Bay Journal

Rona Kobell

New zoning restrictions address issues from larger chicken houses

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Chicken farms, once tucked into fields and in mostly rural areas, have come to roost near schools, daycare centers and subdivisions on the Delmarva Peninsula. The change — in both location and density — is prompting local politicians to enact some of their first zoning restrictions on poultry growers.

But many residents contend the changes are window dressing — addressing...

October brings falling leaves - and oyster fests

There’s a chill in the air, falling leaves on the ground and pumpkins on the front stoop. In the Chesapeake Bay, those are signs it is time for oyster festival season.

The Chesapeake Bay oyster season officially starts in September, the first “r” month during which the law allows the harvest of wild oysters, and just about the earliest time anyone would want to eat them....

Bay Journal’s covered ebb, flow of Chesapeake issues for 25 years

Twenty-five years ago, the first issue of the Bay Journal hit the streets — or rather, the mailboxes — across the watershed. Its lone cover photo featured swans taking flight; the headline read: 1991: Taking a new look at an old goal.

The newspaper’s 12 pages featured stories about budgets, turtles, a list of “toxics of concern,” and an ominous report that nutrient reduction...

Bird-loving Baltimore putting out welcome mat for feathered visitors

Baltimore may be home to the Orioles and Ravens, but it's now taking steps to welcome the real feathered visitors by joining the ranks of U.S. “urban bird treaty” cities.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gave the city $35,000 last year to begin creating and maintaining habitat for migratory birds. On Saturday, it will announce another $50,000 in funding as the city formally...

PA fish official battles other agencies over status of Susquehanna

During his 36 years with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, John Arway has repeatedly faced off against those he sees threatening the state’s waterways. Once, he said, a coal miner attacked him across a boardroom table. Another time, a gas driller tried to run over him with a backhoe. Through it all, the mild-mannered biologist persevered, using the facts and his agency’s...

UMCES president Boesch to step down

Donald F. Boesch, who has been at the helm of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science for 27 years, announced Tuesday that he will be stepping down as president next year.

Boesch, who has had the second longest tenure as a leader at one of the University System of Maryland’s 12 independent institutions, has served under three chancellors, five governors and...

Hogan moves to lift rule for less-polluting septic systems in MD

The Hogan administration is rolling back a 4-year-old regulation that required less-polluting but costlier septic systems for all new homes in Maryland that aren’t connected to sewers. The move seems sure to please builders, rural politicians and their constituents, but critics say it’s a step backward in trying to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

Gov. Larry Hogan told the Maryland...

Sewer system to replace failing septics in southern Kent Island

When the Bay Bridge opened in 1952, developers raced across to the Eastern Shore to build dreams. Real estate agents sold vacation homes, family getaways, retirement retreats and quaint cottages so close to the water it was practically in their backyards. On Kent Island, Maryland’s oldest settlement in one of its least populated counties, builders needed no permits, no...

A Maryland chicken farmer goes organic

When I met Andrew McLean last summer, I was with a group of a dozen journalists on his Ruthsburg chicken farm. We were there as part of a Chesapeake Bay field trip put on by the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources for reporters from all over the world, which I helped plan.

At McLean’s 350-acre Eastern Shore farm, we had to suit up head-to-toe, with paper booties on...

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About Rona Kobell

Rona Kobell's avatar

Rona Kobell is a staff writer for the Bay Journal. She has began her journalism career at The Jerusalem Post, then moved to Washington, D.C., to become a writer and editor for Public Risk, a trade journal. She worked for newspapers in St. Joseph, Mo., and her hometown of Pittsburgh before joining The Baltimore Sun in 2000 where she became its Chesapeake Bay reporter in 2004. Her work has won numerous awards and in 2008, she was selected as a Knight-Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan, where she spent a year studying the use of economic incentives in environmental policy.

Wholesale reclamation and wetland seed supplier.
A Documentary Inspired by William W. Warner’s 1976 Exploration of Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay.
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