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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

New Greensboro sewage plant will solve longstanding problems on central Eastern Shore

Public officials in northern Caroline Country broke ground Thursday on a $19 million sewage treatment plant that will both replace the antiquated plant in Greensboro as well as connect the homes in nearby Goldsboro, nearly all of which are on failing septic systems. The new system will reduce…

Most Bay rivers, except Potomac, report lowest shad runs in years

Many Bay tributaries saw their weakest shad runs in years — perhaps ever — this spring as the silvery fish continues to struggle to make a comeback around the Chesapeake and along the East Coast. Data show the James, York and Susquehanna rivers had their worst American shad spawning…

Corps, oyster farmers discuss how to streamline leasing process

Maryland oyster farmers have long said that growing the shellfish is the easy part of their job. The hard part:  all of the bureaucratic red tape they have to wade through to obtain their leases in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and…

Executive Council addresses forests, riparian practices, funding

Each year, representatives from across the watershed join together to guide the Chesapeake Bay Program’s policy agenda and set conservation and restoration goals for the partnership. This group, known as the Chesapeake Executive Council, is made up of the governors from each of the…

Prince George’s County makes 3 DC-area bans on coal tar sealants

Another Maryland county has made it illegal to use coal tar pavement products that are known to contribute pollutants to area streams and the Chesapeake Bay, becoming the third municipality in the region to do so. Prince George’s County joined the District of Columbia and Montgomery…

York, PA, students immerse themselves in BWET stream program

The fifth graders stood atop the high bank of Willis Run, barely 10 feet wide, as it poured out of Kiwanis Lake — actually a large concrete-lined pond in the middle of York, PA. A storm drainpipe stuck out of an adjacent bridge abutment, waiting for the next rainfall to add to the…

Montgomery County taking the farm to school this year

It’s not easy to get thousands of children out of school, onto busses and onto farms, even if those farms are located in the same county. So, after preserving 93,000 acres for agricultural purposes in Montgomery County, MD, and proclaiming that “non-farm” youths should learn…

Casey Tree Farm working to grow DC’s canopy, one tree at a time

Sorting through a pile of scraggly tree roots in early June, Brian Mayell conducted a quick autopsy. “On none of these, to me, does it look like the root system was the culprit,” he said. That’s good news for the general manager of Casey Tree Farm, who, among other duties, is…

Water testing partnership finding high bacteria counts in popular swimming areas

Is it safe to swim in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries? Depends on who you are, and whom you ask. Under the 2000 Beach Act, the EPA required states to establish water quality criteria for beaches. States and counties are supposed to test the beaches regularly and post warnings when the…

Here’s one shore way to help restore Bay’s blue crab wild fishery

We’re closing on 40 years since William Warner, a New York-New Jersey boy, awakened us Chesapeake natives to the fascinating commerce, ecology and sociology attached to Callinectes sapidus, that beautiful swimmer, the blue crab. Perhaps it took an outsider to appreciate what us born-heres…

Leakin Park rises from the dead

Leakin Park, on Baltimore’s western fringe, is one of the largest urban woodland parks on the East Coast. It includes a 15-mile biking trail, a nature center, several restored historic structures and sweeping views of the Gywnns Falls. There is a mansion, art walk, old waterwheel and plenty…

Somerset County, MD, considering tighter zoning regulations for poultry houses

The Somerset County Planning Commission is considering tighter zoning regulations for poultry houses, but has rejected both a moratorium on building proposed new houses that are much larger than current poultry houses and a health ordinance that would have allowed prosecution for violations as…

An overlooked paddler’s paradise

If you want to paddle where few have paddled on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Monie Bay with its three marked water trails — and potential for freelance exploring — is worth a day trip. The paddler sign-in log where we put in near Deal Island, about 20 miles south and west of…

New technology helps Chesapeake anglers track – and conserve – their catch

Fishing on the Chesapeake Bay and its many rivers, creeks and streams is a cherished pastime for countless local residents. Whether a seasoned angler or an excited novice, you can’t beat the thrill of being on the water with a fish on. People who love to fish want to make sure there are…

Delmarva paddle designed to help new Bay leaders navigate future efforts

When Don Baugh and Tom Horton decided to circumnavigate the Delmarva Peninsula on kayaks a decade ago, they considered the trip as a birthday present to themselves. Horton, a veteran Bay writer and Bay Journal columnist, had just turned 60. Baugh, a longtime outdoor educator at the Chesapeake Bay…

