Bay Journal

Opinion

Appalachian Trail hike reignites urgency to protect landscapes

In recent years, my interest and fascination with the size of the Chesapeake drainage centers around that portion of the Appalachian Trail that traverses the watershed. The 2,186-mile Appalachian Trail covers 14 states from Maine to Georgia. The Bay portion of this mileage, in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, makes up almost 25 percent of its length.

Along the way one crosses the mighty Susquehanna, the Potomac, the Shenandoah and James rivers.

[Continue Reading]

As Earth Day turns 50, it’s time to recycle that initial enthusiasm

 “We know that our high-technology society is handling our environment in a way that will be lethal for us. What we don’t know — and had better make haste to test — is whether a high-technology society can achieve a safe, durable and improving relationship with its environment.”

That statement haunts me, for it is timely — but written 50 years ago, in an extraordinary issue of Fortune magazine, a leading journal of American capitalism. Fortune’s February 1970 issue, just before the first Earth Day that April, recognized a “national movement bursting with energy, indignation and new members.” Environmentalism.

[Continue Reading]

Project Clean Stream: A great way to rally local action

Spring marks the beginning of Project Clean Stream — the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s annual stream cleanup program. It’s a time when the Alliance offers hands-on opportunities through our partnerships with residents, businesses, environmental organizations, local governments, community groups, houses of worship, schools and universities to help restore local streams, creeks and rivers.

Project Clean Stream started more than 10 years ago as a one-day event with a couple of cleanups. Today, it brings together thousands of volunteers across the watershed for an entire season of events.

[Continue Reading]

Technology puts future of conservation in all of our hands

Most of us are deeply concerned by the recent news of dramatic changes involving the Amazon rainforest, Greenland ice sheets, loss of bird species and massive population declines in bees. We wake up to headlines about massive fires in Australia and weather extremes.

Here in the Chesapeake Bay region, where we have seen good progress in our efforts to restore our ecosystem, we continue to face daunting issues like sea level rise, pollution, land use change and invasive species.

Fortunately, the future of the conservation movement and use of technology provides great hope that we can address these issues and save the planet.

[Continue Reading]

It’s time to account for menhaden’s role in the ecosystem

There’s no question Atlantic striped bass are in trouble. Stock assessments show the fish, known locally as rockfish, are being overfished, and East Coast states have agreed to implement measures by April 1 that will cut the coastwide harvest 18% this year.

We can take another step to help striped bass recover. Protect their food.

[Continue Reading]

MD’s proposed concessions to Exelon bad for Susquehanna, Bay

Ever since the federal license allowing it to operate the Conowingo Dam expired in 2014, Exelon Corp. has fought updated permit requirements that would better protect affected waterways and aquatic life for the next 50 years. 

Initially, Maryland fought back against the utility that owns the hydroelectric dam. As the Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan entered its final phase, the state asked Exelon to contribute its share to reduce the 6 million additional pounds of nitrogen and 260,000 pounds of additional phosphorus and associated sediment estimated to come through the dam annually since its reservoir became filled and lost its trapping capacity. 

[Continue Reading]

Of bivalves & beavers: Let’s leave our landscapes to these experts

They might seem an odd couple, Crassostrea virginica and Castor canadensis — the Eastern oyster and the North American beaver.

But ecologically, for the Chesapeake Bay, the mollusk and the rodent are a lovely pairing, a compelling linkage of water and watershed.

Both were keystone species, the one’s dense reefs and the other’s ubiquitous damming and ponding create habitat and enhance water quality to the benefit of a host of other species.

[Continue Reading]

Hindsight in 2020: To make sure next 10 years count, include everyone

Happy 2020! As we leave the 2010s behind, I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s in store for the Chesapeake Bay movement in the next 10 years, especially as our movement evolves and becomes more representative of the 18 million people who live, work and play in the watershed.

I sometimes wish I could better read the tea leaves for the future, but while I can’t predict what will happen, I do know things will change — and our movement needs to embrace the concept of building resiliency across both our environmental and social systems.

