Bay Journal

Timothy B. Wheeler

Plan to fix chronic Baltimore sewage overflows challenged

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It appears that a federal judge will have to settle a serious disagreement over whether the city of Baltimore has a credible new plan for curtailing the frequent sewage overflows and chronic leaks that have long made the harbor and urban waters unsafe for recreation. A local environmental group has asked a federal judge to reject the plan, unless it is further strengthened.

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Boesch navigated Bay’s stormier days, helped put cleanup on course

When Donald Boesch came to Maryland 27 years ago, the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort was struggling to make real progress. The research institution he’d come to lead faced challenges, too, just to survive intact.

Now, as Boesch prepares to step down this month as president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the Bay’s health appears to be...

House moves to keep EPA from enforcing Bay pollution diet

In a move that environmentalists charged would undermine the Chesapeake Bay cleanup effort, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to bar the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from taking action against any state in the Bay watershed that fails to meet pollution reduction goals set by the EPA six years ago.

The measure, an amendment to an EPA and Interior Department...

Bay Journal to lose EPA funding

It’s always awkward to become the news rather than simply report it, but here goes:

Today, we learned that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to cut off a multi-year grant awarded to the Bay Journal by the EPA two years ago, effective Feb. 1. If the cut is upheld, it’s a big loss, as EPA funding covers about a third of our budget.

But it’s not the end of the...

Pilot project planned to dredge Conowingo sediments

Declaring the sediment buildup behind Conowingo Dam a growing threat to the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday a pilot project to dredge up a tiny portion of the accumulated silt and sand.

Speaking at a press conference at the dam, Hogan said the state later this month would issue a request for proposals to dredge 25,000 cubic yards of sediment by next...

MD’s Hogan looking for Conowingo remedies

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is convening his second annual summit Tuesday on the buildup of sediments and nutrients behind Conowingo dam.  But the agenda and attendees remain a mystery.

Doug Mayer, Hogan’s communications director, said in an email that the summit would be at 11 a.m. in Darlington, MD, near the dam on the Susquehanna River.  But Mayer said the session was closed...

Plan to put wastewater into 2 MD trout streams raises heated debate

Trout are among the most highly prized of freshwater fish; their presence in a stream is a sign that the water is clean, cold and rich in all the things fish need to survive, grow and reproduce.

So, perhaps it’s no surprise that these pollution-sensitive fish are at the center of a debate in Maryland about how best to sustain them amid the sprawling development that threatens...

House panel proposes $60 million in federal funding for Bay restoration

The Chesapeake Bay restoration effort stands to get $60 million in federal funds next year under a bill acted on this week by a U.S. House subcommittee. That’s a significant cut from this year’s spending level, but a clear rejection of President Donald Trump’s proposal to completely de-fund the cleanup.

The House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee included...

Rock solid: Oysters abound on restored reefs in Harris Creek, survey finds

You may not be able to get blood from a stone, but it appears you can get a lot of oysters.

Biologists checking reefs restored in 2013 in Maryland’s Harris Creek found the vast majority crowded with oysters, according to a new report. And those reefs built by piling granite rocks on the creek’s bottom had four times as many oysters clinging to them, on average, as did any of...

Oysters making themselves at home on reefs with alternative substrate

An unremarkable thing happened in a remarkable way during the recently ended oyster season in the Chesapeake Bay.

Some Virginia watermen harvested bivalves from public oyster grounds in the Rappahannock River. There’s nothing unusual about that, of course, but these shellfish had settled as baby “spat” and grown to harvestable size on a thick bed of gravel-sized stones that had...

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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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