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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

Rockfish poaching nets waterman federal prison term

A Tilghman Island fisherman will have to serve time in federal prison for his role in a striped-bass poaching ring that spanned four years and netted  185,000 pounds of stolen fish valued at close to half a million dollars. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced William J. Lednum,…

Join the discussion about growth and the Bay Jan. 13-14; register now

We’ve all seen it: The patch of woods lost for a new house, a meadow plowed under to help feed a growing population, the bottom of a once-clear stream filled with silt which turns the water muddy every time it rains. Certainly, zoning and runoff controls can slow the rate of decline, but…

As waters continue to rise, Navy seeks comprehensive plan

This is part of a series of articles — produced by the Bay Journal and Chesapeake Quarterly, the magazine of Maryland Sea Grant — which explores the impacts of, and policies related to, sea level rise around the Bay. Barely a month after Rear Admiral Dixon Smith took command of Navy…

Bay region lags in preparing for rise in coastal flooding

This is part of a series of articles — produced by the Bay Journal and Chesapeake Quarterly, the magazine of Maryland Sea Grant — which explores the impacts of, and policies related to, sea level rise around the Bay. When Superstorm Sandy devastated the New Jersey shore and flooded…

Bufflehead’s existence reveals flicker of truth in depending on others

Framed by the sweeping curve of the Bay Bridge’s western end, the Chesapeake’s blue-black waters stretched before us like a velvet display cloth. Twenty yards off shore, the ducks looked like living jewels on this brilliantly sunny afternoon. As we watched, the small flock of tiny…

How do we reach the other 99 percent?

It may be an exaggeration to say that only 1 percent of our population is actively involved in efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay—perhaps it only seems that way. Nonetheless, it should be clear that there remains a whole lot more to do, and more people need to lend a hand. This will be…

Gov. McAuliffe selected to head Chesapeake Executive Council

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has been selected to chair the Chesapeake Executive Council, the policy-making panel that guides Bay restoration efforts. He takes the place of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who leaves office at the end of his second term in January. “I am humbled…

Congress approves bill requiring outside evaluator, increased budget reporting, for Bay Program

A bill that requires greater reporting of federal Bay-related activities as well as the creation of an independent outside evaluator to report on Chesapeake Bay progress was approved by Congress in December. The legislation, various forms of which have been advanced by Rep. Rob Wittman, R-VA,…

Soil biologist dares farmers to use more microscopes, less fertilizer

In the first ten minutes of her presentation in an auditorium filled with farmers, Dr. Elaine Ingham systematically debunked the soil tests on which their farming profession has long relied. “I really have come to doubt that they are useful at all,” said Ingham, a globally recognized…

Holland Island: one photo tells a tale

For Come High Water, the sea-level rise package that Bay Journal staff produced with Maryland Sea Grant’s Chesapeake Quarterly, four reporters fanned out across Maryland and Virginia to tell the story of rising waters. With the help of our editors, our layout artists and graphics guru Sandy…

Highland Beach rainwater measures have other communities seeing green

Before Maryland lawmakers even discussed a stormwater fee, the leaders of Highland Beach were on the case. They had turned the town hall of their 100-home hamlet south of Annapolis into an energy-efficient showcase, only the second building in the state to attain LEED Platinum Status from the…

Virginia to appoint climate resiliency coordinator and teams to tackle climate change

The governor-appointed commission charged with Virginia’s climate change planning is recommending that Brian Moran, Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, be appointed “chief resilience officer.” The role will be to serve as a single point of contact for…

Discussing the ‘green ceiling’ on air

After reading our article on the 'green ceiling' and a lack of ethnic diversity at environmental organizations, The Marc Steiner Show on WEAA in Baltimore decided to do a segment on the topic on Tuesday. I joined the conversation around the lunch hour, and you can listen to it…

Conservation districts increasingly serving urban areas

Martin Johnson works for the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District, but his days are not spent talking to cattle farmers about alternative watering practices or promoting buffer planting between fields and streams. Johnson is one of an increasing number of “urban…

Chesapeake’s winter visitors include a couple of loons

Most people in the Chesapeake Bay watershed are not familiar with loons. Yet two species — the common loon and red-throated loon — can be spotted here during the winter months. Loons are the submarines of the bird world. Webbed feet gracefully propel this bird underwater, giving the…

Churches signing up to be stewards of the land

One thing most have come to accept more and more in the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort is that future success will require broad support from and actions by all sectors of the Chesapeake watershed community. One sector of the community that a source of environmental advocacy and education are…

Local governments have a role to play in new Bay agreement

On June 16, a new Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement was signed by the governors of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia; the mayor of the District of Columbia; the EPA administrator; and the chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission. While local governments are not…

Atlantic sturgeon back in Bay, or did they ever leave?

