Chesapeake Footsoldiers

The Chesapeake Bay is North America’s largest estuary and was once its most productive. Runoff pollution from the Chesapeake’s enormous watershed has taken a heavy toll on people whose livelihoods rely on the Bay, but there are those quietly working to bring back the water quality. "Chesapeake Footsoldiers" tells the stories of just a few unsung heroes who confront some of the Bay’s biggest challenges.

Part One: The Oyster Recovery Partnership
Groups like the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) are taking steps to change the water quality in the Bay. Buddy Willey is the ORP’s field mechanic, and assists oyster gardeners who use their private docks to tend these filter feeders for future planting on Maryland sanctuary reefs. Bryan Gomes is the ORP’s Manager of Special Programs and teaches students about what they can do to help recover the Bay.

Part Two: Pat Fasano
Many Amish farmers in the Octoraro Watershed use hundred-year-old technologies and methods to raise livestock and grow crops, which can cause harmful nutrient runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. Pat Fasano is the Amish Liason for the Octoraro Watershed Association, where he works with Amish farmers in the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to create conservation plans and reduce their impact on the water and meet federal water quality standards.

Part Three: Drew Koslow
The largest source of pollution to the Bay comes from agricultural runoff. As a biologist and conservationist, Drew Koslow works for an organization called Ridge to Reefs, where his focus is to install bioreactors, which clean up runoff from farmland on Maryland’s Eastern Shore before it reaches the Chesapeake Bay.

"Chesapeake Footsoldiers" was produced by students at American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking, in association with Maryland Public Television.

  • Alexis Pazmiño
    Director
  • Katie Bryden
    Director
  • Shannon Lawrence
    Director
  • Kakky Dye
    Producer
  • Katie Bryden
    Producer
  • Shannon Lawrence
    Producer
  • Alexis Pazmiño
    Writer
  • Katie Bryden
    Writer
  • Shannon Lawrence
    Writer
  • Siyu Cai
    Photography
  • Jake Cirksena
    Photography
  • Matthew Levy
    Photography
  • Ke (Amber) Liu
    Photography
  • Emily Petersen
    Photography
  • Wei Wang
    Photography
  • Shuwei Feng
    Editors
  • Evan Mills
    Editors
  • Abi Weaver
    Editors
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student, Television
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Environmental, Wildlife, Conservation, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    26 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 30, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    Yes
  • American University School of Communications 11th Annual Spring 2016 Film Series
    Washington, DC
    United States
    March 29, 2016
    World Premiere
    N/A
  • American Visions Awards
    Washington, DC
    United States
    May 4, 2016
    Best Environmental Production
  • Maryland Public Television

    United States
    April 30, 2016
    MPT Broadcast Premiere
  • Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    Best Documentary Student Short
Director Biography - Alexis Pazmiño, Katie Bryden, Shannon Lawrence

Alexis Pazmiño is pursuing a master’s degree in film and video from American University in Washington, DC. Alexis is passionate about social justice and storytelling. Outside of class, Alexis performs stand-up comedy in the DC area. She currently works in higher education fundraising. Following graduation, Alexis hopes to pursue a career in film and television development or screenwriting.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

"'Chesapeake Footsoldiers' tells the stories of just a few unsung heroes who confront some of the Bay’s biggest water quality challenges. Rather than focusing on the errors that have caused runoff pollution in the watershed, each of the three stories told in this documentary centers on hope toward the future. The directors would like viewers to come away with the knowledge that any person can be a change agent when it comes to their environment. No matter the scale of the project, anyone can help bring back the water quality of the Bay. Anyone can be a Chesapeake Footsoldier."

Directors:
Part 1) Alexis Pazmiño
Part 2) Katie Bryden
Part 3) Shannon Lawrence