Bay Journal

News Service

Bay Journal News Service syndicates Op-Ed columns, news and features on environmental issues affecting communities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and the Mid-Atlantic.

The Bay Journal News Service provides Chesapeake Bay watershed and mid-Atlantic editorial and outdoor page editors with a credible, reliable source for op-ed columns, commentary and essays on environmental and conservation issues affecting the region.

Our columnists are leading thinkers on the region's environment. They include scientists, authors, journalists, farmers, policy experts and others who are familiar with, and write about, the places, people, and issues familiar to newspaper readers in the region.

Natural treasures abound here. We have world-class trout streams and Chesapeake Bay blue crabs. Hundreds of thousands of miles of streams and rivers weave through vast tracts of forest and rich farmlands. Near the center of it all is the world's most productive estuary. Yet the region faces challenges to match. Sprawling development consumes farmland and forests. In some parts of the region, rural poverty remains high. Industrial and agricultural pollution dirties our water and air. Our population soars and strains our resources and infrastructure.

Readers talk about these issues all the time. Our service will offer regional voices that deal with them in a regional way. We hope to cast more light than heat, to explore ideas, to offer insight, and suggest solutions. We also hope to make you laugh with an occasional bit of whimsy or pause to take in a snapshot of life in our beautiful mid-Atlantic.

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Atlantic Coast drilling inspires “all of above” reactions

After six tumultuous years in office, President Obama seems to fashion himself a wheeler-dealer.

Apparently in the hope of gaining Republican support for his campaign to fight climate change by curbing the use of coal, Obama has granted the appeals of Republican-led or Republican-leaning states to open the Atlantic coastline to drilling for oil and natural gas.

He calls it his “all-of-the-above energy strategy.”

Back To The Land

Life’s still good, but death’s just become more interesting. I always figured on cremation—modest expense, no concrete, bronze and embalming chemicals in the earth; friends and family would enjoy scattering the ashes in...

Lessons from a fruit tree

About this time every year, the age-old rabbinic story of Honi, The Circle Maker makes its rounds. It goes like this: Honi was a minor miracle worker in first century Palestine. Once, in his youth, he happened upon an old man planting a...

The Other Carbon

Beneath the Keystone XL debate and our current oil glut, a low-impact, forgotten carbon fuel remains buried. Our nation has one of the world’s largest reserves of this fuel. It’s grown so abundant here, it’s oddly getting...

Unclogging Conowingo requires collaboration, tiny steps

As we reflect on 2014, we are reminded of how bad news dominates the headlines. Events like the Ebola outbreak, ISIS invasions, lost airplanes and gun-related violence come to mind. There was also good news. For example, one headline...

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...

Parasitic pipelines worm way through Earth

Burrowing beneath the skin of the Earth all across the United States, new oil and gas pipelines are erupting in a rash of environmental destruction. More than 20,000 miles of new pipelines were built between 1998 and 2008, and tens of...

What makes a mountain tremble? Ravenous deer herd

For close to half a century, a forest in central Pennsylvania’s Perry County — about 5 square miles of mature hardwoods — has been a sanctuary; a place free from hunting, trapping and logging; where the natural world can...

Lessons from the Shmita Year

We are living in the midst of a collective sabbatical. According to the Jewish calendar, this year, 5775, is the shmita year, the seventh year in a cycle of sevens that reaches back to biblical times. It is a year in which the agricultural...

Table It

At your next holiday supper, passing around hot cornbread, squash, greens or apple pie, scoot back from the table a moment and digest one nutritious truth. Food connects. Person to person, people to planet. Everyone eats, no matter of...

Citizen voices protected George Washington National Forest

Living next door to the 1.1-million acre George Washington National Forest, along the mountainous Virginia/West Virginia border, has both pros and cons. Pros are clean air and water, many more tree neighbors than people, and the right of...

Want clean rivers? Plant trees

Streams with tree-lined banks are two to eight times more capable of processing nutrients and organic matter than streams without a healthy fringe of trees. That’s what scientists at the Stroud Water Research Center in Pennsylvania...


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How it Works

Each Tuesday, the Bay Journal News Service distributes one new column via email to editors on our circulation list. The column is sent in a text format, with a jpeg thumbnail portrait of the columnist available upon request. The columns are available free of charge.

Online, editors can review each week's column, download columns from the archive, and read about our columnists.

Sign up now and get each Bay Journal News Service column delivered to your email box!

Editorial Policy

Columnists are chosen for their unique perspectives, and their views are their own. The Bay Journal News Service seeks out these independent voices to help elevate the dialogue about the environment, and to bring an environmental perspective to personal actions and discussions about public policy.

Bay Journal News Service is supported by the Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, the Town Creek Foundation the Farvue Foundation and the Sumner T.McKnight Foundation to promote public discussion about regional conservation efforts. Op-Eds distributed by the Bay Journal News Service do not necessarily reflect the views of those organizations.


Managing Editor Karl Blankenship has been editor and principle writer for the Bay Journal, an award-winning monthly newspaper covering issues affecting the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, since 1991. The Bay Journal, which has a distribution of about 47,000, is read by policy makers at both the state and federal levels, scientists, journalists, and citizens interested in Chesapeake and coastal issues. Its accurate, in-depth coverage of scientific and policy issues has made it the "paper of record" for the Bay restoration effort. Prior to that, Blankenship was a reporter at the Harrisburg Patriot-News in Pennsylvania where he helped to create a once-a-week page devoted to environmental issues. A journalism graduate from Michigan State University, his first reporting job was at the Saginaw News in Michigan. He is frequently consulted on the creation of environmental publications, and communicating science and environmental issues. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, an avid bicyclist, and enjoys camping in the mountains. He lives near York, PA.

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