Premieres Wednesday, December 5 at 8 M ET/PT
on Smithsonian Channel
Smithsonian Channel turns its lens on the mighty Mississippi, a leviathan that carves through the American landscape and shapes the nation like no other river, in a new, visually stunning three-part series, AMERICA’S MISSISSIPPI. Connecting the east to the west, the country to the city and America to the world, this iconic river supports and challenges both humans and animals – beginning as a mere trickle, beating through the heartland and becoming a wild force as it drives south toward the Gulf of Mexico. Filmed in ultra-high definition to reveal the true beauty of the river, the series captures the extraordinary abundance and diversity of wildlife that lives along North America’s greatest waterway.
Premieres Wednesday, December 12 at 8 PM ET/PT
The central stretch of the Mississippi River pulses through America’s heartland and cuts into the hilly plateau of the Driftless Area – a region that escaped being flattened by Ice Age glaciers. It becomes a river of uninhabited islands harboring coyotes and hungry otters, overlooked by small towns nestled among the steep banks. Male wild turkeys fluff up their feathers and battle for mating rights. As the forests thin, red-tailed hawks hunt in the clearings, wood duck fledglings take a 30-foot leap of faith from their tree holes and bobcats hunt to feed their kittens. Near Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, spring’s snowmelt and rain combine to break the river’s banks and force wildlife to flee.
Premieres Wednesday, December 19 at 8 PM ET/PT
Cruising through Cajun country and into the delta, a family of foxes narrowly escapes as the mighty Mississippi combines with the Ohio, creating the greatest flow of water in the United States—two million gallons of water pass by every second. Winding through a maze of bayous to the ocean, the water creates a constantly shifting landscape. South of the Civil War battleground of Vicksburg, the bayous hum with the mating song of millions of American toads and are home to America’s only marsupial, the opossum. Further south, the river spills into swamps, ponds and canals, irrigating crawfish farms that feed not only the hungry appetites of Americans but also a gathering crowd of wood storks, egrets and spoonbills. This is gator country and by late August, eggs that have incubated through summer’s inferno are ready to hatch. The Mississippi floats past the historic city of New Orleans, completing its journey as it empties its load into the gulf, where pesticides, minerals and nutrients combine to create a deoxygenated “Dead Zone,” but even here the river nurtures wildlife: thousands of moon jellyfish bloom and thrive.