Bay Journal

Timothy B. Wheeler

Industrial runoff in MD fouls Bay, threatens communities, report says

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Unbeknownst to most Marylanders, many industrial facilities are polluting state waters and the Chesapeake Bay with their stormwater runoff, while also threatening the health of neighboring communities, says a new report by a pair of environmental groups. The groups blame weak state controls and lax enforcement.

More than one-third of the Maryland facilities that reported their...

MD’s veteran sprawl fighter leaves the ring

Dru Schmidt-Perkins figured she’d put two years into launching a new nonprofit in Maryland dedicated to fighting suburban sprawl.

Nineteen years later, she’s finally left the helm of 1000 Friends of Maryland. Sprawl hasn’t been defeated, by any means, but it’s been slowed and even halted for the time being in some places.

Schmidt-Perkins doesn’t claim sole credit for that —...

MD presses case for dredging oyster shells from popular fishing reef

The Hogan administration is pressing ahead with its bid to dredge old oyster shells from the largest remaining deposit in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay — a move backed by watermen but widely opposed by conservationists and recreational anglers.

The state Department of the Environment has declared its support for the plan to mine 5 million bushels of shells from...

Baltimore scrapyard’s case raises concerns about MD oversight

On a gray, drizzly morning in March 2016, two inspectors from the Maryland Department of the Environment showed up unannounced at Baltimore Scrap Corp., a metal recycling yard just off the city’s busy harbor.

In a report written later, the inspectors described their visit as a routine check of the facility’s stormwater pollution controls. It was anything but routine, though.

...

Key to stream restoration success: location, location, location

With millions of dollars being poured into urban and suburban stream restoration projects across the Chesapeake Bay watershed, a recent study suggests location matters when trying to assess how effective those efforts have been.

After surveying 13 Baltimore highly degraded suburban streams that had undergone makeovers, a pair of researchers found that aquatic insect populations...

Scientists using costly triage to spare some ash trees from extinction

The wet woods bordering Marshyhope Creek on Maryland’s Eastern Shore exuded their usual lush green in mid-September, with only a trace of the colors that autumn would soon bring to the thick foliage. All seemed normal.

But catastrophe is on the way, in the form of a little green beetle from Asia that’s wiping out ash trees by the hundreds of millions across the United States....

Judge approves disputed plan to fix Baltimore’s sewage overflows

Brushing aside an environmental group’s objection, a federal judge has given the city of Baltimore another 13 years to eliminate the chronic sewage overflows that frequently render local streams and the harbor unsafe for recreation.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz approved a consent decree on Thursday spelling out a new plan for overhauling Baltimore’s aged, leaky sewer...

Oyster season opens on a down note

The public oyster harvest season began Monday, with Chesapeake Bay watermen no doubt hoping for a better haul this fall and winter than last. For Maryland watermen, though, there isn’t a lot of room for optimism.

Despite mild weather last winter, Maryland’s 2016-2017 harvest from public oyster bars was off nearly 42 percent from the year before, a steep drop from the modest...

Herring, shad get head start before Bloede Dam removal

Bulldozers, excavators and construction workers are bulling their way into Patapsco Valley State Park near Baltimore this fall. They’re the advance guard for a task force charged with removing a dormant hydroelectric dam on the Patapsco River and reopening a big stretch of the river to spawning runs of migratory fish.

If the project stays on schedule, Bloede Dam should be gone...

Climate change brings heightened risks in Bay of contaminated water, shellfish

As climate change warms the Chesapeake Bay, people face heightened risks of getting ill from eating raw oysters out of the estuary or from swimming in its waters over the next several decades, a new study warns.

Drawing on climate models and extensive Bay monitoring data, a research team led by scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projects that...

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About Timothy B. Wheeler

Timothy B. Wheeler's avatar Timothy B. Wheeler is managing editor and project writer for the Bay Journal. He has more than two decades of experience covering the environment for The Baltimore Sun and other media outlets. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

 

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