Bay Journal

Jeremy Cox

Fox Island and its ‘magical’ classroom on stilts near their final act

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​This is the way the Fox Island Environmental Education Center ends: not with a gale or wrecking ball, but with the slow inevitability of wind and waves.

After four decades of hosting students and teachers, the spartan, barracks-style building that stands on stilts in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay is closing its doors at the end of this season, likely in early December.

The...

Can bacteria help restore the Chesapeake Bay’s oysters?

Ryan Hoover teaches sculpture making at the Maryland Institute College of Art. So, why is he developing a product that could help oysters grow in the Chesapeake Bay?

“That’s a fine question,” he said, laughing.

The answer is that he prefers to make art that has a function. In this case, he’s using new technology to build better artificial reefs for oysters — with an assist from...

For farmers, Bay cleanup needs mix with fight for survival

Eighteen dollars and 16 cents.

That’s how much money Forrest Pritchard cleared in the mid-1990s after his first harvest. His farm in Virginia’s fertile Shenandoah Valley produced five freight cars’ worth of corn that year. But a drought sharply reduced his yield, and the Midwest was having a bumper crop.

The math was simply not in his favor.

...

Deluge of development spurs call for Rappahannock research

Fredericksburg, VA, faces a “coming storm.”

That’s how Henry “Buck” Cox describes the new homes, office parks and businesses forecast to pelt down on his boyhood hometown in the coming decades.

The population of Fredericksburg and the four counties that border the Rappahannock River in the region — Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford — have swollen by more than 50%...

Opponents fear case has already been built for Bay Bridge option

After three years of high-stakes analysis and sometimes-clamorous rhetoric over environmental and community impacts, four possible courses of action remain on the table for dealing with heavy traffic on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland.

The Maryland Transportation Authority in August proposed three possible routes for a new span, which would be the third to cross the Bay in...

Sinuous, woodsy Barren Creek is fit to be plied

A street lined with homes built in the early 1900s slopes downhill to the fraying edge of town. A two-lane bridge carries traffic across a ribbon of flat water. There’s a boat ramp on the opposite side with one of those newfangled kayak launches with rollers.

The ramp supplies the only public access to Barren Creek, so it is where most paddlers initially meet the waterway. It is...

New striped bass regulations lower recreational catch in Virginia

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission approved a set of emergency measures Aug. 27 to help protect the struggling striped bass population in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast. That includes lowering the number of “keepers” for recreational anglers from two to one fish per day.

The action will reduce the amount of striped bass lost to recreational fishing in...

Scientists seek to elevate rare frosted elfin butterfly’s numbers

Frosted elfin butterflies aren’t much to look at. Their 1-inch wingspan and brownish-gray wings give them the appearance more of a moth than a majestic monarch butterfly.

Jennifer Selfridge doesn’t see them that way, though. Thirteen years after her first glimpse of the species on the site of a recently cleared Maryland forest, her voice still crackles with excitement.

“It was...

After rainfall, oyster limits on deck in Virginia

Updated on Aug. 28, 2019 to reflect the vote of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

Virginia is tightening limits on harvesting oysters this fall as the Chesapeake Bay fishery continues to suffer the effects of heavy rainfall across the watershed since last year.

Last season’s oyster harvest in Virginia was the smallest since 2013, according to preliminary survey results...

Legal battle likely over Trump rules weakening endangered species protections

The Trump administration announced sweeping regulatory rollbacks Monday to the Endangered Species Act, drawing outcry from environmental groups and threats of lawsuits.

The changes allow regulators for the first time to calculate potential economic effects when deciding whether an animal or plant at risk of extinction should be protected. That, critics say, appears to contradict a...

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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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