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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

Analysis estimates Bay’s blue catfish at 100 million, with room for expansion

The Chesapeake Bay region may be home to roughly 100 million hungry blue catfish — with plenty of room for their numbers to expand, according to a recent estimate. If the estimate is correct — and there are plenty of caveats — that would mean the Bay has roughly one blue…

EPA sued over inaction on factory farm air pollution

A coalition of environment, animal-welfare and community health organizations filed two lawsuits against EPA today, claiming the agency has failed to address air pollution from factory farms. The Humane Society of the United States and the Environmental Integrity Project are leading the charge,…

Virginia General Assembly tackles issues affecting the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed

The Virginia General Assembly has been working its way through more than 2600 bills introduced for consideration during this year’s six-week session, and conservationists are particularly watching legislation that would affect oyster stocks, agricultural activities, stormwater management,…

Arboretum offers triple treat for those willing to brave the cold

Yes, it’s cold outside, and the signs are clear — wildlife moves south and people move indoors. But Julianna Pax keeps heading for the woods. Pax has been leading hikes at Adkins Arboretum near Ridgely, Md., since 2005. Cold air and snowflakes won’t slow her down. To Pax, a…

Washington reporters outline environmental stories they expect

On Friday, the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program hosted a panel titled The Year Ahead in Environment and Energy at the Center’s Washington, D.C., headquarters., The panel featured some of D.C.’s top…

May an unforgettable book like this never have to be written again

“Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation” By Dan Fagin Bantam Books, New York. 2013. Every few years, a science or environmental book comes along that’s so well-written that it not only reaches a broad audience, but nabs nearly every major award on its way to becoming a…

Lack of clear goal, information hampers effort to control blue catfish

Efforts to rein in the region’s escalating blue catfish population through an expanded fishery and other measures could face numerous obstacles, the greatest of which is a lack of basic information about the voracious predators, a new report says. Nonnative blue and flathead catfish were…

Tom Horton receives ‘Admiral of the Chesapeake’ award

Bay Journal columnist Tom Horton was among more than a dozen Marylanders recognized as an “Admiral of the Chesapeake” by Gov. Marin O’Malley during his final days in office. Horton has been writing about the Bay since March 1972, spending 33 years as a reporter and columnist…

Living shorelines rising up to offset effects of higher sea levels

Most of the shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay’s tidal reaches is composed of highly erodible soils — and it’s also mostly privately owned. The question of what to do about the effects of sea level rise hits many waterfront property owners right in their own backyards as…

From black liquor to phosphorus to transparency, issues confront Assembly

The Maryland General Assembly is seated. Maryland Lawmakers returned to Annapolis last week to meet as the General Assembly, with a full agenda and some different faces. Perhaps the most noticeable one will be Larry Hogan, the state’s new governor, and only the third Republican in the last…

Newly minted Maryland governor pulls stronger phosphorus regs at last moment

Hours after being sworn in as Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan reportedly made good on one of his most contentious campaign promises: to repeal the phosphorus management tool, a new regulation that would limit the amount of chicken manure that farmers could spread on their fields. The…

Chesapeake Bay projects to get $19 million federal funding boost

Bay-focused organizations made a flurry of announcements last week as they learned how much federal funding is headed to the region — $19 million in total — from a new Farm Bill program for conservation projects that are key to meeting their states’ cleanup goals. None of the…

Biodiversity needs human diversity among those who protect it

I read with great interest the Bay Journal’s recent article, “The ‘green ceiling’: Environmental organizations lack diversity” (November 2014). As an African American woman fish and wildlife biologist, there were not many faces that looked like mine as I climbed the…

Does the land belong to the people, or the people to the land?

