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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

Small woodlots are a big deal to the Chesapeake’s restoration

The commencement of spring is always a significant moment in our Chesapeake forests. Buds swell, ready to break dormancy and add the first of the year’s growth to the canopy while green hues begin to emerge from the forest floor. It is also significant for forest enthusiasts who,…

The Upper Chickahominy River

As my kayak slipped quietly into the Chickahominy River in Virginia one early spring morning, my mind was on a winter day in 1607.  In December of that year, Capt. John Smith — a leader from the English colony at Jamestown — launched a canoe into this river from an Indian…

Summit highlights Bay’s growth dilemma

Managing growth remains one of the biggest headwinds to Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts as the number of people calling its watershed home has increased from about 8 million in the 1950s to about 18 million today. By 2035, Maryland alone could develop an area of land equivalent to nine District…

Army Corps moves to streamline Maryland oyster farming permits

Maryland oyster farmers, who’ve long complained that bureaucratic red tape and permitting delays are holding back their fledgling industry, should see speedier approvals of their aquaculture projects under a streamlined review process that federal regulators unveiled Friday. The Baltimore…

Greens fault McAuliffe’s record so far on climate change, clean energy

A coalition of activist groups is giving Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe poor grades on climate change and clean energy, accusing him of failing to live up to his campaign pledges in his first two years in office. Calling McAuliffe a “significant disappointment,” the groups rated the…

Bay grasses expand to greatest extent in more than 30 years

The Bay’s underwater grass meadows, a critical habitat for crabs and juvenile fish, expanded last year to the highest levels seen since monitoring programs began more than three decades ago. The gains were widespread, from high-salinity waters in the lower Chesapeake to tidal fresh areas…

Is it a lake? That de-ponds…

Is it a large pond or a small lake? Believe it or not, there is no “official” definition of a pond. While many use size as criteria — large = lake, small=pond — remember that the Atlantic Ocean is sometimes referred to as “The Pond” by people who live on the…

Deal reached on fish, eel passage at Conowingo Dam

Exelon Corp. has pledged in a deal announced Monday to work to enhance spawning fish passage at Conowingo Dam over the next 50 years, seeking to revive the Susquehanna River’s meager stocks of American shad and river herring. The Chicago-based company and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service…

Public-private partnerships expected to lower stormwater retrofit costs

A Maryland county’s unusual public-private partnership, which aims to slash the steep cost of reducing stormwater pollution, is off to a slow start but picking up speed as the first year of a possible decade of work ends. Prince George’s County and its partner, Corvias Solutions,…

Earth Day, 46 years on: How far we’ve come, how far to go

Today, April 22, is the 46th annual Earth Day. But these days, in a way, every day is Earth Day. Not a day goes by when we don’t hear about environmental injustices in the world, and about people who are fighting them. We are so much more aware now than we were decades ago about the…

Thanks to app, tail-wagging palm warbler has lots of online data behind it

“Warbler!” The call was excited, but not so loud as to scare away the bird. I turned my attention briefly toward my friend’s voice and then pivoted to see what he was looking at. A small yellow bird was flitting about at the base of some nearby scrub, illuminated by springtime…

Despite progress, region still lags in Bay cleanup efforts

Chesapeake Bay watershed states continue to make progress toward their cleanup goals, but the region – held back by lagging Pennsylvania -  is far off the pace needed to achieve nitrogen reduction targets set for the end of 2017, according to figures released Monday. The figures,…

Baltimore student activist honored for fight against trash-burning power plant

A young Baltimore woman who’s helped lead a grassroots fight against a trash-burning power plant in her community has been honored with a top environmental prize for her efforts. Destiny Watford is one of six recipients of this year’s Goldman Environmental Prize, which every year…

Microplastic pollution in the Bay poses risks, report finds

Tiny bits of “microplastics” that wash into the Bay may endanger aquatic life in the estuary and its tributaries, but more research is needed to better understand the threat, according to a report from scientists and policy makers released Monday. Although federal legislation was…

Lake Bonnie pollution case heads back to court

The one-time owner of a Caroline County campground who lost her livelihood because of septic pollution from a nearby town is inching closer to getting a trial on whether she can seek damages against the town and also the state of Maryland for failing to enforce environmental laws. In February,…

