Bay Journal

Whitney Pipkin

Dark skies shed light on Shenandoah stars

Astronomers say that the Milky Way — that thick swath of stars that stretches across the dark night sky — isn’t visible for 80 percent of the people who live in North America. For many, the bright city lights cause the beauty overhead to disappear.

If you live in a light-flooded landscape, consider leaving the lights behind, perhaps on a one-with-nature trip to a national park,...

SAV Olympics: Foreign embassies seek laurels for growing grasses for Bay

Blair Blanchette was halfway through her demonstration on growing underwater grasses indoors when she stopped midsentence, assessing her audience.

“I’m getting faces from everyone that say, ‘This isn’t gonna work,’” said Blanchette, the Virginia grass-roots coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “But we’ve had 2,500 participants in this program, and they’ve all grown...

Virginia lawmakers act on Alexandria sewage overflows, coal ash

Virginia’s General Assembly took final action on two measures that could impact water quality in the Chesapeake Bay during a one-day veto session on Wednesday.

In response to several amendments Gov. Terry McAuliffe proposed to bills passed earlier this year, Virginia lawmakers refused to give the city of Alexandria more time to reduce polluted overflows from its sewer system...

Lynchburg takes new tack on decades-old overflow problems

Like hundreds of cities in the country, Lynchburg’s earliest sewer infrastructure was built to get the water — and whatever else might be flushed or flowing into it — out of the Virginia city and into the nearest stream or river as quickly as possible.

In 1955, the city added a wastewater treatment plant that greatly reduced the amount of raw sewage flowing into the nearby...

Governor proposes giving Alexandria more time to fix sewage overflows

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proposed giving the city of Alexandria three additional years to fix its chronic sewage overflows into the Potomac River. 

The Northern Virginia city has been working for several years to reduce the amount of rain-diluted waste that pours untreated from its antiquated combined sewer system, but environmentalists have complained that local...

Court rules that Dominion’s coal ash polluted Elizabeth River

A federal judge ruled Thursday that Dominion Virginia Power’s storage of coal ash at a now-closed plant near the Elizabeth River has been illegally polluting groundwater and the river for years. The decision could impact Dominion’s plans to permanently store ash in pits at other plants where coal has historically been burned for power.

U.S. District Judge John Gibney Jr. in...

Virginia governor proposes moratorium on coal ash permits

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday proposed a moratorium until 2018 on any new permits for coal ash disposal until a study is finished of its risks and possible alternatives.

McAuliffe announced that he was proposing amendments to a bill passed by the General Assembly that requires Dominion Virginia Power to study and report on the costs and benefits, risks and...

Experience Alexandria’s maritime past

The developers of a luxurious waterfront hotel in Alexandria, VA, put construction on hold for several months last year after their shovels struck the wooden hull of a ship. The city’s team of archaeologists sprang into action, unearthing part of a 50-foot vessel scuttled into place around 200 years ago that contained a special kind of treasure: a piece of Alexandria’s maritime...

Northern Virginia county wants alternatives to coal ash storage fully considered

Northern Virginia elected officials have called on Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Dominion Virginia Power to stall the utility’s plans to store millions of tons of coal ash by a Potomac River tributary until other options are studied further.

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors voted to seek a delay in Dominion’s controversial plan after a public meeting Tuesday, where it...

Eastern Shore explores fresh approaches for local farming

When we think of agriculture on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, sprawling poultry houses and the grain fields that feed them come to mind. After all, chickens have long outnumbered humans on the Delmarva Peninsula, where their abundance looms large over the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

But Bob Miller is part of a different breed of agriculture that is growing on the Shore, one...

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About Whitney Pipkin

Whitney Pipkin's avatar Whitney Pipkin writes at the intersection of food, agriculture and the environment from her home base in Northern Virginia. Her work for the Bay Journal often focuses on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, and she is a fellow of the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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

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