Bay Journal

Timothy B. Wheeler

Survey finds Bay crab population strong, with record number of females

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Boosted in part by a record number of female blue crabs, the Bay’s crab population remained strong through the winter — something scientists say bodes well both for the crustaceans and those who catch and love to eat them.

Overall, the annual winter dredge survey conducted by Maryland and Virginia estimated that the Bay held 455 million crabs, a decrease from last year’s tally...

Maryland Assembly session gives environmentalists ‘reason to celebrate’

From “fracking” to oysters to clean energy, environmentalists had multiple reasons to smile when Maryland’s lawmakers wrapped up their work in Annapolis earlier this week.

With a boost from Gov. Larry Hogan, the General Assembly made Maryland the first state with known natural gas reserves to pass legislation prohibiting hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract it. Over...

Oyster sanctuaries to be left alone for now under new Maryland law

Maryland’s oyster sanctuaries will continue to provide a refuge from harvest, at least through next year, after Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday allowed legislation barring any changes in the protected areas to become law without his signature.

The Hogan administration had sided with the state’s watermen in opposing the measure, which passed late last month. But the General...

Activists lobby Congress for Bay funding

Environmental activists from throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed converged Wednesday on the District of Columbia to urge Congress to reject the Trump administration’s bid to slash federal funding for the Bay restoration effort.

More than 90 members of the Choose Clean Water Coalition packed a House meeting room to hear bipartisan pledges of support from nine members of...

Sonar revealing more river herring in Choptank than expected

Scientists have a powerful new tool to help them “see” fish in the Chesapeake Bay’s murky tributaries, and it’s yielding some surprisingly good news about two of the estuary’s most troubled species.

“Imaging sonar” uses sound to help them view, and count, passing fish in dark or cloudy water. For the past few years, scientists with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center...

MD Assembly votes to block opening oyster sanctuaries to harvest

Maryland lawmakers voted Tuesday to temporarily block any changes to the state’s oyster sanctuaries, effectively halting a move by the Hogan administration to open some of them to commercial harvest next fall.

By a vote of 32 to 14, the Senate gave final approval to a bill barring adjustments to sanctuary boundaries until the Department of Natural Resources finishes an...

MD Senate gives final approval to fracking ban

Maryland’s Senate gave final approval Monday night to a permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, making the state the second in the nation with known gas reserves to ban the practice.

By a vote of 35 to 10, the Senate sent the bill banning “fracking,” as it’s commonly called, to Gov. Larry Hogan, who recently indicated he will sign it.  The House earlier had given...

Mallows Bay sanctuary dodges a bullet

The proposal to establish a national marine sanctuary around Mallows Bay dodged a bullet of sorts earlier this week, when the Potomac River Fisheries Commission declined to take a position, despite urging from Maryland and Virginia watermen to oppose any of the options now on the table.

After nearly three hours of discussion and debate, the eight-member panel defeated a motion...

Plan to protect ‘ghost fleet’ on Potomac River hits rough water

The “ghost fleet” sunk in the mud of Mallows Bay never saw action in World War I. But nearly a century later, the decaying wrecks of more than 100 wooden steamships built for that war and left to rot in the Potomac River have triggered a new conflict.

A proposal by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to create a new national marine sanctuary around the skeletal...

Maryland governor throws support behind permanent fracking ban

In a stunning reversal, Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday called for lawmakers to pass legislation permanently banning the natural gas drilling technique known as “fracking” in Maryland.

Speaking at a press conference in the State House in Annapolis, Hogan said that since the legislature had not acted on new drilling regulations his administration had proposed, he had decided 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).

 

Snead's Farm Asparagus Festival May 27-29 in Fredericksburg, VA
Ernst Conservation Seeds: Restoring the Native Balance.
Tour dem Parks, hon.

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