Bay Journal

Karl Blankenship

Scientists waiting to see if record 2018 rainfall dampens Bay recovery

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For the Chesapeake, 2018 was a year of mud, trash and sewage as unrelenting rainfall washed across its vast watershed, sending unusually high amounts of freshwater runoff into the Bay month after month.

The water-fouling nutrients and sediment that were also flushed into the Bay by record-setting rainfall throughout the region will test the staying power of recent water quality...

EPA names new leader for Chesapeake Bay Program Office

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced that it had selected a longtime Pennsylvania environmental official to head its Chesapeake Bay Program Office.

EPA Region III Administrator Cosmo Servidio named Dana Aunkst, who has held a number of positions with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection over the years and authored its Chesapeake Bay...

Our readers are the smooth finish after a bumpy start

It’s been a tough year for the Bay Journal, and journalism in general. Around the world, the free press has been taking a beating. Our year started with the repercussions from an attempt by a political appointee — now gone from that position — to ax some of our funding because he didn’t like what we wrote.

But for us, the year is ending on a high note.


A guide to understanding nutrient trends

The state-federal Chesapeake Bay Program partnership recently updated its nutrient reduction goals for 2025 based on improved information, new science and updated computer modeling.

The figures in this table — Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Trends and Goals — show, in pounds, computer-estimated nutrient “loads” reaching the Chesapeake from each major “sector” in each state. 


Striped bass reproduction above average in MD, VA

This year’s heavy rainfall did not seem to hurt spawning striped bass, as scientists in both Maryland and Virginia reported that reproduction for the prized fish was bit above average.

It was the second straight year when the closely watched striped bass index was above average in Maryland. It was also the sixth straight year when reproduction was at, or above, average in...

Thank you to all who responded to our reader survey

The word that most sums up the results of the survey we mailed to readers last summer is “Wow!” I am still stunned by the overwhelming number of results (which are still trickling in).

Approximately 3,500 of you responded — way more than we expected. We’re still going through the results, but one thing is clear: Readers overwhelmingly are happy with the Bay Journal.


‘In another decade or two, we’ll see a different Chesapeake’

More than three decades after it started, the Chesapeake Bay cleanup effort still has a long way to go. In its latest water quality assessment, the state-federal Bay Program partnership found that just 40 percent of the Bay's tidal waters met agreed-upon goals for clarity, dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll.

That’s the best status report since the cleanup effort began, but still far...

Success of Chesapeake’s restoration tied to PA, which lags far behind

Across the Chesapeake Bay watershed, controlling runoff from agriculture and stormwater has proven difficult for decades.

Nowhere is the problem greater than in Pennsylvania, which has more of both than any other state in the Bay region — and where efforts to control them are the farthest off track.

Whether that trajectory changes may ultimately determine whether the latest Bay...

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About Karl Blankenship

Karl Blankenship's avatar

Karl Blankenship is editor of the Bay Journal and Executive Director of Chesapeake Media Service. He has served as editor of the Bay Journal since its inception in 1991, winning numerous awards and recognition for his work, including the 2001 Excellence in Journalism Award from the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation; in 2006 he became the fourth person to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Before the Bay Journal, he was a reporter at the Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News, and the Saginaw (MI) News. He is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in journalism.

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