Bay Journal

Timothy B. Wheeler

Low salinity suspected for poor crab harvest in Upper Chesapeake

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At the beginning of July, media across Maryland delivered good news for those planning a traditional feast of Chesapeake Bay blue crabs on Independence Day.

Baltimore TV station WJZ, for instance, touted a new report that the Bay’s crab population had increased 60% percent since 2018 — “meaning you can dig into 60% more crabs over Fourth of July weekend!” the station enthused.

...

Ellicott City unveils flood plan to weather increasingly severe storms

Ravaged twice in two years by killer flash floods, Ellicott City, MD, is embarking on an ambitious and costly race against time to shield the historic mill town from severe storms that appear to be striking with increasing frequency.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball unveiled a flood mitigation plan in May that aims to keep Ellicott City “safe and sound.” It proposes boring a...

Maryland plan to boost oysters criticized as administration makes push for approval

Maryland natural resources officials say they have an “ambitious,” science-based plan for putting the state’s troubled oyster fishery on a path to sustainability in the next eight to 10 years. They want to get on with it.

But others say the plan falls short because it fails to set a goal for rebuilding the state’s decimated oyster population and doesn’t make a firm enough...

Chesapeake states grapple with ‘forever chemical’ contaminating drinking water

Not long ago, Nathan Volpi began wondering about the safety of the tap water that he, his wife and two young children had been drinking for years.

Volpi, a lawyer, had heard worrisome stories from friends and relatives in southeastern Pennsylvania about tainted drinking water found near military bases there. The same contaminants had turned up in wells serving Harrisburg...

Maryland, Virginia ease crabbing limits

Buoyed by evidence of a surge in the Chesapeake Bay crab population, fisheries regulators in Maryland and Virginia have approved modest increases in harvest limits.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to increase the maximum daily catch in November by anywhere from 2 bushels to 20 bushels, depending on the number of crab pots a waterman can legally...

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

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...

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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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