A couple of decades ago, a handful of scientists met to discuss the dismal state of the Atlantic sturgeon in the Chesapeake Bay. No researcher had seen a spawning sturgeon in years. Some doubted whether a remnant population of the Bay’s largest fish even remained. Finally, the scientists…

UPDATED: Study: Dredging Conowingo would have less impact than thought

For years, the sediment building up behind Conowingo Dam has been referred to as a ticking bomb — one day in the future the reservoir behind the 100-foot dam would fill and huge amounts of sediment and nutrients would flow, unfettered, into the Chesapeake Bay. A recently released draft…

Land subsidence leaves Chesapeake region with sinking feeling

This is part of a series of articles produced by the Bay Journal and Chesapeake Quarterly, the magazine of Maryland Sea Grant, which explores the impacts of, and policies related to, sea level rise around the Bay. As tourism slogans go, “Hampton Roads: Where the Land Sinks” probably…

Turning the page at Sparrows Point

The End of Steel in Baltimore has been messy. It’s been messy because of various permutations in Bethlehem Steel’s declaration of bankruptcy in 2001. Workers lost much of their pensions — pensions for which they worked overtime to make sure were enough to sustain them in…

New owner all fired up to raise Sparrows Point from the ashes

Michael Pedone’s to-do list looks something like this: Wake up. Watch dismantling of what was once the world’s largest steel mill. Figure out how to clean up a 3,100-acre site where dangerous contaminants have filled the air and water for more than 100 years. Find companies that might…

Fowler, Beer: Years cannot dim the torch they have carried for the Bay

As an environmentalist approaching 70, with peaceful coexistence between my species and the rest of nature still around the bend, I have wondered: Am I getting too old for this “saving the world” gig, tired of walking north on a southbound train? Maybe I’m just not old enough.…

Last Cedar Island house slips into sea

The last house on Cedar Island has slipped into the sea. The pretty red fishing cabin has joined the remnants of dozens of other homes - some with grand pianos - in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. But the owners of the last house wanted to be responsible, so they burned the cabin when they knew…

Polar ice sheets’ effects on sea level sends chills down mid-Atlantic coast

This is part of a series of articles produced by the Bay Journal and Chesapeake Quarterly, the magazine of Maryland Sea Grant, which explores the impacts of, and policies related to, sea level rise around the Bay. When Ron Anderson was a teen in the 1970s, he liked to watch the sun set over…

Meet & Eat the Three Sisters

American Indians’ contributions to agriculture are among the many things that are remembered during the Thanksgiving season. The planting of the “Three Sisters” — flour corn/maize, climbing (pole) beans and winter squash (acorn, butternut, hubbard, spaghetti, & pumpkin)…

Virginia Living Museum lets visitors get up close to native species

In the center of an enclosure filled with tall oaks, a bobcat strolls nonchalantly toward what looks like a large rock, wagging his characteristic shortened tail in full view of visitors 20 feet away on an elevated boardwalk. On this sunny late autumn day, the cat opts for a bed of leaves in…

The ‘green ceiling’: Environmental organizations lack diversity

A new report out this fall confirms what many have noted anecdotally: Environmental organizations and causes often do not reflect the country’s racial diversity. The report, “The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations,” surveyed nearly 300 environmental nonprofits,…

Leaving a Happier Planet

To transform some big ecological crises on the planet, it’s often said that humans need to turn over a new leaf. But old leaves also work. And they can turn themselves, if we let them, into life. They morph into wonderful vitality-bringers—good topsoil, native microbes, beneficial…

Appeals Court hears arguments on Chesapeake Bay TMDL

The question of whether the EPA exceeded its authority, or merely did what the law required, in developing the Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan reached the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia in November. The three-judge panel that heard oral arguments Nov. 18 often sounded skeptical of…

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