“High Tide in Dorchester”: Special community film preview and Q&A

Feb 16, 2018

CAMBRIDGE, Md. “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,” says Tom Horton at the beginning of the new documentary film “High Tide in Dorchester.” The film creates a powerful, intimate story that looks at the worsening global threat of sea level rise through the lens of Chesapeake Bay’s most vulnerable county.

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Horn Point Laboratory and Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth will host a special community preview of the one-hour documentary “High Tide in Dorchester”on Friday, March 9, at 447 Venue, 447 Race St, Cambridge. Doors open at 5:30 film starts at 6. The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with the filmmakers.

Tickets are $15 in advance (https://www.usmf.org/events/3918-special-preview-film-high-tide-in-dorchester/) and $20 at the door. Price includes refreshments and one free drink. For more information, contact Carin Starrcstarr@umces.edu or 410-221-8408.

Created by the gifted local team of writer Tom Horton, filmmaker Sandy Cannon-Brown, and photographer Dave Harp, “High Tide in Dorchester” looks closely at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, where scientists and managers are already dealing with the impacts of the rising tide. It encourages discussions and actions concerning sea level rise, erosion, and climate change in Dorchester County.

Historically, millions of people have sought to live as close to the shoreline as possible, but many communities are still grappling with how to meet the imminent challenges of adapting to living on the edges of a rising tide.Dorchester County is already experiencing the future that faces coastal areas worldwide. This low-lying county on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay is the fourth largest of Maryland’s 23 counties by land area, but it is destined to drop to the 14th largest by 2100— or sooner — as waters rise and erosion worsens.

“As the sea level rises, by the end of this century, more than half of Dorchester County will be underwater,” says UMCES’ Horn Point Laboratory Professor Ming Li. His research on the impacts of sea level rise on the Eastern Shore is featured in the film. “Global warming and sea level rise is caused by human activities. Because it’s a global a problem, it’s easy to say you can’t do anything, but I think by working together we can tackle this big problem.”

“High Tide in Dorchester” will have its official opening at the Environmental Film Festival in Washington, D.C. on March 22 and will air during Chesapeake Bay Week on Maryland Public Television in April. For more information on the film, visit http://hightidedorchester.org/.

The screening is sponsored by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Horn Point Laboratory and Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth (DCPG). Proceeds benefit the Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth.

Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth is organized to guarantee a public voice in issues of land and water use. The group pledges to advocate for the promotion, maintenance, and conservation of the natural resources, farmland, waterways and open spaces of Dorchester County.

From the banks of the Choptank River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, UMCES’ Horn Point Laboratory scientists engage in world-renowned research in oceanography, water quality, restoration of sea grasses, marshes and shellfish, and expertise in ecosystem modeling.


The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science leads the way toward better management of Maryland’s natural resources and the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. From a network of laboratories located across the state, UMCES scientists provide sound advice to help state and national leaders manage the environment, and prepare future scientists to meet the global challenges of the 21st century. www.umces.edu