Issue

Ocean Health

From the Arctic Ocean to the South Pacific, the impacts of climate change are becoming impossible to ignore. Ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, the very chemistry of the seas is undergoing change.

Through Ocean Health, readers can explore a range of journalism on critical issues related to the health of our oceans and ways in which scientists and local communities are adapting and fighting for the future of our oceans. From ground-breaking reports on ocean acidification to stories on how the melting Arctic ice cap is affecting our lives, these in-depth projects shed new light on under-reported crises that will have a lasting—and potentially devastating—impact on future generations.

Ocean Health also looks at how overfishing, oil exploration, and exploitation of mineral resources beneath the ocean’s surface can degrade the environment and jeopardize food sources needed to sustain the planet’s ever-expanding population. Through this journalism, the Pulitzer Center hopes to inform the debate on one of the most critical challenges of our time—the health of our oceans.

Ocean Health

Bangladesh: Crisis in Slow Motion

Bangladesh is a massive river delta, and river erosion is taking more than 100 sq. km. of land per year. According to local officials, it displaces more than 100,000 riverside residents per year, and the pace is accelerating, fed by melting glaciers and monsoons upstream. We visited the massive Jamuna River near Sirajganj in the northwest corner of the country and saw where large chunks of the dike and roadway had collapsed just a few weeks earlier.

Bangladesh: First Impression of "Easy Like Water"

It is monsoon season in Bangladesh, making the delicate balance between water and land more tenuous than ever. It was raining heavily when we disembarked from the ferry on Bhola Island and it continued to rain for much of the day. South of Dhaka some 205 km. (or 11 hours by ferry), Bhola is caught between the rising saltwater of the Bay of Bengal to the south and the ominous churning of the Meghna River to the east.

Bangladesh: On the Boat to Bhola

I am writing from the overnight ferry from Dhaka to Bhola island. Glenn and I spent the morning shooting interviews and b-roll footage at a dismal slum in Dhaka that is home to over 1000 displaced people from the island of Bhola. Bhola, one of six southern islands in Bangladesh, is home to 1.6 million people. But many thousands of people are leaving Bhola as erosion caused by rising sea levels and strong currents swallows the land. Some predict half the island could be gone in 30 years time.

Bangladesh: Reporting on Water

We will be heading off for Bangladesh on Aug. 22 to explore the "ground zero" of climate change and innovative adaptive strategies they are developing there. We will be traveling to Bhola, a large coastal island that has reportedly lost half its land mass over the past decade, to report on the "children of climate change" whose families are battling to stay there. We have just secured an interview with Dr.

Bangladesh: A Floating Future

Global warming will hit Bangladesh hard. Climate-related natural disasters already have this nation's 180 million inhabitants seeking higher ground. By mid-century scientists predict that 20 million Bangladeshis could be displaced if sea levels rise. Here's a story about one Bangladeshi who isn't waiting for that to happen. He's adapting his community to survive floods today.

Produced by Stephen Sapienza for Foreign Exchange in association with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Began airing on Foreign Exchange January 30, 2009.

The Carteret Islanders

Located 50 miles off the coast of Papua New Guinea, the Carteret Islands are disappearing into the ocean. Climate change is destroying the atoll, forcing the islanders to search for homes on Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea. Though this is the story of one remote community, scientists estimate climate change will displace up to 50 million people by 2050.

Produced by Jennifer Redfearn in association with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Camera: Tim Metzger
Sound: Tim Metzger
Editor: Jennifer Redfearn