OWINGS MILLS, MD – Maryland Public Television’s (MPT) award-winning original series Outdoors Maryland will conclude its 33rd season by premiering two new episodes on January 25 and February 1 at 7:30 p.m. on MPT-HD and online at mpt.org/livestream.
Produced in cooperation with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Outdoors Maryland presents thought-provoking stories that capture the state’s beauty as well as its diverse collection of ecosystems, people, and places.
In its 33rd season, the series continues to highlight places of natural beauty and conservation throughout the state. Upcoming episodes offer segments honoring Maryland’s past, highlighting historically significant events of the present, and examining the state’s economic and environmental future.
Segments premiering during the January 25 episode are:
- Lost and Found (Prince George’s and Allegany counties). In many places throughout Maryland, millennia of human history and culture lie buried just inches below the soil’s surface. Viewers join archaeologists and volunteers as they excavate fields near Billingsley House searching for Weghkawamecq – believed to be the last settlement of the Patuxent and Mattaponi people – and recreate historic artifacts found near Rocky Gap State Park. In so doing, participants hope to build links with the past, enhance historical understanding, and honor prior inhabitants.
- The Ultimate Test (Cecil County). As one of only seven 5 star equestrian eventing competitions in the world, the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill brings many of the sport’s biggest names to Elkton for competition at the highest level. The equestrian equivalent of a triathlon, the program features dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. Viewers meet Fair Hill Organizing Committee President Jeff Newman and course designer Ian Stark to learn about this international event and follow local competitors Colleen Rutledge and Lauren Nichols during the inaugural Maryland 5 Star in October 2020.
- An Ephemeral Oasis (Kent County). There have been many theories about the origins of the small, seasonal ponds dotting the Kent County landscape. Today, these “Delmarva bays” are home to special creatures such as the state endangered eastern tiger salamander and barking tree frog. Viewers follow experts from the DNR working to track these populations and maintain the ponds so integral to their survival and ability to flourish into the future.
The February 1 episode will feature these three segments:
- Ghost Fleet of the Potomac (Charles County). Submerged in the Potomac River, just 30 miles south of our nation’s capital, is a vestige of World War I. Wooden war ships, which were built for the U.S. Navy but never made it into battle, became obsolete at war’s end. Too expensive to store or maintain, the ships were eventually burned and sunk in an out-of-the-way inlet: Mallows Bay. Nearly a century later, the wooden-hulled behemoths have become integral to the local ecosystem, providing the structure and shelter necessary for many organisms to thrive in an incredible merging of habitat and history.
- In Search of an Icon (Queen Anne’s and Anne Arundel counties). As fall brings the first chill winds to the Chesapeake Bay, two boats set out from Kent Island. One travels east and the other heads west, but each is in search of the same Maryland icon: blue crab. On one boat, viewers join DNR biologists visiting Cox Creek to collect population data as part of their annual index of blue crab abundance. In the other vessel, audiences travel with charter captain Jason Seman as he takes beginner crabbers trot lining on the Severn River.
- The Long Flight (Garrett and Prince George’s counties). Launched in 2014, the MOTUS Wildlife Tracking System is a global network of more than 1,200 receiving towers that enable researchers to track the movements of migrating birds, bats, and butterflies by fitting them with tiny radio transmitters carrying unique digital codes. Viewers meet park naturalist Greg Kearns as he demonstrates how his team at Patuxent River Park aids the effort by attracting target species and applying the transmitters. Then, viewers follow DNR Ecologist Dave Brinker as he visits High Rock Fire Tower to conduct an annual inspection of one of some 15 MOTUS receiver and antenna stations located throughout the state.
Since debuting in 1988, Outdoors Maryland has produced more than 700 stories on topics ranging from science-oriented environmental issues to segments about unusual people, animals, and places around the state. The series has earned more than 50 awards over more than 30 years of production, including several Emmy® Awards from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
More information about the series is available at mpt.org/programs/outdoors-maryland.