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Chesapeake Bay Week

Program Schedule: April 17-23, 2022

Sunday, April 17, 2022

4pm: Chesapeake Bay by Air

Chesapeake Bay by Air captures the unparalleled wild beauty, rich history and natural serenity of the bay from 2,000 feet. The program marries gentle verse, prose and music with dramatic images captured by high-definition cameras, which bring the region into razor-sharp perspective. Viewers are transported to many of the Chesapeake Bay's most stunning locations - from dawn over the Susquehanna River and the mysterious carved marsh of Blackwater Wildlife Refuge to the tranquil fishing village of Smith Island and the smokestacks of Sparrow's Point. Cameras also soar above the ancient Calvert Cliffs, Annapolis and bustling Baltimore, the steel spans of the Chesapeake Bay Bridges and historic Point Lookout.

6pm: NEW Smith Island: A Conversation with Tom Horton

Smith Island: A Conversation with Tom Horton

If longtime environmental reporter Tom Horton knows anything, it's the islands and coastline of the Chesapeake Bay. Horton first voyaged to Smith Island in 1978, eventually moving there for several years in 1987 with his family, while working for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. For several decades, Horton has seen the businesses and population on the island dwindle, outpacing sea level rise as the most imminent threat to preserving the island he knows and loves. 

6:15pm: Cold-Stunned

Every year, hundreds of endangered “cold-stunned” sea turtles wash ashore in Cape Cod Bay, at risk of illness or even death due to the frigid winter waters. This short film explores the work that the National Aquarium does, together with conservation partners, to rescue, rehab and release these turtles into warmer waters.

6:30pm: NEW Science Matters: Backyard Bay Savers in the City 

Science Matters: Backyard Bay Savers in the City

Nature inside a city may look a little different than it does outside of the city, but all of it is vitally important because it is all connected! Join Chesapeake Bay Foundation educators Maya, Rick, and Norah, along with a few of their friends to learn how cities are connected to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Follow along as they use the City BaySaver Scavenger Hunt to look for nature in our cities. Learn ways you can help out and become a Backyard Bay Saver! 

Download the City BaySaver Scavenger Hunt.

7pm: Creatures of the Chesapeake

Watch a seahorse stalk its prey, marvel at the simple elegance of the moon jellyfish as it glides through the water, and listen for the distinctive foghorn sound of the oyster toadfish. Get to know these Creatures of the Chesapeake-and more-in this up-close look at residents of North America’s largest estuary.

7:30pm: Shad Run

In the Potomac, American shad were once so abundant that the river was said to “run silver” each spring, when millions of shad returned to its waters to spawn. But by the 1970s, shad populations up and down the east coast were all but decimated due to overfishing, pollution and dam construction. Shad Run chronicles the demise and subsequent triumphant return of the American shad—with a special focus on the individuals who led the charge to protect this important native fish.

Chesapeake Bay Week

Our 2022 Sponsors

Salisbury University
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Calvert County Tourism
Kent County Tourism
Sun Nurseries
Waterkeepers Chesapeake
UMCES
Maryland Energy Administration
Solar Energy World
Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival

Monday, April 18, 2022

8pm: NEW Chesapeake Decoys: The Nature of Waterfowl Art 

Chesapeake Decoys: The Nature of Waterfowl Art

Explore the ancient art of the waterfowl huntand the fine art it has inspired. Chesapeake Decoys: The Nature of Waterfowl Art takes viewers to the Chesapeake marshlands, where hunters share in an age-old tradition, and to the Easton Waterfowl Festival where intricate decoys carved from blocks of wood fetch generous sums from enthusiastic collectors. 

Preview: Chesapeake Decoys: The Nature of Waterfowl Art

8:30pm: Chesapeake Beacons

Chesapeake Beacons is a breathtaking survey of the Bay’s most treasured navigation landmarks, complete with stunning bird’s-eye aerials, up close and personal tours, and dramatic time-lapse views that capture their iconic beauty. A visual spectacle, this special also introduces viewers to the legends, lore and fascinating maritime history behind these beacons of the past.

