Bay Journal

Karl Blankenship

PA launches effort to write cleanup plan addressing Bay shortfall

Pennsylvania's effort to write a more robust Bay cleanup strategy was launched last week in a packed hotel auditorium where more than 200 people gathered to offer their initial thoughts about what a new — and more implementable — plan would look like.

The state is so far behind its Bay cleanup obligations that it is jeopardizing Chesapeake restoration efforts as a whole. All...

Organisms in ballast water increasing despite discharge measures

Ships arriving in Chesapeake Bay ports bring more than just cargo — in 2013 they also inadvertently released an estimated 10 billion live zooplankton from other parts of the world, a finding that surprised the researchers who recently reported the results.

Regulations aimed at reducing the risk of aquatic invasions went into effect more than a decade ago, and a team from the...

EPA letter tells PA to increase progress in cleanup effort or it will take action

Pennsylvania needs a realistic plan showing how it will provide enough funding and staff to dramatically ramp up its Bay-related pollution control efforts, or it could face a variety of potentially costly federal actions within the next two years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warned state officials in a recent letter.

Pennsylvania was the only state to get such a...

EPA budget cuts are devastating to states, not helpful

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pressing Pennsylvania to come up with new funding to ramp up its Bay pollution reduction efforts, which are far off track.

Funding for the state’s Department of Environmental Protection is in woeful shape. Its total budget is down 5 percent since 2003 (not adjusted for inflation), and its staff has declined by 25 percent.

But if...

EPA letter to Bay states spells out cleanup expectations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has high expectations for Bay cleanup efforts in the coming years.

Earlier this year, it sent states a 10-page letter outlining what agency officials believe must happen to deliver on the decades-old promise of restoring clear Chesapeake Bay water where underwater plants thrive, fish and shellfish have plenty of oxygen, and waterfowl can...

Just when the Chesapeake news starting getting good…

Rarely has the news about the Bay been so starkly mixed. On the one hand, underwater grasses — one of the most closely watched indicators of Bay health — have hit record levels. Blue crabs also appear to have clearly bounced back from the persistent low-levels that had become the norm just a decade ago.

Yet on the other hand, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Bay...

Underwater grasses up 8%; acreage is highest in decades

Underwater grasses, one of the most closely watched indicators of Chesapeake Bay health, surged to the highest levels seen in decades, according to survey results for 2016.
This is the second straight year that grasses have set a record.

Nearly 100,000 acres of the Bay’s and its tidal tributaries were covered by the underwater meadows, which provide habitat for juvenile fish...

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

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...

Virginians back Bay cleanup, want feds to stick with it, poll finds

Virginians strongly support the multi-state effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and oppose efforts to roll back federal clean air and water laws, according to a new survey.

The poll of registered voters also found that people see the state’s environment getting better, overall. They graded its overall environmental health at a “B,” the highest mark given since the question...

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About Karl Blankenship

Karl Blankenship's avatar

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.

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