Bay Journal

Opinion

Implementation of new Coast Guard ballast water regs doomed to fail

Karl Blankenship’s article, Organisms in ballast water increasing despite discharge measures, (June 2017) summarizes recent research into why tens of billions of nonnative aquatic organisms introduced into the Chesapeake each year in the ballast water discharged by ships visiting Bay ports pose a significant and growing threat to the Bay’s health. That research showed an alarming fivefold increase in these biological invasions since 2005, the year the U.S. Coast Guard was supposed to start implementing ballast water regulations to address the problem.

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What’s black and white and should be read by greens?

People are surprised when I say that for my profession of environmental writing, I read as much as I can absorb about economics and business.

Put articles from the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy or the Chesapeake Bay Foundation next to the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times, and my eyes go first to the latter two.

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Kate Fritz, former head of South River Federation, to lead Alliance

Kate Fritz is no stranger to the issues that face the Chesapeake Bay watershed, having lived in five of the seven Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions.

Fritz joins the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay as the new executive director, bringing more than 15 years of experience in scientific data collection, local land use planning, ecological restoration and nonprofit management.

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If EPA is prevented from enforcing clean water laws, states must step up

Why do we have laws? The simplest answer is to ensure order in society, where lines are drawn to govern things one cannot do, for the good of all.

Shoplifting would be rampant if there were no punishments for stealing. In the same way, we cannot expect to keep making progress in cutting pollution without implementing effective pollution control laws.

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Blackwater’s future may not be so dark after marsh is complete

Even a rudimentary search on Twitter for trending stories about Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County, MD, conveys the striking duality of the place.

On one hand, there are majestic pictures of bright white migratory snow geese taking flight over the wetland, congratulatory Tweets on Blackwater being named one of the country’s “Top Conservation Areas Worth Traveling For.” There are links to personal Instagram pages where community members have posted pictures of themselves at the annual eagle and raptor festivals.

On the other hand, there is the chesapeakebay.net photo of the week that shows dark blue patches in stark contrast to the bright yellow-gold of the marsh grasses. These are the 8,000 acres of marsh that have been lost to the ocean, the very thing threatening Blackwater’s existence, slowly erasing it from the map.

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2017 Taste celebrates great food, even greater environmentalists

As the summer gets under way, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is preparing for our annual celebration — the Taste of the Chesapeake! This year’s Taste takes place Sept. 14 on the stunning rooftop of the Belcher Pavilion at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis.

You will not want to miss this event: I will be saying a fond farewell as I step down from full-time leadership to retirement and the Alliance will welcome a new executive director.

The Taste, the Alliance’s biggest fund-raising event of the year, raises needed funds that are invested directly in its “on the ground” programs and projects. Most importantly, the Taste honors outstanding leaders in the environmental community who work tirelessly for a healthier Chesapeake.

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Why cut a $73 million program that provides billions in benefits?

There is more good news for the Bay this spring. There is clear consensus in the scientific community that the health of the Bay is improving. In the last five months, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s State of the Bay report, the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Bay Barometer, and the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science’s Bay Report Card all show progress.

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Opinion: Archives

What’s black and white and should be read by greens?

People are surprised when I say that for my profession of environmental writing, I read as much as I can absorb about economics and business. Put articles from the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy or the Chesapeake Bay Foundation next...

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Around the Watershed

Hogan takes reins of Council at a critical time for the Chesapeake

In the end, it was a custom-made crab cracker, made from the wood of the Pride of Baltimore, and a crab baseball hat that sealed the transition. On June 8 at the annual meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Executive Council, Gov. Terry McAuliffe officially handed over the...

The Bay Program: It takes a partnership to save an estuary

As the story goes, the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay began with a boat trip. In 1973, after hearing reports of the estuary’s ailing health, Sen. Charles “Mac” Mathias, R-MD, set out on a “fact-finding tour”: a five-day trip traversing the Maryland portion of...

We must turn instant gratification into burning desire for clean Bay

The views expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect those of the Bay Journal. The Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, or 4.5 eons. Of that time, humans have only been around for about 200,000 years, with civilization only beginning about 6,000 years ago and industrialization,...

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Chesapeake Born

What’s black and white and should be read by greens?

People are surprised when I say that for my profession of environmental writing, I read as much as I can absorb about economics and business. Put articles from the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy or the Chesapeake Bay Foundation next to the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times,...

Turner’s Creek, just a cut in the bluffs, offers slice of Bay’s comings, goings

It’s just a crease in the landscape, a gully incised by a hundred thousand years of rains, knifing toward sea level through bluffs bulged up by glacial ice, and augmented by sand and gravel spewed down ancient channels of the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers. Where it cut down to...

Memories still alive, thriving at Horton homestead

The smell of the piney woods and the call of bobwhite quail; tracks of my toy wagon in the soft sand road bordered by ditches alive with tadpoles; the warm odors of the grain bin where mom stashed me as she rolled it through the chicken houses at feeding time; racing to pick up bloody...

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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...

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Forum

Implementation of new Coast Guard ballast water regs doomed to fail

Karl Blankenship’s article, Organisms in ballast water increasing despite discharge measures, (June 2017) summarizes recent research into why tens of billions of nonnative aquatic organisms introduced into the Chesapeake each year in the ballast water discharged by ships visiting Bay...

If EPA is prevented from enforcing clean water laws, states must step up

Why do we have laws? The simplest answer is to ensure order in society, where lines are drawn to govern things one cannot do, for the good of all. Shoplifting would be rampant if there were no punishments for stealing. In the same way, we cannot expect to keep making progress in cutting...

Blackwater’s future may not be so dark after marsh is complete

Even a rudimentary search on Twitter for trending stories about Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Dorchester County, MD, conveys the striking duality of the place. On one hand, there are majestic pictures of bright white migratory snow geese taking flight over the wetland,...

Read more Forum »

Letters to the Editor

Elect to protect Eastern Shore

Thank goodness the election is finally over. I heard the term “election stress disorder” this fall and it immediately resonated with me and many others I know. Part of the stress for me related to the continuous news cycle and overwhelmingly negative tone of the presidential...

Bay needs menhaden more than reduction industry

Much has been written and discussed about menhaden (Brevootia tyrannus), a forage fish for many other fish, birds and mammals. Recently, a bill was introduced into the Virginia Legislature to move the management of these fish from the Virginia Legislature to the Virginia Marine Resources...

Biodiversity needs human diversity among those who protect it

I read with great interest the Bay Journal’s recent article, “The ‘green ceiling’: Environmental organizations lack diversity” (November 2014). As an African American woman fish and wildlife biologist, there were not many faces that looked like mine as I...

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Message from the Alliance

Kate Fritz, former head of South River Federation, to lead Alliance

Kate Fritz is no stranger to the issues that face the Chesapeake Bay watershed, having lived in five of the seven Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions. Fritz joins the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay as the new executive director, bringing more than 15 years of experience in scientific data...

2017 Taste celebrates great food, even greater environmentalists

As the summer gets under way, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is preparing for our annual celebration — the Taste of the Chesapeake! This year’s Taste takes place Sept. 14 on the stunning rooftop of the Belcher Pavilion at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. You...

Local companies making it their business to help the Chesapeake

Many indicators of water quality and habitat show that progress is slowly being made in the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. But we would probably all agree that it will take commitment from all segments of society and a broad base of participation to be successful in...

Read more Message from the Alliance »

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