Bay Journal

Karl Blankenship

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...

Bay grass restoration threatened by warming, scientists say

The Bay region is unlikely to meet its underwater grass restoration goals unless it clears up the Chesapeake’s water beyond what is now targeted, scientists warned in a recent journal article.

If more action is not taken, they warn that eelgrass — the primary underwater grass species found in high-salinity portions of the Bay — may face a “catastrophic” decline in the...

Bay cleanup efforts already feeling the heat from climate change

Rising temperatures and sea levels, as well as increased precipitation, are all expected for the Chesapeake Bay region as the Earth’s climate changes, but no one has to wait until the end of the century to feel their impacts. For Bay cleanup efforts, the future is now.

Scientists and state and federal officials are already trying to determine the extent to which climate change...

Bay ‘Barometer’ shows restoration progress, but forest buffers, wetlands lag

The Chesapeake Bay is showing signs that decades of work are starting to pump new life into the nation’s largest estuary, according to a new report, though it also showed worrisome trends for forest buffers and wetlands – two elements considered critical to any long-term recovery.

The Bay Barometer, released Wednesday by the state-federal Bay Program partnership, largely echoed...

Herds of visitors love Pennsylvania’s Elk Country

On many days each year, Rawley Cogan can gaze out his Pennsylvania office window and see something that would have been impossible a little more than a century ago — grazing elk sauntering through the meadow and along the tree line in groups small and large, some with huge antlers that can measure 4 feet across.

“We have elk up close and personal lots of the time,” said Cogan,...

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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.

Ward Oyster Co.
Ernst Conservation Seeds: Restoring the Native Balance.
A Documentary Inspired by William W. Warner’s 1976 Exploration of Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay.

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