by Tom Horton
Sea level is not as level as you might imagine.
The ocean at Bermuda is about three feet higher than the ocean at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay—an ocean that would seem poised to gush downhill and drown Tidewater Virginia.
It doesn’t, because the earth, whose rotation is what causes the ocean’s Bermuda-to-Bay slope, keeps on spinning.
It’s actually more complicated than that, explains oceanographer Bill Boicourt, emeritus at the University of Maryland’s Horn Point laboratory, on the front lines of researching climate change and sea level rise as it affects the Chesapeake.
High Tide in Dorchesterpremiered before a full house on March 22 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts during the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. The film will have its TV debut during Chesapeake Bay Week on Maryland Public Television on April 24 at 9 p.m.
The next public screening will be in Annapolis on May 7 at St. Margaret’s Church, 1601 Pleasant Plains Road. A panel discussion, led by writer Tom Horton, will follow the screening.
A shorter version of the film will open a conference on April 21st entitled Climate, Culture & Change: How Social Factors Shape the Eastern Shore’s Climate Dialogue at Washington College in Chestertown. The conference, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., is sponsored by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. Speakers Elizabeth Van Dolah and Aaron Lampman will share insights and Coreen Wilminster will share tips on how to communicate more confidently and effectively about the subject. The cost is $20 and registration is required through the ESLC website.
High Tide in Dorchester is an official selection of the New Haven International Film Festival. Screening is scheduled for 9 a.m., Saturday May 5 at Gateway Community College in New Haven, CT.
Numerous screenings are in the works and we’ll keep you posted. Each screening includes a discussion with the filmmakers, scientists, policy makers, and those affected by rising sea levels and erosion. If you are interested in hosting a screening, please contact Sandy Cannon-Brown at email@example.com.
As Horton explains in the film:
“If the consequences of global warming and rising sea levels and the worsening erosion and the high tides they bring seem a little hazy to you, come take a tour of Dorchester County, where the future is now. Check out the dying forests, sunken tombstones and waterlogged home foundations of communities going into the Bay. Plan a bicycle trip down some of the Mid-Atlantic’s most scenic country roads, but check your tide-chart before you go. Cross miles of open water in the heart of a national wildlife refuge where in living memory a river wound between marshy banks. A child today in this county may see her yard, her playground, disappear at a much-accelerated rate as the changing climate makes what I experienced seem like just a warm up. In another century, maybe less, this fourth largest county in Maryland by land area is going to be the 14th largest out of 23 counties.”
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High Tide in Dorchester is done, but the expenses continue. We came out short on funding for post-production and the distribution and outreach needed to get the film out there doing its job for education and advocacy. Can you help? Please and thank you. Every dollar helps.
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