Bay Journal

Tawna Mertz

There’s no place like a proper habitat for Bay’s waterfowl

When it comes to restoring waterfowl habitat, wildlife biologists say it is a case that, like the "Field of Dreams," if ou build it (correctly), they will come.”

Matthew Perry, a wildlife biologist with Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, notes that although waterfowl populations may be maintained through the wise manipulation of hunting regulations, increases in waterfowl cannot...

Mallards join humans in encroaching on black duck habitat

American black ducks nest throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, from the rivers and streams of Pennsylvania to the tidal freshwater wetlands of Virginia. Thousands of black ducks also migrate from breeding grounds in the extreme northeastern United States and southeastern Canada to overwinter in Bay tributaries and wetlands.

Although most of the Bay’s migratory waterfowl are...

Chesapeake Bay Waterfowl 1999 Status Update

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and state biologists have counted waterfowl that winter on the Bay since 1938. The Chesapeake Bay Program established a goal of restoring waterfowl populations to 1970 levels by the year 2000. Many duck populations have reached or surpassed that goal, but several species remain of concern.

Resident populations of mallards, Canada geese and mute...

Waiting in the wings

Last Christmas Eve, I conned a friend from Pennsylvania into joining me for a day of birdwatching at Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. We had the refuge and its wintering waterfowl to ourselves that chilly day. Even the planes from Baltimore-Washington International Airport, across the Bay, weren’t flying overhead. The only sound was the distinctive whir of wind through...

Scientists reach consensus on plan to restore oyster populations in Chesapeake Bay

A group of oyster specialists from universities in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina have agreed to the first-ever consensus on the key ingredients needed to restore healthy populations of the filter feeder to the Chesapeake Bay.

“For the first time, we have a technical consensus across state lines,” said Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for...

More and more oyster gardeners cropping up to help

You can help oyster restoration endeavors and eat the bivalve, too.

“Oyster gardening” opportunities abound on Chesapeake Bay. Many people have been growing oysters for personal consumption for years and now those gardeners, as well as new gardeners, are being encouraged to grow extra oysters for restoration.

Mark Luckenbach, of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, says...

Building a Better Oyster

Researchers at Rutgers University, University of Maryland, University of Delaware and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science are working to breed a better oyster that is more likely to survive diseases in the Bay’s water.

Cross-breeding native oysters at research institutions throughout the mid-Atlantic region has produced an oyster that is resistant to MSX and more tolerant of...

Can Bay’s oysters make a comeback?

Most of us think of oysters on the half-shell, in a milky stew or breaded and fried. But oysters are much more. “Oysters are too valuable to the overall ecological balance of the Bay to think of them only as food,” chides Roger Newell, a researcher at the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science at Horn Point.

Oysters are filter-feeders that help keep Bay...

About Tawna Mertz

Director, Science Services Administration of the Maryland Department of the Environment

 

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