Showing posts with label Chesapeake Bay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chesapeake Bay. Show all posts

Friday, January 16, 2015

January 1991 Report of the Governor’s Commission on Growth in the Chesapeake Bay Region

January 1991 Report of the Governor’s Commission on Growth in the Chesapeake Bay Region

Protecting the Future

A Vision for Maryland

Report of the Governor’s Commission on Growth in the Chesapeake Bay Region

January 1991


Since October 1989, the Governor's Commission on Growth in the Chesapeake Bay Region has worked to develop a vision for Maryland's growth over the next 30 years. Answering a charge from Governor William Donald Schaefer, the Commission has made recommendations for reconciling rapid economic growth and development with the conservation of Maryland's natural resources and the preservation of the State's unique quality of life.
The Commission recognized an opportunity to change the way land-use has been managed in the past, and crafted recommendations which carefully consider the challenge of the Visions prepared by the 2020 Panel of Experts.2 Each Vision was considered, and the responses blended into five basic recommendations that are the subject of this report.

1. Designate suitable areas for growth. Sprawl development devours land, harms the environment and the Chesapeake Bay, and uses infrastructure inefficiently. The Commission's proposal would have local governments direct new development to areas they believe can most efficiently accommodate it.

2. Protect sensitive areas. From a list of more than 40 environmentally-sensitive areas, such as den or breeding sites and large contiguous tracts of forest, the Commission focused on four as being most critical to protect from the impact of individual development projects. On steep slopes and in stream buffers, in habitats for endangered species and 100-year floodplains, virtually no development should be permitted.

3. Conserve natural resources. Sprawl development encourages inefficient use of resources. Natural resources such as farmland and forests, once developed, are difficult to restore. Under the Commission's proposal, development will be directed away from farms and forests.

4. Make stewardship of the environment a universal ethic. Mary landers must understand that each individual's actions have a direct effect on the Bay and the environment. The Commission has asked that a statewide Stewardship Council be charged with coordinating existing educational programs and increasing opportunities for individuals to protect the environment.

5. Provide funds to achieve the recommendations. Concentrating development depends on the ability of local governments to fund the planning and infrastructure.  Although local

The 2020 Panel of Experts was convened at the request of the signatories of the 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement to study the consequences of population growth and development for the Chesapeake Bay watershed to the year 2020.  Their report described six detailed "visions" and "actions."


From far western Garrett County to the Eastern Shore, the importance of the Bay to Maryland is virtually inestimable. Each year it gives us millions of dollars of seafood, billions of dollars of commerce flow through its major ports, and it is a recreation center for the East Coast. In 1989, the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development estimated the economic value of the Bay to Maryland and Virginia to be $678 billion.

Saving the Chesapeake Bay MUST be an overriding priority for all Marylanders and their governments.  Economic Importance of the Chesapeake Bay. 1989.
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Monday, June 10, 2013

Chesapeake Bay Journal News


Improvements in water quality an added benefit of air pollution regs

People across the Bay watershed have, over the last decade, slashed the amount of nitrogen pollution they generate, mostly without realizing it.
For that matter, so have people in Ohio, North Carolina, parts of Michigan and even Toronto.
Every time they flick on a light, drive their car, or even mow their lawn, they are producing dramatically less nitrogen pollution than was the case little more than a decade ago.

Backlash from stormwater fee catches advocates off guard

For longtime stormwater advocates, 2013 should have been a celebratory time. After four years of trying, they had finally persuaded the Maryland General Assembly to pass a bill requiring a stormwater fee for large urban areas. Each of the state's nine largest counties and Baltimore City had begun to develop fees that would help them address this long-ignored source of pollution that is projected to grow as more people move into population centers.

B-WET, which funds students’ Bay education, faces elimination

The Bay Watershed Education and Training program, which helps develop programs to provide Chesapeake region students with outdoor environmental education experiences, would face elimination under the budget proposed by President Obama in April.
The budget calls for funding for B-WET and a number of other programs aimed at promoting science, technology, engineering and math education to be consolidated into the U.S. Department of Education, Smithsonian Institution and National Science Foundation

Top MD court to decide if Lake Bonnie pollution suit has merit

In the next few months, Maryland's highest court will decide whether the case of an Eastern Shore woman who lost her home and business as a result of septic tank pollution from a nearby town will go to trial.

Dam relicensing acknowledges that with power comes responsibility

Standing 50 feet above the Susquehanna River, the view from a catwalk on the Conowingo Dam was a study in contrasts.
To the right, water roiled out from under the dam. After running off a 27,000-square-mile drainage basin that extends well into New York and western Pennsylvania, it had just pushed its way through a series of turbines, generating more than 500 megawatts of electricity in the process.
To the left, a slower flow of water poured over the dam and through a concrete channel into the river, creating a steady water flow aimed at luring migrating fish into an elevator. After hoisting them nearly 100 feet, the elevator releases the fish into another channel that allows them to pass over the dam.

