Bay Journal

Karl Blankenship

Biologists fear catfish spread after last year’s record deluge

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Last year’s record-setting rainfall brought more into the Chesapeake Bay than pollution and debris. Biologists say the freshwater deluge helped the nonnative blue catfish, which was already invading the estuary, to spread farther in the region’s rivers.

“The gate is open,” said Martin Gary, executive director of the Potomac River Fisheries Commission. “They have left and dispersed...

Bay Journal, staff receive awards from peers, Jug Bay

We’re pleased that three Bay Journal staff members won awards from the Maryland/Delaware/District of Columbia Press Association in its annual contest for excellence in journalism. We were also greatly honored by Maryland’s Friends of Jug Bay when their organization recognized our work with an award at their annual meeting in April.


ASMFC says rockfish harvests need to be cut 17 percent

East Coast fishery managers last week took the first steps toward cutting the striped bass harvest 17 percent next year to help end overfishing of the popular species, which has been in decline for years.

Options about how the harvest should be reduced will be presented to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission at its August meeting, after which proposals would go out for...

New state plans reveal tough path to 2025 cleanup goals

In April, states submitted yet another round of roadmaps outlining how they intend to reach Chesapeake Bay cleanup goals by 2025. But, 36 years after the region committed to cleaning up the nation’s largest estuary, the latest draft plans still won’t get them over the finish line.

That’s largely because of Pennsylvania, which submitted a draft plan to the U.S. Environmental...

Highlights of the Chesapeake Bay watershed implementation plans

In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established a cleanup plan for the Chesapeake Bay known as the Total Maximum Daily Load or “pollution diet.” It established the maximum about of nitrogen and phosphorus “loads” that could reach the Chesapeake Bay each year while allowing it to maintain water quality safe for aquatic life. Specific goals were assigned to each state...

Virginia closes striped bass trophy season as ASMFC weighs action

Virginia and two New England states are urging other East Coast fishery managers to move quickly to curb striped bass catches in the wake of a new assessment that found the prized species was being overfished.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted unanimously April 23 to shut down the state’s spring striped bass trophy season, which targets the largest fish in the...

Pennsylvania’s new Bay plan falls well short of cleanup goals

Pennsylvania’s draft plan to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay falls far short of achieving its 2025 pollution reduction goals, a gap that would jeopardize regional efforts to restore the nation’s largest estuary to healthy conditions.

The state’s draft watershed implementation plan, submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 12, says the state “is committed to...

New Bay Program director has worked on water quality, Bay issues for decades

When Dana Aunkst grew up in Northcentral Pennsylvania, he didn’t have to look far from home to see water quality problems.

He grew up in Watsontown, a small community along the West Branch of the Susquehanna, one of the state’s most troubled waterways, with vast stretches rendered largely lifeless by a legacy of acid mine drainage.

Watsontown wasn’t near the worst of the...

New special issue, new changes & new faces

It’s been a hectic start to the year here at the Bay Journal. We have a lot of plans for this year, including a first-ever special issue that will focus on climate change, and updating our publication and website. Fortunately, we have some help on the way. 

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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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