Bay Journal

Jeremy Cox

EPA cutback of enforcement amid coronavirus draws protests

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​As the new coronavirus spreads across the country, environmental regulatory enforcement is contracting.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced March 26 that it is “temporarily” suspending enforcement of environmental laws tied to a sweeping list of categories. The policy is retroactive to March 13, when President Trump officially declared a national emergency, and...

Chesapeake crab industry remains crippled by visa shortage, coronavirus

Responding to employers’ calls, including those of crab meat processing companies in Virginia and Maryland, the federal government announced March 5 that it would release an additional 35,000 temporary visas for foreign workers.

That still may not be enough to quench the Chesapeake Bay seafood houses’ demand for temporary workers, according to the trade group that represents the...

How climate change is fueling Virginia’s fire ant invasion

In Virginia, climate change is about as welcome as ants at a picnic. But across a portion of the state’s southeast, ants are part of the problem.

Since 1960, the annual average temperature in Virginia Beach, the region’s most populated city, has risen about 3 degrees, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That warming trend has opened the door for fire...

Climate study predicts extent of heavier rains on Eastern Shore

Climate change will fuel heavier downpours and deeper floodwaters on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, according to one of the first detailed looks at changing rainfall patterns at the local level in the mid-Atlantic.

The new report estimates rainfall totals and intensity for five towns on the Mid and Upper shores. It predicts that by the 2040s, a 100-year storm will dump an additional...

VA moves to replace site for nesting seabirds, but will it fly?

When black skimmers, royal terns and other migrating seabirds return to South Island this spring, they will be greeted by a fresh layer of pavement.

The Virginia Department of Transportation recently paved over the island to discourage the flock — more than 25,000 birds, most representing species in decline — from making their nests there. The state is claiming the space for a...

Chesapeake Bay crab industry pleads for more temporary foreign workers

Maryland and Virginia seafood industry leaders say they won’t have enough workers to process crabs this season unless the federal government once again raises its cap on temporary foreign workers.

Federal immigration officials announced last month that they had doled out the national limit of 33,000 work visas, which are in effect for six months beginning April 1. That was far...

January breaks record for warmest global temperature

If it has seemed warmer than usual lately in the mid-Atlantic, you aren’t wrong.

In the 141 years of global climate records, January was the planet’s hottest ever – more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average temperature for the month, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. What was particularly surprising about the record, climatologists...

Results of crab pot placement research too close to call it either way

Kyle Wood hauled the metal cage up from its resting place at the bottom of the Patuxent River in Maryland.

There was no telling how many blue crabs it held until the crab pot broke the surface. Wood shook the cage over a black plastic tray until the nine crabs inside finished tumbling out.

He picked them up one by one with a gloved hand and called out their gender to his two...

‘A crappy business’: Manure broker speaks out on tighter MD rules

Ray Ellis makes a living hauling chicken poop — tons of it, often across state lines.

He owns the largest manure transport company on the Delmarva Peninsula, a region with one of the highest concentrations of meat chickens in the country, with a capacity for 150 million birds.

In other words, if anyone stood to personally gain from a new regulation that would require more chicken...

Political shift in VA has climate advocates hopeful for action

Virginia, like many coastal states, has been battling climate change primarily on two fronts: reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing coastal communities for rising seas.

The state’s formal response to climate change can be traced to then-Gov. Tim Kaine’s executive order in December 2007 that formed the Governor’s Commission on Climate Change.

Since then, climate action...

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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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