Bay Journal

Jeremy Cox

After millions spent, MD’s solution for excess manure still elusive

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For the last few years, Jason Lambertson’s farm near Pocomoke City, MD, has been home to an expensive experiment.

The third-generation farmer received nearly $1 million in state funding to build a giant poultry waste converter and distribute its main product: fertilizer. Inside two-story-tall gray tanks, bacteria eat tons of manure collected from four of his chicken houses. At the...

Snow geese extravaganza hits home

When birdwatchers flock to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore this winter, they are likely to witness one of the most dramatic sights nature has to offer in the Chesapeake Bay region.

Snow geese will gather by the thousands in marshes and farm fields and on the water. Then, it will happen: an explosion of noise and color as the birds honk in unison and...

Preserve fish or history? VA dam removal churns up debate

The Maury River appears tranquil as its glides past Lexington, VA. But the debate over its future has been anything but smooth.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is working with the city to tear down a hole-ridden dam that critics say poses a drowning hazard and blocks fish and mussel movements in the Chesapeake Bay tributary.

But opponents are mounting a...

Norfolk counting on flood-resiliency project to offset wetter future

A landmark U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report in 2017 called for $1.8 billion in projects to protect Virginia’s second-largest city from sea level rise and stronger coastal storms.

That’s because Norfolk is in the crosshairs of sea level rise. It’s a low-lying city at the confluence of the James River and Chesapeake Bay, just a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean. With a large...

‘Just short of a crisis’: Tensions flare as VA halts oyster seed harvest in James

Virginia fishery managers are taking the rare step of halting oyster seed harvests in the lower James River as they seek to protect the baby bivalves from overfishing.

Oyster seeds are wild-grown juvenile oysters, or “spat.” Many oyster farmers working in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries depend on regular shipments of fresh seed to replenish their lease areas.

The Virginia...

Spotted lanternfly, a dire threat to crops, shows up in MD

The spotted lanternfly, an exotic insect that feeds like a vampire on the sap of fruit orchards and hardwood trees, has been detected for the first time in Maryland, setting off alarm bells in the agricultural industry.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture announced Oct. 25 that it had found a single adult specimen in a trap in the northeastern corner of Cecil County, at the...

Months after storms, Chesapeake debris cleanup presses on

A half-submerged tree trunk bobbed in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

From his perch several hundred feet away aboard a small barge, John Gallagher began giving orders to his crew. Not much needed to be said. By now, the actions of the other three men had become almost automatic.

“Here’s a good example of what the debris looks like in here,” said Gallagher, head of the Maryland...

Biochar could be the hot new thing in addressing Bay’s poultry litter

West Virginia farmer Josh Frye raises chickens for a meat processor and sells most of their manure to nearby crop growers for use as fertilizer. But what he does with the rest of the manure could help tackle two big environmental problems: cutting back nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and reducing carbon emissions that accelerate global warming.

A bus-size contraption next...

Pocomoke River ‘replumbing’ to ditch 20th-century ag channels

As far as local farmers were concerned during the early 1900s, the sluggish and meandering Pocomoke River was a threat to their way of life.

“The flat farmland in this area must be drained by ditches which empty into the Pocomoke River,” a newspaper announcement proclaimed at the time. “After hard rains the water backed up into the drainage ditches, and fields were sodden for...

‘Dig a little deeper’ at the Norfolk Botanical Garden

At Norfolk Botanical Garden, everything is just so. Horticulturalists deadhead roses in the summer to ensure visitors encounter a perfume-filled, technicolor display in the fall. Azaleas are arrayed for maximum visual pop in the spring.

Even the wildflower meadow is meticulously combed for undesirable upstarts.

This oasis of beauty is perched on a 175-acre peninsula in Virginia,...

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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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