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Bay Journal

Bay Journal is published by Chesapeake Media Service to inform the public about issues and events that affect the Chesapeake Bay. With a print circulation of 50,000, the Bay Journal is published monthly except for midsummer and midwinter and is distributed free of charge. To be added to the mailing list, fill out the online subscription form. Bundles of the Bay Journal are also available for distribution.

Below are some recent stories from Bay Journal.

Latest Issue

Chat about #SeafoodFraud with @Oceana

Shocked to find out that so many of our regional crab cakes are mislabeled and don't actually contain blue crabmeat? Ask Oceana, the nonprofit that put out the latest report, about its latest report on the subject during a live Twitter chat about #SeafoodFraud today at 2 p.m. to 3…

Crabcake fraud: New report finds 38 percent are mislabeled in Chesapeake Bay restaurants

Blue crab, the Chesapeake Bay’s most iconic edible species, also appears to be its most impersonated on menus in the region that say they’re selling local seafood. A report released today by the conservation nonprofit Oceana found that 38 percent of crab cakes labeled as local were…

Centuries of settlement

The Nansemond River is a paddler’s paradise sitting on the edge of Norfolk’s westward sprawl. Here, the adventuresome will find more than 4,000 acres of wetlands, national wildlife refuge lands and a water trail that is steadily gaining new canoe and kayak launch sites. Plus, centuries…

Black-and-white warbler a colorful character in spirit if not hue

Spring comes to the forest floor first. Skunk cabbage, jack-in-the-pulpits and trout lilies were emerging from the soil in a mosaic of green and purple. Ghostly Indian pipe seemed to simply appear without sending down roots or unfurling leaves to catch the strengthening sun. The trail we were…

Project Clean Stream’s impact ripples through a waterway’s community

Project Clean Stream, initiated by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, returns this month for its 12th year of helping residents across the watershed become stewards of their local streams and rivers. What began as a small, local stream cleanup in Baltimore, Project Clean Stream has grown into…

National seafood policy aims for more transparency in labeling

The Chesapeake Bay’s seafood industry is paying close attention to a report released in late March detailing how the Obama administration plans to reduce international seafood fraud — even if its impact on the local industry would be muted. The Presidential Task Force on Combatting…

Farmers reduce pollution after ditching old way of handling runoff

A decade ago, Mike Long looked out over his 3,000-acre farm in the northern reaches of Indiana and didn’t like what he saw. The Shatto ditch, a canal-like drainage ditch that carries water away from the area’s farms, sometimes ran turbid, depositing thick, brown water into the…

Eastern Shore’s nutrient woes exacerbated by location, topography

The intense poultry farming on the Eastern Shore, combined with the peninsula’s flat topography and proximity to tidal waters, has produced water quality problems that will likely plague the Chesapeake Bay for decades, a new report concludes. While the Eastern Shore covers just 7 percent…

Flurry of bills take aim at plastics that persist in local waters

Beads, bags, balloons and polystyrene — each made of plastic and each the subject of recent legislation in Chesapeake Bay states — could become less common in local waters if the number of bills banning or attaching fees to them continues to grow and gain favor in the legislatures.…

Potomac Conservancy crowd-funding to save WV landscape

Save White Horse Mountain: Indiegogo Campaign Film from Potomac Conservancy on Vimeo. The Potomac Conservancy is entering into uncharted territory. The nonprofit focused on the Potomac watershed has never purchased land before — and certainly not $3 million worth of land in West…

VA legislature keeps conservation funding mostly intact

Chesapeake Bay issues generally fared well during the 2015 Virginia General Assembly, whose short, six-week session adjourned on time for the first time in 15 years. The legislature passed bills to protect water quality; address impacts of climate change; promote clean and alternative energies;…

Shenandoah salamander, a rare find, becoming even more scarce

Springtime in the Northeast usually means plenty of rain and the re-emergence of temporary pools — known as vernal pools — that form as water fills shallow depressions in forests, floodplains and meadows. Vernal pools come to life as frogs, toads and salamanders converge on them to…

Public comments needed to create best possible management strategies for Bay

On March 16, the Chesapeake Bay Program partners publicly released our collaborative plans for meeting the outcomes and goals under the “next generation” Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement signed last summer by the governors of the six Chesapeake Bay watershed states, the mayor of the…

Reports: PA, VA must add to, strengthen animal agriculture programs

Pennsylvania and Virginia will likely need to beef up regulatory and voluntary programs designed to control runoff from animal farming operations if they are to meet Bay nutrient reduction goals, according to recent reports from the EPA. The reports found the states had a variety of programs…