Baltimore preparing a TMDL to clean up trash in its water

Walking along Gwynns Falls Trail with Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper Tina Meyers, it's ironic that we pass a beige, beat-up, overturned residential trash can lying by the tree line. We're on our way to survey the Gwynns Falls stream where it meets the Middle Branch of the Baltimore Harbor. Soaking rain falls steadily — it's the kind of day that carries trash down storm drains and into creeks.

A pollinator garden in one’s yard may help save plants everywhere

Pollination results when the pollen from the male part of the flower (stamen) is moved to the female part of the same or another flower (stigma) and fertilizes it, resulting in the production of fruits and seeds. Some flowers rely on the wind to move pollen; others on animals.
About 75 percent of all flowering plants rely on pollinators for fertilization and more than 200,000 species of animals act as pollinators. Of those, about 1,000 are hummingbirds, bats and other small animals. The majority of pollinators are insects, such as beetles, bees, ants, wasps, butterflies and moths.

Student immerse themselves in plankton study

For the last several years, some Calvert County high school students have gotten a big-picture view about how their everyday activities affect local waterways by studying some of the Bay's tiniest organisms —plankton.

Swim Guide app lets users know if local beach is safe to swim in

If you're wondering whether a local beach is safe for swimming this summer, there's an app that can provide the answer.
The Waterkeeper Alliance Swim Guide is available for free on iPhone, Android and other smartphones. You can use your location and it will provide a list of the closest beaches and their status. The status is marked with an icon of a man swimming.

Ghost pots estimated to kill 1.25 million blue crabs in VA’s Bay waters

A four-year Virginia study found that so-called ghost fishing carried on by lost and abandoned crab traps takes a very real — and lethal — toll on the Bay's blue crabs and other aquatic dwellers.
Researchers found that the roughly 32,000 crab pots pulled from Virginia waters during four winters of collection efforts held more than 25,000 crabs. Three-fifths of them were females, the gender fishery managers have targeted for increased protection.

Even the animals pitch in at this Bay-friendly farm in PA

Before they began farming in 2001, Homer Walden and Dru Peters knew that agriculture was the single largest source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay. They were aware that raising animals with conventional practices contributes large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus to area waterways. They understood that the same poisons that kill weeds and pests also find their way into creeks and rivers, where they kill other living organisms.

Sick smallmouth bass spur effort to seek impaired status for Susquehanna

Eight years ago, it appeared something was wrong with the smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River.
Thousands of young fish were dying in the heat of July and August, many showing lesions on their shimmery skin. In favorite fishing holes, where anglers could once catch close to 100 fish a day, they were finding few fish alive.

MD to cut female blue crab harvest by 10% to bolster reproduction

Maryland natural resources officials have decided to cut the female blue crab harvest by 10 percent with hopes of keeping more crabs in the water so that they can reproduce.
State officials made the decision after analyzing the Winter Dredge Survey numbers. The survey counted 147 million female crabs — double the 70 million that is the healthy abundance threshold. But there was poor reproduction in 2013, and scientists do not want the population to fall back into crisis. The total number of blue crabs dropped from 765 million to 300 million, and juveniles dropped from 581 million to 111 million.


Present contradictions of past predictions |Editor’s Note

Researching background for articles in this issue provides a cautionary tale about how difficult it is to predict what the future will bring.
In December 1991, the issue of air pollution and the Bay made the cover of the Bay Journal for the first of many times over the years, and air deposition had only recently been identified as a significant contributor of nitrogen to the Chesapeake.

    The Bay Program has come a long way in 30 years, but has only just begun | Message from the Alliance

      The program is the official federal-state-local partnership working on science, policy and programs that support the restoration effort.
      I'm at the point in my life when I think of 30 as young. But there is a sense among some politicians and citizens that we've been spending a lot of money and a lot of time over three decades, so why aren't we done by now?

      From top of bluffs to its marshes, Elk Neck commands one’s attention | Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

      Fannie Mae Salter was not a woman to take no for an answer. When her husband C.W. "Harry" Salter died in 1925, she thought she would stay on as keeper of the Turkey Point Lighthouse in the Upper Bay.
      But the Lighthouse Service had other ideas. Citing her advanced age (she was in her 40s) they planned to give the job to someone else. So she appealed to her senator and — ultimately — the issue went to the president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge.

      Ospreys are Eggs-cellent! | Chesapeake Challenge

      Bay Buddies focuses on Tom & Audrey, the Bay's celebrated osprey parents. Here is a test of osprey lore. Getting all of these right will earn a feather in your cap!