>> View Featured Lighthouses Map

9pm: Conowingo Dam: Power on the Susquehanna

Second in size only to the massive hydroelectric works at Niagara Falls, New York when it was opened in 1928, the Conowingo Dam was celebrated worldwide as a miraculous engineering feat. The dam’s unique story and place in Maryland history is now told in this one-hour documentary that recalls the drama and controversy that has swirled around the structure since its opening in 1928. From the drowning of an historic Maryland village and rich valley farmland, to stories focusing on town life downriver, the Conowingo Dam’s story is rich in history and irony–a tale that has waited nearly 90 years to be told.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

8pm: Creatures of the Chesapeake

Watch a seahorse stalk its prey, marvel at the simple elegance of the moon jellyfish as it glides through the water, and listen for the distinctive foghorn sound of the oyster toadfish. Get to know these Creatures of the Chesapeake and more –in this up-close look at residents of North America’s largest estuary.

8:30pm: Oysterfest

Oysterfest is a collection of three short films showcasing the Bay’s favorite bivalve in all its glory. Lifeline: A Chesapeake Oyster Documentary chronicles the decline of the Chesapeake’s native oyster population, with a particular focus on the impact of over-harvesting. The Incredible Oyster Reef explores oysters as a keystone species, and highlights the ecological significance of the wild oyster reef as a home for fish, crabs and other marine life. The Local Oyster Stout tells the story behind the development of Maryland’s first farm-to-table oyster stout beer.

9pm: Power of the Paddle

Witness one man’s grueling voyage across the length of the Chesapeake Bay on a stand-up paddleboard in an effort to raise money for oyster restoration. The film follows his feat, difficult for even the most well-conditioned athlete. Witness the paddleboarder’s physically and emotionally challenging − some might say crazy − journey from Havre de Grace, Maryland, in the north to where the Bay meets the open ocean near Cape Henry, Virginia.

9:30pm: Tidewater

Located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, the Hampton Roads region of Virginia is home to the highest concentration of military assets in the country making its vulnerability to sea level rise a threat to American national security itself. Tidewater is a 30-minute documentary exploring the attempts of a wide range of stakeholders, from ordinary citizens to the U.S. Navy, to tackle the challenges posed by climate change and sea level rise within this community.

11pm: High Tide in Dorchester

This film aims to foster a conversation about climate change and related impacts of sea level rise and erosion, and leverage that conversation into action. The focus, Dorchester County, MD, is already experiencing the future that increasingly faces coastal areas worldwide. This low-lying county on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay is the fourth largest of Maryland’s 23 counties by land area, but it is destined to drop to the 14th largest by 2100 — or sooner — as waters rise and erosion worsens. Dorchester is the coal miner’s canary; ground zero for the Chesapeake Region.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

7pm: NEW The Long Shore 

The Long Shore

Explore the unique and enduring culture of the Chesapeake Bay and its inhabitants through the curated collection at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, in Saint Michaels, Maryland – brought to life in this short documentary. 

Preview : The Long Shore

7:30pm: NEW Chesapeake Decoys: The Nature of Waterfowl Art 

Chesapeake Decoys: The Nature of Waterfowl Art

Explore the ancient art of the waterfowl hunt and-- the fine art it has inspired. Chesapeake Decoys: The Nature of Waterfowl Art takes viewers to the Chesapeake marshlands, where hunters share in an age-old tradition, and to the Easton Waterfowl Festival where intricate decoys carved from blocks of wood fetch generous sums from enthusiastic collectors. 

