Some of the finest nature writing about the Chesapeake Bay scarcely mentions the great estuary by name and studiously avoids naming specific places. Its author, for years, chose not to use her given name, Rachel, presuming readers would think “R. L. Carson” male and more credible.
I don’t know why in her first book in 1941, Under the Sea Wind, the writer most famous for Silent...
It was the best day I would spend in a “classroom,” drifting through the summer wetlands of the Patuxent River as the “professor” stood tall in his canoe, informing his floating gaggle of schoolchildren about plankton, fish and the food web; of birds that had flown across the continent to harvest the swelling crops of seed from the tidal marsh; and the joy and wonder of how it all...
You want to tell students everything you know. But when you have just 16 three-hour classes a semester, and you’re trying to spend four or five of those sessions outside with watermen and farmers and scientists, or paddling through climate-changed landscapes, you have to choose.
Recently, my choices have moved upslope, come ashore, for a couple of reasons.
A tale of two gases: both colorless, odorless and essential to life; now also both imperiling life as humans boost them to unnatural levels.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) gets the most press, though it’s a mere trace of Earth’s overall atmosphere, at about .04 percent. But that’s now around 40 percent higher than natural, enough to risk calamitous climate change if we don’t soon change our...
Nowadays, around 350 million to 450 million blue crabs inhabit Chesapeake Bay, according to accurate surveys. That’s not harvests, mind you, but all crabs — soft and hard, from thumbnail size up. It supports fishing that both watermen and chicken-neckers are fairly happy with.
But how happy should we be? Should we expect more in our quest to restore the estuary’s health?
Tom Horton is a contributing writer and columnist for the Bay Journal. He wrote for the Baltimore Sun on environmental issues from 1972 through 2006, with a five-year time out when he ran education trips on Smith Island and wrote “Turning the Tide” for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. He is author of several books on the Chesapeake Bay, including “Bay Country” and “Island Out of Time” and numerous articles for publications that include National Geographic, Rolling Stone and the New York Times. He is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. He teaches writing and environmental topics at Salisbury University.