Posts Tagged Chesapeake Bay

Oyster Families Remember Life In The Northern Neck

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Catherine Bundy holding a photo of her with husband Thomas, who perished out on the Rappahannock River while oystering in December 1953. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

It’s wild oyster season around the Chesapeake Bay. In Virginia’s Northern Neck, at Belle Isle State Park, a new exhibit slated to open early next year will feature stories from people who lived and worked there during the 1940s and 1950s.

Two families, the Boatwrights and the Pollards, co-owned the 1000-acre farm and nearby oyster grounds in the Rappahannock River.  These are some of their stories:

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Fishery Limits Cause Disputes At Regional Commission Meeting

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One of Omega Protein’s two new ships out in the Chesapeake Bay. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

Meetings of fisheries managers are not exactly a big draw.

But this week, Atlantic state commissioners’ changes in harvests of a menhaden, a baitfish used by crabbers and lobstermen, turned into a hand-wringing session for commercial fishermen, environmentalists, anglers and even the commissioners. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Flood-Proofing Virginia’s Military Bases Could Be A Very Expensive Venture

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Col. Keith Morrow, U.S. Army (Ret.), Deputy Mission Support Commander talks about flooding issues at Fort Eustis and Langley Air Force Base. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

You may remember earlier this year when President Trump made a call to the mayor of Tangier Island. The island is slowly disappearing into the Chesapeake Bay, sinking at the same time sea-level is rising at a faster pace due to climate change. Trump told him not to worry. But his Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, is doing the opposite, facing down climate change as a threat to national security.

Recently, top regional brass spent a day with scientists and policymakers at the William & Mary Law School. All agreed, it’s going to be a long, very expensive battle. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Va News Topics: Chesapeake Bay Access, Buchanan Town Manager

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Credit: Virginia Public Access Project

Fishermen and business owners in one eastern Virginia community say they may lose access to the Chesapeake Bay. And, the town of Buchanan is divided over whether the town manager should be a full-time resident. Those have been among the most read stories over the past week on the Virginia Public Access Project’s Va News link at vpap.org. More now from Fred Echols.

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Popular Tourist Stop On The Chesapeake Bay To Close

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One of several coin-operated binoculars along the pier. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

For decades now, tourists have stopped midway on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to stand at the mouth of the Bay. They watch cargo and military ships, and if they’re lucky, a nuclear sub glide by before ducking into the restaurant for some freshly fried flounder and hush puppies. But, as Pamela D’Angelo reports, the restaurant will become history at the end of the month.

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Bay’s Osprey Population in Decline… Again

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Osprey family at Lynnhven Inlet, VA (Credit: Reese Lukei)

The Chesapeake Bay is host to the largest breeding population of osprey in the world. They tell us when spring is here and give us clues about the bay’s health. Now, as osprey begin their annual migration to Central and South America, biologists say there’s been a decline in population during the last few years. 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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Dolphins in Chesapeake Bay: Unusual, or No Big Deal?

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Dolphins in Hellens Creek off the Patuxent River near Solomons. (Credit: Chris Moe / UMCES)

Earlier this summer, we started hearing reports of dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay. Some thought it was unusual, others said it was no big deal. So Joel McCord went searching for them 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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East of I-95, Virginia Begins to Limit Permitted Groundwater Users

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Groundwater management areas along Virginia’s coast. (Credit: Department of Environmental Quality)

Groundwater in the Coastal Plain, East of I-95, is under stress. During the last 18 months, Virginia water officials have been negotiating cuts to groundwater withdrawals by the state’s biggest users. Now, they are looking at another large user. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

You can find the full report here.

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Lafayette River Rebounds, Community Still Wary of Bay Budget Cuts

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From left: Sean Corson, Acting Director, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office; Rep. Bobby Scott, (3rd District); Ryan Jackson, aide to Rep. Scott; Molly Ward, Virginia Sec. of Natural Resources; Rick Coradi, Rotary Club of Norfolk all dump oysters with baby oysters attached onto a newly constructed reef. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

After nearly a decade of work, the once-polluted, urban Lafayette River in Norfolk is rebounding. The Elizabeth River Project and Chesapeake Bay Foundation will build just five more acres of oyster reefs to become Virginia’s first river to meet Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration goals. Last week, federal, state and local legislators celebrated with community activists, but remain concerned that the president’s budget has zeroed out all bay cleanup funding. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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The Fight to Restore Chesapeake Bay Funding

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From left: Ben Grumbles, Maryland Secretary of Environment; Russell Redding, Secretary Pennsylvania adept. of Agriculture; Kenny Bounds, Deputy Sec. Delaware Dept. of Agriculture; Molly Award, Virginia Secretary Natural Resources; Tommy Wells, D.C. Department of Energy and Environment (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

 

A bipartisan array of state officials went to bat for the Chesapeake Bay yesterday, lobbying their Congressional representatives to restore $73 million in bay restoration funds that was chopped out of the 2018 federal budget. 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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Chesapeake Bay Scientists Concerned by Low Numbers of Young Female Blue Crabs

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Credit: AP Photo / Vicki Smith

Those Chesapeake Bay blue crabs spread across your picnic table or served up as crab cakes are the result of a hard working waterman. What you may not know, it’s also because of science. State fisheries managers closely monitor the population and adjust harvests throughout season. From the Eastern Shore, Pamela D’Angelo reports from a recent meeting.

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Rappahannock Tribe Regains Land at Fones Cliffs

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The Warners hand Rappahannock Tribe Chief Anne Richardson a piece of Fones Cliff as a symbol of the property they have been given. (Credit: Pamela D’Angelo)

You’ve likely have heard the story of Captain John Smith’s famous encounter with the Rappahannock Tribe. While exploring the Rappahannock River, the tribe shot arrows at them from Fones Cliffs. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Early 20th Century African American Portraits Tell a Tale of Two Worlds

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Credit: Holley Graded School Museum and Art Gallery

15 years ago a stash of African American photographic portraits taken in the early 1900’s were discovered on a farm in the Northern Neck region of the Chesapeake Bay. And while they have not been identified, they provide clues to life in a rural, African American community 40 years after the Civil War. Now, there’s an effort to put them into a permanent exhibit. Pamela D’Angelo reports.

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Trump Proposes Cutting EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program

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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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