[Continue Reading]

36 years after first Bay Agreement, its restoration is still a pipe dream

December 9 marked the 36th anniversary of the signing of the first Bay Agreement at George Mason University in Virginia.

As a state senator serving on the Chesapeake Bay Commission, I joined 700 Bay enthusiasts as witnesses. The one-page Chesapeake Bay Agreement was signed by Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania’s governors, DC’s mayor, and the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, all of whom solemnly pledged to restore the Bay. I was also a member of a workgroup that recommended legislative actions for each signer that would aid the Bay’s restoration, including a phosphate detergent ban that I sponsored and was enacted in 1985.

[Continue Reading]

Goldfish bowling over Chesapeake’s habitat, species

If you have ever been out on the Chesapeake Bay and seen a familiar flash of orange beneath the water, you might have thought your eyes were playing tricks on you. But there’s a good chance that what you ere seeing is very much real.

That’s right: The Bay watershed is home to wild goldfish (Carassius auratus) — and this is not good news.

[Continue Reading]

Protect the Clean Water Act to ensure progress on Conowingo Dam

A healthy Chesapeake Bay means a healthy economy, and a full recovery cannot be accomplished without a strong, bipartisan federal commitment. That commitment includes respecting states’ rights under the Clean Water Act.

Section 401 is the single most powerful authority granted to states under the Clean Water Act. It establishes a unique “certification requirement” that allows states and authorized tribes to impose preconditions on, or block, certain types of federally issued permits and licenses. This certification requirement applies to any entity applying for a federal license or permit for “any activity” that “may result in a discharge” into waters of the United States.

[Continue Reading]
  • U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin
  • 1 Comment

Exelon dam agreement will give $200 million to MD, Bay cleanup efforts

On Oct. 29, Exelon Generation and Gov. Larry Hogan announced a historic agreement that will deliver $200 million in benefits to the state of Maryland and Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts. 

Once federal regulators approve the agreement, it will create enforceable conditions in the Conowingo Dam’s operating license. Exelon has a proven track record of living up to its commitments, and that will continue here.

[Continue Reading]

Opinion: Archives

WOW program helps female forest owners branch out

WOW: a palindrome that behaves like a verb, an interjection or a noun and is typically associated with great excitement, admiration or success. For landowners in West Virginia, this word serves all three functions: the WV Women Owning...

EC meeting recognizes innovation, acknowledges work ahead

Once a year, members of the Chesapeake Executive Council gather together to discuss the successes and challenges of restoring the Chesapeake Bay. A mere 30 miles from the shores of the Bay, this year’s meeting site, Oxon Hill Manor,...

Loading...

More articles »

Page 1 of 92 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›

Around the Watershed

PA program for inmates answers growing demand for green jobs

“I don’t want to say like I’m a tree lover because, you know, we do cut trees,” said Gregory Clegg, a professional tree climber in Hampton, VA. “It’s just something that I look at differently now, you know? And I think a lot of people would, if they...

Chesapeake Bay Program fueled by science, driven by partnership

For 35 years, the Chesapeake Bay Program has been the collaborating force behind Bay restoration. This December marks 35 years since the signing of the 1983 Chesapeake Bay Agreement. This agreement set up the Chesapeake Bay Program and started the monitoring network that has been at its...

As the tide rises against them, Deal Islanders hold their ground

A small country road, ambitiously designated a state highway, branches off U.S. Route 13 in the town of Princess Anne, MD, and meanders out into the marsh of the Eastern Shore. For 19 miles, the road travels through forests of loblolly pines before giving way to miles of marsh grass and...

Read more Around the Watershed »

Chesapeake Born

Of bivalves & beavers: Let’s leave our landscapes to these experts

They might seem an odd couple, Crassostrea virginica and Castor canadensis — the Eastern oyster and the North American beaver. But ecologically, for the Chesapeake Bay, the mollusk and the rodent are a lovely pairing, a compelling linkage of water and watershed. Both were keystone...