8pm: The Chesapeake & Delaware Canal: Gateway to the World

This is a little-known but fascinating story of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, a critically-important 14-mile long trade route used extensively by international shipping. It’s known as “Baltimore’s back door” because it’s a moneysaving shortcut between the port of Baltimore and points north via the Atlantic Ocean. The Canal’s construction in the early 1800’s was a major catalyst to Baltimore’s booming growth as a major inland port. Today, it is a nautical gateway to Baltimore and carries more than 40% of all trade traffic into the port. This program shares the canal’s history and impact to the area through the stories of ship pilots, historians, lock operators, re-enactors, engineers, authors and more.

8:30pm: NEW Troubled Tributary: Maryland’s Patuxent River 

Troubled Tributary: Maryland’s Patuxent River

The Patuxent River is the longest river in Maryland and a crucial tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Despite the central role the river has played in the history of the Bay's environmental movement and abundant conservation resources funneled to it over the years, the Patuxent remains a polluted river. Its riverkeeper, Fred Tutman, claims minority communities are disproportionately affected by poor water quality, and believes that environmental injustice exists along its banks.

9pm: A Voice for the Rivers

Once havens of beauty and abundance, today the rivers and creeks of Maryland’s Eastern Shore are suffering. Water quality is poor. Excess nutrients from pollution create algal growth, which chokes out light, oxygen, underwater grasses and estuarine life. A Voice for the Rivers is a half-hour documentary profiling four river-keepers: dedicated scientists, environmental activists, educators, volunteers, and advocates who work daily to protect and restore the rivers of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

9:30pm: Keeping the Potomac: The Politics of Water

More than six million people live in the Potomac watershed. Whether they know it or not, some of the very infrastructure that supports their modern lifestyles is poisoning the Potomac River. It is the mission of three River Keepers to patrol the Potomac and do what they must to protect it.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

7pm: The Sentinels

Sentinels are those who stand guard, watch over, and look ahead. Today, a new corps of 'sentinels' is working together under the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership to steward and defend many of our last intact landscapes from disappearing in a tidal wave of urbanization, encroachment, and land conversion. They fight for clean air, clear water, and the freedom to roam for both people and wildlife. These individuals also play a vital and unheralded role in protecting our national security.

7:30pm: NEW True North: Sailing to Salvation

True North: Sailing to Salvation

Sailing to Salvation documents a group of distressed war veterans who, feeling alienated from society upon their return from duty, find healing and connection on the Chesapeake Bay.

​Michael Wood returned from a combat mission in Afghanistan suffering from PTSD. At the insistence of friends concerned about his state of mind, Mike agreed to resume a pre-war pastime, sailing on the Bay, where he discovered a sense of purpose that had all but vanished. Mike soon realized that if competitive sailing could pull him from the depths of isolation and despair, it may help other veterans as well and the Valhalla Sailing Project  was born. Sailing to Salvation tells the story of one group of veterans’ resurgence from the dark recesses of PTSD.

Preview: True North: Sailing to Salvation

8pm: NEW Water’s Way: Thinking Like a Watershed 

Water’s Way: Thinking Like a Watershed

Millions of beaver ponds and dams once sponsored a lush mosaic of wetlands throughout the Chesapeake region. These slowed and spread and retained water flowing to the Bay from every creek and river, letting it soak in and percolate through the ground. Because beavers have been gone for so long they were trapped out of the Chesapeake Bay watershed by 1750 there is an ‘ecological amnesia’ as to the benefits they conferred, the world they created, and how the watershed ‘thought’ for thousands of years.

Water’s Way: Thinking Like a Watershed  explores the impact of development, agriculture and the channelization of streams and creeks on the natural processes that once worked to control runoff and filter the water – and how natural elements like beavers and trees could aid efforts to restore the Bay. 

8:45pm: Nassawango Legacy

Amidst a patchwork quilt of farm fields and drainage ditches, one Eastern Shore stream in particular stands out for its wild beauty. This short film chronicles a local family’s multi-generational efforts to protect Nassawango Creek, a tributary of the Pocomoke River. It also highlights the ongoing efforts of environmental non-profit The Nature Conservancy to ensure that the 18-mile waterway continues to flourish into the future as an 11,000-acre preserve.

