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KCET's Award-Winning Weekly Series 'SOCAL CONNECTED' Presents a Special Edition on the Environment: Seal Pup Rescue, Rain Capture, Thirsty Almond Farms and Wild Donkeys



Susan C. Mills or Rachel Coulson

310-562-0113; smills@kcet.org

747-201-5886; rcoulson@kcet.org

KCET's Award-Winning Weekly Series 'SOCAL CONNECTED' Presents a Special Edition on the Environment: Seal Pup Rescue, Rain Capture, Thirsty Almond Farms and Wild Donkeys

BURBANK, Calif. - March 19, 2015 - On Wednesday, March 25, SOCAL CONNECTED, KCET's Emmy® and Peabody® Award-winning series, will air a special single-themed episode focusing on the environment. The top segment tells the story of two malnourished elephant seal pups stranded on a Malibu beach. Reporter Cara Santa Maria goes inside the California Wildlife Center, a fascinating rescue facility where bobcats, hawks, deer, hummingbirds and even an albino raven are nursed back to health. The ailing elephant seal pups are the Center's first marine mammal patients. After months of care and feeding, the pups are released back into the ocean. How were they rehabilitated? How will they take to their new home? What are their chances for survival?

This week's SOCAL CONNECTED also features:

Capturing More Rain Water - The best kind of water is free, yet Southern California allows millions gallons of rain water to flow down storm drains and into the ocean while spending millions to import expensive water. SOCAL CONNECTED anchor, Val Zavala, visits one Altadena resident who uses rain barrels and other techniques to capture 90 percent of all the rain that falls on her property. Zavala also visits TreePeople's Andy Lipkis, who points to a residential street in Sun Valley that is a model for rain capture and smart water management. But does enough rain fall to make a difference? It is this enough to affect Southern California's water needs? Based on two stories from KCET.org's Redefine.

California's Thirsty Almond Farms - Reporter Jennifer Sabih delves into tough questions surrounding California's almond industry. Almonds are among state's most thirsty - but lucrative --  crops. It takes more than a gallon of water to produce just one nut. Almond farmers say the demand for their crop and their contribution to our economy is formidable. However, conservationists say residential water users are being forced to conserve while almond farmers continue to grow a water-intensive product. This episode features one of California's most successful almond farmers, and also talks with the Water Impact Network to ask who should have access to scarce water in drought-stricken California? Based on a story from KCET Food.

The Wild Donkeys of the Inland Empire - Grazing on the open land of Moreno Valley are hundreds of wild donkeys. No one knows exactly how they got there, but they know they are in danger. Several have been killed by drivers; others have been harassed by people. Reporter Derrick Shore visits a rescue group called DonkeyLand, whose job is made harder when humans befriend the wild donkeys. Based on a story from KCET.org's Redefine.

Broadcast Premiere Date:  Wednesday, March 25 at 8 p.m.

Repeated: Friday, March 27 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 29 at 5:30 p.m.

SOCAL CONNECTED is anchored by 16-time Emmy®-Award winner, Val Zavala. Contributorsinclude science journalist Cara Santa Maria, reporters Derrick Shore, Jennifer Sabih, Conor Knighton, documentary filmmaker Nic Cha Kim and writer Nick Hardcastle.

The television broadcast executive producer for SOCAL CONNECTED is Val Zavala; digital executive producer is Zach Behrens; and Linda Burns is senior producer.


SOCAL CONNECTED, winner of a Peabody® and two duPont Awards, 23 Emmy® Awards, 24 Golden Mikes, 48 LA Press Club Awards, two Gracie Awards, and four regional and one national Edward R. Murrow Awards, including Best News Documentary and Los Angeles Magazine's "Best New Local TV Program" of 2009, airs exclusively on KCET. For more information, to view episodes online or to leave comments, please visit www.socalconnected.orgSOCAL CONNECTED is made possible through the generous support of The Ahmanson Foundation, Chapman University and the MaddocksBrown Foundation.


On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 50-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. KCET is a service of KCETLink.

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