Bay Journal

Rona Kobell

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

Lead story image

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,...

Climate change, development loom on Nanticoke’s horizon

Sometimes, rivers shout their troubles. They catch fire. Or change color. Other times, they whisper, degrading slowly over time. And some cry for help in a voice so small that passersby can’t hear them at all; only those who know them well recognize the signs.

The Nanticoke River falls into the third category: Beautiful to look at now, but scientists and conservationists worry...

Maryland’s seafood marketing headed back to where it came from

If the Hogan Administration has its way, Maryland’s seafood marketing will go back to its roots — at the state’s agriculture department.

The administration has introduced a bill that, if passed, would shift responsibility and resources for promoting Maryland’s seafood from its current home at the Department of Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture, where it was...

MD Senate approves moratorium on ray tournaments

The Maryland Senate unanimously approved a bill Monday night that would impose a moratorium on contests to kill cownose rays in the Chesapeake Bay while the Department of Natural Resources develops a plan for managing the species.

The vote was 46-0 on the bill, SB 268, which had been amended. The original measure, sponsored by Sen. Ronald Young, a Frederick County Democrat,...

Irish firm tackles burning issue of Maryland’s poultry waste

The first thing a visitor notices when stepping inside two of Brad Murphy's chicken houses is the smell. Usually, the acrid reek of ammonia assaults the senses upon stepping into a 40,000-bird house. But in these two, there’s barely a whiff.

That’s because Murphy’s farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, called Double Trouble, is part of the state’s big experiment in converting...

Path to improving Atlantic Flyway at Blackwater is filled with mud

On the Atlantic Flyway, it takes more than a handful of gravel or an asphalt patch to fix a pothole. It takes a giant dredge pumping an arc of slurry at rock-concert decibels for hours at a time, day after day, with funding that would make many municipal road managers envious.

But these are no ordinary potholes, and the flyway is no road. It’s a major migration route for a host...

PA farm pollution affecting drinking water

In 1945, engineers tasked with bringing clean drinking water to suburban Philadelphia discovered Octoraro Creek nestled in Amish farm country around 40 miles away and deemed it ideal to build the water treatment plant of the future.

But the pastoral landscape that sealed the deal for the Chester Water Authority 70 years ago has now become part of the problem. Nitrates from farm...

Voice for Bay’s menhaden, striped bass dies

James “Jim” Price, a citizen scientist who sounded the alarm for nearly four decades on the health of striped bass and menhaden, died peacefully at his home on Dec. 18. He was 73 and had been battling prostate cancer for seven years.

Born in Easton into a family of fishermen, Price grew up in the town of Choptank, in Caroline County, MD, and later settled near Oxford. After...

Spike & Rona, on making food local, and reasonably priced

One night last week, an overflow crowd packed Artifact Coffee in Woodberry to hear me interview Spike Gjerde, then listen to him interview me.

Gjerde is a pioneer in the local and farm-to-table movement in Baltimore. With his partners, he owns Woodberry Kitchen, Parts and Labor, Artifact Coffee, and is opening a new restaurant in Washington, DC, called A Rake’s Progress. He and...

Volunteer pilots offer environmentalists an eye in the sky

Jeremy Jacobsohn guided his Piper Arrow down a runway at Lee Airport toward a kaleidoscope of fall color in the woods ahead. As the plane ascended, leaving suburban Edgewater behind, the houses became tiny dots and the Chesapeake Bay came slowly into view.

“This is the roller coaster part,” he said with a laugh.

Soon, Jacobsohn swooped south over the white-capped Chesapeake,...

More articles »

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.

Chesapeake College’s new Agriculture AAS is a two-year degree debuting in Fall 2016.
Wholesale reclamation and wetland seed supplier.
A Documentary Inspired by William W. Warner’s 1976 Exploration of Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay.

Copyright ©2017 Bay Journal / Bay Journal Media / Advertise with Us

Terms of use | Privacy Policy