Bay Journal

Timothy B. Wheeler

MD power plant permits up in air as EPA reconsiders discharge rule

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​The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision last year to reconsider a rule directing power plants to reduce toxic pollutants in their wastewater is affecting what Maryland plans to require of three coal-burning facilities in the state. Activists say it’s an example of how the changing federal attitudes toward environmental regulation trickle down to the Chesapeake Bay...

Feds give qualified OK to dredge oyster shells from Man O’ War Shoal

After years of scrutiny, federal regulators have given a qualified green light to a controversial Maryland plan to dredge old oyster shells from an ancient reef near Baltimore — a project intended to enhance oyster habitat elsewhere in the Chesapeake Bay, but also to help the sagging commercial fishery.

The Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a...

Chesapeake Bay earns another ‘C’ on its annual report card

​Buoyed by a resurgence in aquatic grasses and water-quality upticks in several rivers, the Chesapeake Bay remained moderately healthy in 2017, according to the latest ecological report card from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

The Bay’s overall condition garnered a ‘C’ letter grade for the sixth straight year, and its health score remained unchanged...

Army Corps rejects request to fund Maryland oyster restoration

Oyster restoration in Maryland, which has been beset by disputes and delays the last two years, appears headed for further delays. 

Despite pleas and pressure from the state’s congressional delegation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers left funding for oyster restoration out of its Civil Works work plan for the current fiscal year, which ends Oct. 1. That decision, disclosed...

Maryland invites input on next phase of Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan

Maryland officials are seeking public feedback as they draft the state’s next steps in the long-running effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

Earlier this week, officials with the state departments of the Environment and Agriculture briefed local officials, nonprofit leaders and others about the cleanup progress to date and the tough issues still to be faced.  While water quality...

Bivalve bipartisanship? Environmentalists, watermen have a meeting of the minds

Oysters have been a source of conflict in the Chesapeake Bay for 150 years. While they haven’t provoked any gunfire lately, as they did in the late 1800s, the bivalves still spark heated debates in Maryland over how best to replenish their depleted numbers.

But after two years of meeting behind closed doors, some of the people who’ve been lobbing verbal grenades at each other —...

Study to measure reef balls’ ability to agitate water, lessen dead zones

Could an oyster reef do even more for water quality than hosting a bunch of water-filtering shellfish?

That’s the question the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is trying to answer this summer in Maryland’s Severn River.

In collaboration with a pair of scientists, the Annapolis-based environmental group has placed 240 concrete “reef balls” in the Western Shore tributary of the Bay....

Breton Bay community rallying behind plans for oyster restoration

Nearly 60 years ago, the oysters in Maryland’s Breton Bay were so plentiful that you had to be careful where you set foot on the bottom. Chuck Bright, who spent his summers there in those days, learned that the hard way. “I jumped off the pier and sliced my foot on an oyster shell,” said Bright, 68, a dentist who now lives year-round in the waterfront home his father built there in...

Can tiny crustaceans take a bite out of mosquito population?

April showers bring May flowers — and mosquitoes. This spring, a team of researchers with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science is looking into whether the annual onslaught of those pesky blood suckers can be curbed by some tiny, shrimplike critters called copepods.

Copepods are an amazingly diverse group of miniscule crustaceans found in great numbers almost...

Lake Bonnie’s once-owner wins legal point, not damages in court

It took eight years, but Gail Litz finally got her day in court — three weeks, actually.

Along the way, she won a potentially important legal ruling for enforcing water quality in Maryland. But she fell short in her quest for damages from the state and an Eastern Shore town for their failure to fix pollution that she contended caused the loss of her family’s campground business...

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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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