After decades of effort, the voluntary, collaborative approach to restoring the health and vitality of the Chesapeake Bay— the largest estuary in the United States—has not worked and, in fact, is failing. A diverse group of 57 senior scientists and policymakers have joined forces to save the Bay. This is our plan.

D.C. Environmental Film Festival Features Chesapeake Bay Films

The D.C. Environmental Film Festival is showing four timely films on Wednesday, March 23, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., at the Carnegie Institution for Science (Elihu Root Auditorium, 1530 P St., NW; Metro: Dupont Circle, 19th St. exit. Red line, Metrobuses: S1, S2, S4, S9, G2) Elizabeth Buckman, Vice President, Communications, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, will moderate the program, and introduce the filmmakers.

The Last Boat Out (26 minutes)

The largest bay in the United States is dying. But the Chesapeake Bay, once brimming with life and commerce, is not dying alone. It’s taking with it a way of life for the thousands of watermen whose families have made their living on the Bay for generations. This documentary weaves two tales: the inspiring story of a family of watermen tirelessly trying to preserve their life working the waters of the Bay, and the story of a bay battered by development and pollution yet struggling to stay alive. Narrated by Sam Waterston. Directed and produced by Laura Seltzer.

The Runoff Dilemma (30 minutes)

Agricultural nutrient runoff represents the major pollution crisis facing the Chesapeake Bay. Recognizing this, a growing chorus of environmentalists, policymakers and scientists say that tougher new preventative regulations must be imposed and rigorously enforced before any real progress in Bay cleanup is realized. Farmers and agribusinesses from New York to Virginia claim tougher new regulations will force already economically stressed farms out of business. However, some farmers have found ways to prevent runoff from their farms and support the new regulations and the effort to save the Bay. Directed by Michael English, produced by Maryland Public Television.

Sturgeon: Eggs to Die For (30 minutes)

An exploration of why the great Atlantic Sturgeon has declined in the Chesapeake Bay and beyond, and the hopes scientists have of a big comeback for the mighty fish. Directed by Nick Caloyianis.

Waterman (1969; 63 minutes)

In 1965 New York filmmaker Holly Fisher focused her camera on the annual skipjack race on the Chesapeake Bay, and on skipjack captain Art Daniels. Over the next three years, she and her co-director, Romas Slezas, filmed Daniels, his family and his colleagues oystering and crabbing and living on the Chesapeake. She tells a simple but powerful story of watermen’s lives. Directed by Holly Fisher and Romas Slezas.

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