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Cinema Bayville

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Transcripts of Cinema Bayville movies

Past, Present, and Future

Chesapeake Past, Chesapeake Future, part 1

Song: I'm Chesapeake born. I'm Chesapeake free. I'm Chesapeake bound, flowing with ease. I'm Chesapeake born and bound to thee Indeed, I am. I'm Chesapeake free. She's the mother of the waters and the people of this land...                     

Narrator: It's hard to imagine what John Smith, the first European explorer of the Chesapeake, saw when he sailed into this vast estuary nearly 400 years ago. Shorelines lined with thick forests, fertile plains of grassy wetlands. The skies filled with geese and ducks as far as the eye could see. The water was often crystal clear, revealing a rich bounty of fish. It was, without a doubt, a sight to behold, abundant with life. But that paradise is long gone, and scientists are increasingly worried that more trouble lies ahead.

Kent Mountford, a retired EPA scientist, is an expert on the environmental history of the Bay. He and his wife Nancy now spend much of their free time sailing near the mouth of the Patuxent River.

Kent Mountford: When John Smith came here, he visited this river, just about where we're sailing, in 1608. There were about 30,000 Native Americans living around the whole perimeter of the Bay.

Today, the entire Chesapeake basin is now somewhere in the neighborhood of 16 million. And that's just too much for the system to carry.


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