August 6, 2007
Pfiesteria Ten Years After
Jack Greer 240-393-1806
Erica Goldman 202-270-0041
College Park, MD. It’s been ten years since a strange organism called Pfiesteria roared into the news, bringing images of dying fish and sick people. Exactly what happened ten years ago? And whatever happened to Pfiesteria?
To help answer these questions, and in recognition of this ten-year anniversary, the Maryland Sea Grant College has produced a 20-page magazine on the enigmatic microbe. It has also released its hour-long award-winning film, The Pfiesteria Files, on DVD.
The Pfiesteria Files, co-produced with Maryland Public Television, details the appearance of fish with ugly lesions in the Pocomoke River in 1997 and the firestorm that followed. The documentary pursues the trail followed by reporters that led to scientific discoveries, medical mysteries, and political fallout. It also probes into the media war that ultimately fanned the flames of public alarm, plummeting seafood sales, and an unprecedented fear of the water itself.
The Pfiesteria Files, written and directed by Michael W. Fincham, won a regional Emmy Award, a World Gold Medal at the New York Film Festival, and an ECO Award from the Outdoor Writers Association of America.
Now Fincham has looked back over the past ten years and retraced the story in an article entitled, “A Medical Mystery Trip.” He recounts testimonials from ten years ago and recent interviews with doctors, scientists, and others touched by Pfiesteria. The article appears in Maryland Sea Grant’s award-winning magazine, Chesapeake Quarterly, viewable online at www.mdsg.umd.edu/cq
For more information about The Pfiesteria Files see: www.mdsg.umd.edu/store/videos/pfiesteria_files
Contact Michael Fincham at email@example.com, office: 301-405-6382, cell: 240-393-1804