Bay Journal

Lara Lutz

Taking Nature Black celebrates environmental action

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The Audubon Naturalist Society hosted its third Taking Nature Black conference on Feb. 27 in Chevy Chase, MD. And for the third time since the inaugural conference in 2016, the number of participants doubled.

The biannual conference, designed to give African Americans in the environmental field a space to share ideas, network, and support one another, has begun drawing attention...

Bay Journal’s EPA grant unexpectedly canceled

The Bay Journal faces an uncertain future in the wake of an unexpected decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to revoke a multi-year federal grant to the nonprofit news organization that covers environmental issues in the Chesapeake watershed.

In an Aug. 23 email from EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional office, the agency said it was canceling a six-year grant to the Bay...

Warm air masks coldwater dangers for paddlers

Parts of the Chesapeake region experienced expectedly warm weather recently, with some days in February feeling more like April. For paddlers, those first bursts of warm weather awaken the call of the kayak. If you count yourself among them, Moulton Avery, director of the National Center for Cold Water Safety, has a message for you: stop and think.

Cross markers show extent of John Smith’s voyages

Ed Haile and Connie Lapallo, authors and historians who specialize in English explorer John Smith and the colonial settlement at Jamestown, VA, are following in Smith’s footsteps. Where Smith traveled with American Indian guides and a few fellow colonists, Haile and Lapallo arrive with concrete mix, a heavy granite marker and a water pail.

They are visiting 24 sites — as...

Skunk cabbage rules the winter wetlands

The annual “swamp stomp” at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary is a wet, midwinter hike along the forested edge of the Patuxent River in Anne Arundel County, MD. For hike leader and sanctuary volunteer Siobhan Percey, it’s a pilgrimage of love — for the quirky, cunning and sometimes malodorous wetland plant known as Eastern skunk cabbage.


First Day hikes

Expect a rustling in the woods across the Chesapeake Bay region on Jan. 1. Along with shuffling in the sand and, depending on the weather, some sloshing in the snow. That’s because more than 10,000 people will likely be out for a First Day Hike at state parks in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia alone.

First Day Hikes are a nationwide program sponsored by America’s State...

Magothy River map, videos reveal ‘hidden gems’ for paddlers

If your spring plans involve finding new places to kayak along the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers, the Magothy River Association has some suggestions. They have a new map highlighting 30 points of interest, and 8 “hidden gems” along the water. To find them, they’ll hand you a copy of their new water trail map. Then, they’ll suggest you find a computer or smart phone.


After 10 years, Smith Trail slowly coming together

Along the James River, an outfitter in the Richmond area now weaves tales of the 17th-century Chesapeake Bay into paddling tours and fishing trips.

Farther north, in Virginia’s Caledon State Park on the Potomac River, kayakers can stay overnight at paddle-in campsites where none existed three years ago.

Still farther north, a new kayak launch on the lower Susquehanna River...

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About Lara Lutz

Lara Lutz's avatar

Lara Lutz is a writer for the Bay Journal and associate editor of Bay Journeys.She has worked as a writer and editor dealing with environmental issues and heritage in the Chesapeake Bay watershed for a variety of organizations and publications since 1995. Lutz is the author of the book “Virginia Indians at Werowocomoco” (National Park Service 2016); “Chesapeake’s Western Shore: Vintage Vacationland,” covering the recreational history of the Bay’s Western Shore; and “Watershed Moments” (Chesapeake Bay Trust 2006), featuring local-level stewardship initiatives in Maryland. Lutz is an Emmy-award winning segment producer for the MPT program Outdoors Maryland, and was the lead writer and editor for the Chesapeake Bay Commission’s Manure-to-Energy report. She holds degrees in English from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and Binghamton University of New York.

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