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Winter Speaker Series begins February 18 at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. begins its “50 Years of a Changing Chesapeake Environment” Winter Speaker Series on February 18 and continues the series through March 17. In this four-part series, experts will explore the incredible stories of the Bay’s changing environment over the last 50 years and how it has impacted the people and culture throughout the Chesapeake watershed. All sessions take place in CBMM’s Van Lennep Auditorium, with advanced registration needed, as seating is limited.

The invasive species of Northern Snakehead, shown here, is found in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay
The invasive species of Northern Snakehead, shown here, is found in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay
On Thursday, February 18 from 2-3:30 p.m., “Invasive Species and the Changing Environment of the Chesapeake Bay” will be led by Maryland Department of National Resources Natural Heritage Program Associate Director Jonathan McKnight for a discussion on the origin of invasive species—from phragmites to nutria, snakeheads, to blue catfish—and discover how Maryland is addressing the concerning growth of these destructive interlopers.

On Thursday, February 25 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., documentary filmmaker Sandy Cannon-Brown will lead a discussion on “Beautiful Swimmers Revisited: Warner’s Classic Crabbing Book 40 Years Later.” For four decades, William W. Warner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning best-seller, Beautiful Swimmers, has delighted readers everywhere. Cannon-Brown will discuss a new film she’s been working on with award-winning writer Tom Horton and photographer/producer David Harp that shares the story of how the culture, science, and management of the Chesapeake Bay’s iconic blue crab have changed in the last 40 years.

“From Wild Caught to Cultivated: The Chesapeake Oyster Industry from 1965 to 2015” takes place from 10-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 9, when participants will join Maryland Extension agent and shellfish aquaculture expert Donald Webster to take a look back on the transformation of the Chesapeake oyster and the Bay’s oyster traditions. The impacts of debilitating disease, storms, sediment, and freshwater on the Chesapeake’s wild and aquaculture oyster industries will be discussed.

On Thursday, March 17 beginning at 2 p.m., participants will join estuarine ecologist and environmental historian Dr. Kent Mountford as he explores the history, impact, and legacy of Hurricane Agnes on the Chesapeake Bay in ““The Perfect Storm: The Legacy of Hurricane Agnes.” A storm of tremendous environmental impact, Agnes was a watershed moment for the Bay’s ecosystem and fisheries—and many believe they have never recovered from the repercussions of the 1972 storm. Through stories, images, and data, Mountford will revisit the epic hurricane’s days of destruction and discuss how Agnes inspired the first generation of Chesapeake Bay environmentalists.

The cost for a session is $6 for CBMM members and $8 for non-members, with savings on registering for all four sessions at $20 for CBMM members, and $28 for non-members. To register, contact 410-745-4941 or [email protected]. For more information, visit