Bay Journal

Timothy B. Wheeler

Maryland oysters take a hit from a year of extreme rain

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Last year’s unrelenting rains apparently killed off significant numbers of Maryland oysters in parts of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and generally impaired their reproduction — but the deluge helped survivors fend off disease.

Preliminary results from last fall’s annual oyster survey by the state Department of Natural Resources found high freshwater-related mortalities in the...

Find your climate-altered future on a new interactive map

Ever had trouble picturing how climate change could alter the quality of life in your community? Now there’s a map for that.

Using a statistical technique called “climate-analog mapping,” two researchers have matched hundreds of cities in the United States and Canada with places that currently have the climate those cities are projected to have decades hence.

...

Lawsuit takes aim at interstate air pollution

In a case with ramifications for the Chesapeake Bay, environmental groups have joined with several Northeastern states to challenge the lack of federal action to reduce interstate air pollution.

Earthjustice filed a lawsuit Jan. 30 with four other environmental groups, asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review the U.S. Environmental Protection...

Hunting season, bag limits for migratory Canada geese, mallards to be reduced next year

It’s been a tough season for waterfowl hunters around the Chesapeake Bay, and it’s going to get even tougher next season.

Concerned by a sharp drop seen last year in the Atlantic population of Canada geese, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has ordered a shortening of the 2019–2020 hunting season for the migratory birds and a cutback in the number that hunters may take daily.

...

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...

Lawyers not cannons the big guns in latest round of oyster wars

As Chris Ludford sees it, the oysters he’s growing in Virginia Beach’s Lynnhaven River are helping to restore the Chesapeake Bay tributary, once fabled for having some of the tastiest bivalves anywhere.

“Nobody thought we’d be eating Lynnhaven oysters again,” said Ludford, a part-time oyster farmer and full-time firefighter whose Pleasure House brand of bivalves are featured on...

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...

Chesapeake falls to a D-plus in Bay Foundation’s annual report card

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation downgraded the health of the nation’s largest estuary Monday from a C-minus to a D-plus, blaming the dip in its latest report card on increased pollution from extraordinary amounts of rainfall in 2018.

“The Bay suffered a massive assault in 2018,” said CBF President Will Baker. Chronically wet weather throughout the six-state watershed washed more...

Banned pesticide still in some MD stores, spot checks show

Maryland’s pioneering law to restrict the sale and use of insecticides implicated in honeybee die-offs had a bumpy debut this year. Spot checks of home and garden, hardware and other stores around the state found some of them still stocking bug-killing products that should have been removed from retail shelves.

The Pollinator Protection Act, passed in 2016, made Maryland the first...

Feds announce proposal to rollback protections for some waterways and wetlands

The Trump administration announced plans Tuesday to severely restrict the types of streams, wetlands and other waterways that would be protected by federal regulation from development or disturbance. Though welcomed by farmers and developers, the announcement drew intense criticism from environmentalists.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers...

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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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