Bay Journal

Rona Kobell

Hogan announces plan to relax Maryland septic requirements

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced this weekend that he plans to relax a requirement that septic systems for all new homes include state-of-the-art pollution-reducing denitrification technologies.

The state would only require the use of systems with the best available technology in homes along the tidal waterfront known as the Critical Area to reduce nitrogen from wastes...

Maryland aquaculture leasing streamlined

Federal regulators unveiled this week a new, “more streamlined” process by which Maryland oyster farmers can lease places in the Chesapeake Bay for raising their shellfish.

The revised permitting procedures announced by the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers come in response to long-voiced complaints from oyster farmers – backed up by Maryland’s U.S....

Farm sites along upper Choptank to help measure BMPs’ efficiency

Thomas Fisher hiked carefully down a slope and into the water at South Forge, a small, barely there waterway that includes a culvert running under a busy Caroline County road.

Fisher, an ecologist with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, took a sample of the murky water and pondered its contents. He noted the depth, the flow conditions and the location...

Vive l’huitre! Chesapeake oyster aquaculture has roots in France

J. Carter Fox had heard the stories of the once-robust Chesapeake Bay oyster grounds. But in four decades of summers at his family place in Reedville, VA, the longtime paper executive rarely saw anyone working the bottom. Local fishermen told him there hadn’t been oysters in those Northern Neck waters for ages. All they could do, they said, was hope the diseases killing the...

Pennsylvania declares Susquehanna stretch impaired for recreation

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has proposed listing four miles of the 400-mile Susquehanna River as impaired for recreation. But though the river’s smallmouth bass have shown signs of illness and the populations have declined, the agency maintains it lacks the information to determine the river impaired for aquatic life.

The DEP announced the proposed...

Susquehanna ailing but not impaired, Pennsylvania says

The Susquehanna River is ailing, Pennsylvania regulators say, but they still don’t want to put it a pollution diet, despite more than a decade of reports of cancers and lesions in smallmouth bass in the Chesapeake Bay’s largest tributary.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has once again declined to list the Susquehanna as impaired in a biennial assessment of...

Environmentalists seek say in Baltimore sewer overhaul

Contending that the latest plan to fix Baltimore’s leaky sewage system has some big holes in it, Blue Water Baltimore wants a say in the new deal struck between the city and state and federal regulators.

The environmental group filed a motion Wednesday in federal court seeking to intervene in the update of a 14-year-old consent decree that would give the city another 14 years...

MD Natural Resources Police face increasing duties without budget to match

Brandon Davis doesn’t like something about the boat cruising through Kent Narrows.

The Maryland Natural Resources Police Officer First Class has noticed the small craft has no fishing gear on board. It’s a cloudy, on-and-off rain day. The only other boats out are fishing charter parties, commercial crabbers and tankers. The three men on board, all young, are not wearing life...

Crabbers, scientists seeing more, larger blue crabs this spring

C. J. Canby nosed his dead-rise, the Miss Paula, from its berth in Bodkin Creek toward the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Even though it had rained for almost three weeks, the water was like glass. In a few hours, he would touch seahorses. In a couple of days, he would see a baby crab — fairly unusual for such a northern stretch of water.

“It’s definitely looking like it’s going to be...

Hogan administration eyes relaxing Maryland farm pollution regulation

Maryland agriculture officials said Tuesday they are looking to relax a four-year-old regulation aimed at reducing farm runoff pollution into the Chesapeake Bay after farmers and some municipal sewage agencies complained about the costs of complying.

The regulation, which took effect July 1, affects mainly dairy farmers and municipal wastewater agencies that generate treated...

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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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