Main content

Footprints in the Sand

Today, two billion people live along or near a coast. By 2025, nearly all ocean shoreline will be inhabited and in use. Overfishing, pollution, over-population, and over-development of our coasts are having deadly consequences. The ocean that once seemed inexhaustible is buckling under the weight of our demands.

FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND reveals the devastating impact of human activity on the ocean, focusing on the Mediterranean's contentious bluefin tuna fishery and the Gulf of Mexico's massive de-oxygenated dead zones. It also celebrates our successes with sustainable pratices, like 'no take' conservation projects managed by locals in Zanzibar, as well as the extraordinary turnaround in New Zealand's coral reefs.

'Very impressive! One Ocean is an exceptional series of videos focused on some of the most pressing problems threatening the health and future of the oceans. Accompanying highly respected scientists on research cruises and underwater dives, Footprints in the Sand and The Changing Sea present a powerful set of interviews and images that clearly explain the science behind the complex issues of hypoxia, ocean acidification, and overfishing. The geographic diversity of the areas covered, the superb quality and high definition videos, and the lucid explanations of the science provide a powerful and credible set of stories...These are moving and compelling stories of ocean researchers investigating the problems humans have created in the sea and explaining why our one ocean needs our help now.' Dr. Gary Griggs, Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Director of the Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz, Author, Living with the Changing California Coast and Introduction to California Beaches and Coast

'There are a lot of DVDs available on topics relating to the ocean, but these are some of the best I have seen. I enjoyed the way in which information was conveyed and was pleased to learn things I had not seen in previous videos... I highly recommend this series to public, high-school, and college libraries.' Barbara Butler, University of Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, Educational Media Reviews Online

'Puts viewers in the passenger seat along-side scientists, fishermen and explorers on numerous ocean-going expeditions...Most impressive is the ample footage from deep-sea explorations--courtesy of research submersibles. These give us a window into alien worlds...Appropriate for audiences from grade school students to adults.' Timothy Oleson, EARTH Magazine

'Footprints in the Sand illustrates the effects of fishing in artisanal and industrial fisheries and makes strong visual connections among the 'fishing down' process, the effects of man and burgeoning human populations on the world's oceans...I will use it to generate a discussion of fishing as a major negative influence on marine ecosystems that is under-appreciated and has preceded other impacts including habitat destruction, pollution, water diversions, and the introduction of exotic species.' Dr. Donald Baltz, Professor and Chair, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University

'Spectacular undersea footage, informative narration by David Suzuki, and engaging interviews with leading marine conservation scientists worldwide. Footprints in the Sand presents case studies of major threats to our oceans caused by human activities. Topics spanning the globe include overfishing and coastal pollution, and importantly, ecosystem-based approaches for replenishing and conserving the oceans for future generations.' Dr. Mark Hixon, Professor of Marine Conservation and Biology, Department of Zoology, Oregon State University

'If there is a rhythm to the stories of ecosystem crises from the ocean and lands around the world, Footprints on the Sand adds several new beats...Footprints uses beautiful imagery layered with interviews and testimony from fishermen and scientists on the front lines of each story. It concludes with two stories of hope that show people can come together to create protected areas that support resilience in coastal ecosystems.' John C. Anderson, Director of Education, New England Aquarium

'I have finally found a film series that thoroughly covers all of the current marine topics that I teach in the classroom which includes MPAs, marine ecosystems, sustainability, international coastal culture, climate change and the formation of ocean life. It is presented in a sense of urgency and at the same time provides essential background information peaking the viewer's interest with animations and interviews with seasoned marine scientists and beautiful cinematography! One Ocean should be an integral part of any environmental studies course.' Michelle Ashley, Environmental Science teacher, South Aiken High School

'A striking presentation...Interviews with scientists, including one female researcher, help keep the film personal, and the photography, if not spectacular, is always excellent, with plenty of engrossing scenes above and below the surface.' Charles Hibbard, Lowell High School, Science Books and Films

'[In] this serious, though still visually stunning [Footprints in the Sand] episode we get to see more of the underbelly of the ocean--the things that have gone wrong...Similar to other episodes in the series, the viewer is drawn in both by the narrative and the visuals. Students will love the views and insights. In addition, teachers will appreciate the message.' Marc Zucker, Assistant Professor, NSTA Recommends


Main credits

Suzuki, David T. (narrator)
Corkery, Jacqueline (film director)
Verma, Tina (film producer)

Other credits

Editor, Murray Green.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Climate Change/Global Warming
Earth Science
Global Issues
Marine Biology
Oceans and Coasts
Pacific Studies


impact of human activity on ocean, ocean shoreline inhabited, overfishing, pollution, over-population, over-development of coasts, deadly consequences, bluefin tuna fishery, dead zones, no-take conservation, Zanzibar, New Zealand's coral reefs, Abdel Fattah El-Sayed, Bill Ballantine, Nancy Rabalais, Narriman Jiddawi, Peter Thomas, Sergi Tudela, Wade Doak,"Footprints in the Sand",Bullfrog Films

Related Films

A Sea Change

Ocean acidification threatens over one million species with extinction--and…

Empty Oceans, Empty Nets

Examines the global marine fisheries crisis and the efforts to implement…

The End of the Line

The first major feature documentary film revealing the impact of overfishing…