Bay Journal

Karl Blankenship

PA officials delay plan to shut largest hatchery in watershed for shad

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Pennsylvania fishery officials have put on hold, at least for now, plans to close the Chesapeake Bay region’s largest remaining shad hatchery as part of a budget-cutting move.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission at its July meeting deferred the decision it made last year to cut $2 million from its budget for this year.

That cut would have closed three hatcheries, including...

Shad runs approach record highs in some rivers, lows in others

This year’s shad run was a study in contrasts for Chesapeake Bay tributaries, as some saw the strongest spawning migrations in recent decades while others hit or approached record lows.

Scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science were surprised by the unusual disparity in the three rivers they monitor, with the Rappahannock producing the strongest shad run since its...

Batiuk, the boy, knew Bay was his destiny; as a man he helped change its fate

When he was a teenager packing for a family vacation in the Maine woods, Rich Batiuk brought along some light reading.

Among the stack were William Warner’s epic blue crab story, Beautiful Swimmers; Rachel Carson’s wake-up call about pesticides, Silent Spring; and James Michener’s classic, Chesapeake — nearly 2,000 pages of reading in all, mostly describing a waterbody hundreds of...

VA gets a year to comply with menhaden limits or face moratorium

East Coast fishery managers have decided to give Virginia until next year to adopt regulations that limit catches of menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay rather than seek an immediate moratorium on harvests.

Conservation groups and the fishing industry have been engaged in a long-running battle over how many menhaden can be caught without ecological consequences.

...

Surveys can help fine-tune stewardship strategies, messages

Everyone wants the public to pitch in and help clean up local communities, but cities rarely know what their citizens do and do not know — or what actions they are most willing to undertake. Recent surveys have helped fill that information void and may provide a powerful tool to help municipalities craft public outreach plans.

Chesapeake Executive Council pledges more help for farmers

Amid concerns that Chesapeake cleanup efforts are lagging and that meeting future goals will be even more challenging, Bay leaders met Tuesday in Baltimore, vowing to stay the course and pump up the effort to help farmers establish water quality projects on their land.

The Chesapeake Executive Council signed a directive urging each state to increase technical assistance — the...

Municipalities turn to dedicated fees to fund stormwater systems

Dozens of municipalities in the Chesapeake Bay region, and hundreds nationwide, have turned to establishing “stormwater utilities” to raise money for the maintenance of runoff control systems for developed lands. Though sometimes derided as a “rain tax,” communities that have established such fees say they have helped their municipalities keep pace with regulatory requirements and...

Exelon sues MD, calls Conowingo requirements an ‘unfair burden’

The owners of the Conowingo Dam and the state of Maryland have come to legal blows over whether the utility can be forced to pay potentially billions of dollars over the coming decades to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

The Maryland Department of the Environment in late April issued a decision that could require the Chicago-based utility to pay up to $172 million a year to help...

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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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