Bay Journal

Jeremy Cox

VA poultry groundwater fight escalates as crackdown looms

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​Large poultry farms on Virginia’s Eastern Shore have been pumping groundwater from the region’s fragile aquifer for years with no oversight from the state Department of Environmental Quality, which is charged with protecting drinking water supplies.

Now the agency is taking steps to regulate the withdrawals, issuing orders to 57 poultry operations. The orders approved by the...

Devil’s Marbleyard tempts hikers with rocky challenge

After a mile of increasingly pitched hiking through a dense forest, a strange scene unfolded. Quartzite boulders, ranging in size from La-Z-Boy recliners to school buses, reared up, blazing away in the sun. The absence of green was matched only by the audacity of white and its kindred tints: alabaster, ash, gray.

The well-tended trail continued upward, following the rim of woods...

Tangier Island prepares for long-awaited jetty construction

Tangier Island is getting some state and federal help in its long-running battle against the Chesapeake Bay’s punishing waves. But officials said that it won’t be much help with a larger problem: sea level rise.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Virginia Marine Resources Commission announced in late September an agreement to construct a nearly 500-foot-long stone jetty just off...

Chesapeake crab industry pinched by work visa shortage

At Lindy’s Seafood, workers receive $4.50 per pound of crab meat they pick. That adds up to roughly $12–$16 per hour — about the same pay as a home health aide or preschool teacher.

Dorchester County may have one of the highest unemployment rates in Maryland, but Lindy’s and other crab processors in the remote southern half of the county still struggle to find local takers for...

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...

Washed away? Torrential rains threaten Bay restoration gains

Up to her chest in muddy water, Cassie Gurbisz had a clear realization.

“When I just went down, it was pitch-black at the bottom,” said Gurbisz, a coastal ecologist with Maryland’s St. Mary’s College, as she prepared for another dive into the Upper Bay. “I’ve never been in water this murky before.”

The chocolate-colored water was caused by an unusual summertime deluge that dumped...

Onancock paddle weaves nature, history with every stroke

Four and a half miles from its mouth at the Chesapeake Bay, Onancock Creek diverges in three directions. In 1680, settlers transformed the banks of this branching stream into the town of Onancock.

The community on Virginia’s Eastern Shore has borne witness to more than 300 years of U.S. history, a narrative recorded in its antebellum homes, sprawling cornfields and ever busy...

Bay scientists: Offshore oil drilling would put Chesapeake Bay at risk

After the Trump administration proposed allowing oil and gas exploration off the East Coast in January, the debate has largely focused on the potential harm to the Atlantic Ocean’s water quality and marine life.

That is, after all, where any new oil rigs would sprout if the administration has its way.

But what about impacts to the Chesapeake Bay?

Eastern Neck refuge spared from closure, but funding crunch continues

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hiring a new manager at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, sparing a natural area popular with hunters, anglers and birdwatchers from at least partial closure.

The refuge, located in Maryland on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, was left without a full-time manager in September 2017 when that official took a job elsewhere in the...

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About Jeremy Cox

Jeremy Cox's avatar Jeremy Cox is a staff writer for the Chesapeake Bay Journal based in Salisbury, MD. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

 

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