Bay Journal

Timothy B. Wheeler

Southern Maryland county considers limiting dock access for oyster farmers

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​Oyster farming has grown rapidly in Maryland in recent years — too rapidly, in the eyes of some. Last week, spurred by complaints from waterfront homeowners and others, local elected officials in St. Mary’s County moved to put the brakes on the burgeoning industry along their shoreline.

The Southern Maryland county’s board of commissioners voted on July 31 to hold a public...

Baltimore area community looks to dredge up a better park

When Larry Bannerman was a kid, he and his friends used to go crabbing in a cove off Bear Creek, a tidal tributary of the Patapsco River that bordered their Baltimore County neighborhood.

That was more than five decades ago. These days, you almost need a machete to reach the water at Fleming Park in Turner Station, a historically African-American community southeast of the city,...

Virginia’s Piankatank River gets 15 new acres of oyster reef

Oysters are getting another new home in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, as construction began last week in Virginia’s Piankatank River on 15 acres of artificial reef made of crushed granite.

Under mostly sunny skies on Tuesday, the Capt. Ellery, a boat owned by the W.E. Kellum seafood company in Weems, cruised slowly back and forth at a designated spot in the river while water...

FERC approves ‘Potomac pipeline’ that would carry gas from Pennsylvania to West Virginia

​Over objections from environmentalists, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given the green light to building a hotly disputed natural gas pipeline through western Maryland and under the Potomac River.

With one of its five commissioners voting no and another dissenting in part, the five-member commission approved the Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project, a 3.5-mile...

Army Corps commander retires from Baltimore District with a legacy of oyster and island restoration

By his own admission, Col. Edward P. Chamberlayne didn’t know that much about oysters or what it took to get a permit for an oyster farm when he assumed command three years ago of the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

He proved to be a quick study, though. Maryland oyster farmers were hopping mad then about government red tape and delays they said were...

Ellicott City officials reflect on how to weather future storms

As repair crews labored to clear mud and debris from Ellicott City’s Main Street in late May, Jonathan Dillow led a team of scientists through the woods searching for clues to quantify the devastating flash flooding that had just ravaged the community for the second time in two years.

Stopping by a tree beside the now-placid Tiber River, Dillow peered at the trunk, then pointed to...

Back home on their range: Quail find refuge on restored grassland

It’s a little past dawn on a foggy spring morning, but already the field on Maryland’s Upper Eastern Shore is wide awake. From the cover of tall grass and a few shrubs, a multilingual chorus of birds greets the new day with a cacophony of chirps, warbles and whistles, like a symphony tuning up before the concert.

Then, amid the familiar trills of red-winged blackbirds and other...

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

​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...

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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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