Bay Journal

Rona Kobell

Report recommends helping farmers to keep cows out of streams

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The Chesapeake Bay watershed includes 3.5 million livestock, among them beef and dairy cows, swine, horses, goats and sheep. More than half of those are cattle, which too often can be found standing in streams.

Cattle and streams are not a good combination. The cattle erode the stream banks, contributing to sediment loads. They defecate in the water, adding unwanted nitrogen...

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...

Mikulski seeks oyster permit speed up from Army Corps of Engineers

Sen. Barbara Mikulski is wading into an old fight: oyster farmers vs. the Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District.

In a sharply worded letter earlier this month, Maryland’s senior senator says that the Baltimore District has been “dragging its feet” on issuing permits for oyster farmers to lease bottom in the Chesapeake Bay, the Coastal Bays and their tributaries.

Legislature, Governor start debating a fix for phosphorus overload

You could call it the battle of the PMTs.

That’s phosphorus management tools. But these days, a lot of us probably know way more about this acronym - and manure - than we ever thought we would.

The problem: Many fields on the Eastern Shore have too much phosphorus, and farmers should apply no more. The phosphorus came from decades of applications of poultry manure, which...

Mark Belton named new DNR secretary

A 1983 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Mark Belton achieved the rank of rear admiral after serving on active duty in the U.S. Navy for more than seven years and in the U.S. Navy Reserve for over two decades. He served in Kosovo in 2001 and in Baghdad from 2009 to 2010. In Baghdad, he was the senior force representative to the Iraqi Ministries of Oil and Electricity...

UPDATE: Bills would open bay to power dredging for oysters; restrict aquaculture leases

Two bills have been introduced in Maryland’s General Assembly in the past 24 hours that, if passed, could change the way Maryland watermen harvest oysters and the way aquaculture farmers plant them.
It’s unclear what the chances are the bills will pass.  Every year, for as long as I can remember, watermen have asked legislators to introduce bills to allow them to catch more...

The first rule of the Phosphorus Symposium: No one talks about the PMT.

PMT -- that would be Maryland’s phosphorus management tool, the science-based calculation and proposed regulation that would force farmers with soils saturated in phosphorus to apply no more. That meant farmers, particularly those on the Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore, would not be able to spread manure if a complex set of calculations showed their soil phosphorus levels were too...

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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.

How Global Warming Will Transform Our Cities, Shorelines, and Forests   by Stephen Nash
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