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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

Old roads could lead to new substrates for oyster beds

Old roads and concrete don’t have to take up space in landfills. They can become excellent substrates for raising oysters, according to a new study. Morgan State University’s Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research lab conducted the three-part study with funding from the Maryland…

Clean Water Conference challenges organization to seek diversity

At clean water conferences throughout the country, Jill Witkowski says someone usually stands up and makes a comment along the lines of, “Why are we so white?” At the Choose Clean Water Coalition conference this week, which she organized, she encouraged environmental groups in…

Power outage in storm led to deaths of 9 sturgeon in Eastern Shore lab

Harsh winter weather indirectly took a toll on the Chesapeake Bay’s sturgeon, as Maryland biologists say nine of their large captive fish died during a power outage caused by a winter storm. The incident happened at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory on the Eastern Shore during the long…

Harrisburg’s river projects highlighted at clean water conference

To get to this year’s Choose Clean Water Coalition conference in Harrisburg, PA., most of those traveling from other portions of the Chesapeake Bay watershed had to cross the Susquehanna River. The 444-milelong river is the largest tributary to the Bay and gets its name from a Native…

Midday takes note of Baltimore’s environmental wins

Midday on the May’s may edition will air Thursday, May 21, from 1-2 on WYPR. The show is produced in collaboration with Dan Rodricks, who hosts Midday every day. Each month, we choose topics that correlate with the stories we are covering in the Journal, or want to cover in the future.…

Resident geese: a water quality problem or just fuss & feathers?

Where manicured golf courses and neighborhood ponds abound, so do the geese. Thriving in the urban and suburban habitats of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, geese are waddling in the streets, pooping in the ponds and congregating dangerously close to highway off-ramps long after they should have…

MD Public Service Commission approves Exelon-Pepco merger

The Maryland Public Service Commission last week approved the merger between Exelon and PEPCO — a move many environmental groups, as well as the Maryland attorney general, have vigorously opposed. The commission, whose approval is required, voted 3-to-2 to allow Chicago-based Exelon to…

Audubon award honors Rona Kobell

The National Audubon Society will honor Bay Journal staff writer Rona Kobell Wednesday at its 12th annual lunch Women in Conservation Luncheon at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Kobell is among 26 “women greening journalism” who will receive special recognition at the luncheon for…

Workshop offers farmers food for thought on healthy streams stewardship

A large event hall at Dutch’s Daughter restaurant in Frederick, MD, surrounded by plush carpeting, tapestries on the walls and a projector screen pulled down over ornately carved wood fireplace, is an odd space to host a workshop for farmers on the value of streamside forest buffers. But…

Mammal Mommies!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers in the Chesapeake watershed. Did you know that the word “mammal” comes from the Latin word for the mammary gland. This gland, found on all mother mammals, releases milk to nurse their young. Can you match these mother mammals with their…

Growth more likely to negatively impact economy than help it

An analysis “I thought this was about the Bay, but most of your speakers the first day are talking about the economy?” This query came in various forms from environmentalists considering the Bay Journal’s Growth and the Chesapeake conference earlier this winter. But…

MD high court to rule if MDE is co-defendant in Lake Bonnie suit

Maryland’s highest court has again agreed to hear arguments in the case of a Caroline County resident who lost the use of her lake because of pollution. The Court of Appeals granted the petition of Gail Litz, the woman who once owned the Lake Bonnie Campground, to hear her request to make…

CBF’s new Brock center in VA goes off power, water grids

Last November, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation “unplugged” the new Brock Environmental Center from the power grid as part of the center’s grand opening festivities in Virginia Beach. It was admittedly a purely symbolic gesture — the building remains hooked to the local…

Appeals court sides with aquaculturist seeking to grow oysters, clams in Chincoteague Bay

Appeals court sides with aquaculturist seeking to grow oysters, clams in Chincoteague Bay An oyster farmer who applied for a lease to grow shellfish six years ago may finally be able to get his crops in the water. Don Marsh, a businessman, applied to grow oysters and clams in Chincoteague Bay,…

Conference shows why endless growth is no longer possible

A group of respected economists and planners delivered a stark message in Frederick, MD, recently — in a world with finite resources, endless growth is impossible. To restore clean water in the Chesapeake Bay, it’s a fact that must be faced. Their words were delivered at the…

