Our book club about the environment
The book for August, Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island by Earl Swift, will take us to the water before the summer ends and is entitled We’re hoping that we might be able to make a field trip to Tangier Island as well.
The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and Historic Annapolis present this story is about strategic location on a great estuary, human interactions with rich natural resources, and the founding history of the United States.
It is an evolving story built around the science of archaeology and the inferences of oral and written history for the 2,650-acre campus of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), five miles south of Annapolis and 25 miles east of Washington, DC. It relies upon volunteer citizen scientists who have been piecing together a fabric of place and time that is entirely local, yet it forms a quilt of context for America today.
The story extends back 3,000 years to the earliest people who gathered oysters from the Bay and developed an elaborate culture here, and it continues to the present with surprising new discoveries almost weekly.
Virtual lecture. Advance registration is required.
More information and to register
Ensuring the meaningful involvement of all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, or income is critical to ensuring equity for all. Join the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and a panel of elected leaders and community advocates for perspectives on recent environmental justice victories around the Bay watershed. They will also discuss where this critical conversation needs to go in the coming years. Advance registration is required.
Eatin’ Crabs: Chesapeake Style is Maryland Public Television’s video foray into the world of the blue crab from dockside to table, capturing the uniquely Maryland slice of life that is the custom of enjoying a mound of hot steamed crabs. From Baltimore’s busiest harborside districts, filled with some of the region’s most famed crab shacks, to beloved and isolated locales filled with crab-hungry locals from Ocean City to Oakland, Eatin’ Crabs: Chesapeake Style catches the world of crab-loving and cracks it open for all to see.
Ask just about anyone what comes to mind when you mention Maryland, and they’ll probably say “you know, crabs.” What they really mean is the iconic, hardy, blue-green Chesapeake crustacean known to scientists as Callinectus Sapidus — and to the rest of us by a bunch of other names: blue crabs, jimmies, sooks, sallies, peelers, v-bottoms and sponge crabs. No matter what they’re called, if they’re fished out of Chesapeake waters, they’re most likely destined for a dinner plate as a crab cake, or a paper-lined table to be hammered, cracked and picked on a summer’s day. Facing some new and unexpected challenges, the blue crab industry feels a bit tentative as it looks to the future. From watermen and waterwomen working their trot lines and pulling their crab pots, to processing houses dotting the banks of the bay, uncertainty is today’s watchword for an industry that has worked largely behind the scenes and out of the public eye. From labor shortages in processing facilities to crab harvest declines, international competition and water quality issues, the waterman is facing a barrage of unforeseen and difficult challenges.
Repeats April 25, 11:30 pm
For five years, the Concert for the Chesapeake Bay has presented a terrific assortment of music. Ranging from indie chamber pop to rocking soul and American roots to rhythmic beat boxing, talented artists performed in support of volunteerism for the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This year’s concert highlights some of the “fan favorites”. There were great acts such as indie pop band Jukebox the Ghost, the Great American Canyon Band, Kelly Bell Band, Bobby E Lee & the Sympathizers and The Bellevederes. There was also soul singing Brooks Long and the Mad Dog No Good and The Herd of Main Street. Then there were the Punch Brothers with lead singer Chris Thile, who was recently named host of the famed Prairie Home Companion radio show, the Ursula Ricks Project, Among Wolves, Bosley, Seattle indie band Hey Marseilles, and singer/songwriter Victoria Vox with beatboxer Shodekeh. And it was back in our very first concert that we got things started with four special acts – the amazing Chris Jacobs Band, the talented Rachael Yamagata, the unique rap/folk duo of Caleb and Saleem and the soul sounds of Old Man Brown – featuring “The Voice” finalist Adam Wakefield.
From the stillness of the mass underwater graves of ancient ships to the eye-popping, eardrum-busting fighter jets of Pax River, they claim the title of the Chesapeake’s best-kept secrets. From buried treasure to haunted lighthouses, crazy legends and myths, eccentric sporting — even characters wacky and a little bizarre — to provincial cuisine and natural wonders, the Bay and surrounding locales are alive with obscure-but-fascinating destinations. For the armchair adventurer among us who craves the uncanny — for those who veer off-the- beaten-path — our new guide to discovering these home-grown places is Secrets of the Chesapeake. 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.
This film 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. The 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.
An aerial survey of Chesapeake Bay lighthouses, beacons awash with maritime history, legend and lore.
Repeats April 25 10 pm.
17th century Irish essayist Jonathan Swift dared say what so many before him believed: “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” The lowly oyster is a delicacy the world over, yet many people say enjoying one is an acquired taste. In the Chesapeake Bay region, the Chesapeake Oyster is King.
Whether it’s slurped down 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, where to find the best of them, and the best ways to eat them.
Repeats April 25, 9:30 pm