2018 Program Schedule and Descriptions
Distinctive Homes of the Chesapeake
Sunday, April 22 at 4pm
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.
Downee Ocean, Hon!
Sunday, April 22 at 5pm
Ask a Marylander where they're headed this summer, and chances are you're bound to hear "downee ocean" (down the ocean). That can only mean one place: Ocean City. "OC" is the major beach destination in the state, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors and millions of dollars to the place where land meets water each year. Downee Ocean, Hon! is a vividly shot one-hour trip to the beach, filled with loads of fun, sun and salt water taffy. From the beach to the boardwalk, from the Ferris Wheel to Fager's Island, from sunrise on the beach to nightlife by the bay, Downee Ocean, Hon! captures the OC experience - from the rich history, family traditions, and small-town charm that's kept Ocean City as one of the East Coast's top vacation spots.
Another Dawn: Tilghman in Transition
Sunday, April 22 at 6pm
Like generations before them, Tilghman Island's watermen get up every morning and head out to wrest a living from the Chesapeake Bay; "it's in their blood." But increasingly they find it a challenge to make a living. As the Bay's bounty declines, regulation increases, and the cost of operating a workboat escalates, watermen turn to other livelihoods and their wives find office jobs to supplement their family's income and provide health benefits. Another Dawn: Tilghman in Transition picks up the watermen's story where it left off in Growing up on Tilghman, the previous film produced by the Tilghman Watermen's Museum. How do they deal with all the changes? How do they adapt? What do they see as the future for this true watermen's community? What remains clear through all of their words, however, is the generosity, ingenuity, and beauty that distinguish this special community.
NEW Eatin' the Chesapeake: The Five Feasts
Monday, April 23 at 9pm
Cream of Blue Crab soup, butter-broiled Bluefish, St. Leonard’s Stuffed Ham with collards, Wicomico Barbequed Chicken, baked n’ buttered yeast rolls, Crab Loaf, scalloped corn pudding, summer stewed tomatoes, fried clam fritters, sherry-dressed Crab Imperial, Smith Island Cake, Dog Days Succotash, Highlandtown Sauerbrauten and spätzle, Mock Turtle Soup, Duck in Aspic, Raised Pie, Fried Oysters, Baked Crab-Stuffed Rockfish, Sauteed Softshell Crab, icebox Crab Salad with Cantaloupe, farm-Beaten Biscuits and Lady Baltimore Cake.
It reads like a banquet menu, but it’s really a Chesapeake feast. In fact, The Five Feasts. Made up of Bay-region, time-tested and family-treasured recipes that we at Maryland Public Television rediscover, re-create and sample in 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 in Eatin’ the Chesapeake: The Five Feasts.
Eatin' Oysters: Chesapeake Style!
Monday, April 23 at 9:30pm
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.
Eatin' Crabcakes: The Best I Ever Had
Monday, April 23 at 10:30pm
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.
Eatin' Crabs Chesapeake Style
Monday, April 23 at 10pm
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.
NEW Healing Baltimore's Harbor: A Pipe Dream?
Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30pm
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, wildlife and the city’s economy. Every year, millions of gallons of sewage seep of out of the city’s aging underground sewage infrastructure and into Baltimore’s waterways. The resulting bacterial presence in streams, rivers and the harbor can be a threat to anyone who comes into contact with the water.
Healing Baltimore’s Harbor: A Pipe Dream? explores the challenges facing the city as it works to meet the requirements of a federal consent decree calling for it to fix and rebuild its infrastructure. And it tells the stories of citizens committed to protect the city they love - and the water they need.
NEW High Tide in Dorchester
Tuesday, April 24 at 9pm
The film, High Tide in Dorchester, 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.
High Tide in Dorchester is a wake-up call: It’s time for a retreat from the shoreline, of which the Chesapeake estuary has some 11,000 miles. Historically, millions of people have sought to live as close to that shoreline as possible, but few communities are doing adequate planning to meet the imminent challenges of restraint, retreat and adaptation to living on the edges of a rising tide.
Rising seas also threaten many species of waterfowl and other birds that nest in Dorchester’s extensive wetlands — 45 per cent of Maryland’s total tidal wetland acreage. It is imperative that we give these wetlands space to migrate upland as they are flooded in the lowlands. The film looks closely at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, where scientists and managers are already dealing with the impacts of the rising tide.
Keeping the Potomac: The Politics of Water
Tuesday, April 24 at 10pm
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.
In the Shenandoah River – a major tributary to the Potomac -- fish kills caused by algae are common in the Shenandoah—an obvious concern for an angler like Mark Frondorf. He is the River Keeper for the Shenandoah River and his job is to find sources of pollution on the river and try to stop them. One of the major sources of pollution in the Shenandoah is nutrient runoff from farms. Although Mark works tirelessly to encourage farmers to fence their animals out of waterways, many farmers do not engage in best management practices, which will protect the river from these dangers.
