Menhaden: Most Important Fish in the Bay

Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Sarah Gulick
27 min

We begin tonight with

an environmental mystery.

...debris along the beach

as far as the eye can see.

A large fish kill has struck

along the shoreline of the

Sebastian Inlet State Park.

Biologists tell us there

were up to a million...

She captured reams of dead fish

rolling onshore

and piling up...

Fishery staff are

baffled at what caused

these hundreds of dead fish...

Up to 5,000 blackbirds

fell within

a one-mile area...

Roughly two million...

Dead fish on the shores

of Rio de Janeiro...

Two million fish

here along Chesapeake Bay...

Thousands of birds started

falling from the sky...


is ongoing...

They got me up 4:00

in the morning,

told me we had birds

falling out of the sky.

Scientists don't

know what killed them.

To your left...

look over to your left.

Okay, you can see

that's where the footage

about where you can,

uh, address...

- what that was about, okay?

- Okay, sounds good.

Okay, why don't we start off?

If you could just

fill us in

with basic details...


Uh, my name is Donna Thompson.

I was a Communications major

at American University

covering the July 4th


in Claridge, Maryland,

on July 4th, 2009.

No cam... hey.

This is the first time

I am speaking publicly

about the disaster

that happened.

I was there.

Let's follow it.

You okay, Donna?


- Yeah.

- Okay?

- Are we gonna be all right?

- Yeah, I'm sorry.

I thought this was gonna be

a little easier to talk about.

Okay, tell me when

you're ready and, um,

you can continue.

- Okay.

- I know it's hard. Go ahead.


my name is Donna Thompson.

For three years,

I and a few others

have been trying to speak out

about what happened

in Claridge, Maryland,

on July 4th, 2009.

But sometimes words

have no impact.

But now, with the help

of a website


all of the digital information

that was recorded that day

has been obtained.

All of the digital information

that was confiscated.

Now, I don't know if anyone

is gonna be watching this.

I don't know if anything

is gonna happen to me

as a result of me

putting this out there,

but I do know that

I can't move on with my life

until this story is told.

You know, it's just, um...

it's hard to explain

what this town used to be like.

Well, it's 6:

in the morning

with "Mike in the Morning"

on this beautiful day,

this Day of Independence.

Good morning, Chesapeake,

and good morning, America.

Listen, I'm your marathon man.

What does that mean?

Hopefully you're gonna be

with me day and night

as I am with you

and we can celebrate.

I can't think

of a better way to celebrate

than a little music

from the heartland.

I used to

come here every summer

with my folks.

It's hard to explain what

this town used to be like.

I mean, it was fun.

It was where I had

my first crab dinner,

my first summer kiss.

So, uh, that's the mayor

right there.

Mayor John Stockman.

He actually used to run

a vacuum cleaner shop,

and then one day he just

up and got everyone

to vote for him for mayor.

Right there, that's Martin

and Helen Wycoff.

They were both involved in a lot

of community service programs.

Um, their whole family

actually died that day.

Three, two, one.

Good morning, Maryland.

- Oh, wait. Sorry.

- It's okay.


why didn't anyone tell me

my pants were too tight?

I'm sorry. It's just that every

time I look at this footage,


it's a little difficult,

and I have this tendency

to overcompensate a little bit.

- So...

- So you use humor, uh,

to hide those emotions.

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Tony Azios

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Menhaden: Most Important Fish in the Bay" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 30 Nov. 2022. <>.

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