Conscience not consequences key to Chesapeake’s future

This article is part of a series produced in partnership with Maryland Public Television (MPT) for the Chesapeake Bay Summit, broadcast during Chesapeake Bay Week. --------- “A land ethic, then, reflects the existence of an ecological conscience, and this in turn reflects a…

Enforcing rules could hasten the Bay’s cleanup, reduce costs

This article is part of a series produced in partnership with Maryland Public Television (MPT) for the Chesapeake Bay Summit, broadcast during Chesapeake Bay Week. --------- As hundreds of millions of dollars get poured annually into the 33-year effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, with…

Water pollution plummeted after Denmark tied farm runoff to subsidies

This article is part of a series produced in partnership with Maryland Public Television (MPT) for the Chesapeake Bay Summit, broadcast during Chesapeake Bay Week. ---------- Imagine a scenario in which farmers would only receive government subsidies if they followed a strict fertilizer…

Chestertown aims to attract new wave of visitors with marina purchase

A decade ago, Chestertown seemed destined to lose its connection to its namesake river. But with a second chance from the Great Recession, one of the Chesapeake region’s most picturesque waterfront towns is now on course to becoming one of its most water-accessible. Chestertown has bought…

Rediscovering a taste for Chesapeake scallops

The Croxton cousins want to do for the Chesapeake Bay scallop what they helped do for its oyster: bring it back from the brink with bivalve farming and some savvy marketing. That was the idea behind an event last night where the co-owners of Rappahannock Oyster Co. offered an early taste of the…

If we are to survive, it’s more critical to grow up, not grow more

For decades, authors grounded in ecology and environmentalism have produced excellent — and widely ignored — forecasts of the end of economic growth in the United States. It’s unsustainable, depleting resources from oil to topsoil, while filling air and water with wastes…

Prince George’s County to Ban Fracking

Prince George’s County, MD, is poised to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, more than a year before the scheduled end of a temporary statewide moratorium on the controversial drilling practice. The County Council voted unanimously on Tuesday, with one member absent, to amend the…

Susquehanna lands back on “most endangered rivers” list

The Conowingo dam has put the Susquehanna River back on American Rivers' list of the most endangered rivers in the United States. Prompted by the listing, environmentalists and Hogan administration officials joined Wednesday in voicing their concerns about the impact of the Maryland dam on…

Maryland lawmakers act on climate change, land preservation, pollinators and oysters

Ambitious climate change goals, pesticide restrictions and a study aimed at sustaining the Chesapeake Bay’s vital oyster population top a short list of environmental legislation that passed Maryland’s General Assembly this year. But the 90-day session in Annapolis, which ended late…

Be a good gardener – replace invasive plants with natives

It’s finally spring and your attention may be turning to sprucing up or creating green spaces around your home, school or business. But be careful when choosing flowers, shrubs and trees to plant. You could unknowingly introduce an invasive plant into the surrounding environment.…

Bay’s crab population hits four-year high, survey finds

The Bay’s blue crab population increased to its highest level in four years, and the number of spawning-age females — a key ingredient for future abundance — nearly doubled from last year, according to survey results released Tuesday. Results from the annual winter dredge…

Songbird lessons take DC 3rd graders from local trees to Central America

Sometimes the best lessons take place outside the classroom. A group of Washington, DC, third graders learned that recently during a lesson on just how connected the world is — and how essential their city’s trees are to a musical little bird that spends half of its life thousands of…

US Ag secretary: Local foods are ‘here to stay’

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and private partners announced last week that they are putting nearly $3 million into bolstering the supply chain for 10 local-food systems around the country, including one in the Chesapeake Bay region. The idea of the Food LINC initiative is to connect demand…

Maryland passes restriction on pesticide implicated in bee declines

Maryland consumers would be barred from using pesticides implicated in honeybee die-offs under legislation passed in Annapolis Thursday. If signed into law, the state would become the first in the country to take such a step. By a vote of 98 – 39, the House of Delegates sent the Pollinator…

Pond perfect!

A pond provides food, shelter and water for the plant and animals listed here. Can you match each with its description? Answers below. Beaver Bluegill Common snapping turtle Duckweed Green heron Spotted aalamander Water strider 1. I breed in vernal ponds in late winter and early…

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