Bay Journal

Donna Morelli

Ground around Marcellus drilling producing more than gas

​When Marcellus Shale drilling came to Pennsylvania state forests, it brought a few hitchhikers along — invasive plants. They got a free ride into remote northcentral interior forests that previously had been spared the influence of heavy truck traffic.

Yes, truck traffic. One does not generally associate deep forest interiors with lumbering construction vehicles, but with about...

Retired PA forester’s 37-year career with trees bore much fruit

When you spend nearly 40 years working for the same employer, you are bound to experience change. 

Dan Devlin, Pennsylvania’s state forester and director of the Bureau of Forestry, retired in March with four decades’ worth of observations about protecting and managing public forests. During his career, he navigated fundamental changes in the philosophy and science of forest...

PA partnership sets tree-mendous goal of 10 million plantings

A statewide coalition in Pennsylvania announced on Tuesday an effort to plant 10 million trees in the state by 2025, while members stood in a Lancaster County farm field ready to plant the first 100 trees along Little Chiques Creek. 

The aim of the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership is to help Pennsylvania restore its streams and rivers — and do its part for the Chesapeake Bay...

Brunner Island power plant to convert from coal to natural gas

The Brunner Island power plant near Harrisburg — blamed for being one of the most polluting plants in the nation, as well as for several Susquehanna River fish kills — will convert from using coal to natural gas by the end of 2028.

The 56-year-old facility, which rises from the west shore of the river between York and Lancaster counties, has long been criticized by residents,...

Stream mapping helps to identify most cost-effective restoration sites

When Joseph Sweeney purchased farmland in Lancaster County, PA, in 2001, its fairly level pastures were typical of a traditional local farm — so were the steep, failing banks that strangled the stream as it ran through the property. 

“I could jump across any part of our stream when we first bought the property,” Sweeney said.

About 10 years later, after a major stream restoration...

A growing respect: Plain Sect become more involved in Bay conversation

A small stream flows out of the mountains in Lancaster County, PA, near the Berks County border, with water as clear as a freshly wiped window pane. It winds through woods and over stones, shaded by trees and embraced by undeveloped land.

Downstream, where the trees give way to farmland, the stream flows through an enclave of Amish farms, first through Benuel Zook’s pasture and...

PA’s Environmental Rights Amendment grows some teeth

For all of its natural bounty, Pennsylvania has environmental woes aplenty. Take your pick — 19,000 miles of impaired streams, 5,500 of them from abandoned coal mines; state environmental agencies and programs starved of funds as Pennsylvania fails to do its part to maintain safe drinking water and clean up the Chesapeake Bay; and state forests carved up by drilling pads and...

Catch the spring action at a vernal pool near you

The fields and forests of Gifford Pinchot State Park in southcentral Pennsylvania are still in winter dormancy, but not for long. You will actually hear the change. 

When the days are cold and short but the spring thaw draws near, the shrill call of spring peepers will announce that winter is over. The familiar sound, which signals spring for humans, is the peepers’ call for...

PA Senate approves Bay funding bill - without the funding

Controversial legislation that would provide a new way of financing Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay cleanups cleared the Pennsylvania Senate last week after it was paired with another bill to increase funding for a variety of other conservation efforts.

But the senators didn’t include any new money with the measure, prompting environmentalists to warn that the legislation is...

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About Donna Morelli

Donna Morelli is a staff writer for the Bay Journal based in Harrisburg. She's the former director of the Pennsylvania office of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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