Bay Journal

Donna Morelli

Otsego Lake only a glimmer of great Susquehanna to come

The Susquehanna River starts its 444-mile journey as a lazy creek in Cooperstown, NY. It begins as an outflow from Otsego Lake, where its southern tip abuts the town.

It then flows slowly under the Main Street Bridge before rounding a bend toward downstream destinations — farms, towns and cities in central New York and Pennsylvania — and ultimately reaching the Chesapeake Bay in...

Multifunction stream buffers offer food for thought for PA farms

Don English strode along the mowed path through his streamside buffer on Happy Hollow Farm in southcentral Pennsylvania with the confidence of an experienced tour guide. The tiny headwater stream of Deer Creek gurgled by, hardly visible in the tangled sprays of goldenrod and deep purple bergamot growing tall in the sunny spaces between larger trees and shrubs.

The 4-acre...

To save farmland in Cumberland County, PA, officials look to Lancaster

Farmland preservation has become an increasing priority in Cumberland County, PA, where residential and commercial development — especially for large warehouses — is putting steady pressure on what’s left of the rural landscape. The drive to pick up the pace of farmland preservation has led to a budding partnership between the Cumberland County Department of Planning and the...

Restored stream lures trout and threatened logperch

A small fish that once lived in freshwater streams throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed got a lucky break in a Pennsylvania creek this year. When Donegal Trout Unlimited restored the Lancaster County creek to protect trout and other sport fish, the rarely seen Chesapeake logperch showed up for the party.

“We build it and they come,” said Greg Wilson, a longtime member of...

PA power plant accused of illegal discharges into Susquehanna tributary

A Pennsylvania power plant — accused of being one of the most polluting plants in the nation and the recipient of several fines for fish kills — is facing legal challenges once again. The Brunner Island power plant, located along the Susquehanna River just south of Harrisburg, may be the target of a lawsuit alleging that the plant is illegally discharging contaminants from coal ash...

Lancaster County, PA, releases preview of plan to reduce water pollution

No location in the Chesapeake Bay watershed produces more animal manure than Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County, but farmers may need to stop applying that waste to fields during the winter under a locally produced plan aimed at meeting the county’s pollution reduction goals.

Banning winter manure applications — long advocated by clean water advocates — is part of draft plan unveiled...

PA coalition spells out key conservation issues before election

Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidates have some explaining to do if they want the support of environmentally minded voters in November. Both Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and his Republican challenger, Scott Wagner, are presumably in receipt of the Pennsylvania Common Conservation Agenda, a 20-page document identifying the state’s most pressing environmental problems and suggesting...

Justice programs restore lives, communities, the Chesapeake Bay

Behind a chain-link fence topped with razor wire, inmates tend a large plant nursery and vegetable garden. The large expanse dotted with black nursery pots and plants of various sizes grows right outside of the Howard County (MD) Department of Corrections. [Minimum-security inmates learn about sustainable gardening, landscaping and food production at the Howard County (MD)...

Invasive snakeheads found in Susquehanna tributary

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...

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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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