Bay Journal

Donna Morelli

Invasive snakeheads found in Susquehanna tributary

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Pennsylvania angler Mark Mabry knew he had something big on his line while fishing the Lancaster County section of Octoraro Creek this summer.

He didn’t expect to reel in a 25-inch northern snakehead — a notorious invasive species with a big appetite and the ability to shuffle short distances on land.

“I was a little shocked,” he said. “They’re fun to catch, but it’s not what I...

PA bill seeks fraction of a cent fee for largest water users

Pennsylvania could generate up to $500 million annually to help clean polluted streams and the Chesapeake Bay by charging large users of water a fraction of a cent per gallon. That’s the findings of a report released June 6 by a joint committee of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

The bipartisan Legislative Budget and Finance Committee conducted the study to look at the costs and...

A word to the wise, it’s both what and how you say it when presenting fees

Local governments around the region are struggling with the need to ramp up programs that control stormwater from developed lands. Many are turning to new fees to help fund those projects — fees often labeled as a “rain tax” by detractors. How communities talk about those fees to the public is as critical to their success as determining how much to charge.


Environmental group warns PA to protect forests or get sued

An environmental organization that put the teeth in Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment is turning its sights on the state agency that manages 2.2 million acres of public forestland.

A lawyer for the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation sent an “intent to sue” letter to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in early June. The letter states that...

Scientists scrutinize virus, contaminants in smallmouth bass die-off

For more than a decade, biologists have been picking away at a mystery: What caused a years-long decline of smallmouth bass in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River starting more than a decade ago?

Some think they may have finally cracked the case. The results of recently published research, lauded by some as “the smoking gun,” points to a virus once thought not to affect smallmouth...

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...

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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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