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Chesapeake Bay Week

Program Schedule: April 18-24, 2021

Sunday, April 18, 2021

6pm: 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.

6:30pm: 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!

7pm: 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.

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.

10pm: 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.

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Monday, April 19, 2021

7:30: 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.

7:45pm: 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.

8pm: NEW Frozen Obsession

Climate change is a critical scientific and social issue that confronts today's world. Nowhere are the consequences of a warming climate more pronounced and observable than in the Polar Regions. This film follows the 18-day, 2,000-mile Northwest Passage Project expedition through the stunningly beautiful and extreme Canadian Arctic aboard the Swedish research icebreaker Oden.

Funding for this film was provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation and the Heising-Simons Foundation. Because it is considered a project of national significance, feedback from our audience is welcome. If you choose to watch the film, please share your opinions afterwards.

Preview: Frozen Obsession

9pm: NEW 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.

Preview: The Sentinels

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.

10pm: Potomac by Air: Our Nation's River

Shot from above in amazing High Definition, the program explores incredible natural and man-made history along with our nation's remarkable collection of monuments and memorials, from the Washington Monument, to The U.S. Capitol, the White House, Jefferson Memorial, the National Cathedral, and more.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

7pm: Maryland Farm & Harvest: Water & Agriculture Special

This special themed episode of Maryland Farm & Harvest looks at one of Earth’s most valuable natural resources: water. From a Chesapeake oyster farm impacted by unusually heavy rainfall, to innovative strategies for draining wet farm fields while minimizing agricultural runoff, to an Eastern Shore grain farmer using recycled wastewater to irrigate his crops, this episode investigates the essential role that water plays in food production around the state.

7:30pm: Outdoors Maryland: Blue Ribbon River

This special episode of Outdoors Maryland explores the Gunpowder River through the eyes of those who enjoy it and those trying to protect it for future generations. A tributary of the Chesapeake Bay and a source of drinking water for millions in the region, the Gunpowder is a world-class trout fishing river. It also features class III whitewater rapids, and from its headwaters to its mouth, sustains the complex and diverse ecosystems in the area.

8pm: NEW 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.

Preview: Creatures of the Chesapeake

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

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

7pm: NEW Gatherings

The latest documentary from Academy Award-nominated director James Spione, explores the deep cultural significance of local gathering places to rural coastal Virginia. The film was produced before covid-19 profoundly altered the social landscape of America.

Preview: Gatherings

8pm: NEW Chesapeake Bay Summit 2021

In 2010, the federal government ordered states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to meet federal clean water guidelines...or else. Today, it looks like they’re going to miss the 2025 deadline. What’s gone wrong and what progress has been made? Host Frank Sesno leads another engaging conversation about the future of North America’s largest estuary.

9pm: NEW 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.

Preview: Power of the Paddle

9:30pm: An Island Out of Time

An Island Out of Time is a half-hour documentary about Smith Island that features Mary Ada and Dwight Marshall. Their lives personify the Chesapeake Bay’s seafood-harvesting culture and history, but their four children chose to break with that tradition. The film, like Tom Horton's 1996 book, An Island Out of Time, is both a celebration and elegy for a place beset with erosion, dwindling population and vanishing economic opportunities.

10pm: 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.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

7pm: 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.

7:30pm: Chesapeake Beacons (repeat - see above)

8pm: NEW Run Wild Run Free: Fifty Years of Wild and Scenic Rivers

Sweeping visuals accompany stories told by experts, grassroots organizers, whitewater enthusiasts, and members of the Naz Perce tribe in Idaho to tell the story of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 and its legacy.

Preview: Run Wild Run Free / Nassawango Legacy

8:45pm: Nassawango Legacy (repeat - see above)

9pm: NEW 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.

Preview: Beaver Believers

10pm: 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.

Friday, April 23, 2021

9:30pm: 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.

10:30pm: 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?

11pm: Creatures of the Chesapeake (repeat - see above)

Saturday, April 24, 2021

6pm: Great Aquarium Treasure Hunt

Join Dewey, Trevor and Sloan for the coolest class field trip of the year - a wild exploration of the National Aquarium in Baltimore, home to thousands of species of marine life! The team that completes the treasure hunt the fastest wins the grand prize. Who can figure out all the clues first?

6:30pm: Creatures of the Chesapeake (repeat - see above)

7pm: 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.

7:30pm: 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.

8pm: Power of the Paddle (repeat - see above)

8:30pm: 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.

9pm: 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.

9:30pm: After the Storm: Pollution in the Potomac

In the nation’s capital, every rainstorm comes with environmental consequences: raw sewage spilling into the Potomac River. After the Storm: Pollution in the Potomac investigates the ecological impact of an outdated sewer system, exploring how overflow issues contribute to the pollution of local waterways and the proliferation of algal blooms that deplete oxygen levels and harm marine life.  Hope comes in the form of a remarkable new infrastructure project—a network of underground tunnels designed to stem the toxic tide that threatens the Potomac River and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay.

10pm: Healing Baltimore's Harbor: A Pipe Dream?

Baltimore's harbor is a national landmark and a source of pride for the people of the city. However, water pollution is a serious issue in Baltimore, affecting human health and the city's economy. Healing Baltimore's Harbor: A Pipe Dream? explores the challenges facing the city as it works to fix and rebuild its infrastructure. This film engages and informs with compelling stories surrounding water pollution in the Inner Harbor and those willing to go out of their way to protect the city they love - and the water they need.

10:30pm: The Skipjacks

A sentimental look at the history of an iconic Maryland fishing vessel, the Skipjack, through the eyes of Deal Island locals who have sailed these "Mack Trucks of the Chesapeake" for decades in search of the once-ubiquitous Maryland oyster.

Programming extra

Together We Will Bring the Shad Fish Back tells the story of a partnership between Kingman Island and Hyattsville Elementary school to restore the Shad fish population in the Anacostia river and its tributaries. The shad is a significant member of the local ecosystem and has historically been important to the region’s economy. This production by Hyattsville Community Media presents the perspectives of the teachers, students, and City staff working to improve and protect Hyattsville’s biodiversity and habitats.