2016 Program Schedule and Descriptions

Distinctive Homes of the Chesapeake

Sunday, April 19 at 7pm

programs_distinctivehomes.jpg The lure of waterfront living still remains irresistible to many, with some enjoying a home of their dreams on the Chesapeake Bay year 'round. Distinctive Homes of the Chesapeake opens the door to Maryland's unique, historic and magnificent homes surrounding the Chesapeake Bay for intimate tours. Explore a colonial-era manor hand-crafted in the 1700s, an unusual houseboat with different waterfront views each day, and modern architectural marvels that blend the best of Bay living with gorgeous settings.


NEW Conowingo Dam: Power on the Susquehanna

Monday, April 25 at 9pm

programs_conowingodam.jpg 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 an astounding engineering feat. Now, the dam’s unique story and place in Maryland history is told by Maryland Public Television in a one-hour documentary that recalls the people, places and spectacle that have swirled around the massive structure since its opening in 1928. From the marvel of its construction atop the ancient Susquehanna riverbed, to the drowning of a small upriver Maryland village, accounts of town life downriver forever changed and, ultimately -- the Conowingo’s brush with destruction at the hands of a Storm of the Century -- the Conowingo Dam’s saga is one rich in history, personality and drama – a tale that has waited nearly 90 years to be told.


The Chesapeake Bay Bridge: Spanning the Bay

Monday, April 25 at 10pm

programs_chesapeakebaybridge2.jpg Explore the far-reaching effects the Chesapeake Bay Bridge has had on everything from commerce to commuting. It helped fuel the growth of the tourism industry, transforming tiny beachside resorts like Ocean City into crowded summertime destinations. Come along for an exciting look back at the monumental creation of the Bay Bridge, plus a 3-D trip across the bridge!


Out to Pasture: The Future of Farming?

Monday, April 25 at 11pm

programs_outtopasture.jpg The dominant model for producing meat, milk and eggs in the U.S. is large-scale confinement operations that often pollute the local environment and can severely degrade the quality of life for their neighbors. But, Out to Pasture: The Future of Farming? profiles farmers who have bucked this trend. The film discusses how alternative production methods can improve quality of life for farmers, their neighbors, and the local environment. Some think these alternative farming models are part of a larger vision for a more sustainable food system.


NEW Maryland Farm & Harvest Bay Week Special

Tuesday, April 26 at 7pm

This best of episode will feature segments from past episodes that highlight the innovations and adaptions Maryland’s Agricultural industry is making to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay.


Outdoors Maryland Bay Week Special

Tuesday, April 26 at 7:30pm

Enjoy the best and most beautiful of past Outdoors Maryland features on the Chesapeake Bay region.


Secrets of the Chesapeake

Tuesday, April 26 at 8pm

programs_secretsofthechesapeake.jpgSecrets 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.


NEW Beautiful Swimmers: Revisited

Tuesday, April 26 at 9pm

programs_beautifulswimmers.jpgBeautiful Swimmers: Revisited is a retrospective film on the anniversary of William Warner's 1976 exploration of Chesapeake watermen and the blue crab that looks at the present state of the crabbing industry.


NEW Carpe Diem: A Fishy Tale

Tuesday, April 26 at 10pm

programs_carpediem.jpg The sensational and true story of the fantastically prolific Asian carp – a scaly habitat-hog that North American scientists are scrambling to repel before it’s too late. Introduced to American fish ponds in the 1970s to clean up algae, this aggressive species eventually made its way into the Mississippi river system. These bottom feeders have advanced north at a surprising rate, and now threaten to make their way into Canadian waters. Using state-of-the-art camera work and rare underwater footage of these invasive fish, this fascinating documentary takes viewers into the heart of the battle to curtail the ecologically devastating consequences of a carp invasion.


Bugeye: A Chesapeake Legacy

Tuesday, April 26 at 10:30pm

programs_bugeye.jpg Bugeye is the Chesapeake Bay's water-borne workhorse that plied this region's waters for more than a century. As the precursor to the Skipjack, the Bugeye did it all - oyster dredging, fishing, and long-and short-haul transport of just about any kind of cargo - even watermelons grown on the Eastern Shore. Maryland Public Television started following the story of Dixon and his Bugeye in 2004, visiting his St. Michael's boatworks shed regularly to capture the tradition of hand-built boatmaking first-hand. The finished product is Bugeye: A Chesapeake Legacy, a fun-loving look at Dixon's labor of love from keel-laying to launch to time under sail on the open Chesapeake Bay.


NEW Chesapeake Bay Summit 2016

Wednesday, April 27 at 9pm

programs_baysummit.jpg Host Frank Sesno explores the complexities of one of the most serious problems facing Chesapeake Bay - a growing population and continued development and building within the watershed. Sesno and world-renowned experts on the Chesapeake discuss the vexing problems associated with growth and possible new ways to clean up the water and restore its fisheries.


