Bay Journal

Rona Kobell

Experience Harriet Tubman’s Eastern Shore

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Water, marsh, trees, sky. This is the landscape of Dorchester County, MD, repeating itself along undulating narrow roads with high ditches for dozens of flat country miles.

This is the land where Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in 1822, where her sisters were sold to distant plantations and Tubman was sold to a new master at the age of 6. It’s the land she fled in 1849 to...

Spat over oyster lease near historic manse leads to legislation

A neighborhood skirmish over a single shellfish lease in a small Southern Maryland creek has turned into a full-blown oyster war pitting descendants of some of the state’s wealthiest and most influential families against a nascent but growing industry.

Trustees and staff at Sotterley Plantation, a restored 18th century Patuxent River estate, opposed a 3-acre lease just offshore...

New catfish reg threatens watermen’s livelihood, Bay

Richard Turner Jr. maneuvered his Carolina Skiff around Gunston Cove in the Potomac River, then hoisted a hoop net out of the water that he’d left there hours ago.

Inside wriggled a 12-pound blue catfish. These mustachioed menaces have been eating their way through the Potomac River and the rest of the Chesapeake Bay for the last decade. They can grow to 5 feet long and weigh...

MD House passes cownose ray fishing contest moratorium

Maryland is getting closer to at least a temporary moratorium on the killing of cownose rays in bowfishing contests, a summer pastime that has angered animal-rights groups and as well as many fishermen.

By a vote of 119 to 21, Maryland’s House of Delegates passed HB 211 Wednesday, which would impose a moratorium on such contests until July 1, 2019, and require the Maryland...

MD lawmakers grill Hogan administration over crab manager’s firing

Hogan administration officials refused to answer lawmakers’ questions Monday about why the state’s longtime blue crab manager was fired after watermen had complained to Gov. Larry Hogan about a crabbing regulation they wanted eased.

Appearing before an unusual joint hearing of House and Senate committees, Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton acknowledged that the Hogan...

MD lawmakers call hearing on DNR crab manager’s firing

Maryland lawmakers have scheduled a special hearing to investigate the Hogan administration’s firing of the state’s longtime manager of the blue crab fishery.

The House Environment and Transportation Committee and the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee plan to meet jointly Monday to seek more information on the termination last month of Brenda...

MD Natural Resources Police fights to keep its eyes in the sky

Last Thanksgiving, the Maryland Natural Resources Police got something for which they could truly be thankful: A helicopter.

After seven years with no eyes in the sky, the NRP got its 1972 Bell Jet Ranger back.  The police aviation unit, founded nearly 70 years ago, had been eliminated by the previous administration in a cost-cutting move in 2009, and the helicopter was...

Kilns may again draw people to Cromwell Valley

Cromwell Valley Park near Towson, MD, has always seemed a place apart, a throwback to the days when this corner of Baltimore County was an agricultural valley. After passing the Big Screen Store, a beltway intersection and a busy high school, visitors are presented with 460 acres of trails, meadows and the Mine Bank Run stream valley.

This tucked-away getaway is popular with...

Maryland crab manager’s firing criticized

A Virginia crab scientist and some watermen have joined conservationists and a Maryland lawmaker in expressing concern over the firing of Maryland’s veteran overseer of the blue crab fishery.

Those speaking out said they feared the termination of Brenda Davis, crab program manager for the Department of Natural Resources, indicated that the Hogan administration is politicizing...

Maryland’s veteran crab manager fired after watermen complain to Hogan

Maryland’s veteran manager of the state’s blue crab fishery was fired this week after a group of watermen complained to Gov. Larry Hogan about a catch regulation that they contend hurts their livelihood — but that scientists say is needed to ensure a sustainable harvest.

Brenda Davis, crab program manager for the Department of Natural Resources and a 28-year state employee,...

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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.

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

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