“Listening to the Land: Stories from the Cacapon and Lost River Valley” By Jamie S. Ross. Photographs by Tom Cogill. West Virginia University Press, 2013. “Not for sale.” These strong, simple words resonate throughout a gentle, funny and provoking book that documents…

Phosphorus management tool: the right thing to do – right now

It isn’t ideology. It isn’t hyperbole. It isn’t an attack on the family farmer or rural Maryland. It is, simply, common sense. Science says we have far too much manure-based phosphorus being applied to land on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. You might call it a manure crisis.…

Achieving stewardship goal is essential to Chesapeake cleanup

I have written in the past about my personal belief in the power of citizen action. This is a core element of the Alliance mission and brings strength to our many partnerships, and efforts are under way to create a regional strategy that could help to bring greater attention to the value of…

Prince George’s churches embrace alternatives to stormwater fee

A program that kicked off this fall with a group of officials and church leaders smiling broadly as they plunged symbolic golden shovels into the soil did not begin with such good spirits. It began last winter with a roomful of pastors from churches in Maryland’s Prince George’s…

Wolf names leaders for Pennsylvania environmental agencies

Tom Wolf, who will be sworn in as the new Pennsylvania governor on Tuesday, last week named several veterans from previous administrations to head the state’s environmental and agricultural agencies. He also named two former environmental officials as top advisers on his staff. The…

Every little bit counts: Microplastics plague Chesapeake waters

Julie Lawson, director of the Trash Free Maryland Alliance, has a new weapon in her fight against waterborne plastic pollution. It’s a glass jar filled with brown water from the Chesapeake Bay, and she takes it everywhere she goes. She takes her jar to community events and meetings with…

Did you miss Midday on the Bay? Catch it here

Thursday’s Midday on the Bay radio show talked about land. How we build on it. Why we save it. And when we should leave it alone. The first part of the monthly show on WYPR in Baltimore continued a conversation we started in the Bay Journal about barrier islands. Well, we started it for…

Environmental justice sought for people of color, poor

When a large energy company came to Myersville, MD, in 2011 requesting permission to build a compressor station for its natural gas delivery, Ann Nau and her neighbors thought they’d win the fight to keep it out. Dominion Transmission, a subsidiary of Virginia-based Dominion Resources,…

MD attorney general will uphold law while serving new governor

Come January, Maryland will have a Republican governor and a Democrat attorney general. And not just any Democrat attorney general, but Brian Frosh: a longtime state senator who championed many of the Maryland’s environmental laws in the last three decades. Already, the divisions between…

Back story on a disappearing island

This Thursday, the Bay Journal will be joining Dan Rodricks on WYPR in Baltimore for our monthly radio show, Midday on the Bay. The topic this month: barrier islands; the future of open-space preservation in Maryland, and a look at what’s happening in the General Assembly as a new governor…

Hush-hush no more: Accohannocks take their history out of hiding

Wind was tugging at a red, white and blue flag hitched to a dock in Somerset County, on Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore. Mike Hinman, whose wisps of gray hair were also dancing in the wind, caught the flag and pulled it taut. “Want to see who we are?” said Hinman.…

It’s cold outside, but common mergansers are cool with it

A cold rain, mixed with sleet, fell from the pewter sky. We were freezing and huddled against the rain. On the reservoir, more than a dozen ducks ignored the weather: Most of them repeatedly dived into the frigid gray waters. The ducks were big and brilliant, even in those poor viewing…

What gives agriculture the right to pollute our natural resources?

After talking about it for years, Maryland finally proposed long-overdue regulations on manure pollution by submitting the new phosphorous management tool. The rivers of the Eastern Shore continue to decline in water quality as fields containing excess chicken manure continue to drain into our…

Perseverance pays off for MeTompkin Seafood

For nearly 50 years, a man named Dise has been pulling up to a Crisfield dock to sell oysters to a man named Todd. The Dises, of Tangier Island, catch the oysters, setting sail early on frigid mornings for beds in the Pocomoke and Tangier sounds. The Todds see to it that the oysters are cleaned,…

Efforts underway to trash marine debris

One man’s trash may be another man’s treasure, but in the nation’s waterways, all of man’s trash is a threat to marine life. Whether it’s the whale who died in the Chesapeake Bay recently after swallowing a DVD case or the terrapins that get trapped in ghost crab…

MD report recommends fracking – if – strict rules are followed

Maryland environmental officials are recommending that the state allow fracking for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation in western Maryland as long as the drillers follow rigorous safety guidelines set forth in proposed regulations. Outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat,…

Proposed ozone standards would help meet Bay’s water goals

A new federal proposal to clean up the nation’s air would not only help people breathe easier, but would also help meet the goals for cleaner Bay water by 2025. The EPA on Nov. 26 proposed tightening the air pollution standard for ground-level ozone, the key component of smog, from 75…

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