Bay Journal

Rona Kobell

‘Forgotten’ Nassawango returns to its natural state

We seem to be alone under the canopies of bald cypress and black gum. Hawks soar overhead. Leaves on the rose bushes rustle. Remnants of a beaver lodge hide among the brambles. An old truck, possibly from the 1950s, sits rusting on the water’s edge.

There is much to look at in a six-mile paddle through the Nassawango Creek Preserve, a 9,953-acre ecosystem on Maryland’s lower...

VA farmer raising row crops, cattle, turkeys – and fuel

Glenn Rodes was born and raised on an 860-acre turkey farm in Port Republic, VA, just south of Harrisonburg in the Shenandoah Valley. Four generations of his family live there still, raising turkeys, cattle and row crops. With the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance; some of the trees look as old as the state itself.

But while Riverhill Farms may seem unchanged by time, Rodes and...

MD trailer park sewage facility’s zoning violation upheld

A Maryland mobile home park operator whose wastewater discharge is causing problems for a farmer downstream violated local zoning laws by building his sewage treatment facility too close to the stream, an appeals board has ruled. It’s not clear, though, what the remedy is — or if there is to be one at all.

The Caroline County Board of Zoning Appeals has upheld a local official’s...

MD pays steep price for Hallowing Point site with access to the Patuxent

A one-time mobile home park in such poor condition that many of its dwellings violated livability codes is slated to be transformed into one of Maryland’s newest waterfront parks as well as offices for the Department of Natural Resources.

But some are questioning whether the state paid too much for a tract with marginal ecological value that had little chance of ever being...

‘I’ll never leave this place, and I hope this place will never leave me’

Like most high school seniors, Cameron Evans is at the edge of change. He’s anxious about whether to major in photography or politics, annoyed about having to go to the dentist, animated when talking about the Yankees, his favorite team.

But most seniors don’t worry if they’ll be able to go home after leaving for college; or if they’ll have a home at all after the next hurricane....

One Water interfaith partners spread the good word about controlling stormwater

For years, the Chizuk Amuno Congregation in suburban Baltimore had a lake it didn’t want on its front lawn.

“Lake Chizzie” was the Baltimore County synagogue’s flooded parking lot, created when rainwater pooled on the low-lying portion of a paved surface large enough to accommodate the 1,200 member families’ cars. On the other side of the main building, near the pre-school, was...

Bay’s oyster aquaculture harvest closing in on wild fishery

More than a century after the first oysters were planted on a Virginia bar, aquaculture has firmly taken hold in the Chesapeake Bay. The value of Virginia’s oyster farms production has eclipsed the public fishery, and many oyster experts believe Maryland is heading in the same direction.

As of last year, 173 Maryland oyster farmers have leased more than 6,000 acres of the Bay...

Maryland panel weighs in against expanding ‘sponge’ crab imports

A key Maryland advisory commission has weighed in against a bid by Eastern Shore crab processors to nearly double, effectively, the number of egg-bearing female crabs they could import from other states to pick for crabmeat.

The Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commission of the Department of Natural Resources voted 13 to1 against a proposal to expand the number of days the processors...

Rain gardens take root as revitalized community tackles polluted runoff

You can’t see the water from Miramar Landing, but it’s not far away.

The 740-home community sits off Pulaski Highway in eastern Baltimore County, an area packed with restaurants, convenience stores, shopping centers and auto-repair places. The site was once home to military-style housing for thousands of defense workers, now razed. It was once so associated with nearby Martin...

Getting steamed over faux Maryland crabs

Nothing says Maryland quite like a steamed crab smothered in Old Bay and slapped on a long picnic table.

But sometimes, unsuspecting diners paying close to a day’s pay for the privilege of eating local bounty may actually be enjoying crabs that were trucked up Interstate 95 in a hot bushel basket — fresh from the Carolina coast or Gulf of Mexico.

Lee Carrion is trying to...

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About Rona Kobell

Rona Kobell's avatar

Rona Kobell is a staff writer for the Bay Journal. She has began her journalism career at The Jerusalem Post, then moved to Washington, D.C., to become a writer and editor for Public Risk, a trade journal. She worked for newspapers in St. Joseph, Mo., and her hometown of Pittsburgh before joining The Baltimore Sun in 2000 where she became its Chesapeake Bay reporter in 2004. Her work has won numerous awards and in 2008, she was selected as a Knight-Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan, where she spent a year studying the use of economic incentives in environmental policy.

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