Fairfax County’s ‘purple pipes’ help reduce nutrients, water demand on Potomac

A golf course, five ball fields and a facility that burns trash to generate energy — each benefits from a Fairfax County water reuse program that provides the recycled liquid at discounted rates. And so does the Potomac River. The treated wastewater that goes onto the fields and into the…

Summer brings awards for Bay Journal staff

It has been an exciting and award-winning summer for the Chesapeake Bay Journal. Associate Editor Lara Lutz won a regional Emmy for The Invasive Chase, a program she produced for Outdoors Maryland, which airs on Maryland Public Television. Lara was the segment producer for the show. Veteran MPT…

With each superstorm, new clues to predicting surges surface

This is the eighth in a series of articles — produced by the Bay Journal and Chesapeake Quarterly, the magazine of Maryland Sea Grant — that explore the impacts of, and policies related to, sea level rise around the Bay. Every September, John Barnette starts lifting all of his crab…

Kid fun exploring the waterfront by taxi

Today we continue looking at summer fun. After kayaking Pittsburgh, swimming at Savage Neck and exploring the beaches at Crisfield, I was eager to take my daughter someplace closer to home. I live in Baltimore, so naturally, I picked the Harbor. Usually, we spend at least one day each summer…

A river’s-eye view of The City of Bridges

This is how you do urban kayaking. You park in a downtown garage, walk two blocks, and duck under a bridge right next to a beautiful baseball stadium. There is a stream of people, but no line at a small desk. No maps, no instruction, just a waiver to sign, a credit card to leave lest you abscond…

Digging into Washington’s past

If George Washington actually did chop down a cherry tree and refuse to lie about it, the incident probably happened at Ferry Farm, his boyhood home along the Rappahannock River. Many people who visit the site today arrive with this famous story in mind. They’ll find a few cherry-related…

Save Out Soils

We are in the midst of the International Year of Soils. Who knew? Most will overlook the global event, but that would be a mistake. Soils deserve our attention. More familiar environmental issues — water quality, air pollution, endangered species and climate change — command a…

Orchard project bearing fruit as students get a taste of the outdoors, rhythm of the seasons

Most of the children who attend Lakeland Elementary School don’t have apple trees in their backyards. They live in city row houses in West Baltimore, and they see a lot of asphalt, strip malls and chain-link fences. Recently, the view at their school changed. Lakeland is one of three…

Poo powered tractor plows forward

We’ve written plenty about the power of manure, how innovators across the region are turning its excess into energy and even profits. But what if the power produced by a manure-to-energy plant was used to not only keep the lights on but also plow the fields? Enter the methane-fueled…

Scientists heartened by baywide underwater grass increases

The amount of underwater grass beds in Chesapeake Bay surged 27 percent last year, one of the largest single-year increases since monitoring of the critical habitat for fish and crabs began three decades ago. While a rebound was seen Baywide, much of the recovery in 2014 was driven by a huge…

MD hires 4 private oyster growers to plant oyster seed in Bay

For the first time in its 55-year history of planting oysters to help watermen with their harvest, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is hiring private oyster growers to help it seed the Chesapeake Bay. Prior to the change, the University of Maryland Horn Point Hatchery handled the…

Summer Fun: Great beaches on Virginia’s bayside eastern shore

Earlier, we talked about Maryland beaches. Now, we turn our attention south to Virginia. I haven’t spent as much time in Virginia, but I’m impressed by what I’ve seen of the state park and natural area system. Beautiful, well-managed parks, with kayaks and bikes to rent, and…

Summer Fun: Quick beach getaways

I admit it - I sort of dread beach vacations. Or, really any vacations to anywhere. When you have kids, vacations are more work than working. There’s no break time. And my kids, ages 10 and 4, are not fans of the long car trip. We always forget something important, like that extra pair…

Sugarloaf scamper

Hiking in the mountains of Maryland is a great way to spend an afternoon. Hiking with children? Well, choose your route carefully. Between tired toddlers who want to be carried and teens who can’t bear to tear themselves away from their phone for a couple of hours, a walk in the woods can…

Let’s not tax well-managed farmland; it already pays its way

“Well-managed” farmland and other working open spaces should not be taxed. These landscapes provide more services for the public than they receive from the public. In many states, including the Chesapeake Bay states, local governments already recognize the value of open lands and tax…

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