Bay Journal

Timothy B. Wheeler

Study finds Maryland oyster sanctuaries likely to boost crab, perch fisheries

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The restoration of reefs in Maryland oyster sanctuaries may be unpopular with watermen, but a recent study predicts the effort will eventually yield a bonanza for the commercial seafood industry, with bigger harvests of blue crabs and white perch.

Ecological modeling done by Morgan State University’s Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Laboratory in Calvert County projects...

Proposal to aerate Bay: Breath of fresh air or pipe dream?

What if the dead zone that plagues the Chesapeake Bay could be eliminated now, not years down the road — and at a fraction of the billions being spent annually on restoring the troubled estuary?

Fanciful as it sounds, Dan Sheer figures it’s technically doable. Whether it’s the right thing to do is another question. Bay scientists are wary of potential pitfalls, but some still...

House approves increased federal funding for Chesapeake Bay Program

The Chesapeake Bay cleanup effort — and oyster restoration as well — are in line to get more federal help if Congress follows through on recent actions by a key House committee.

Rejecting President Trump’s proposal to slash funding for the federal-state Chesapeake Bay Program, the House Appropriations Committee on May 22 approved a spending bill for fiscal year 2020 that instead...

Mallow’s Bay heading for national sanctuary status by year’s end

The proposal to make Maryland’s Mallows Bay a national marine sanctuary cleared a major hurdle Friday, as Gov. Larry Hogan declared he’d reached a “responsible agreement” with federal and local officials to ensure the move doesn’t harm fishing.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posted a notice Friday in the Federal Register indicating its intent to move ahead...

MD bans foam food containers, passes Clean Energy Jobs act

Maryland’s foam ban and ambitious clean energy goals have become law. A bid to change how the state regulates its oyster industry got tripped up — at least for this year.

Gov. Larry Hogan last week let the foam ban and clean energy goals become law without his signature, along with more than 100 other bills passed in the waning days of the 90-day legislative session. But he vetoed...

USDA resumes program that pays farmers to plant forested stream buffers

Ending an eight-month hiatus, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has resumed a federal conservation program that’s been a workhorse in the slog to plant forested stream buffers across the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The USDA announced in mid-May that starting June 3, it would reopen signups for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), under which farmers can get generous...

$10,000 reward offered for information about eagle poisonings on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Federal and Maryland authorities are seeking the public’s help to track down whoever poisoned at least nine bald eagles in two locations on the Eastern Shore earlier this year. They’re the latest in a series of unsolved poisonings on the Delmarva Peninsula that have killed at least 29 of the federally protected birds in the last three years.

Six eagles and a great horned owl died...

MD, VA legislatures tackle oyster issues with mixed reactions

Oysters got attention from lawmakers this year in both Maryland and Virginia, but the issue sparked bitter debates in Annapolis.

Maryland lawmakers overcame Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto to forbid future commercial harvests from five oyster sanctuaries undergoing restoration. They also passed another bill that at least temporarily bars opening any of the state’s 46 other sanctuaries to...

MD bans plastic foam containers, VA passes plan for coal ash

The third time’s the charm, it seems. After balking twice before, Maryland lawmakers this year adopted the nation’s first statewide ban on polystyrene foam food and drink containers.

In Virginia, legislators agreed after two years of debate and study on a plan for dealing with coal ash impoundments that threaten to contaminate groundwater and Chesapeake Bay tributaries.

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About Timothy B. Wheeler

Timothy B. Wheeler's avatar Timothy B. Wheeler is associate editor and senior writer for the Bay Journal. He has more than two decades of experience covering the environment for The Baltimore Sun and other media outlets. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

 

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