NEW Who Owns Water

Wednesday, April 27 at 10pm

programs_whoownswater.jpg It's a conflict once unthinkable in the deep green South. Three states are locked in battle over the diminishing fresh water that saw Atlanta go from a small town to the largest growing city in the US. Who's in control? It depends on who you talk to. In this award-winning documentary film, brothers Michael and David Hanson return to the source of their childhood river and paddle it to the Gulf of Mexico to take you deep into the Water Wars.


Designing with Nature: The Plan for the Valleys

Wednesday, April 27 at 11pm

programs_designingwithnature.jpg A vivid portrait of the Valleys Planning Council, a citizen-led non-profit organization, and the brilliant work of Ian Harg, a talented landscape architect. McHarg, along with a team of consultants, penned a landmark land preservation plan back in the early 1960s. The Plan for the Valleys was one of the first land planning documents to use ecology as the central theme. Vintage footage highlights the entertaining McHarg, as well as interviews with a variety of characters involved in the organization over five decades. The film skillfully and beautifully documents the success of smart growth: a stunning, rural countryside that supports outstanding agricultural and equine industries that pay enormous dividends to current and future generations in terms of both a healthy economy and healthy environment. The film also serves as a wonderful testament to citizen action and visionary planning.


NEW Tilghman Tales

Thursday, April 28 at 9pm

programs_tilghmantales.jpgTilghman Tales shares the stories of a few of the island's notables recounted by colorful storytellers, local experts, self-taught historians, innovative boat builders, "jacks-of-all-trades," self-reliant women, and indefatigable octogenarians. Through them we meet several generations of legendary Tilghman boat builders and some intrepid women who love the water and the waterman's life as fiercely as the men.


Chesapeake Villages

Thursday, April 28 at 9:30pm

programs_chesapeakevillages.jpg As one of the important centers of the U.S. seafood industry, the Chesapeake Bay has for centuries supported watermen, businesses, and communities all along its shores. But catches of Chesapeake seafood are down, mostly due to poor water quality, and some bayside towns now face an uncertain future. Chesapeake Villages tells the stories of three such villages and their residents: Deal Island, Crisfield, and Hoopers Island.

• Deal Island: For the community of Deal Island, life happens on the water. Roy Ford and his son Ryan are continuing the village's watermen tradition, catching oysters and crabs year round. However, with the overall decline of the Bay, the number of watermen on Deal Island is dwindling. Roy is concerned about the future of the industry not only for his son and grandson, but also for the whole community.

• Crisfield: Once called "the seafood capital of the world", Crisfield has seen its prominence as a seafood exporter shrink with the decline of the bay fisheries. Mayor Kim Lawson and other residents have witnessed a transformation of the town and its waterfront. Despite hardships, watermen like Sam Marsh continue the tradition of harvesting the Bay. Casey Todd, CEO of Metompkin Bay Oyster Co., has been forced to adapt to changing times to keep Crisfield on the map as a seafood exporter. Times are changing but local pride remains strong and residents are hopeful for the future.

• Hoopers Island: Hoopers Island is a place where new ideas and innovation have led to newfound opportunities for watermen. Ricky Fitzhugh and Johnny Shockley, co-owners of Hoopers Island Oyster Aquaculture Company, see promise for the future through the practice of oyster aquaculture. By raising oysters in their facilities and on the Chesapeake Bay, they have adapted to declines in the traditional oyster fishery. Johnny's father, Dorsey, and son, Jordan, all work alongside each other in this family-oriented business.


Chesapeake Bay by Air

Thursday, April 28 at 10pm

programs_chesapeakebaybyair.jpgChesapeake 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. CHESAPEAKE BAY BY AIR's meandering aerial journey transports viewers to many of the Chesapeake Bay's 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.


The Skipjacks

Thursday, April 28 at 11pm

programs_skipjacks.jpg 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.


Eatin' Crabs Chesapeake Style

Friday, April 29 at 10pm

programs_eatincrabs.jpg 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.


Eatin' Crabcakes: The Best I Ever Had

Friday, April 29 at 10:30pm

programs_eatincrabcakes.jpg 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.


NEW Concert for the Chesapeake Bay

Saturday, April 30 at 8pm

This 90 minute broadcast celebrates individuals and organizations who dedicate their time to help enhance and preserve the Chesapeake Bay and connects viewers and listeners to environmental volunteering opportunities. This year’s concert features performances from Victoria Vox with Shodekeh and Hey Marseilles. Find out how you can get involved to help save the Bay!
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NEW Chesapeake Footsoldiers

Saturday, April 30 at 9:30pm

programs_chesapeakefootsoldiers.jpg The stories of unsung heroes who work to confront some of the Bay's biggest ongoing challenges, from replenishing historically low oysters stocks, to stopping chronic nutrient pollution that limits the Chesapeake Bay's recovery. Chesapeake Footsoldiers was produced by students at American University's Center for Environmental Filmmaking .