Bay Journal

Robert Wieland

Amount of pollution, not cost should determine trading’s worthiness

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A few days after Gov. Larry Hogan released plans for a renewed nutrient pollution trading initiative in Maryland, Scott Edwards of Food and Water Watch wrote a letter to the Baltimore Sun claiming that “No one who is serious about water quality should support trading.”

His evidence for this was an assertion that after 10 years of nutrient pollution trading in Pennsylvania, the...

Before we attack growth, it is necessary to define what it is

In his Growing, Growing, Gone series, Tom Horton identifies “growth” as the elephant in the room with respect to the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort.

Before one can either support or take issue with that contention, it is first necessary to identify what he means by “growth.” Is it a larger economy? More people? More rapid consumption of natural resources? More refuse and...

Low-cost methods are fine as long as TMDL goals are met

The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, or “pollution diet,” is supposed to result in increased accountability in the effort to restore to the Bay.

What increased accountability exactly means has been up for grabs over the last few years. It was presumed the states would be made accountable by being given an absolute limit on the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment...

Efficiency pricing: Putting our money where our science is

Here's an idea for lowering nutrient pollution loads to the Chesapeake Bay. Let's adopt a policy to use what we know to obtain the greatest nutrient pollution reduction possible (for our available budget). Everyone agrees that this is a good idea, I think. Some might wonder, "Why aren't we already doing it?" But, it is not as easy as it sounds.

To get the most nutrient pollution...

Will politics still stymie better oyster management?

Years of political management have left Maryland with record low stocks of oysters. Now a government commission has suggested new policies that could dramatically increase the bay's oyster population. But, will legislators and fishery managers listen, asks Robert Wieland. Wieland is a resource economist who has studied the oyster industry.

Growth can be a good thing, if it is sustainable

The recent Bay Journal pieces on economic growth in the Chesapeake region give us a lot to think about. Tom Horton, in particular, provides alarming information about growth and raises the question, why aren't more of us more alarmed? I am alarmed, and I hope that the Bay Journal is able to start a conversation about growth that ultimately includes those representing the public...

We need to regard environmental assets as financial assets

What do declining oyster and crab stocks in the Chesapeake Bay have in common with excessive commercial and residential development, degraded streams and rivers and overabundant carbon in the atmosphere?

Obviously, they all represent troubled environmental assets. They are largely caused by things that people do. There is feedback between them, wherein degraded habitat leads to...

Everybody profits from a clean Bay, why not expand pool of grant applicants?

Maryland's BayStat website recently posted news about the Bay 2010 Trust Fund and an invitation for select groups to offer bids for "Local Implementation Grants." These grants are basically for finding innovative ways to restore the Chesapeake and Atlantic coastal bays.

To an interested party such as myself, this news is generally good. The funds are targeted at redressing past...

Liability insurance-hold Asian oyster proponents accountable for risks

An analysis of the ecological risk of introducing non-native oysters to the Chesapeake Bay is being circulated. Still in draft, it summarizes the scientific research undertaken specifically to answer a set of questions developed by the National Research Council when the environmental impact assessment of a possible introduction of Asian oysters, proposed to bolster the failing...

MD oyster management efforts are all but subsidies for watermen

In its last session, the Maryland General Assembly passed a resolution calling on the governor to appoint a task force to assess current practices and prospects for restoring the stocks of the Eastern oyster in Maryland's portion of the Chesapeake Bay. As the oyster restoration news to date is not all good, a reassessment of what we have been doing is welcome.

Fourteen years after...

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About Robert Wieland

Robert Wieland is a resource economist working to expand the application of economic analysis in environmental decision-making. He wrote "Why People Catch Too Many Fish" (Center for Marine Conservation) and "Fish, Markets, and Fishermen" (Island Press).

 

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