Bay Journal

Opinion

Rachel Carson no stranger to the Chesapeake, its creatures

Some of the finest nature writing about the Chesapeake Bay scarcely mentions the great estuary by name and studiously avoids naming specific places. Its author, for years, chose not to use her given name, Rachel, presuming readers would think “R. L. Carson” male and more credible.

I don’t know why in her first book in 1941, Under the Sea Wind, the writer most famous for Silent Spring (1962) minimized the Chesapeake as the setting and inspiration for many of the delightful essays.

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PA legislators need to put the money where the boots are – on farms

Pennsylvania’s final watershed implementation plan to clean up the state’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and meet its commitments under the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint by 2025 is under review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Let’s be clear: The plan is inadequate in many ways. It doesn’t cut nitrogen pollution nearly enough, and there is a significant funding gap that legislators have not identified ways to fill. 

But for those who rightly worry about the state’s ability to meet its pollution reduction goals, I have some good news. Many Pennsylvania farmers get it. 

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WOW program helps female forest owners branch out

WOW: a palindrome that behaves like a verb, an interjection or a noun and is typically associated with great excitement, admiration or success.

For landowners in West Virginia, this word serves all three functions: the WV Women Owning Woodlands program, or WOW, is a budding group that provides opportunities for female landowners to learn about sustainable forest management, communicate their experiences and inspire natural resource stewardship on private lands.

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Ignoring science won’t make looming climate calamity go away

Always, I’ve assumed knowledge equals power. If you do the science that makes sense of a mysterious world, it enables you to comprehend your problems and you’ll eventually solve them.

But what if it’s not always, or no longer, true? What if knowledge turns out to have no sway over the two overarching environmental crises of our time — climate change and the exhaustion of natural resources — both of which will erode hopes for a saved Chesapeake Bay?

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EC meeting recognizes innovation, acknowledges work ahead

Once a year, members of the Chesapeake Executive Council gather together to discuss the successes and challenges of restoring the Chesapeake Bay. A mere 30 miles from the shores of the Bay, this year’s meeting site, Oxon Hill Manor, played host to representatives from Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia (watershed jurisdictions), as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Chesapeake Bay Commission, on Sept. 5.

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Promise to protect fully Rappahannock site still a cliffhanger

I first saw Fones Cliffs in spring 1997. I was in the company of the renowned author and naturalist John Page Williams, and I was there to help celebrate the establishment of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

The Fones Cliffs formation stretches along 4 miles of the river’s shore, reaching heights of more than 100 feet. In the late afternoon sun, the cliff face sparkles from diatomaceous earth (fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton) deposited millions of years ago.

That day a seed was planted in me, somewhere in my heart, my soul — or maybe my left pinkie — I’m not sure.

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Delmarva Oasis protects what we see and what we may yet see

I spent my childhood in and around the Bay wading in our creek to catch soft crabs, trying to dip net yellow perch on their spring run, catching a mess of perch on peelers and papershells, and lazing around summer afternoons while swimming or floating down the river. I thought there was nothing in the Chesapeake Bay that I had not seen, sought, munched or been scraped by — until this year.

In late August, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy purchased a large tract (1,172-acres) in Queen Anne’s County, MD, with more than 700 acres of prime farmland and beautiful rambling forests.

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Alliance to honor environmental champions at Taste of the Chesapeake

For the last 48 years, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has believed that the best results come from bringing people together to find common ground, then working to deploy “boots on the ground” to bring clean water projects to fruition. Building partnerships is in our DNA. We are privileged to honor four incredible champions this year at our 14th Annual Taste of the Chesapeake, Sept. 26 in Ann

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Chesapeake continues to be a classroom for its retired iconic educator

It was the best day I would spend in a “classroom,” drifting through the summer wetlands of the Patuxent River as the “professor” stood tall in his canoe, informing his floating gaggle of schoolchildren about plankton, fish and the food web; of birds that had flown across the continent to harvest the swelling crops of seed from the tidal marsh; and the joy and wonder of how it all fit into the greater Chesapeake ecosystem.

That was some 40 years ago, and John Page Williams was already the iconic educator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The methods he perfected in those old aluminum canoes are still emulated throughout the Bay region and beyond.

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Time’s running out to meet Bay cleanup goals, especially in PA

It is a critical time for the Chesapeake Bay.

The historic federal-state partnership working to clean up the Bay’s pollution is entering the final phase of restoration. By 2025, the six Bay states and the District of Columbia must have all of the pieces in place to meet science-based pollution reduction targets. If they succeed, we will all have clean water.

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Around the Watershed

PA program for inmates answers growing demand for green jobs

“I don’t want to say like I’m a tree lover because, you know, we do cut trees,” said Gregory Clegg, a professional tree climber in Hampton, VA. “It’s just something that I look at differently now, you know? And I think a lot of people would, if they...

