The Bay Journal News Service began distributing weekly Op-Eds to newspapers throughout the region Jan. 30, and appears to have gotten off to a strong start. Although final counts aren’t available, the initial offerings were printed in publications with circulations totaling more than 250,000, and more were planning on publishing material.

The goal of the Op-Ed service to foster public understanding and discussion of key conservation issues facing the region, from the Bay cleanup to forest management to sprawl control to promoting vibrant rural communities. In addition to the Op-Eds, we will soon be providing news and features from the Bay Journal for publication.

In this issue, we’re printing a couple of Bay Journal News Service Op-Eds in our Forum section for readers to sample:

  • Donald Boesch, a noted estuarine scientist, writes that science, the public and nearly all politicians now agree that man contributes to global warming. As we think about environmental policies to save our region, we need to ask how our decisions about greenhouse gases will influence our efforts to restore the Bay, and vice-versa. Boesch is president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
  • Fanciful invaders from outer space are nowhere near as scary as the aliens that Jim Minick reports have already invaded our gardens and woods. Minick, who teaches English at Radford University in Radford, VA, and writes a column for the Roanoke Times New River Current, has spent considerable time tramping the fields and woods of his native Pennsylvania and adopted Virginia. He writes about how foreign species, as different as bittersweet, hemlock woolly adelgid, and nutria have taken hold in the Mid-Atlantic and are doing tremendous harm. We need a better national policy to keep them out, he suggests. Noting they lack natural predators, he suggests it may be time to eat them.

Editors who are not receiving the Op-Eds and would like to be added to the distribution list should contact Bay Journal News Service Editor Michael Shultz at


Don’t subscribe en masse!

Speaking of getting the word out, it’s always great to have new readers sign up to get the Bay Journal. But it has come to our attention that in some classrooms, and for some volunteer programs, people are sometimes being required to sign up for the Bay Journal.

While we welcome new subscribers, we prefer that such sign-ups not be required as part of a program or class, as it causes our mailing list to accumulate names of people who may not be interested readers. This is one of those, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink,” type things.

We do provide bundles of Bay Journals for such purposes, which allow people to be exposed to the publication and then sign up if they wish. If you’d like a bundle for handouts, e-mail me at


Change in reprint policy

We’re always happy to have people reprint material from the Bay Journal, but we’re making a slight change to our reprint policy. Until now, it’s been fine with us to freely reprint our content, but with this issue we are adding “with permission” to our policy.

The goal is not to discourage use, but simply to allow us to better track what material people are using. So just drop me a quick e-mail first and there should be no problem with using our articles. Thanks.