In 2020, MPT’s Chesapeake Bay Week celebrates our nation’s largest estuary with an inspiring collection of programs and films.
The crucial, solitary role of Chesapeake Bay lightkeeper was a position only held by men—that is, until 1928, when Fannie May Salter became the first woman to tend the light at Turkey Point in Cecil County. Her story is one of many featured in Chesapeake Beacons, premiering Monday, April 20th at 9pm. Beacons tell the stories more than a dozen lighthouses and begins in Cape Henry, Virginia -- near the mouth of the Bay -- and heads north to the cliffs of Turkey Point. The first of these grand, enduring monuments to maritime history to appear along the Chesapeake’s jagged shoreline, the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, was built in 1792. In those days, the bay was still brimming with oysters, the sleek Baltimore Clipper ruled the waves, and lighthouses were sorely needed to guide sailors safely to port.
The American Shad was once so abundant in the Potomac River that in their heyday, people said the river would “run silver” each spring when they returned to spawn. On April 21st at 8:30pm, Shad Run chronicles the abundance, demise and triumphant return of a native fish that many believed was gone forever.
On April 20th at 9:30pm, Tidewater wades into the very controversial issue of sea level rise in Hampton Roads, Virginia -- home to the largest naval base in the world and some of the fastest-growing sea level rise on earth.
Check our Chesapeake Bay Week listings from April 19th through April 25th for other programs we’ve selected just for you to learn more about the Chesapeake, and to celebrate it!