The year 2010 closed with the unveiling of a new Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan lauded by states, federal officials and environmentalists as the rigorous, concrete and enforceable plan that would finally deliver on the promise of a clean and healthy Bay.
Hogan touts new $47.9 billion ‘structurally balanced’ budget that prioritizes education, public safety
“This budget funds all of the state’s top priorities while maintaining $1.3 billion in reserves and limiting budget growth to 1 percent without raising taxes, without cutting services and without raiding dedicated special funds,” Hogan said at a Tuesday morning news conference at the State House.
Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joseph Bartenfelder declared Monday that he saw no need to delay a state regulation that restricts the use of animal manure to fertilize farm fields, despite a study warning there are likely to be problems dealing with the excess manure that is expected to result.
For the last few years, Jason Lambertson’s farm near Pocomoke City on the Lower Eastern Shore has been home to an expensive experiment. The third-generation farmer received nearly $1 million in state funding to build a giant poultry waste converter and distribute its main product: fertilizer. But profits have yet to arrive.
As in so many other places around the Chesapeake Bay, oysters are now scarce in Breton Bay, a short, relatively wide tributary of the Potomac River that zigzags south like a question mark from Leonardtown in St. Mary’s County. But the bivalves may return to this picturesque and comparatively remote estuary if a proposal by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources comes to fruition. State officials have nominated Breton for an ambitious effort to restore its long-dormant oyster reefs.
April showers bring May flowers — and mosquitoes. This spring, a team of researchers with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science is looking into whether the annual onslaught of those pesky blood suckers can be curbed by some tiny, shrimplike critters called copepods.
Following a tip from an environmental group about a Baltimore scrapyard, state inspectors ultimately wrote up the company for 11 violations after seeing sediment, oil and possibly other contaminants washing off the cluttered, debris-strewn site into storm drains that eventually reach the Patapsco River. Nineteen months later, the case remains unresolved, even though documents obtained under Maryland’s Public Information Act show that follow-up inspections by the MDE found new and continuing violations there for months after the initial visit. The state considered imposing a half-million-dollar penalty, but never fined the company nor took harsher enforcement action.
Merchant seeks state help in keeping out-of-state crabs from being passed off as local seafood; others say it’s not so simple. Many Maryland crab establishments that supplement their local catch with Gulf-caught crustaceans are honest about it; some employ a don’t-ask-don’t-tell attitude; and some will claim the crabs are local when they are not.
Recently, two campaigns have been launched to jumpstart Maryland’s efforts to combat climate change, reduce harmful air pollution and establish Maryland as a national leader in clean, renewable energy. These campaigns share a common goal – a 100% clean energy future.
Responding to pleas from Maryland crab processors suffering from a depressed harvest this year, a state advisory group is proposing to relax a regulation that could allow importing nearly twice as many egg-bearing female crabs for crabmeat. But some Maryland crabbers object, warning that the move would undercut their income and endanger the future of the entire Chesapeake Bay fishery.