Fox Island: Right where it should, and shouldn’t, have been

I was just 33 when I met her, turning 50. A 40-year relationship ensued — intimate, though I shared her with so many others. And now we’re parting. It was educational. The 11-bedroom lodge on Great Fox Island, built in 1929 amid protective tidal marshes at the juncture of...

Rachel Carson no stranger to the Chesapeake, its creatures

“…to see the running of the old eels and the young shad to the sea is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.”   — R.L. Carson Some of the finest nature writing about the Chesapeake Bay scarcely mentions the great...

Read more Chesapeake Born »

Conservation Matters

Terrapin park shows importance of access to the Bay

The Terrapin Nature Area in Stevensville, MD, reminds me why I’ve committed my career to conservation. This gorgeous park hides in plain sight on Kent Island, waving to everyone traveling eastward over the Bay Bridge, and offers so much to its visitors. Managed by Queen...

Immerse yourself in Dumbarton Oaks Park

The Japanese have a practice translated in English as “forest bathing,” in which people immerse themselves in a forest as a preventative health measure. Studies have shown tremendous benefits of this practice, including lower blood pressure, reduced stress and improved sleep,...

At the ten-year mark, happy birthday to the Bay’s beautiful and profoundly historic national trail

As the National Park Service celebrates its centennial this year, we are also celebrating the 10th anniversary of a national park we have right here in our collective backyard: the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Winding through much of the Chesapeake region, the...

Read more Conservation Matters »

Forum

Appalachian Trail hike reignites urgency to protect landscapes

Editor's note: On March 24, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy advised all hikers to postpone their hikes on the Appalachian Trail to avoid potentially spreading COVID-19. After multiple sections of the Trail experienced large crowds over the weekend, it is no longer a viable space to...

Technology puts future of conservation in all of our hands

Most of us are deeply concerned by the recent news of dramatic changes involving the Amazon rainforest, Greenland ice sheets, loss of bird species and massive population declines in bees. We wake up to headlines about massive fires in Australia and weather extremes. Here in the Chesapeake...

It’s time to account for menhaden’s role in the ecosystem

There’s no question Atlantic striped bass are in trouble. Stock assessments show the fish, known locally as rockfish, are being overfished, and East Coast states have agreed to implement measures by April 1 that will cut the coastwide harvest 18% this year. We can take another step to...

Read more Forum »

Letters to the Editor

Time to swat the litterbug again

Hi citizens … who remembers “the litterbug?” Two generations ago, when empty bottles, cans, paper bags and cigarette butts littered our public places, sidewalks, trails, and roads as well as beaches and along the shores of rivers and streams, the litterbug campaign was...

Don’t just be a tree-hugger; our forests need no-net-loss heroes

Marylanders have an exciting opportunity right now to stake a claim in protecting our forested land. To protect the health and well-being of generations to come, we must pass the “No Net Loss” bill of the Maryland Forest Conservation Act. A lone tree can remove an average of 48...

Keep covering Fones Cliffs

I would like to thank the Bay Journal for continued, in-depth coverage of the damages and violations at Fones Cliffs along Virginia’s Rappahannock River. It is clear that many citizens across the Chesapeake landscape are concerned about what happens at this very special place rich in...

Read more Letters to the Editor »

Message from the Alliance

Project Clean Stream: A great way to rally local action

Spring marks the beginning of Project Clean Stream — the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s annual stream cleanup program. It’s a time when the Alliance offers hands-on opportunities through our partnerships with residents, businesses, environmental organizations, local...

Hindsight in 2020: To make sure next 10 years count, include everyone

To fight for change tomorrow, we need to build resilience today.  — Sheryl Sandberg Happy 2020! As we leave the 2010s behind, I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s in store for the Chesapeake Bay movement in the next 10 years, especially as our movement evolves...

2019 Watershed Forum a platform for collaboration, diverse voices

I write this article on the eve of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s 14th annual Chesapeake Watershed Forum. The late timing of this year’s forum — Nov. 15–17 — at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV, offers me a unique opportunity...

Read more Message from the Alliance »

Copyright ©2020 Bay Journal / Bay Journal Media / Advertise with Us

Terms of use | Privacy Policy