Bay Journal

About Us

The Bay Journal is published by Chesapeake Media Service, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, 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.

Material in the Bay Journal is copyrighted by Chesapeake Media Service, but may be reproduced as long as the Bay Journal is credited. More information about this topic can be found on our Terms of Use page. The Bay Journal is a member of the Associated Press.

Publication is made possible through grants from the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office, the Campbell Foundation for the Environment, the Town Creek Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Chesapeake Bay Office, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and by donations from individuals. Views expressed in the Bay Journal do not necessarily reflect those of any governmental or grant-making organization.

Our Team

Karl Blankenship

Karl Blankenship is editor of the Bay Journal and Executive Director of Chesapeake Media Service. He has served as editor of the Bay Journal since its inception in 1991, winning numerous awards and recognition for his work, including the 2001 Excellence in Journalism Award from the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation; in 2006 he became the fourth person to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Before the Bay Journal, he was a reporter at the Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News, and the Saginaw (MI) News. He is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in journalism.

Tim Wheeler
Managing Editor & Project Writer, Bay Journal

Tim Wheeler has covered the Chesapeake Bay and other environmental issues for most of his career, including nearly 32 years with the Baltimore Sun and Evening Sun. He's a former president of the Society of Environmental Journalists and has won numerous awards, including the 2010 Excellence in Journalism Award from the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation. A native of West Virginia, he grew up eating oysters and followed his taste buds to the Bay. He began his career at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, then worked for a regional news service in Washington, D.C. After that, he moved still closer to the Bay, reporting for the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star, and finally to Maryland. He earned a B.A from the University of Virginia and a master's in journalism from Columbia University.

Lara Lutz
Managing Editor, Bay Journeys

Lara Lutz is a staff writer for the Bay Journal and associate editor of Bay Journeys. She has worked as a writer and editor dealing with environmental issues and heritage in the Chesapeake Bay watershed for a variety of organizations and publications since 1995. Lutz is the author of “Watershed Moments” (Chesapeake Bay Trust 2006), featuring eight local-level stewardship initiatives in Maryland, and “Chesapeake’s Western Shore: Vintage Vacationland,” covering the recreational history of the Bay’s Western Shore. Lutz was the lead writer and editor for the Chesapeake Bay Commission’s Manure-to-Energy report and copy editor of The State of Chesapeake Forests. She holds a B.A. from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. from Binghamton University.

Tim Sayles
Managing Editor, Bay Journal News Service

Tim Sayles served as editor of Chesapeake Bay Magazine for 18 years and before that as editor of Mid-Atlantic Country magazine from 1989 to 1996. His work has covered everything from oyster aquaculture and crab harvests to dead zones and the lives of waterman. Chesapeake Bay Magazine's annual "State of Our Bay" feature in the 1990s was a perennial winner of Best Environmental Feature in the International Regional Magazine Association's annual awards. Tim lives in Annapolis and has two daughters and three grandchildren on the Eastern Shore and a son who teaches history at the American School of Durres, Albania.

David Harp

Dave Harp is the staff photographer for the Bay Journal. He began his career as the staff photographer for the Hagerstown Morning Herald and was later the photographer for The Baltimore Sun Magazine for nearly a decade before establishing his own photography business in 1990. His magazine credits include The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, Audubon, Sierra, Natural History, Islands, Travel Holiday, and Coastal Living Magazine. His book credits include “Swanfall,” “Water’s Way: Life Along the Chesapeake,” “The Great Marsh: An Intimate Journey into a Chesapeake Wetland,” and “The Nanticoke: Portrait of a Chesapeake River.” He is a past president of the American Society of Media Photographers.

Kathleen A. Gaskell
Copy/Design Editor

Kathleen A. Gaskell has been the the copy/design editor of the Bay Journal since 1995, and is also its Bay Buddies and Chesapeake Challenge columnist and compiler of the items for Bulletin Board. She earlier worked at The Sun in Baltimore beginning in December 1986, where she worked on the business, local and national copy desks, the layout desk and as the assistant night editor. She also worked at The Detroit News in Michigan. She attended Michigan State University on a creative writing scholarship, from which she received degrees in journalism and French. In the summer of 1981, she was named a Dow Jones Newspaper Intern, a competition that annually honors the nation’s top 40 copy editing journalism students.

Jeff Day
Staff Writer

Jeff Day has covered many topics in the Mid-Atlantic region since 1980, first at two daily papers and then for 30 years at Bloomberg BNA. He has reported on Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts since 2009. He won the Baltimore-Washington Newspaper Guild's annual investigative and public service award in 2015 for his coverage of the 2014 chemical spill that shut down public water service for a week in West Virginia's capital city. Jeff enjoys hiking, biking and kayaking around the region. He lives in Kensington, Md., where he and his wife Althea are empty nesters.

Tom Horton
Staff Writer

Tom Horton is a contributing writer and columnist for the Bay Journal. He wrote for the Baltimore Sun on environmental issues from 1972 through 2006, with a five-year time out when he ran education trips on Smith Island and wrote “Turning the Tide” for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. He is author of several books on the Chesapeake Bay, including “Bay Country” and “Island Out of Time” and numerous articles for publications that include National Geographic, Rolling Stone and the New York Times. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. He teaches writing and environmental topics at Salisbury University.

Rona Kobell
Staff Writer

Rona Kobell is a staff writer for the Bay Journal. She has began her journalism career at The Jerusalem Post, then moved to Washington, D.C., to become a writer and editor for Public Risk, a trade journal. She worked for newspapers in St. Joseph, Mo., and her hometown of Pittsburgh before joining The Baltimore Sun in 2000 where she became its Chesapeake Bay reporter in 2004. Her work has won numerous awards and in 2008, she was selected as a Knight-Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan, where she spent a year studying the use of economic incentives in environmental policy.

Whitney Pipkin
Staff Writer

Whitney Pipkin is a staff writer with the Bay Journal. She began reporting on estuaries when she worked for The Skagit Valley Herald north of Seattle, where her work covering the many sides of environmental conflicts in the Puget Sound region earned her a fellowship with the Institute for Journalists of Natural Resources. Whitney is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, and she learned the reporting ropes during stints at two metro dailies: The Wichita Eagle in Wichita, KS, and The News Tribune in Tacoma, WA. Since moving to Virginia, Whitney has freelanced for The Washington Post, Grist, NPR's Kitchen Window, Elevation DC Media and The Delmarva Farmer, among others. She blogs at

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