A spectacular visual exploration of the natural history of the largest freshwater ecosystem on Earth – North America’s Great Lakes.
Nearly as wide as the Atlantic Ocean with three of Earth’s five largest lakes, this spectacular watershed contains one quarter of our planet’s available freshwater; and yet, we’ve rarely seen it before on the screen. But how were these lakes formed and how have its animals, plants and people been shaped by the extremes of this vast watershed? For the first time we reveal the natural history secrets of one of our planet’s most important, beautiful and forgotten ecosystems: North America’s Great Lakes.
This is the largest freshwater environment on Earth, containing 84% of North America’s freshwater. There are cities here, but also vast wildernesses.
Within each film we’ll tell visually dramatic natural history stories delivered in a ratio of 60% wildlife, 20% incredible landscapes and phenomena, and 20% visually-driven human/nature narratives. Each story will be surprising and told by an Emmy-award-winning team with a remarkable television pedigree. Our goal is to blow the audiences’ minds, making them fall in love with Earth’s most important watershed.
Why now? In a changing planet with a looming shortage of freshwater it’s time to look at the beautiful and fragile ecosystem that contains one quarter of Earth’s available freshwater.
EPISODE 1: OCEANS OF ICE
This is the story of how extremes of cold created the largest and important freshwater environment on our planet and shaped the present-day behaviour of life here, and how it has adapted to this spectacular landscape. The annual great freeze and thaw mimics the glacial and biological history of these lakes. Winter shows us the physical forces that shape the incredible wildlife, landscapes and people who live here.
EPISODE 2: EXPLOSION OF LIFE
Spring is when the Great Lakes’ bizarre wildlife has a short season to reproduce. A time when animals reveal their extreme nature. We’ll see new behaviour and new science of how life rushes to reproduce in brief transition from brutal cold to blazing heat.
EPISODE 3: WORLD’S MIGHTIEST RIVER
This film follows the flow of the water from ‘source to sea’. We see how the five Great Lakes and the watershed are really Earth’s largest river system and how the flow of water here determines all life. But what does the future hold?
Co-Produced by Oak Island Films Canada, Merit Motion Pictures and Terra Mater Factual Studios in association with TVO, Smithsonian Channel and Two Wise Monkeys Entertainment