9pm: NEW Chesapeake Bay Summit 2022

Chesapeake Bay Summit 2022

The Chesapeake Bay watershed spans 64,000 square miles and parts of six states, each with its own unique landscapes, policies and regulations. In 2022, the Chesapeake Bay Summit will again tackle the tough questions surrounding the fight for a cleaner Bay, this time exploring what makes a healthy watershed – and what it will take for both urban and rural areas to achieve it. Maryland Public Television host Frank Sesno* drives a compelling conversation with the region’s most knowledgeable experts, policymakers, and stakeholders about the state of the Chesapeake Bay watershed today and what needs to change for a cleaner estuary. 

*Frank Sesno is a former CNN correspondent, anchor and Washington bureau chief. He is the Founding Director of Planet Forward at the George Washington University. He was previously the school’s director for eleven years.

Preview: Chesapeake Bay Summit 2022

10pm: Beaver Believers

The urgent yet whimsical story of an unlikely cadre of activists five scientists and a sassy, spicy hairdresser who share a common vision. They’re all working to restore the North American beaver, that most industrious, ingenious, bucktoothed engineer, to the watersheds of the American West.

Friday, April 22, 2022

10pm: The Chesapeake & Delaware Canal: Gateway to the World

This is a little-known but fascinating story of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, a critically-important 14-mile long trade route used extensively by international shipping. It’s known as “Baltimore’s back door” because it’s a moneysaving shortcut between the port of Baltimore and points north via the Atlantic Ocean. The Canal’s construction in the early 1800’s was a major catalyst to Baltimore’s booming growth as a major inland port. Today, it is a nautical gateway to Baltimore and carries more than 40% of all trade traffic into the port. This program shares the canal’s history and impact to the area through the stories of ship pilots, historians, lock operators, re-enactors, engineers, authors and more.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

5:30pm: NEW Living Soil

Living Soil

Living Soil tells the story of farmers, scientists, and policymakers working to incorporate agricultural practices to benefit soil health for years to come. Living Soil takes you on a journey from lush landscapes in Oregon, the sun-baked fields of California, the vast green acres of the Midwest, to the waterfront farming and fishing communities in and around the Chesapeake Bay. Each farmer shares a story as unique as the soil they manage with a shared theme that resonates throughout the film: Our soil is a special resource we should all cherish and strive to protect.

We travel to the Chesapeake Bay to hear farmers and environmentalists who have created a plan that includes incentives for farmers to begin cover crop practices throughout the state of Maryland. We travel around the bay to see how this strong public policy change has steered the actions of the agricultural industry and how those changes can create positive environmental and economic change. We hear from a waterman living downstream who has seen an enormous impact cover cropping practices have had to the fishing industry in the bay.

For more information visit: https://soilhealthinstitute.org/

Trailer: Living Soil

6:30pm: Maryland Crabs: Tradition & Taste

The story of Maryland's all-important crabbing industry, capturing the stories of watermen and waterwomen who chase and catch the Chesapeake Blue Crab; processors who buy and sell them to restaurants, groceries and crab shacks; and restaurateurs who buy and sell them again. All, with the goal of telling the crab-eating public the little-known collection of hurdles and successes facing this economically and culturally critical 21st century Maryland Industry.

7pm: Eatin’ Crabcakes: The Best I Ever Had

From G&M's goliath-sized crab cakes to tried-and-true recipes that have survived kitchen-based tests and trials of the ages, Eatin' Crabcakes: The Best I Ever Had is the ultimate crab cake treasure hunt across the Chesapeake region. This follow-up to the popular Eatin' Crabs: Chesapeake Style is a fun-loving, kitchen-hopping adventure that traverses the state in search of crabcake heaven.

