Bay Journal

Timothy B. Wheeler

Abnormally wet summer will challenge latest gains in Chesapeake’s health

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Summer ended much as it began across the Chesapeake Bay watershed, drenched in rain that swelled rivers and streams. The abnormal run of chronically wet weather that continued into late September posed further challenges for maintaining recent gains in the Bay’s health.

Freshwater flows into the Bay in August were the highest recorded for that month by a wide margin, the U.S....

Drinking Water Report: 188 Bay state communities have nitrate levels that could increase cancer risk

An environmental group is warning that more than 1,000  communities nationwide, including many in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, have nitrates in their drinking water at levels that recent research suggests could raise consumers’ risks of getting cancer.

Drawing on federal data, the Environmental Working Group contended in a report issued Tuesday that worrisome levels of nitrates,...

Phragmites, other invasives help fight climate change

And now, a kind word about one of the Chesapeake Bay’s most hated invasive plants: phragmites.

The tall, feathery-plumed marsh reed is the bane of waterfowl lovers around the Chesapeake Bay region, as it crowds out native wetland plants, depriving ducks, geese and swans of nourishment. Landowners and resources managers alike spend a lot of time and money trying to control its...

Bloede Dam removal blasts off

The demolition of Bloede Dam finally got under way Tuesday, as explosives blew a hole in the long-dormant hydroelectric facility blocking the Patapsco River west of Baltimore.

Kiewit, the Nebraska-based contractor handling the removal of the state-owned dam, had been waiting for the river’s rain-swollen flow to subside before triggering the blast to make it easier for heavy...

Southern Maryland county puts aquaculture restriction on hold

A controversial proposal to temporarily restrict the expansion of some types of oyster farming in St. Mary’s County, MD, has been tabled for now, as county officials lobby the state to give more weight to local wishes in the permitting of aquaculture.

The St. Mary’s Board of County Commissioners decided on Tuesday, Sept. 11, to extend the public comment period until Dec. 4 on a...

Patapsco River dam set for demolition

If it ever stops raining, one of the biggest remaining barriers to fish migration in the Chesapeake Bay watershed will finally come down.

Bloede Dam, a long-dormant hydroelectric facility near Baltimore, is supposed to be breached with explosives any day now, the first major step toward opening up Maryland’s Patapsco River to river herring, shad and eels.

Preparatory work has...

MD changes plans, picks Manokin River for oyster restoration effort

Maryland is switching the focus of its oyster restoration efforts to a river on the Chesapeake Bay’s Eastern Shore known for its relative abundance of bivalves from a Western Shore waterway where they’re said to be lacking.

The state Department of Natural Resources announced the Manokin River Wednesday as its new candidate for large-scale restoration, saying recent surveys of...

Restrictions on dock access for oyster farming debated in Southern Maryland

​Waterfront homeowners and oyster farmers squared off in St. Mary’s County, MD, this week over a proposed ordinance to restrict expansion of aquaculture there. But the two-and-a-half hour public hearing ended Tuesday night with two of the five county commissioners suggesting the dispute could be worked out at the state level instead.

The Southern Maryland county’s board of...

Costly Maryland oyster project pays off in pollution reductions, study finds

​The massive — and massively expensive — oyster restoration project in Maryland’s Harris Creek is yielding some pretty big pollution reductions, according to a new report.

Using a computer model to calculate the project’s water-quality impacts, researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science estimate that...

MD county took on runoff challenge, still fell short

There’s a price to be paid, sometimes, for being at the head of the pack. In the case of Montgomery County MD, the price is $300,000. That’s the penalty the Washington, DC, suburb agreed earlier this year to pay for its failure to curb pollution sufficiently from its streets, sidewalks, parking lots and buildings.

Under a municipal stormwater permit issued by the state in 2010,...

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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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