Bay Journal

Karl Blankenship

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

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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. 

ASMFC expected to set stricter regs for harvesting striped bass

A new status review has found the striped bass population to be in worse shape than previously thought, a result that will almost certainly trigger new catch restrictions for the prized species next year in the Chesapeake Bay and along the East Coast.

A preview of a soon-to-be-released stock assessment presented in February to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission...

Exelon, MD spar over who is responsible for nutrients passing over dam

A Maryland official called the pending relicensing of Conowingo Dam a “once in a generation” chance to hold its owners accountable for the environmental impacts the 94-foot-high structure has on the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay.

But a representative of Exelon, the utility that owns the hydroelectric facility, said it had already pledged more than $300 million to mitigate...

VA won’t be penalized over menhaden regs if it stays under cap

Virginia will not face penalties for failing to formally adopt new catch limits on Atlantic menhaden — as long as harvests stay within limits established by East Coast fishery managers.

The decision by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in February headed off a potential legal showdown as to whether it had scientific justification for slashing the commercial menhaden...

New Bay cleanup plans on schedule despite federal shutdown

Despite a 35-day government shutdown that sidelined federal agency involvement, Chesapeake Bay restoration leaders say they are committed to maintaining the deadline to complete new cleanup plans.

Senior state and federal officials said at a meeting last week that they intend to complete draft watershed implementation plans and submit them to the U.S. Environmental Protection...

Striped bass population in trouble, new study finds

Striped bass, one of the most prized species in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic Coast, are being overfished according to a new assessment of the stock’s health — a finding that will likely trigger catch reductions for a species long touted as a fisheries management success.

The bleak preliminary findings of the assessment were presented to the Atlantic States Marine...

Climate change poses a challenge for Bay cleanup goals

This year’s persistent high river flows into the Bay prompted many of those working on Chesapeake issues to ask the question: “Is this the new normal?”

The good news is that this year’s extreme precipitation is not likely to become “normal” anytime soon. But it does highlight an inconvenient truth: When it comes to the weather, the future won’t be like the past.

It most likely...

MD sea level to increase dramatically, report says

A new report warns that Maryland will face a dramatic increase in the rate of sea level rise later this century, with nuisance flooding becoming a daily occurrence in many waterfront areas if nations fail to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

If emissions continue to rise, sea level in Maryland would likely increase 2.0 to 4.2 feet by 2100, which is two to four times the rate seen...

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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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