Bay Journal

Timothy B. Wheeler

St. Mary’s County, MD, issues moratorium on use of commercial docks for new aquaculture leases

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Responding to complaints from waterfront homeowners, officials in St. Mary’s County, MD, voted Tuesday to impose a six-month moratorium on using commercial docks to work any new state-issued aquaculture leases that would raise oysters in cages or floats.

“Right at the time when watermen need a real option, we’re about to make it harder for them,” said J.D. Blackwell, owner of...

Project to revive shoreline park using dredged material wins support

A pioneering plan to revive a faded waterfront community park using sand and silt dredged from Baltimore’s harbor took a couple of small but significant steps forward this week.

Community leaders in Turner Station, a historically African-American neighborhood in Dundalk southeast of the city, received their first donation Monday night toward their proposal to restore the shoreline...

Maryland oyster restoration project remains stalled by lack of federal funds

Oyster restoration work in Maryland’s Tred Avon River appears likely to remain on hold for at least another year, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers still has no funding allotted through next September for reef construction in the Chesapeake Bay.

Restoration work in the Eastern Shore river began in 2015 and has so far relied overwhelmingly on federal funds. The Trump...

MD Shore farms brace for latest phase-in of phosphorus rule

A much-debated farm pollution regulation is set to take wider effect soon in Maryland, stirring growing anxiety among farmers and environmentalists alike. Those concerns could put the rule on hold next year.

The state’s Phosphorus Management Tool rule, adopted in 2015, aims to reduce the risk of polluted farm runoff by limiting how much manure farmers can use to fertilize certain...

Maryland oyster population down by half since 1999, study finds

Watermen overharvested oysters last winter in a little more than half of Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, according to the state’s first-ever stock assessment of the commercially and ecologically valuable shellfish. If those harvest rates continue, the assessment warned, the bivalve population in those areas could eventually be wiped out.

The 359-page assessment...

Depletion of nitrogen in forest soil could reduce trees’ ability to offset climate change

Forests worldwide are using up the nitrogen in their soil, a new study found. That’s a bit of good news for the Chesapeake Bay, which is ailing in large part from too much nitrogen getting into the water. But the study’s authors warn that a widespread decline of nitrogen in forest soils bodes ill for efforts to prevent global climate change.

New study: Chesapeake oyster decline not due to overfishing

Warmer winters, rather than overharvesting, caused the steep decline of oysters and other commercially valuable shellfish in the Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere along the Atlantic coast, according to a controversial new study that’s getting pushback from some scientists.

The study, which appeared in Marine Fisheries Review, a quarterly journal of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

Toxics, long-ignored, once again on cleanup radar

Fred Pinkney went fishing this fall on the Anacostia River, but fish weren’t the real quarry.

One drippy morning in October, Pinkney and his helper, Tanner Stoker, seined the shallows off a sandbar near Bladensburg, MD. Then they boated downriver into the District of Columbia and put wire mesh traps in a cove near the site of a demolished Pepco power plant. They baited the traps...

Chesapeake dead zone holds steady in 2018 but hits extremes along the way

The Chesapeake Bay’s overall “dead zone” turned out to be average in size this year, but abnormal weather through spring and summer made for some extreme conditions along the way, according to reports from Maryland and Virginia.

Researchers with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science determined via a computer model that the total volume of “hypoxic” water in the Bay, with oxygen...

Will dunes project be Deal Islanders’ line in sand against flooding?

The sand dunes that used to line the western shoreline of Deal Island are almost all gone. So are the trees that stood behind them on this low-lying patch of land jutting into Tangier Sound on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. All that remains now are stumps poking up out of the waves, which wash over a narrow, sandy beach and up into a grassy marsh stretching far inland.

“See the tree in...

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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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