        Tom & Audrey | Bay Buddies

        The Chesapeake's latest reality stars are ospreys Tom & Audrey — until their chicks hatch and steal the show! If you haven't already, visit, where the Chesapeake Conservancy's Osprey Cam has been offering a 24/7 look at the nest-building and egg-laying action at Tom & Audrey's nest site on a platform in the vicinity of Kent Island, MD. Also at the site is a link to a blog about ospreys, and Tom and Audrey in particular. 

          Blue-gray gnatcatcher: big surprises in a tiny package | On the Wing

            We were taking a break from the heat and the sun, sitting under a lovely grape arbor. The day had gotten progressively hotter and the sky milkier. Under the arbor, our eyes adjusted to the less intense light and took in the deeper shades of green that only shadows provide.


            Reducing stormwater heals people, economy not just waterways | Forum

            There has been a great deal of talk lately about a "rain tax" in Maryland. While catchy, that moniker doesn't begin to get at the heart of the issue.

              Otters: the furry brown canary in Bay watershed’s streams | Forum

              I am tramping around the Pocono Mountains in the upper reaches of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay watershed with retired Pennsylvania Game Commission officer Barry Warner. After 25 years of working these lands, he knows where the otters hang out.

                Climate change is the real bogeyman, not nuclear energy | Chesapeake Born

                For too long, many environmentalists have been ambivalent about nuclear energy. It conjures fears: meltdowns, cancers, Chernobyl, Fukushima, overtones of nuclear bombs.
                Yet we also know that nuclear power provides 70 percent of all the greenhouse gas-free electrical power in the United States (Hydropower, in which dams block many great rivers like the Susquehanna to fish migration, provides much of the rest).
                  Kevin Dayhoff is an artist - and a columnist for:

                  Kevin Dayhoff's The New Bedford Herald: =

                  Tumblr: Kevin Dayhoff Banana Stems
                  Google profile:

                  E-mail: kevindayhoff(at)
                  My columns appear in the copy of the Baltimore Sunday Sun that is distributed in Carroll County:

                  Tuesday, March 20, 2012

                  Farm pollution lawsuit spurs public relations battle

                  Farm pollution lawsuit spurs public relations battle

                  Poultry industry, environmental groups fund lawyers for national bellwether

                  By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun

                  March 19, 2012

                  With a catch in her throat, Kristin Hudson talks in a video posted online about her young daughter asking if "they" will take away her daddy's farm.

                  The video, featured on rallied farmers and others across the country to the side of an Eastern Shore farm couple fighting an environmental group's lawsuit alleging that the farm polluted a Chesapeake Bay tributary.

                  The Web-based organization has raised more than $200,000 to date from Perdue Farms, agricultural groups and other farmers to help Alan and Kristin Hudson pay legal bills in the 2-year-old case, according to one of the group's leaders. Meanwhile, two Maryland foundations with environmental agendas have poured a comparable amount into supporting the suit filed by the Waterkeepers Alliance…,0,1037150,full.story


                  Monday, January 9, 2012

                  Farrell Keough: UMD law clinic sues on behalf of the 1 percent

                  UMD law clinic sues on behalf of the 1 percent

                  Farrell Keough December 30, 2011

                  The University of Maryland Carey School of Law Environmental Law Clinic's pro bono legal services for the Waterkeepers Alliance are supporting organizations that would qualify as 1 percenters if they were individuals. Associate Dean Teresa LaMaster defended this action in a recent radio interview, stating that the Waterkeepers Alliance "don't really have the resources to fund a case," and their "local organizations are not well funded and don't really have the resources to bring a case like this."

                  The evidence portrays a very different scenario. The 2010 tax returns from the Waterkeepers Alliance confirm that their New York organization had over $400,000 in cash, generated $3.6 million in revenue, and over $16 million in contributions over the last five years.

                  They also provide their organizations, including Assateague Coastal Trust (co-plaintiffs in this suit), "with a wealth of resources including a team of experts in environmental law." The New York organization also spent over $300,000 in 2010 on one of their annual conferences in La Paz, Mexico.

                  The group's annual fundraiser is Skifest — a celebrity filled event hosted in Deer Valley, Utah. This fundraiser brings in $435,000 for the title sponsor and $135,000 for corporate sponsors. The 2010 tax forms for Assateague Coastal Trust shows over $333,000 in cash and investments and $336,057 in revenue generated.

                  With millions in cash and revenues, the justification by Ms. LaMaster for pro bono support has no merit. By this logic… 

                  Related: Maryland environmental law clinic focuses on enforcement
                  University program under fire for pursuing pollution case

                  Governor right to defend family farm

                  O'Malley voices disapproval of law school clinic's pollution suit
                  Governor calls action against Eastern Shore farmer and Perdue 'costly litigation of questionable merit'