Bay Journal

January 2019 - Volume 28 - Number 10
Lead story image

Scientists waiting to see if record 2018 rainfall dampens Bay recovery

For the Chesapeake, 2018 was a year of mud, trash and sewage as unrelenting rainfall washed across its vast watershed, sending unusually high amounts of freshwater runoff into the Bay month after month.

The water-fouling nutrients and sediment that were also flushed into the Bay by record-setting rainfall throughout the region will test the staying power of recent water quality improvements to the nation’s largest estuary.

At risk are improving trends for the Chesapeake’s fish-stressing “dead zone” and the restoration of its vital underwater grass beds and oyster populations.

Farm Bill could increase funding to control ag runoff to Chesapeake

Farmers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed stand to get more financial help from the federal government to reduce polluted runoff from fields and feedlots under the new Farm Bill passed by Congress in December.

The legislation, which replaces the 2014 Farm Bill, tweaked funding for farm conservation programs in a way that significantly increases the pot of federal money for which Bay watershed farmers and partnering organizations can compete.

Science foundation cuts 20-year-old Baltimore ecological study’s funds

For two decades, scientists have been monitoring the streams that flow from Baltimore’s outer suburbs through some of the city’s most blighted neighborhoods on their way to the harbor.

With data painstakingly compiled from stream-sampling field trips and a network of continuously operating stream gauges, researchers involved in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study have new insights on the pollution in urban waters.

They’ve also found that urban streams are surprisingly resilient — and that addressing their ills can help the long-running effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay while also improving the quality of life for city dwellers.

Now, though, the future of that research is in doubt.

Chesapeake Valley Seed
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Winter Wildlife Festival
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A Smith Island family ponders the future:
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