On the Upper Potomac river, River Keeper Brent Walls monitors the Upper Potomac River for the Potomac Riverkeepers Network. One of his greatest concerns is a pipeline in Westernport, Maryland, which pumps a foul smelling brown fluid into an otherwise pristine section of the river - 24 hours a day. The effluent comes from a nearby wastewater treatment plant operated by the Upper Potomac River Commission. Most of the waste treated by the plant originates at a paper mill located a short distance upstream. The effluent poses a danger for fish and wildlife in the river and increases the water temperature to unnatural levels.
As the Lower Potomac Riverkeeper, Dean Naujoks contends with many sources of pollution that threatens the condition of the river. One of these sources, the Coal Ash Disposal Ponds at Possum Point Power Plant, has not only drawn the attention of Naujoks, but also that of local residents, environmental activists, and state legislators. These groups are concerned with Dominion Power’s claim that their coal ash disposal program is safe. We follow Dean as he fights against what he sees as a serious threat to not only the Potomac River, but also the health of those who live near its banks.
Produced by graduate film students at American University’s School of Communication’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking as part of a partnership between AU and Maryland Public Television.
Til-Made: Remembering the Tilghman Packing Company
Tuesday, April 24 at 10:30pm
Residents of Tilghman Island reminisce about how their small Eastern Shore community made a big splash in the seafood industry.
Conowingo Dam: Power on the Susquehanna
Wednesday, April 25 at 8pm
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. 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 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.
Wednesday, April 25 at 9pm
A film anthology series produced by Maryland Public Television that curates relevant and distinctive stories by independent filmmakers.
This episode features five short films about conservation topics from around the world:
Waterman is a Hemingway-style portrait of a veteran waterman and his relationship to the Chesapeake Bay. He looks back on his days working the water and shares his belief that radical change is needed to save North America’s largest estuary.
» Visit the filmmaker's website.
Saba: The Unspoiled Queen showcases a Caribbean island nation that the filmmaker considers a model of conservation excellence. The people of Saba work together to preserve the island’s natural beauty, including a pristine coral reef that teems with life.
» Visit the filmmaker's website.
Add One Back is the story of a vegetarian who considers adding aquaculture oysters to his diet. The Chesapeake Bay oyster population is at a mere one percent of its historic numbers, but the filmmaker discovers that aquaculture oysters may lead to a cleaner future for the Bay.
» Visit the filmmaker's website.
Vey nou Lagon follows a traditional artisanal fisherman and his family on the Island of Mauritius. Their lives are intimately linked to the ocean and the coral reef lagoons that ring the island. But the natural balance is delicate.
» Visit the filmmaker's website.
The Ballad of Holland Island House is an animation made with an innovative clay-painting technique. It tells the true story of the last house on a sinking island in the Chesapeake Bay. Told from the house's point of view, this film is a soulful and haunting tale about a changing environment.
» Visit the filmmaker's website.
Search for the USS Scorpion
Thursday, April 26 at 7:30pm
Hidden beneath the muddy Patuxent riverbed, a nearly forgotten tale of courage has slumbered… 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? Search for the USS Scorpion is a documentary special that puts the viewer on the front lines of marine archaeology. Embedded with a team of scientists from the US Navy and State of Maryland, we travel over river and underwater to follow the clues and piece together a mystery of history. Could it be that we have finally found the lost flagship of Commodore Barney’s Flotilla? There is only one way to find out, so put on your scuba gear and dive into the deep with Maryland Public Television!
» Visit the Search for the USS Scorpion blog
Chesapeake Bay Summit 2018
Thursday, April 26 at 8pm
Host Frank Sesno once again drives compelling conversation in this one hour forum that delves this year into the polarizing subjects of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise.
Is Climate Change real? Or as some believe, is it merely a hoax perpetrated on the public by scientists and foreign governments? If it is real, what is the evidence and what will the short- and long-term impacts be to Marylanders and the Chesapeake Bay?
Sesno is joined by some of the world’s foremost experts on the issue of Climate Change and Sea Level rise who will separate fact from fiction that continues to confuse a large segment of the population.
Scheduled panelists are:
• Astrid Caldas, senior climate scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists
• Dr. Peter Goodwin, president, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
• Ben Grumbles, secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment, chair of state’s Climate Change Commission
• Tom Horton, writer, author, professor, and filmmaker
• Skip Stiles, executive director, Wetlands Watch, Norfolk, Virginia
• Sean Sublette, meteorologist, Climate Center, Princeton, New Jersey
More information on Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Maryland:
Produced in association with
Chesapeake Bay Bridge: Spanning the Bay
Thursday, April 26 at 9pm
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!
Potomac by Air: Our Nation's River
Thursday, April 26 at 10pm
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.
Secrets of the Chesapeake
Friday, April 26 at 10pm
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.
Saturday, April 28 at 7:30pm
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.
Bugeye: A Chesapeake Legacy
Saturday, April 28 at 8pm
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.