milne/Thomson Reuters Foundation
Episode
25:30
Earth Focus

S1 E1: Sea Level Rising - Living With Water

Forecasts are dire for Louisiana to experience the second-highest sea level rise in the world. How is the region adapting?
The border gate on the Tijuana, Mexico side of Friendship Park. | KCET
Episode
25:58
Earth Focus

S1 E2: Climate Migration

Droughts and floods are driving many people away from their rural, farming communities into big cities.
EARTH FOCUS “The Youth Climate Movement Around the World” features Alexandria Villaseñor from Paradise, California. Image courtesy of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Episode
Earth Focus

S3 E1: The Youth Climate Movement Around the World

In-depth profiles of four young environmentalists: Alexandria Villaseñor in California, Carl Smith in Alaska, Ayakha Melithafa in South Africa and Litokne Kabua in the Marshall Islands.
A group of women in Zanzibar studies solar installation. | Nicky Milne/Thomson Reuters Foundation
Episode
26:30
Earth Focus

S2 E5: Lighting A Path - Embracing Solar Power In California and Zanzibar

Solar power is changing lives in unexpected places. This episode visits with unique solar power training programs in Zanzibar and Los Angeles.
brightcove-5782657773001.jpg
Episode
25:26
Earth Focus

City Planning (San Francisco & Freetown, Sierra Leone)

San Francisco's developers are building expensive real estate on floodplains, as officials try to heed expert future sea level projections. On the other side of the world, a deadly mudslide caused by torrential rains and deforestation in Sierra Leone shows the consequences of city planning that doesn't take climate change into account.
brightcove-5771363661001.jpg
Episode
27:18
Earth Focus

Tortoise In Peril

This documentary explores why desert tortoises are a threatened species and how people can change the environment through seemingly innocent actions.
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