The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. is presenting a “State of the Crab” program on three consecutive Sundays, beginning September 14 and continuing through September 28. The program focuses on the status of the crab fishery and its past, present and future significance to different bay communities, with public participation encouraged. Generously supported by the Talbot County Watermen’s Association and Chesapeake Landing Restaurant, the programs are free and open to the public.
The program takes place in the museum’s Van Lennep Auditorium, where a special art exhibition will be on display featuring paintings by renowned Chesapeake artist Marc Castelli and images of Smith Islanders at work by noted photographer David Harp. These pieces will depict the daily activities of watermen as they both harvest and prepare crabs for market.
The “State of the Crab” is the second in an annual series of public programming initiatives entitled “Community Conversations.” The program emphasizes public discussion and outreach regarding issues facing the Chesapeake Bay region.
On Sunday, September 14 from 2-4 pm., “Crabs and People: Traditions and Perspectives” focuses on the history of harvesting and regulations in order to address the long-term relationships bay inhabitants have with crabs. Presentations by researchers and watermen will be followed by group discussion. The panel includes environmental writer Tom Horton and will be moderated by Voices of the Chesapeake Bay’s Michael Buckley.
On Sunday, September 21 from 2-4 pm., “How Did We Get Here?” addresses the various factors contributing to the decline of the Chesapeake crab population. A panel of watermen will present their experience-based perspectives on the history and future of crabs, while scientists monitoring crabs will explain their research and findings. Hear about the changes watermen have seen over their lifetimes, what it is like to make a living under today’s difficult circumstances, and ideas regarding the future of harvesting.
On Sunday, September 28 from 2-4 pm., “Possibilities & Consequences” brings together a panel of watermen, a packing house owner, and a Maryland DNR representative to discuss the challenges the crab industry faces in this final session of the series. This discussion includes globalization of the crab meat industry, labor sourcing, the role of advertising and more. The focus will be on how the cultural worlds within which watermen, entrepreneurs and workers are enmeshed can be part of the proposed solutions.
Limited seating will be available for each session. For more information call 410-745-4959 or visit www.cbmm.org.