Category: Environment

After two years, consensus on oyster policy still elusive in Maryland

It’s hard to come together over oysters in Maryland. Two years ago, seeking to get past seemingly endless conflicts between environmentalists and watermen, Maryland lawmakers ordered fisheries managers to try a more consensus-based approach to managing the state’s oyster population. After meeting more than two dozen times, the DNR panel reported Dec. 1 that it had agreed on 19 recommendations — only one of which called for doing anything different about oyster management.

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New federal budget boosts Chesapeake Bay funding

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program, which guides the overall restoration work throughout the six-state watershed, will get $85 million, the most it’s ever received. That’s a 16% increase over what the program received annually from Congress for the last five years. It’s also almost $78 million more than the Trump White House had asked for this year. That request would have resulted in a nearly 90% cut to the Bay Program budget.

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Young-of-year rockfish have another poor year in Md., better in Va.

Striped bass, whose population has been in decline for a decade and a half, suffered from another poor year of reproduction in Maryland, though the news was better in Virginia. Maryland’s annual young-of-year index was just 3.4, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, well below the long-term average of 11.6. It was the ninth time in the last 14 years that the state’s index reflected below-average reproduction in the state.

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