Bay Journal

Rona Kobell

Poplar’s rising popularity

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Mark Mendelsohn has fond memories of visiting his grandparents on the West River in Annapolis. The family would pile in a skiff and run out to the banks of Poplar Island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. There, his grandmother would catch so many bluefish that her arms would be sore.

But the past half-century was not kind to Poplar and the cluster of islands that surround it...

Where is everyone?

I wondered, why are people not exploring the outdoors close to home? I asked a couple of friends, fellow parents, why that is. One claimed he couldn’t get his 8-year-old away from his screen for more than 30 minutes. Another said fellow parents are terrified of Lyme disease. Still another said it’s not worth the bug bites.

Paddling the Baltimore Harbor: A Gift from the city

Sunday was my birthday, and the city of Baltimore and the Waterfront Partnership gave me a lovely gift:  A beautiful morning of kayaking the flat waters of Baltimore Inner Harbor. They threw in a charming Australian guide, a lovely group of fellow paddlers and temperatures that were stifling on land but quite comfortable from the reclining seat of a kayak.

Of course, reporters...

STAR award highlights Baltimore’s green efforts

Baltimore is getting an award tonight for its efforts to build a more sustainable community.

The award comes from STAR- Sustainable Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities. It honors the city for adapting for climate change, its work in urban agricultural food production and its commitment to turning vacant lots into green spaces.

“We are honored to receive national...

Steve Vilnit leaving as DNR’s seafood marketer

Tuesday morning, a boat will leave from Kent Narrows with some of the region’s best chefs on board. They will visit crab-picking operations and oyster-shucking houses. They will smell and taste Maryland seafood, feel the waves of the Chesapeake and shake the calloused hands of the watermen who catch the rockfish and crabs. If all goes well, they will commit to selling local fish...

Two cities, and two bubbly creeks

Baltimore often looks to Chicago for inspiration on how to become a cleaner and greener city.

Like Baltimore, Chicago was a largely industrial city at the turn of the last century. Chicago had meat-packing, while Baltimore had shipyards, a steel maker and a host of chemical companies. Chicago had its namesake river, fetid and polluted from the stockyards’ cast-offs - carcasses,...

Midday takes note of Baltimore’s environmental wins

Midday on the May’s may edition will air Thursday, May 21, from 1-2 on WYPR. The show is produced in collaboration with Dan Rodricks, who hosts Midday every day.

Each month, we choose topics that correlate with the stories we are covering in the Journal, or want to cover in the future.

This show will be about urban environmentalism and the forgotten Baltimore.

Over the past...

Arkansas example provides piece to solving excess manure puzzle

We think of the Delmarva Peninsula as Chicken Central, but it’s not the only big poultry producing region in the country. Nor is it the only one facing pollution problems posed by more manure than can be spread without problems on farm fields.  Arkansas faces similar problems, and in one watershed, the Eucha-Spavinaw, farmers truck out a whopping 90 percent of the manure.


Manure hour graces Midday on the Bay

This Thursday, Midday on the Bay returns to the airwaves with something I like to call the Manure Hour.

We will devote the entire hour to talking about phosphorus, the management tools for it, the way other states are controlling it and…

What’s that? I’ve lost you? You mean there are people out there who don’t want to hear me explain the different consistencies of manure and...

Poll finds Marylanders confused over ‘rain tax’

Half of all Marylanders polled in a recent survey believe that the required stormwater management fees mean that they will be taxed every time it rains.

When told that the so called “rain tax” had nothing to do with taxing the rain and was a charge to curb and treat polluted runoff, 46 percent of those respondents said they would support the fees, and only one-third insisted...

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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.

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