Chesapeake Bay Program fueled by science, driven by partnership

For 35 years, the Chesapeake Bay Program has been the collaborating force behind Bay restoration. This December marks 35 years since the signing of the 1983 Chesapeake Bay Agreement. This agreement set up the Chesapeake Bay Program and started the monitoring network that has been at its...

As the tide rises against them, Deal Islanders hold their ground

A small country road, ambitiously designated a state highway, branches off U.S. Route 13 in the town of Princess Anne, MD, and meanders out into the marsh of the Eastern Shore. For 19 miles, the road travels through forests of loblolly pines before giving way to miles of marsh grass and...

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Chesapeake Born

Rachel Carson no stranger to the Chesapeake, its creatures

“…to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.”   — R.L. Carson Some of the finest nature writing about the Chesapeake Bay scarcely mentions the great...

Ignoring science won’t make looming climate calamity go away

Always, I’ve assumed knowledge equals power. If you do the science that makes sense of a mysterious world, it enables you to comprehend your problems and you’ll eventually solve them. I’ve seen it work here on the Chesapeake Bay to restore rockfish, stabilize blue crabs,...

Chesapeake continues to be a classroom for its retired iconic educator

It was the best day I would spend in a “classroom,” drifting through the summer wetlands of the Patuxent River as the “professor” stood tall in his canoe, informing his floating gaggle of schoolchildren about plankton, fish and the food web; of birds that had flown...

Read more Chesapeake Born »

Conservation Matters

Terrapin park shows importance of access to the Bay

The Terrapin Nature Area in Stevensville, MD, reminds me why I’ve committed my career to conservation. This gorgeous park hides in plain sight on Kent Island, waving to everyone traveling eastward over the Bay Bridge, and offers so much to its visitors. Managed by Queen...

Immerse yourself in Dumbarton Oaks Park

The Japanese have a practice translated in English as “forest bathing,” in which people immerse themselves in a forest as a preventative health measure. Studies have shown tremendous benefits of this practice, including lower blood pressure, reduced stress and improved sleep,...

At the ten-year mark, happy birthday to the Bay’s beautiful and profoundly historic national trail

As the National Park Service celebrates its centennial this year, we are also celebrating the 10th anniversary of a national park we have right here in our collective backyard: the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Winding through much of the Chesapeake region, the...

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Forum

PA legislators need to put the money where the boots are – on farms

Pennsylvania’s final watershed implementation plan to clean up the state’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and meet its commitments under the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint by 2025 is under review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Let’s be clear: The...

EC meeting recognizes innovation, acknowledges work ahead

Once a year, members of the Chesapeake Executive Council gather together to discuss the successes and challenges of restoring the Chesapeake Bay. A mere 30 miles from the shores of the Bay, this year’s meeting site, Oxon Hill Manor, played host to representatives from Delaware, the...

Promise to protect fully Rappahannock site still a cliffhanger

I first saw Fones Cliffs in spring 1997. I was in the company of the renowned author and naturalist John Page Williams, and I was there to help celebrate the establishment of the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. The Fones Cliffs formation stretches along 4 miles of the...

Read more Forum »

Letters to the Editor

Time to swat the litterbug again

Hi citizens … who remembers “the litterbug?” Two generations ago, when empty bottles, cans, paper bags and cigarette butts littered our public places, sidewalks, trails, and roads as well as beaches and along the shores of rivers and streams, the litterbug campaign was...

Don’t just be a tree-hugger; our forests need no-net-loss heroes

Marylanders have an exciting opportunity right now to stake a claim in protecting our forested land. To protect the health and well-being of generations to come, we must pass the “No Net Loss” bill of the Maryland Forest Conservation Act. A lone tree can remove an average of 48...

Keep covering Fones Cliffs

I would like to thank the Bay Journal for continued, in-depth coverage of the damages and violations at Fones Cliffs along Virginia’s Rappahannock River. It is clear that many citizens across the Chesapeake landscape are concerned about what happens at this very special place rich in...

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Message from the Alliance

Correctional collaborative trains new generation of riparian buffer experts

On a sweltering July afternoon, a handful of conservation professionals walked through a cornfield toward a stream in Huntingdon County, PA. While that alone would be commonplace, this cadre was accompanied by a group that was far from ordinary: 20 inmates at Huntingdon State Correctional...

WOW program helps female forest owners branch out

WOW: a palindrome that behaves like a verb, an interjection or a noun and is typically associated with great excitement, admiration or success. For landowners in West Virginia, this word serves all three functions: the WV Women Owning Woodlands program, or WOW, is a budding group that...

Alliance to honor environmental champions at Taste of the Chesapeake

For the last 48 years, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has believed that the best results come from bringing people together to find common ground, then working to deploy “boots on the ground” to bring clean water projects to fruition. Building partnerships is in our DNA. We...

Read more Message from the Alliance »

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