Bay Program releases plans to achieve restoration goals

Bay cleanup partners now have a clear idea of what it will take to meet their goals to improve stream health, increase black duck populations, expand urban tree cover and achieve more than two dozen other Bay restoration objectives. In many cases it will take better, and clearer policies, along…

Dominion Virginia Power sued over coal ash waste pits

The Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club, filed suit on March 19, 2015, against Dominion Virginia Power for violations of the Clean Water Act due to leaking coal ash pits from the Chesapeake Energy Center in Chesapeake, Virginia.  The suit,…

Black communities’ struggle for share of restoration funding

Exclusivity defines the Maryland shoreline: large homes with gazebos and private beaches, quaint towns chockablock with designer handbags and chic dresses, restaurants serving $25 crab cake dinners. Less likely to be seen are the tight-knit African-American communities that have endured since…

Partnership turning McElderry Park into one of city’s garden spots

There is no park in McElderry Park. But the East Baltimore neighborhood will soon be one of the greenest urban communities in the region. Over the next year, the National Wildlife Federation will spend $200,000 to turn McElderry Park into a “deep green community,” complete with…

MD reaches compromise on phosphorus management tool

Maryland lawmakers have hashed out a compromise to reduce phosphorus on its part of the Delmarva Peninsula, a move that could lead other states to do the same and slowly clean up the rivers flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. Wednesday night, environmentalists and government officials announced…

Manure hour graces Midday on the Bay

This Thursday, Midday on the Bay returns to the airwaves with something I like to call the Manure Hour. We will devote the entire hour to talking about phosphorus, the management tools for it, the way other states are controlling it and… What’s that? I’ve lost you? You mean…

Poll finds Marylanders confused over ‘rain tax’

Half of all Marylanders polled in a recent survey believe that the required stormwater management fees mean that they will be taxed every time it rains. When told that the so called “rain tax” had nothing to do with taxing the rain and was a charge to curb and treat polluted runoff,…

Once is not enough — visitors always want to return

In the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, Smith Island stands defiant. Its community remains strong and proud while all the other island towns in Maryland have faded away, their populations fleeing for the mainland. Smith Island clings to a way of life that is centuries old: hard work on the water…

Bicycling in Bay country can be wheely fun, just remember to play it safe!

What better way to take in the landscapes of the Chesapeake watershed than from a bicycle? And not just the sights — the sounds, scents and symphony of nature await those who choose to tour at the bicycle’s more leisurely pace. Plus, bicycling is healthy for the environment as it…

Website provides homeowners with tools, resources to reduce stormwater

Stormwater runoff remains a hot topic for those involved in restoring and protecting the watershed’s streams and rivers. As the population continues to grow each year and development increases, so do the roadways, rooftops and other impervious surfaces that send polluted runoff into nearby…

First oyster farm in Kent County encounters choppy waters

When Maryland changed its law in 2009 to allow widespread aquaculture for the first time, those who pushed for the change had hoped that traditional watermen would get into the oyster cultivation business. They also hoped to attract college-educated, business-savvy, conservation-minded…

Farmer’s plan to create shade for livestock to bear fruit in more ways than one

Treading through ankle-deep snow on a January day to reach a row of saplings near the middle of Buck Holsinger’s pasture, it’s hard to imagine a 100-degree Shenandoah Valley summer day, let alone the need for shade. But that’s what Holsinger had on his mind. “Come back…

Mikulski seeks oyster permit speed up from Army Corps of Engineers

Sen. Barbara Mikulski is wading into an old fight: oyster farmers vs. the Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District. In a sharply worded letter earlier this month, Maryland’s senior senator says that the Baltimore District has been “dragging its feet” on issuing permits for…

Take a trek through the marsh

I was one of five people trekking through the woods at Robinson Neck Preserve, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It was a sunny, shoulder-season day that put all of us in a good mood — bright enough for sunglasses and cool enough for fleece. About halfway into the hike, the forest around…

Helmets!

According to Children's National Medical Center’s Safe Kids Worldwide, only 45 percent of children younger than 14 wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Common reasons given for not wearing a helmet are that they are not “cool” or are too hot. Perhaps answering the questions…

Bay Program partners poised to help local governments, groups

So, here I am, pen in hand, drafting another commentary about local government and the Chesapeake Bay cleanup effort. While preparing to write this column, I came across another I wrote for the Bay Journal, “ Local governments must share responsibility, efforts for Bay cleanup,”…

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