Bay Journal

Tom Horton

Ajax Eastman cared more for planting seeds of conservation than earning laurels

The phone number sticks in my memory, the number I called the most in some 35 years of environmental reporting for the Baltimore Sun. It wasn’t the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or state departments of Environment or Natural Resources. It was the home of Ajax Eastman, who died this week of pneumonia at age 84.

Ajax was a mentor to a wet-behind-the-ears environmental...

A walk in the woods with a different kind of forester

It’s a chill November morning, the rising sun sloshing light on the tree tops. Larry Walton and I are about a half-mile into the woods that line the Nanticoke River near Vienna, MD, when he wraps his arms around a great old Atlantic white cedar.

The species once shaded thousands of acres of Delmarva Peninsula swamps with its dense, evergreen canopies, before rampant logging and...

We need to shift gears on the pursuit of economic growth

Come ride bikes with me. Don’t dismiss as idle our idyll through an ideal autumn “leafscape” today, for our pedaling shows the way to a better Bay.

My bike has but one speed, unfashionable in a high-geared, tech-fueled world that now affords cyclists push-button shifting through a range of cogs and cranks sufficient to conquer the Alps and pass Porsches.

Single-speeding is...

No man’s land is ideal habitat for animals

“Please Straddle Turtles.” The curious sign, on a lonesome dirt road that winds through marshes and forests along the northern Chesapeake Bay, shows a military Humvee taking care to keep a spotted turtle between its wheels.

The turtle in question, classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is a small reptile with a dark head and shell with...

The dumbing down of Smart Growth will fail to preserve MD landscape

If you’re not yet worried about Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s abandonment of Smart Growth, you might want to read a new study on how Dumb Growth could cost Frederick County taxpayers some half a billion bucks.

First, a brief primer on Smart Growth, which you used to be able to get on the Maryland Department of Planning’s website — until the website and department became a joke...

Tangier Island needs help no matter how you define its woes

When I began a documentary film this year about climate change and the Chesapeake, I knew that even though local residents were affected by it, I’d never be able to record most of them talking about sea level rise.

They know what they see. And around Dorchester — Maryland’s lowest-lying county and the focus of our film — residents see erosion of the shoreline, high tides that...

What’s black and white and should be read by greens?

People are surprised when I say that for my profession of environmental writing, I read as much as I can absorb about economics and business.

Put articles from the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy or the Chesapeake Bay Foundation next to the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times, and my eyes go first to the latter two.

Double-crossed — or a mystery of archaeology?

Coastal geologist Darrin Lowery, among the Bay region’s premier finders of ancient artifacts, tells cautionary tales about how discoveries are not always as they seem.

There was the fork inscribed “Davy Crockett” that he found poking out of an eroding Delmarva Peninsula coastline—dating merely to a 1955 Disney commemorative production; and a 4,500-year-old spear point...

Memories still alive, thriving at Horton homestead

The smell of the piney woods and the call of bobwhite quail; tracks of my toy wagon in the soft sand road bordered by ditches alive with tadpoles; the warm odors of the grain bin where mom stashed me as she rolled it through the chicken houses at feeding time; racing to pick up bloody squirrels as they tumbled to the ground after blasts from dad’s shotgun.

More articles »

About Tom Horton

Tom Horton's avatar

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.

University of Maryland Law
Ecotone Ecological Restoration
Ernst Seeds-Restoring the Native Balance
EQR - Jan 2018 arial view
Stormwater Maintenance & Consulting.  WE PROTECT AND RESTORE.
Clydes Sports Shop
High Tide in Dorchester
Support Independent Journalism
filler ad - sea grass
A Documentary Inspired by William W. Warner’s 1976 Exploration of Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay.

Copyright ©2018 Bay Journal / Bay Journal Media / Advertise with Us

Terms of use | Privacy Policy