Bay Journal

Rona Kobell

Rent a handcrafted boat at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

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With more than 95 percent of the Chesapeake Bay’s shoreline in private ownership, getting out on the water can be a challenge. Recently, outfitters and nonprofit groups on both sides of the Bay have tried to scale that barrier by offering more rentals for boats and paddleboards and providing maps of trails and launch sites.

Programs filling growing number of jobs created by stormwater rules

Two months ago, Sean Williams and Antique Jett would have driven by the field next to a parking lot in Baltimore without a second thought to the gray structure resembling an infield parking pad, or the grate next to it.

But today, they identify instantly what’s wrong. This raised slab, covered in wire mesh and gravel, is supposed to slow down and filter rain runoff before it...

Meander through Parkers Creek Preserve

Thirty years ago, a group of scientists and preservationists pooled their resources to save a pristine forest abutting the Chesapeake Bay from a future of golf courses, marinas and subdivisions.

The result is Parkers Creek Preserve, a 3,500-acre wonder in Calvert County on Maryland’s Western Shore. Just off MD Route 2/4, this expanse includes 22 miles of public hiking trails...

Lake Bonnie pollution saga back in court - for now

A former Maryland woman who sued the state and the Eastern Shore town of Goldsboro, blaming them for the loss of her family campground from unchecked septic pollution, will find out soon if she’ll finally get her day in court.

Last week, in the latest twist of Gail Litz’s seven-year legal quest, a Caroline County Circuit Court judge heard arguments from attorneys for all sides...

Tangier mayor hopes that Trump call leads to a seawall

Tangier Island sits like a fishhook in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, a fishing village known for its distinct local accent and eroding shoreline. Every now and again, it makes the news for a quirky event, like when the mayor found some oysters attached to a crab, or a tragic one, as when a longtime resident drowned.

That changed in June, when President Donald Trump called...

Charles County, MD, restricts development in Mattawoman watershed

After six years of heated debate, the Charles County Board of Commissioners voted to restrict development in one of Maryland’s fastest-growing counties to protect one of the state’s healthiest — and most threatened — water bodies, Mattawoman Creek.

By a vote of 3–2, the commissioners approved a Watershed Conservation District, which will reduce potential development in the...

Handsell braids stories of those who lived there

Along Indiantown Road, on the outskirts of Vienna, MD, there is a place called Handsell, where three histories come together to tell tales of Maryland’s earliest peoples.

Handsell is a tidy brick house that sits on two acres of land amid farm fields edged by forest. The woods border Chicone Creek, a pretty, burbling waterway that can accommodate kayaks at high tide. But...

New battle looming over permitting hog farm in PA

Last year, the Bivouac Swine Farm owners thought that by now, they would be wrapping up construction on their barns by a wooded stream in southcentral Pennsylvania, and preparing to house 8,700 pigs in a new breeding facility.

Instead, the 224-acre operation near McConnellsburg is on hold, after neighboring residents and environmental activists concerned it would harm local...

MD, VA move to trim Bay crab harvest

Crabbers in Maryland and Virginia face new harvest restrictions, a move that managers in both states have said is necessary because of the Chesapeake Bay’s low population of juvenile crustaceans.

Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday that the commercial crab season will close Nov. 20, ten days earlier than it did last year. The state’s crabbers also face...

EPA moves to rescind controversial Clean Water rule

It came as no surprise, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that it is moving to withdraw the so-called Clean Water Rule, potentially making it easier for farmers, builders and others to disturb some streams or wetlands.

The regulation, also known as the “Waters of the United States” rule, had been targeted for rollback since February, when President...

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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.

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