This Weeks News from the Chesapeake Bay
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29 December 2015
Your end-of-year gift will help us keep you informed in 2016
From the completion of the world’s largest oyster reef in Harris Creek to the debate over fish passage at Conowingo Dam, from the restoration of American chestnuts in the mountains to legal battles over Bay cleanup plans in the courtroom, no one covers the issues affecting the Chesapeake and its watershed like the Bay Journal


We don’t expect any slow down in our efforts during the coming year, but we do need your help. Reader donations provide an essential part of our budget which helps us cover these issues. As 2015 comes to a close, please consider supporting our work with a tax-deductible year-end contribution. Thank you


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Congress approves $11 million to protect landscapes in Bay region

It is the first support for the Rivers of the Chesapeake initiative to protect land along waterways

The Bay region received nearly $11 million to protect high-priority lands, mostly along the Bay and its rivers, in the federal spending bill approved by Congress in December.

- Karl Blankenship

Congress passes school bill that includes environmental education

No Child Left Inside Coalition promotes integrating subject into other curricula. 

A decade ago, Don Baugh had seen plenty of successful environmental education programs. As vice president of education at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, he had helped produce many of them.

- Karl Blankenship

MD energy department to relocate in same office as MDE

Officials hope move will be catalyst for manure-to-energy project.

The Maryland Energy Administration will be leaving its Annapolis office and moving in with the Maryland Department of the Environment, a move state and Chesapeake Bay officials hope will foster better communication on key climate-change and pollution-control issues.

- Rona Kobell

Critter Number 1 — The (Christmas) Goose

Wishing you your Christmas goose, or at least a good goose story, as we wrap up 12 Days of Critters.

While Bon Appetit makes a meal à la goose look quite delicious, geese in the Bay watershed are a more nuanced subject. As I wrote about earlier this year, there are two types of geese in our watershed — those that leave, and those that don't.

- Whitney Pipkin

Critter 2 — The Eagle

The eagle edged out the turkey to become America’s symbol. It then survived DDT and recovered to become a symbol of the best in conservation, of how humans can reverse the consequences of our actions and bring a bird back from the brink. In doing so, it became a symbol of hope for many other species in distress. If we can bring back eagles, what can’t we do?

- Rona Kobell

Critter Number 3 — The Otter

It’s so much fun to see river otters.

They remind me of toddlers. Everything seems to be a playful game. They’re happy, they’re jumpy (is that a scientific term?), and they have those cute, whiskery faces. I’m not a cat person, but an otter is sort of like a kitty of the sea.

- Rona Kobell

Critter Number 4 — The Deer

For those who’ve lost prized daffodils or, worse, a car to wandering deer, a stag or doe might no longer fit your vision of a cute “critter.” Your childhood love for Bambi has been replaced with angst over an unwanted neighbor that, elegant as they may be snacking on your ornamentals, presents some problems for local ecosystems.

- Whitney Pipkin

Critter Number 5 — The Beaver

Beavers in this country happen to have their own fan club. I’ve heard from a few of its members this past week after my story about beavers was posted online.

- Whitney Pipkin

2017 Midpoint Assessment will help to make good efforts even better

Periodically evaluating one’s progress or actions when trying to accomplish a particular task is a healthy thing to do.

This applies to financial investments for retirement, as well as targets or goals set for anything worth achieving.

- Nick DiPasquale

Moving the needle at the Chesapeake Watershed Forum 2015

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” 
— Norman Vincent Peale

This would have been an apt theme for the Chesapeake Watershed Forum’s 10th Anniversary edition that took place Sept. 25–27 in Shepherdstown, WV.

- Lou Etgen

Eastern Neck - Winter Birding

January 2, 2016
February 6, 2016
March 5, 2016

8:00am - 10:00am

Location: Eastern Neck NWR near Rock Hall, MD

Friends of Eastern Neck, Inc. are offering winter waterfowl walks at Eastern Neck NWR near Rock Hall, MD. The guided, 2-mile walks includes sanctuary areas ordinarily off-limits to the public. Hikers must be at least 12 years old. Bring a camera; spotting scopes will be available. Walks are free with a donation to Friends of Eastern Neck to help cover expenses.


For more information contact: 

Registration is limited; for details, or to register, contact Gren Whitman at or 443-691-9370. The evening before each walk is a “First Friday” in nearby Chestertown. Registrants will be mailed a packet with directions, accommodations, restaurants, weekend performances and other points of interest in Kent County.

Wildwood Park - Cabin Fever Walk


January 2, 2016

1:00pm - 2:30pm

Location: Wildwood Park and Olewine Nature Center in Harrisburg

Take a 3-mile walk on Wildwood Way and Towpath Trail, learn which animals live in the park home during the winter.

Fee: No

For more information contact: 

For details, call 714-221-0292 x3 or visit

Patapsco Valley State Park - First Day Hike

January 1, 2016

10:00am - 1:00pm

Location: Patapsco Valley State Park

Join a naturalist as she leads you on a vigorous 4 mile hike on the Switchback Trail at the
McKeldin Area of Patapsco Valley State Park. Hikers will enjoy this beautiful
riverside trail as well as the scenic view at the Liberty Dam Overlook located
at the end of the trail. Pets on a leash are welcome. Meet at the first
parking lot- Participants are asked to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for
the weather (rain, snow or shine), and bring water for drinking. Families are
encouraged to call 410-461-5005 to register. Cost: FREE

Fee: No

Lake Roland - First Day Hike


January 1, 2016

10:00am - 12:00pm

Location: Lake Roland Baltimore County, MD

All ages, Free!
Start the year off right by enjoying the great outdoors! Join a park ranger for an easy hike observing nature’s winter splendor. Wear warm clothes and bring water.

Fee: No

For more events, visit
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