All aboard! Travel down the James’ history

As river trail maps and smartphone apps continue to pop up around the Chesapeake, the river atlases produced by the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society at first glance seem anachronistic. But what makes these atlases special is their devotion to the era when the craft of choice to move…

Potomac Conservancy crowd-funds to preserve WV’s White Horse Mountain

This spring, the Potomac Conservancy entered into uncharted territory — and not just because it’s buying land in West Virginia. The nonprofit, focused on the health of the Potomac watershed, had never purchased land before, and certainly not $3 million worth of a forested mountain.…

Article questions efficacy of D.C.’s bag fee

A story on the front page of the The Washington Post on Sunday questioned whether Washington, D.C.’s nationally lauded 5-cent bag fee is actually reducing the use of plastic bags in the District. The article, written by the Post’s investigative team, takes a closer look at the…

Report finds menhaden not overfished, increases allowable catch

The fishing industry hailed a decision by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission last week to increase the allowable catch numbers for menhaden, an oily forage fish in the Chesapeake Bay. The commission increased by 10 percent the total allowable catch for the 2015 and 2016 fishing…

Paddle your glass off

Some people’s default position is active-outdoors mode. They have kayaks strapped to the roofs of their cars and paddles in their backseats. They know all of the Chesapeake’s put-in points. They have maps, optimized Smartphones and an eye for identifying birds. They are the people for…

Common sense the best tool for regulating phosphorus

The argument over Maryland’s phosphorus management tool is a sad commentary on how the “profit now and damn the future” philosophy for special interests shapes politics and our society. The convoluted tool, like the permissive “Phosphorus Index,” would reduce…

Meet Mother Nature’s mothers

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers in the Chesapeake watershed. Here is a list of species and a description of the lengths to which some of these mothers will go to protect their young — or not. Can you match them up? American Crow Big Brown Bat Brown-headed Cowbird Dusky…

Ownership, sharing of fish tracking data raises issues

Acoustic technology has allowed scientists along the Atlantic Coast to work together to track the movements of thousands of fish in ways unimaginable only a decade ago. But it has also created some sticky questions: Who “owns” the data — the researcher who inserted the tag in…

Virginia Treasures initiative to conserve land, create public access

The “Virginia Treasures” initiative ushers in a new era of land conservation in the Commonwealth – one that emphasizes creating public access to natural, cultural and scenic outdoor recreation resources while continuing to protect significant natural resources through…

Arkansas example provides piece to solving excess manure puzzle

We think of the Delmarva Peninsula as Chicken Central, but it’s not the only big poultry producing region in the country. Nor is it the only one facing pollution problems posed by more manure than can be spread without problems on farm fields.  Arkansas faces similar problems, and in…

Carrying Chesapeake species from Sea to Table

Sea to Table, an online-only distributor that connects chefs across the country with sustainable seafood as it hits the docks, has picked up several Chesapeake Bay species, making them more available at restaurants nationwide. I first heard of the unique company, which has no warehouse yet helps…

Get the steamer ready!

I got a call yesterday from a friend on Smith Island. He wanted to tell me that crabs are looking good. We already sort of knew that - the winter dredge survey results have come out, as the Bay Journal reported. As you can see from this news story, the news was pretty good. Given that crabs…

Enacting rules for poultry litter has been as easy as pulling hen’s teeth

The Bay just got an important “win,” with Maryland’s agreement to end the spreading of poultry manure across sections of its Eastern Shore. Everyone should be happy about that. Controlling farm runoff in many Eastern Shore rivers and streams is critical because they deliver a…

Magnolia warbler kindles spark of life in visit to ancient cemetery

Cemeteries often make great local birding hotspots. Migrating birds, in particular, like these relatively undisturbed areas. To a tired flier, the big swath of open space amid a concrete landscape can be a godsend. We were up on the eastern side of the ageless Allegheny Mountains, where tiny…

Follow that fish!

It took more than two years — and endless hours of frustration — before biologists found their first sturgeon on Marshyhope Creek. Week after week, they went to the river and placed 100-yard gill nets, only to pull them out empty. Then, last fall they finally caught eight adult…

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