Bay Journal

Rona Kobell

PA fish official battles other agencies over status of Susquehanna

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During his 36 years with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, John Arway has repeatedly faced off against those he sees threatening the state’s waterways. Once, he said, a coal miner attacked him across a boardroom table. Another time, a gas driller tried to run over him with a backhoe. Through it all, the mild-mannered biologist persevered, using the facts and his agency’s...

UMCES president Boesch to step down

Donald F. Boesch, who has been at the helm of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science for 27 years, announced Tuesday that he will be stepping down as president next year.

Boesch, who has had the second longest tenure as a leader at one of the University System of Maryland’s 12 independent institutions, has served under three chancellors, five governors and...

Hogan moves to lift rule for less-polluting septic systems in MD

The Hogan administration is rolling back a 4-year-old regulation that required less-polluting but costlier septic systems for all new homes in Maryland that aren’t connected to sewers. The move seems sure to please builders, rural politicians and their constituents, but critics say it’s a step backward in trying to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

Gov. Larry Hogan told the Maryland...

Fixing Kent Island’s failing septics - at a price

When the Bay Bridge opened in 1952, developers raced across to the Eastern Shore to build dreams. Real estate agents sold vacation homes, family getaways, retirement retreats and quaint cottages so close to the water it was practically in their backyards. On Kent Island, Maryland’s oldest settlement in one of its least populated counties, builders needed no permits, no...

A Maryland chicken farmer goes organic

When I met Andrew McLean last summer, I was with a group of a dozen journalists on his Ruthsburg chicken farm. We were there as part of a Chesapeake Bay field trip put on by the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources for reporters from all over the world, which I helped plan.

At McLean’s 350-acre Eastern Shore farm, we had to suit up head-to-toe, with paper booties on...

Stricter safeguards sought for bottom ash at Baltimore power plant

Environmental activists and some local residents are pressing Maryland regulators to impose stricter water-quality safeguards on an aging power plant in the Baltimore area that’s periodically releasing “bottom ash” from its coal-fired boilers into a Chesapeake Bay tributary.

The owner of the C. P. Crane Generating Station, which sits on a peninsula east of the city, is seeking...

Bay scientist Boynton honored for his research, commitment

Thirty years ago, at the dawn of the Chesapeake Bay’s restoration movement, scientists and policy makers alike thought that the largest sources of pollution came from sewage, industrial pipes or even agricultural herbicides. Fix the pipes, they reasoned, and you fix the problem.

But a young marine ecologist at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science helped...

Hart-Miller Island opens new area to visitors

For the Baltimore boating community, Hart-Miller Island needs no introduction.

Each weekend, hundreds of boats gather near the beach of the 1,100-acre Chesapeake Bay island near the mouth of Middle River. They tie rafts to their boats and float or swim in the often calm waters or lounge on the sandy beach. But until this spring, visitors could not venture past that sandy beach...

Who loves a life jacket? Survivors, that’s who

This summer, I have lived vicariously through my friends’ vacations - via their curated Facebook photos, which tell a story of happy people on the water.

I’ve watched friends from New Jersey, child-free for the first time in a decade, sail by a cliff in Croatia. I’ve enjoyed seeing my friends from Wisconsin on their pontoon boats in Lake Michigan, and my Michigan friends...

Green jobs helping ex-cons turn over a new leaf

From the day he went to prison in 1995, Robert Walker was preparing for his release.

A painter by trade, the New Jersey native earned certificates in software development, auto body repair, desktop publishing, plumbing, floor covering and interior renovation. He even landed a spot on a highway landscaping crew and got a taste for working outside prison walls.

And yet, when...

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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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