Choptank Odyssey: Celebrating a Great Chesapeake River

Tom Horton, Photography by David W. Harp

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This book of more than 150 vibrant photographs and seven essays depicts the natural history, human history, science, and culture of the Delmarva Peninsula’s largest river. Explore the Choptank River—from its beginnings at upstream springs and farm ditches to its broad estuary below Cambridge, Maryland—discover its inhabitants, and learn about the impact of human activity on the natural environment. Generations of watermen and farmers, oystermen and oyster shuckers, crabbers and crab pickers, commercial fishermen, and a “turkler” are just a few of the folks you'll become acquainted with. Additionally, retired biologist and aquatic scientist Nick Carter, water quality scientist Tom Fisher, and oyster captain Wade Murphy offer tales of wonder and sacrifice while also warning us of the consequences of overpopulation and wasteful habits. Learn how we can restore the river, reduce pollution, conserve food and fuel, and protect this special place for all of time.

Size: 8 1/8" x 9 1/8" | 156 color photos | 160 pp
ISBN13: 9780764350009

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David W. Harp, former staff photographer for the Baltimore Sun Magazine, has received many awards for his photographs. His photography is regularly featured in national environmental and lifestyle magazines. He is the staff photographer for The Chesapeake Bay Journal, which covers science and policy concerning the Bay. Tom Horton reported on the Chesapeake Bay for the Baltimore Sun for fifteen years before becoming a freelancer in 1987. His first book, Bay Country, won the John Burroughs Medal for our nation’s best natural history book of the year. His other books include An Island Out of Time and Turning the Tide. David and Tom are currently producing a video series, “Voices from the Edge,” about the fecundity and variety of life along the edge of land and water. Their previous collaborations include: Water’s Way: Life Along the Chesapeake, The Great Marsh: An Intimate Journey into a Chesapeake Wetland, and The Nanticoke: Portrait of a Chesapeake River, all published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

"A paean to this chief river of Delaware and Maryland . . . Horton and Harp offer an exquisite look at the people, plants and animals living on the river and its marshlands." –Diane Scharper, Baltimore Sun

"Dave Harp’s photography and Tom Horton’s text are nothing short of inspirational." –William Baker, President, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

"This book matches Harp’s stunning nature photography with Horton’s shrewd observations and informed analysis." –Baltimore Magazine

"Horton knows people like Hark knows lenses. He can tease out a character and tell a story that smacks of Bay brine and crab sweat, just as his colleague cocks his camera in such a way as to capture—just so—the essence of a Bay moment." —Chesapeake Bay Magazine