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Watershed for the Chesapeake

58 Minutes.

DVD. UM-SG-DV-2007-03.
VHS. UM-SG-AV-91-02.

Producer/Writer/Director: Michael W. Fincham
Cinematographers: Mac Nelson, Russ Nichols and Adam Moore

Cost: $24.95 plus $1.50 state tax (Maryland residents only) and shipping and handling (rates)

This film presents a historical overview of the early days of the campaign to clean up Chesapeake Bay. Here, telling the story in their own words, are some of the first voices — the citizens and scientists, the politicians, farmers, and fishermen who spoke up and went to work to save the Bay.

At first they were solitary voices, working and living along the rivers around America’s richest estuary. The Chesapeake, they warned, was changing. We were losing seagrasses along our shores, waterfowl in our autumn skies, oysters in our winter waters, and the great spawning runs of spring. Even the blue crab catches of summer were faltering.

Could we ever bring back the bounty that was the Bay?

A citizen movement began to spread, finally launching a major campaign to restore the Chesapeake. This historic, three-state effort is now backed by Congress, by federal and state governments, and by millions of citizens in the Mid-Atlantic region.

This documentary highlights some of the key people, events and scientific findings that played a role in the early stages of this ongoing drama. The film examines:

• The five-year science study organized by the Environmental Protection Agency.

• The Patuxent River law suit against the federal government led by Bernie Fowler of Calvert County.

• The unexpected evidence of how runoff from cities and farms was damaging the ecology of the Chesapeake.

• The signing of the early Chesapeake Bay Agreements by the state governments of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Will the Chesapeake Bay cleanup prove a model for restoring America’s other coastal waters? Or a missed opportunity?


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Watershed for the Chesapeake (DVD).
Fincham, Michael, writer/producer. 2007. UM-SG-DV-2007-03. $24.95.
Watershed for the Chesapeake (VHS).
Fincham, Michael, writer/producer. 1991. UM-SG-AV-91-02. $24.95.

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