Bay Journal

Donald Boesch

Orth’s work with Bay’s grass has led to high expectations for its recovery

An important Chesapeake Bay paper was published in March in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Written by Jonathan Lefchek, his mentor Robert Orth and a host of Bay scientists, the paper delivers good news that has actually been peer-reviewed. Bringing together extensive observational data, modeling and statistical analysis, the scientists present...

Other actions needed before rushing to address climate’s effect on nutrients

I was among the first and have been among the most persistent scientific advocates for addressing climate change in our efforts to restore the Bay. Even so, I think that the recent decision of the Bay Program's Principal Staff Committee not to increase, at this time, the nutrient loads that must be reduced by 2025 to accommodate the effects of climate change is appropriate. ...

Bay cleanup effort could use a strategic plan like that for the Baltic Sea

It is hard to believe, but it has been 16 years since I contributed a commentary, “Bay has a lot to learn from European efforts to reduce nutrients,” to the Bay Journal (March 2000). I noted, in particular, the efforts of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, widely known as the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM), was in many ways analogous to the Chesapeake Bay Program....

We need to make changes before things really start to heat up

Last November, the Supreme Court heard arguments on whether the EPA can continue to refuse to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act. The petition was brought by 12 western and northeastern states. They argued that the Clean Air Act mandates the regulation of all pollutants that may endanger public health or welfare, including effects on climate and weather.


Adaptive management could create a model monitoring approach

I had the honor of chairing a panel convened by the National Research Council that recently published the report, “Adaptive Management for Water Resources Project Planning.”

Carl Hershner, chair of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, was also a member of the panel.

Our report is one of five developed to advise the U.S. Army Corps of...

For better or for worse, till dead zone do us part

In early November, Bay area newspapers were full of stories, columns, editorials and letters to the editor about whether the health of the Bay was improving or showing no signs of recovery.

Government agencies responsible for monitoring environmental conditions in the Bay announced signs of improvements at a press conference on Nov. 6. Among other indicators, they noted that...

Bay has a lot to learn from European efforts to reduce nutrients

With our often single-minded focus on meeting nutrient reduction goals here in the Chesapeake watershed, we lose sight of the fact that we are not alone in pursuit of this difficult task. Indeed, similar goals are being pursued in even larger and more politically complex watersheds covering most of the European continent.

I had a chance to compare notes while attending a workshop...

Releasing data before ‘it’s soup’ can put scientists in hot water

The simmering cauldron that is science is a mysterious and wonderful thing. It takes a while before it produces results that are ready to be served up for consumption by society. The progress of science depends on an open exchange of results, healthy skepticism, and often, spirited criticism and rebuttal. So, how do we know when it’s soup?

Just in the last few weeks there were...

Unpopular science

Like most young boys, I hated going to the barber. The one part of the experience that I did look forward to, though, was the chance to read the shopworn old issues of Popular Science and Field and Stream plentiful in my neighborhood barbershop. While this early stimulus in science and nature no doubt had some small influence on my subsequent education and career, my experience has...

About Donald Boesch

Donald Boesch is a professor and former president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.


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