This is the 39th edition of the Bay Journal since the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay began publishing it in March 1991, and it marks a milestone — with this issue, the readership passes the 40,000 mark, roughly double its initial printing.

In a world of sound-bite news, it shows that some people are interested in getting more detailed information. Since its inception, the Bay Journal has helped to meet that need by expanding from eight pages to 16, adding new features, and becoming a member of the Associated Press.

Demand for the Bay Journal has come from readers throughout the Bay states, as well as from libraries, colleges, high schools, and research laboratories. And, interest has grown from outside the region to include readers from across the nation who want to learn more about the Bay cleanup effort.

In the past year, two on-line services have made the Bay Journal available electronically, and more are on the way.

In recognition of the Bay Journal’s public education efforts, the editor has received awards from the Maryland Department of the Environment and Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

Others have liked what they’ve seen, too.

”For in-depth, comprehensive lucid coverage of the huge range of Bay environmental issues, you can’t beat the Bay Journal,” Baltimore Sun columnist Tom Horton wrote earlier this year.

An environmental resource specialist with the Maryland Farm Bureau called the Bay Journal the “best source of information on Bay programs. Keep it up!” (Emphasis was his.)

A resident from Oxford, Md., wrote, “In my 30 years growing up on the Chesapeake, I have always wondered silently why such a publication as Bay Journal did not exist. I am happy to have discovered it. The Journal provides a excellent way of conveying public policy issues and activities and how they will affect inhabitants of the Bay.”

Of course, you can’t please everyone. One reader demanded to be dropped from the mailing list after reading a 1991 story about the controversy surrounding a new federal manual to identify wetlands — one that would have greatly expanded the amount of area classified as wetlands. “Wetlands are wet,” he wrote. “If you need a scientist to tell you what [a] wetland is, come to see me and I’ll train you in 30 minutes.”

Another reader was aggravated that the Bay Journal printed a commentary critical of that same manual. He wrote: “I know you must be charged with presenting a balanced picture, but can you have ‘balance’ between a scientific approach and that of a special interest?”

If you have any comments on the Bay Journal, write to the editor at Bay Journal, 619 Oakwood Drive, Seven Valleys, PA 17360-9395.

The editor may also be contacted through the Internet. The address is:

CompuServe users may send messages to: 70363,13