News, notes and observations from the Bay Journal staff.
Maryland’s legislative leaders delighted environmental advocates Thursday by vowing to strengthen the state’s forest conservation law, increase renewable energy and pass other green initiatives, while resisting environmental rollbacks by the Trump administration. It remains to be seen whether election-year politics will help those prospects.
The 23rd annual environmental legislative summit in Annapolis drew a standing room only crowd to hear pitches — and pledges of support — for green groups’ top priorities during the 90-day General Assembly session that began Jan. 10.
“We’re going to make us the most environmentally friendly state in America,” House Speaker Michael Busch declared, to enthusiastic applause. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller voiced similar sentiment, predicting that amid upcoming debates over taxes, spending and other tough issues, “the one thing we’re going to agree on is the environment.”
The wintry weather outside may be frightful, but the latest Bay Barometer is pointing in a generally positive direction.
The annual report released by the federal-state Chesapeake Bay Program trumpeted continued gains the long-running effort to restore the estuary, with new highs reached last year in fish passage, water quality and blue crab and underwater grass abundance.
Water quality in a little more than 39 percent of the Chesapeake was good enough during the last three years to support Bay creatures, from worms to crabs to fish, figures released Thursday show.
That was the second-best extent of good water quality seen in any three-year period since coordinated Chesapeake monitoring efforts began in 1985, according to the state-federal Bay Program partnership.
Tips from veteran Chesapeake Bay photographer Dave Harp about how to capture the perfect images from your outdoor travels.