Bay Journal

Jeremy Cox

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

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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,...

Bay scientists: Stream restoration benefits not clear cut

Erik Michelsen stopped his county-issued white Jeep Cherokee on the side of the road in a leafy neighborhood south of Annapolis, then plodded down into a ravine. He followed a trail through a tunnel of oak trees and rare Atlantic white cedars. The air was heavy with the scent of dew. At the bottom, Michelsen emerged in a picturesque scene: a babbling stream slightly too wide to...

Lafayette River oyster reefs reach habitat restoration milestone

Once among the Chesapeake Bay’s filthiest tributaries, the Lafayette River has become the first Virginia waterway to have its oyster habitat declared fully restored.

“We’ve done it. Feel proud,” Marjorie Mayfield Jackson, executive director of the Elizabeth River Project, told a cheering crowd during an October ceremony celebrating the milestone. The Lafayette flows into the...

Conservationist looks back on a Shenandoah that nearly vanished

Faye Crawford Cooper didn’t lose her childhood all at once. But she knows how it started.

She grew up on a farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, catching turtles, chasing snakes, scooping up tadpoles by the handful, overturning rocks to spot skinks and scouring the countryside for signs of deer.

Then came word that a new highway was slated to blaze its way down the middle of her...

Pipeline proposals to test Delmarva’s appetite for natural gas

The Chesapeake Bay’s Eastern Shore is shaping up to be the next battleground over the expansion of natural gas pipelines in the Bay region.

Two firms are competing to construct miles of new pipeline through Eastern Shore counties in Maryland and Virginia, projects they say are needed to meet the region’s growing energy demands and boost reliability of service. 

But environmental...

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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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