Community Conversations: State of the Oyster

| February 15, 2013
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Photo by Heather Davidson

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, in conjunction with the Maryland Humanities Council, presents “State of the Oyster” on four consecutive Sundays beginning February 24, and continuing March 3, 10, and 17 in CBMM’s Van Lennep Auditorium.

The “State of the Oyster” is the first in an annual series of public programming initiatives entitled “Community Conversations,” that emphasize public discussion and outreach to new audiences. This free, public program focuses on the status of the oyster fishery and its past, present, and future significance to different Bay communities.

MD Humanities council

The Maryland Humanities Council provided the seed money for
this project, which also includes an art exhibition featuring work
by renowned Chesapeake artist Marc Castelli, and photography by Heather Davidson, that depicts the daily activities of watermen.

All sessions are held in CBMM’s Van Lennep Auditorium and are free and open to the public. Space is limited, so advanced reservations are recommended to Helen Van Fleet at 410-745-4941.

Community Conversations: State of the Oyster
Oysters and People
Sunday, February 24
2-4pm in the Van Lennep Auditorium
Free. Space is limited. RSVP with Helen Van Fleet at 410-745-4941

This discussion focuses on the social history of oyster production in order to address the long-term relationships Chesapeake Bay inhabitants have with oysters. The panel features Christine Keiner, historian and author of
The Oyster Question: Scientists, Watermen, and the Maryland Chesapeake Bay since 1880; James Lane, folklorist; and author and environmentalist Tom Horton. Signed copies of The Oyster Question available for purchase.

Community Conversations: State of the Oyster
How Did We Get Here?
Sunday, March 3
4-6pm in the Van Lennep Auditorium
Free. Space is limited. RSVP with Helen Van Fleet at 410-745-4941

This session addresses the various factors contributing to the decline of the Chesapeake oyster populations and features excerpts from the SeaGrant film “Who Killed Crassostrea virginica,” as well as presentations by researchers and watermen.

Community Conversations: State of the Oyster
Watermen, Traditions & Perspectives
Sunday, March 10
2-4pm in the Van Lennep Auditorium
Free. Space is limited. RSVP with Helen Van Fleet at 410-745-4941

A panel of watermen and women present their experience-based perspectives on the history and future of Chesapeake oystering. Hear directly from these men and women about what it’s like to make a living under
today’s difficult circumstances, the changes that they’ve seen in their lifetimes, and their ideas about the future
of the industry.

Community Conversations: State of the Oyster
Possibilities & Consequences
Sunday, March 17
2-4pm in the Van Lennep Auditorium
Free. Space is limited. RSVP with Helen Van Fleet at 410-745-4941

In the final session of this series, a panel of watermen, oyster researchers, and oyster farmers will discuss the future of oysters. This discussion will cover aquaculture, reclaiming oyster shells and moving seed, disease research and mitigation, and sanctuaries.

Source: CMM
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