Posts Tagged Chesapeake Bay

Trump Proposes Cutting EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program

Trump Budget Chesapeake Bay

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal would eliminate federal funding for the program that has coordinated Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts for decades. Trump’s spending plan for the 2018 budget year, released Thursday, significantly reduces funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. (Credit: Steve Helber / AP)

President Trump’s budget blueprint to “Make American Great Again” would cut EPA funding for the Chesapeake Bay by $73 million, ultimately killing federal programs to eliminate pollution that’s been plan plaguing the bay for decades. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Scientists Build Avian Flu Defense for Chesapeake Farmers

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Georgie Cartanza’s chicken farm. (Credit: Katie Peikes / Delaware Public Media)

The Delmarva Peninsula lies under the Atlantic Migratory flyway, a path waterfowl migrate through. As Europe deals with recent outbreaks of a severe strain of Avian Influenza, some local poultry growers worry that just one infected bird passing through the region could contaminate and kill whole flocks of chickens.

That’s why poultry growers across Delmarva take precautions to avoid the possibility of the virus traveling from outside of the farm to the respiratory systems of their chickens. And research is being done that could help farmers better understand waterfowl patterns so they can prepare for when the virus surfaces.

Delaware Public Media’s Katie Peikes reports on possible repercussions avian flu could have and new research that could help avert that scenario for Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative.

Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative is funded with grant support from the Clayton Baker Trust, The Bancroft Foundation, Michael and Ann Hankin, The Jim and Patty Rouse Foundation, The Rob and Elizabeth Tyler Foundation, and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

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Searching for Ghost Pots in the Chesapeake

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A ghost pot sits in the sand on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Every year, Chesapeake Bay watermen toss about 600,000 traps overboard to catch one of our favorite delicacies – the blue crab. But inevitably, some of those traps called crab pots disappear. They become “ghost pots” that kill millions of crabs and other marine species trapped inside. Watermen used to spend winters searching for those pots, but federal funds to pay for the project dried up. So, scientists are looking at other ways to deal with the problem.

Pamela D’Angelo reports for Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative.

Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative is funded with grant support from the Clayton Baker Trust, The Bancroft Foundation, Michael and Ann Hankin, The Jim and Patty Rouse Foundation, The Rob and Elizabeth Tyler Foundation, and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation

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Health of Chesapeake Bay Graded at All-Time High, C-

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Credit: Creative Commons

About 18 million people live along the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The economic value of keeping waters pollution-free ranges from the fish and blue crabs we eat to the summer swims we take.

Every two years the Chesapeake Bay Foundation gives the bay a physical, checking into habitat, fisheries and pollution. This year the bay went from a D+ to a C-.

Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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At the Intersection of Religious Conviction and Environmental Ethics

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Frances and Tim Sauder on their farm in Quarryville, PA. (Credit: Joel McCord)

Not long ago, we learned that water quality in the Chesapeake Bay is improving. But one part of one state—south central Pennsylvania—has lagged behind in reaching its pollution reduction goals, mostly because of fertilizer that runs off farm fields into Bay tributaries. Now, Pennsylvania, the US Department of Agriculture and the EPA have committed to spend $28 million to accelerate pollution reduction efforts in that region.

But as Joel McCord reports for Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative some of those farmers are conflicted about taking the money because of religion.

Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative is funded with grant support from the Clayton Baker Trust, The Bancroft Foundation, Michael and Ann Hankin, The Jim and Patty Rouse Foundation, The Rob and Elizabeth Tyler Foundation, and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

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Marine Safety is a Concern for the Chesapeake Bay Following Dead Whale Sightings

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The Virginia Aquarium’s Stranding Team (Credit: Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center)

Several sightings of a dead whale in Virginia waters of the Chesapeake Bay have been reported since last weekend. Because it’s on the move the Virginia Aquarium has been unable to locate it. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Workgroup Tackles Unique Challenges to Virginia’s Coastal Industries

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Virginia’s coastal industries are a major part of the state’e economy, but face distinct threats. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Virginia is the nation’s third largest producer of marine products, behind Alaska and Louisiana. But working waterfronts in coastal Virginia are under increasing threats from development, sea level rise, subsidence, and loss of marine habitat to name a few. At a recent conference sponsored by the Virginia Coastal Policy Center stakeholders presented a plan to save working waterfronts to members of the General Assembly.

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Virginia’s 2017 Harvest of Atlantic Menhaden Will Increase

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Credit: Pamela D’Angelo

At a meeting in Maine this week, Atlantic coast fisheries managers agreed to increase the catch for menhaden, a fish considered crucial to birds, other fish and by commercial watermen to catch crabs. It’s also key to the remaining fish oil plant on the East Coast here in Virginia.  Pamela D’Angelo reports.

 

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Without the She Crab, There Would be No He Crab

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Basket with sponge crabs in all stages of egg development. Taken legally in Virginia in late June. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

The Atlantic Blue Crab, Chesapeake Bay’s signature crustacean, has been through tough times in the last 20 years. Some recent improvement has been credited to restrictions on harvesting females. Yet Virginia still allows the harvest of egg-bearing females, something Maryland banned back in 1917. The reasons why seems to be wrapped up in economics. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

The Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative is funded by the participating stations with grant support from the Clayton Baker Trust, The Bancroft Foundation, Michael and Ann Hankin, The Jim and Patty Rouse Foundation, The Rob and Elizabeth Tyler Foundation, and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

 

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Virginia’s Wild Oyster Season Opens to Controversy

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Virginia’s wild oysters are still recovering from disease and over-harvesting (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Disease, pollution and a century of over-harvesting decimated the Chesapeake Bay’s wild oyster population. As Virginia’s wild oyster season gets underway, there are new harvest restrictions and concerns over the state of this key bay species. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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The Invasion of the Blue Catfish

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Jamie Bowling nets a blue catfish, an invasive species in tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay (Credit: Joel McCord)

A few years ago, scientists began worrying that blue catfish, the much larger cousins of those squirmy, yellowish bottom feeders, might take over in Chesapeake Bay. They’re big—better than 100 pounds in some cases–voracious eaters and they’re prolific. So, at least one seafood wholesaler appropriated a slogan applied to other invasive fish–eat ‘em to beat ‘em—and began aggressively marketing them. And local watermen have found a new market and seemingly endless supply. Joel McCord has more.

The Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative is funded by the participating stations with grant support from the Clayton Baker Trust, The Bancroft Foundation, Michael and Ann Hankin, The Jim and Patty Rouse Foundation, The Rob and Elizabeth Tyler Foundation, and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

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Menhaden Fishing Limits are Swimming in Controversy

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Credit: Peter Pearson / Creative Commons

A fish crucial to Chesapeake Bay crabbers and Virginia’s omega-3 oil industry is proving to be one of the most controversial, as Atlantic fisheries managers struggled this week at their summer meeting to determine how much should be caught. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Loopers: Traversing the ‘Appalachian Trail on Water’

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Jim Brickett / Creative Commons

The Great Loop of the Eastern United States is like a safari or sea-­fari if you will. There are bears, manatees, bald eagles and mountain lions all while boaters cruise through 6,000 miles of waterways. They travel the Atlantic up to Canada then to inland waterways, down to the Gulf Coast and back to the Atlantic. Pamela D’Angelo met up with a pair of so­-called Loopers from Maine as they followed the route of Captain John Smith up the Rappahannock River.

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