Bay Journal

Karl Blankenship

Underwater grasses up 8%; acreage is highest in decades

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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...

Climate change in the Bay, Washington, DC

In our last issue, I reported about how climate change might make achieving nutrient and water quality goals for the Bay a bit more difficult. This month, we have a couple of articles about how climate change will also make it tougher for a couple of Bay species.

Hampton Roads treating wastewater till it’s good enough to return to aquifer

Little more than a day before, the water pouring from a tap outside the York River Treatment Plant had been wastewater: a mix of sewage flushed down toilets, soapy water drained from bathtubs, food wastes washed down the sink and industrial waste piped into sewer lines.

Now, the water coming out the silver spigot was crystal clear, filling a clean glass that said “SWIFT” on its...

West Virginia’s Dolly Sods: If wind doesn’t take your breath away, the view will

Far down a dusty dirt road, atop an Appalachian mountain ridge, vehicles were jockeying for any available piece of dirt on which they could park their cars. A fierce wind was blasting across the Dolly Sods, stirring dust and rocking the vehicles.

We finally pulled into an ad-hoc parking space near the Bear Rocks trailhead, but when the driver of the car to our right tried...

Black rail population sinking fast as rising sea level drowns its habitat

Getting to know the Eastern black rail has always been tough.

The sparrow-size bird lives deep in marshes that are hard to access, and it is most active in the wee hours of the morning. Even then, it tends to scamper through dense vegetation, rather than fly — some call it a “feathered mouse.”
“We know almost nothing about this species,” said ornithologist Bryan Watts,...

Trump budget plan would slam Bay

The Chesapeake Bay Program and other federal initiatives that could impact the Bay have been targeted for steep cuts in preliminary Trump administration budget plans sent to federal agencies, prompting alarm from conservation groups and lawmakers alike.

According to a report in The Washington Post, a budget blueprint for the 2018 federal fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, would...

Lawmakers urge Trump to maintain Bay funding

A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants President Trump to maintain the current funding level for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts when the administration releases its first budget blueprint.

While the EPA is widely expected to be hit by potentially deep budget cuts when the administration releases a budget outline in a few weeks, five...

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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.

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

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