Bay Journal

Opinion

Abandoning sanctuaries means giving up on oyster restoration

Maryland established its Oyster Advisory Commission in the latter half of 2007 to engage a wide range of interested people to consider strategies for bringing back a robust native oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay.

The commission was established at a time when hope for native oysters had all but vanished, not unlike the oysters population itself — which was, and still is, estimated to be about 1 percent of what it was centuries ago.

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Assertions about menhaden population were a bit fishy

In his recent Bay Journal op-ed, Don’t let menhaden become a case of could have, should have, would have, March 2017, Bill Bartlett claims that menhaden are both scarce and unregulated in the Chesapeake Bay.

Neither assertion is true according to the latest and best science on menhaden. This data instead indicate that this species is being managed sustainably and responsibly.

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Our streams could just die for more riparian forest buffers

A few weeks ago, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay hosted a forum in Buckeystown, MD, where more than 100 representatives from federal and state agencies, nonprofits and businesses, as well as the scientific and farming communities, met to discuss riparian buffers.

This community of conservationists has been planting trees along waterways for more than 25 years. Sometimes, it seems more like a life’s mission to re-establish these links between land and water that protected our watershed’s creeks and rivers for eons.

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Selling VA’s carbon-rich crop residue will shortchange soil

Recently, I attended the annual meeting of the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Roanoke, VA. One of the breakout sessions was a presentation by the Shandong Tranlin Paper Company, a Chinese corporation that plans to build a paper plant in Virginia.

I listened to the Chinese representative explain how environmentally friendly their $2 billion facility will be, turning crop “waste” into paper. The facility will be built on the south side of the James River in Virginia’s Chesterfield County.

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End the food fight so we can attend to business of cleanup together

Recently, Perdue Farms had the opportunity to participate in two panels focused on agriculture and the Chesapeake Bay environment: the tongue-in-cheek-titled Food Fight sponsored by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, and Can Food Production and a Clean Chesapeake Bay Coexist? sponsored by the Center for Environment and Society at Washington University in Chestertown, the Sassafras River Association and Chester River Association.

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VEE marks 40 years of supporting the environment by looking to the future

This year, the Virginia Environmental Endowment, a nonprofit, independent grant-making foundation based in Richmond, celebrates its 40th anniversary. Although its grants and leveraged matching gifts have resulted in more than $80 million of environmental improvement, many Virginians are unaware of the endowment’s unique beginning, its profound impact on the commonwealth’s natural resources and the role it continues to play.

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Don’t let menhaden become a case of could have, should have, would have

Here we go again. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has held hearings up and down the East Coast on what to do about menhaden: Should we keep catching the same amount, catch more, catch less, or do an ecosystem study to see how menhaden fit into the scheme of saving the Chesapeake Bay?

Maybe we need a little refresher course about menhaden.

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We need to recognize the many faces that make up the Bay watershed

In an effort to create a better environment for everyone, the conservation world takes a vital step: including everyone.

The Chesapeake, the largest of more than 100 U.S. estuaries, is a trove of biodiversity. The Bay’s watershed stretches from New York to Virginia and boasts more than 3,600 species of plants and animals, 11,684 miles of shoreline and 150 major rivers and streams, giving it the highest land-to-water ratio of any coastal water body in the world.

Its people are just as varied as the natural environment.

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Opinion: Archives

Trees, please

I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head. —William Butler Yeats People feel better out under the trees. So do most songbirds, owls, butterflies and brook trout. So do our creeks, soil microbes and water...

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Around the Watershed

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,...

We need to recognize the many faces that make up the Bay watershed

In an effort to create a better environment for everyone, the conservation world takes a vital step: including everyone. The Chesapeake, the largest of more than 100 U.S. estuaries, is a trove of biodiversity. The Bay’s watershed stretches from New York to Virginia and boasts more...

Bay Program teams using cross-project initiatives to reach goals

Working within a partnership like the Chesapeake Bay Program presents unique obstacles when it comes to achieving restoration goals. Think of the challenge of finding a compromise between the different personalities in a dating relationship or marriage — only in the Bay...

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Chesapeake Born

Science saved the day for crabs, but a hero’s battles are never over

The views expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect those of the Bay Journal. Dear Governor Hogan, Please watch the Bay Journal’s recent film, Beautiful Swimmers Revisited. It celebrates a great Chesapeake success story, to which you seem dedicated to writing a bad new...

Baltimore’s ‘most elegant’ new community not fit for a fish

It has been my joy and anguish through the last five decades to keep track of little Dipping Pond Run, a rare and trouty tributary of Baltimore’s central drainage way, the Jones Falls. Exquisitely sensitive to water quality, trout are not just a fish, but an idea, a synecdoche...

Goldsborough skillfully navigated Bay fisheries’ troubled waters

Saving the Bay is obviously about improving water quality, but equally tricky is the business of managing how much seafood we extract from that water. From crabs and other shellfish to finfish, modern technologies enable harvest pressure that could overwhelm the healthiest estuary. So,...

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Conservation Matters

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...

Savage River fishing trip highlights importance of headwaters

Recently my friend, John Neely, who is also a board member of the Chesapeake Conservancy, took me fly fishing on Savage River. Savage River is a headwater tributary of the Potomac River, on the western edge of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Its watershed occupies more than 74,000 acres of...

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Forum

Abandoning sanctuaries means giving up on oyster restoration

The views expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect those of the Bay Journal. Maryland established its Oyster Advisory Commission in the latter half of 2007 to engage a wide range of interested people to consider strategies for bringing back a robust native oyster population in...

Assertions about menhaden population were a bit fishy

In his recent Bay Journal op-ed, Don’t let menhaden become a case of could have, should have, would have, March 2017, Bill Bartlett claims that menhaden are both scarce and unregulated in the Chesapeake Bay. Neither assertion is true according to the latest and best science on...

Trees, please

I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head. —William Butler Yeats People feel better out under the trees. So do most songbirds, owls, butterflies and brook trout. So do our creeks, soil microbes and water tables. Even a parking lot feels better —...

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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

Our streams could just die for more riparian forest buffers

A few weeks ago, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay hosted a forum in Buckeystown, MD, where more than 100 representatives from federal and state agencies, nonprofits and businesses, as well as the scientific and farming communities, met to discuss riparian buffers. This community of...

Growing partnerships with farmers key to restoring Octoraro watershed

The Chesapeake region is fortunate to have a variety of organizations that are interested in creating innovative partnerships to address local needs for clean water. In 2016, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay was awarded two grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to...

To make Chesapeake great again, red & blue must strive for green

All of us awoke on Nov. 9 to some unexpected feelings. Whether you felt joy or fear, the future seemed a bit more uncertain. That uncertainty extends to the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed as well. For nearly 50 years, the environmental community has been involved in...

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