Bay Journal

Robert N. Whitescarver

Damn the torpedoes, save the Clean Water Act

Lead story image

The Clean Water Act is 45 years old this month, born in the U.S. Congress on October 18, 1972. Sometime before that day, the river of my childhood — the Roanoke River in southwestern Virginia — had been declared a fire hazard because of pollution.

I learned to waterski on that river, or rather on one of the manmade lakes along its winding path. It was 1965, and I remember one...

Selling VA’s carbon-rich crop residue will shortchange soil

Recently, I attended the annual meeting of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Roanoke, VA. One of the breakout sessions was a presentation by the Shandong Tranlin Paper Company, a Chinese corporation that plans to build a paper plant in Virginia.

I listened to the Chinese representative explain how environmentally friendly their $2 billion...

Fences and trees for clean, clear rivers

The Shenandoah Valley’s Middle River, which begins its winding journey to the Chesapeake Bay in the farm country west of Staunton, Va., is one of the most polluted rivers in the state. That’s the bad news. The good news: We have seen firsthand how the river, with a little help from farmers, can heal itself.

Save the Farm, Save the Bay

The five-year court battle is over. The Supreme Court of the United States, by declining to hear the case, has affirmed two lower courts’ decisions that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not overstep its bounds by setting total maximum daily loads (TMDL), or a “pollution diet,” for jurisdictions in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

That is now settled law, part of the...

Let’s not tax well-managed farmland; it already pays its way

“Well-managed” farmland and other working open spaces should not be taxed. These landscapes provide more services for the public than they receive from the public.

In many states, including the Chesapeake Bay states, local governments already recognize the value of open lands and tax them at a lower rate using an approach often called “land-use” taxation.

This is a method of...

Let’s not tax well-managed farmland; it already pays its way

“Well-managed” farmland and other working open spaces should not be taxed. These landscapes provide more services for the public than they receive from the public.

In many states, including the Chesapeake Bay states, local governments already recognize the value of open lands and tax them at a lower rate using an approach often called “land-use” taxation.

This is a method of...

The Queen Bean, Tofu and Dead Zones

Tofu. That’s what most people think soybeans are grown for. But most soybeans in the United States are grown for oil and livestock feed.
It's big business. The United States is the world’s largest producer and exporter of soybeans with almost 75 million acres planted annually. Beans are second only to corn, planted on roughly 84 million acres.

The top 10 soybean producing...

Get down to Earth on fighting phosphorus pollution — use a soil test

Maryland’s newly elected governor, Larry Hogan, recently repealed the state’s Department of Agriculture’s Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) regulation. His act made me gnash my teeth.

Farmers and legislators on the Eastern Shore had begged him to repeal the regulation because it would have forced many of them to cease applying phosphorus-laden poultry litter to soils already...

Get down to Earth on fighting phosphorus pollution — use a soil test

Maryland’s newly elected governor, Larry Hogan, recently repealed the state’s Department of Agriculture’s Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) regulation. His act made me gnash my teeth.

Farmers and legislators on the Eastern Shore had begged him to repeal the regulation because it would have forced many of them to cease applying phosphorus-laden poultry litter to soils already...

Want clean rivers? Plant trees

Streams with tree-lined banks are two to eight times more capable of processing nutrients and organic matter than streams without a healthy fringe of trees. That’s what scientists at the Stroud Water Research Center in Pennsylvania tell us. It doesn’t matter if that organic matter comes from a sewage treatment plant or the back end of a cow.

...
More articles »

About Robert N. Whitescarver

Robert Whitescarver, President, Whitescarver Natural Resources Management LLC, is a Retired NRCS District Conservationist and CREP Technical Coordinator for Virginia.

 

Learn how you can advertise on the Bay Journal website
Learn more about ESG Investment Strategies
Valliant Wealth Management
Chestertown, MD
Grasonville, MD
Restoring the native balance...
Ernst Seed
We Protect & Restore Watersheds

Stormwater Maintenance & Consultants
Disign-Build-Inspect-Maintain-Survey

mdswm.com
Ecotone Ecological Restoration
Using Nature to Restore Nature

410-420-2600
Advertise with us!
Clydes Sports Shop
Donate to the Bay Journal Nov 1-Dec 31 and your gift will be DOUBLED!
NewsMatch 2019 Campaign
Include Bay Journal in your Estate Planning and preserve independent journalism for future generations.
Support ESLC on Giving Tuesday

Copyright ©2019 Bay Journal / Bay Journal Media / Advertise with Us

Terms of use | Privacy Policy