Preview: Eatin’ Crabcakes: The Best I Ever Had

7:30pm: Eatin' Crabs: Chesapeake Style

We've roamed the state in search of the greatest stories of the blue crab and tell all in Eatin' Crabs: Chesapeake Style, MPT's rollicking foray into the world of the blue crab, from dockside to table. From Baltimore's busiest harborside districts and most famed crab shacks to beloved and isolated locales from Ocean City to Oakland, Eatin' Crabs: Chesapeake Style captures the world of crab-loving a uniquely Maryland slice of life and cracks it open for all to see.

8pm: Eatin' Oysters: Chesapeake Style

The lowly oyster is a delicacy the world over, yet many people say enjoying one is an acquired taste. Here in Maryland though, home of the Chesapeake Bay, the Chesapeake Oyster is King. Whether it’s slurped raw on the half shell or fried, baked, braised or roasted, it’s a favorite. Eatin’ Oysters: Chesapeake Style, takes viewers around the Chesapeake region in search of who’s eating oysters, who’s shucking, why they love them, where to find the best of them, and the best ways to eat them.

8:30pm: Eatin' the Chesapeake: The Five Feasts

From the quiet brackish shallows at Elk Neck, Maryland to the rolling hills and beauty of southern Maryland farms, and on to the lively talk and song of Eastern Shore church halls, 400 years of seafood, seashore and traditional cooking is coming home to Marylanders and their neighbors. There are favorite Chesapeake-born dishes from colonial cookbooks, crab shacks, German home-kitchen cooks, southern Maryland farms, Eastern Shore chicken-fry kitchens and Smith Island fresh-off-the-boat Chesapeake supper tables. So pull up a chair and sample the best dishes the Chesapeake region has the offer!

9pm: Secrets of the Chesapeake

Secrets of the Chesapeake travels the Chesapeake region – east and west, north and south, from mountain to marsh – to ask locals for sage advice to discover and uncover the most unusual places to explore and things to do for the weekender. But these aren't ordinary tourist destinations. Instead, they're spots that only a native would point to: remote shorelines where beachcombers can find beautiful and rare sea glass; an island gem-of-a-seafood-shack; quiet crossroads where tragic local history comes alive. Secrets of the Chesapeake takes viewers to places they'll never forget where they'll meet people they've only read about.

10pm: Search for the USS Scorpion

The War of 1812 hit the Chesapeake hard: Britain's Royal Navy was the most powerful force in the world and her warships raided bayside towns with impunity. In Baltimore, Revolutionary War hero Joshua Barney could not sit idly by. To mount a counterstrike, he assembled a mosquito fleet dubbed The Chesapeake Flotilla, and from his flagship The USS Scorpion, Commodore Barney led a charge against the fearsome Royal Navy. After a series of daring battles, the Flotilla was chased up the Patuxent River and intentionally scuttled to prevent them from falling into enemy hands. Any local would be happy to tell you about the shipwrecks that their grandparents used to cast fishing lines into them yet for those that went looking, the lost fleet always remained elusive. Was local legend and lore all that remained of the Flotilla? The Search for the USS Scorpion is a documentary special that puts the viewer on the front lines of marine archaeology. Embedded with team of scientists from the US Navy, we travel over river and underwater to follow the clues and piece together a mystery of history. Could it be that the lost flagship of Commodore Barney's Flotilla has finally been found?

Programming extra

Nansemond Indian Nation: Restoring Connections Through Oysters

Nansemond Tribe

After centuries of displacement, the Nansemond Indian Nation is rebuilding connections to their ancestral waterway. Members of the tribe in southeastern Virginia are raising oysters for restoration work and volunteering to build living shorelines in support of the Chesapeake Oyster Alliance goal of adding 10 billion oysters to the Bay.

To learn more about the Nansemond people’s cultural revitalization through river stewardship, visit their story map at this link: https://bit.ly/IndigenousLifeOnTheNansemondRiver