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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | November 2, 2012
SPOILER ALERT: This story reveals features of the plot. Baltimore-born film director Barry Levinson has said his new eco-horror movie, "The Bay," about a Chesapeake Bay turned deadly by environmental abuse, is "80 percent factual. " Bay scientists and one activist who've seen it say the film, which opened Friday, does touch on some very real issues affecting the bay. But they say the artistic license taken with the facts and the gore that makes it a horror movie may overwhelm any back story about what's wrong with the Chesapeake.
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By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | April 21, 2014
Underwater grasses rebounded last year in the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers, partially reversing a three-year decline in a key indicator of the bay's health, scientists said Monday. Aerial surveys detected a 24 percent increase in aquatic vegetation baywide, from 48,195 acres in 2012 to 59,927 acres last year. That's only about third of the goal federal and state officials have set for restoring grasses to levels approaching what they were 50 or 60 years ago. Robert J. Orth, a biologist with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science who coordinates the two-state survey, called last year's growth "a good recovery from what we've been seeing in the previous three years, but it still is far off from our high point" of nearly 90,000 acres in 2002.
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NEWS
May 26, 2011
My first visit to the Chesapeake Bay was disappointing to say the least. As a place that receives millions of visitors a year, it shouldn't be too much to expect clean water. Roughly 20 percent of all wetlands may no longer be protected by the Clean Water Act. We need EPA director Lisa Jackson and the EPA to act now to protect America's waterways. Muhammad Yasin, Reston, Va.
NEWS
March 12, 2014
In his recent State of the State Address, Gov. Martin O'Malley touted his accomplishments in Chesapeake Bay restoration. On closer examination, the record reveals that his claims were misstatements, at best. The truth is that Maryland's portion of the bay remains severely degraded. Oyster, shad and soft clam fisheries have collapsed, bay grasses declined in 2012 to the lowest levels since 1986, and dead zones proliferate. Did the governor intentionally ignore the increasing reports of people with serious flesh-eating skin infections threatening their limbs and lives because they swam or fished in Maryland's waters?
NEWS
June 24, 2012
While I agree that chemicals and manure are major problems contributing to Chesapeake Bay pollution, there are two additional concerns that should be addressed. One is the pollution associated with power mowers, leaf blowers and edgers. Most or these gasoline engines have little or no pollution controls. The second is the increasing population in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. During my lifetime, the population in Maryland has more than tripled, and homes and highways continue to reduce the efficiency of trees in cleansing the environment.
NEWS
January 20, 2011
It defies all logic that a farm with 100 acres could harm the Chesapeake Bay more than a shopping center, apartment complex and attendant parking lots on 100 acres could do. Back when the bay was clean, we had more farms than we do now, and we had many less people with their cars, sewage treatment plants and garbage. Are farmers singled out as evil bay polluters ( "Faulty stewardship," Jan. 13) because there are fewer of us? We are good stewards of the land, and fortunately we have the voice of the American Farm Bureau to speak for us. Milly B. Welsh, Davidsonville
NEWS
June 29, 2010
The Chesapeake Bay and the rich habitat it contains provide outstanding sporting opportunities for the region's millions of hunters, anglers and birders. As a Maryland resident sportsman, conservationist and professional wildlife biologist, I support the Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act, which is currently before Congress. The legislation would improve water quality and wildlife habitat in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and ensure that generations of sportsmen and other outdoors enthusiasts will continue to enjoy the region's wildlife-oriented traditions.
NEWS
October 1, 2013
Without doubt, car dealerships and big box store owners in overwhelming numbers will be voting for Harford County Executive David Craig in the 2014 gubernatorial Republican primary - all 238 of them, more or less. But running as the anti-Chesapeake Bay candidate, as Mr. Craig seems to be positioning himself to do, will be as popular as running against Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. His recent statements regarding environmental policy are about as reckless and irresponsible as any I have seen reported in over 60 years of reading The Sun ( "GOP's Craig calls for environmental rollback," Sept.
NEWS
July 9, 2011
We applaud Sen. Ben Cardin's courageous opposition to the pesticides bill now before the U.S. Senate ("Cardin opposes break on pesticide," July 4). This proposal would cancel the Environmental Protection Agency's permit program limiting the amount and types of pollutants discharged into waterways and threaten the Chesapeake Bay. Without definite limits on hazardous pesticides, it will be impossible to keep Maryland's streams and rivers free of toxic chemicals. Without the permit program, 95 percent of our streams will continue to show pesticide pollution, and the majority of our aquatic communities will be exposed to complex mixtures of chemical contaminants that have the potential for harm.
NEWS
February 19, 2013
Hardly a month goes by that The Sun does not further document how Chesapeake Bay pollution is eroding the livelihoods of our watermen. In a cynical moment, I once wrote in my book, "Bay Country," of a day when "we will memorialize the vanished watermen in a Colonial Williamsburg - Watermens' World, we'd call it ... tourists could view actors tonging Fiberglas oysters from the comfort of underwater viewing lounges.... " Now I'm encouraged to report that the Chesapeake Conservancy has an innovative program up and running that trains real life watermen to share their skills with tourists, supplementing their incomes while we work to restore the Chesapeake's seafood bounty.
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By Marie Marciano Gullard, For The Baltimore Sun | March 7, 2014
When buying a home, it can be difficult to find a property that meets all of a family's needs and desires. The Weiss family found one in Annapolis that fits like a glove and has lived happily there since 2007. Their brick contemporary rancher, built in 1973, sits on the banks of Lake Ogleton, which opens out to the Chesapeake Bay. The home is defined by its unique interior under a cathedral ceiling and the massive, angular-framed front window with a floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace in the center.
NEWS
February 25, 2014
When I first moved to Maryland seven years ago, I was excited to leave Pennsylvania and become a permanent resident of this beautiful state, especially moving to the top of the Chesapeake Bay and residing on the water in Havre de Grace. Shortly after that our youngest daughter transferred during her freshman year from West Chester University, in Pennsylvania, to Towson University. We did everything by the book, registered our cars, filed our taxes, surrendered our Pennsylvania licenses and received Maryland licenses.
NEWS
February 23, 2014
Once again, Gov. Martin O'Malley has tried to show that he can be a player on the national stage and a potential presidential candidate. At a recent "Taste of Maryland" dinner, Mr. O'Malley tried to show Republican voters that he can move to the right by evoking memories of President George H.W. Bush's "read my lips" promise not to raise taxes and by threatening to veto the Poultry Fair Share Act, which would require large poultry producers to help...
NEWS
February 21, 2014
I write to applaud the resilience of State Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. in sponsoring the Poultry Fair Share Act ( "Chicken tax sponsor refuses to quit," Feb. 12). As a resident and business owner in Baltimore City, I and my neighbors are already contributing to help sustain the health of the Chesapeake Bay (through measures like the Flush Tax ). The Poultry Fair Share Act is meant to share the cost with the one entity that benefits most from the Eastern Shore, and that's the large chicken companies.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case and The Baltimore Sun | February 19, 2014
Beer is helping the Chesapeake Bay. Seriously. Since 2011, a portion of sales from Flying Dog Brewery's Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout have assisted in planting nearly 3 million oysters in the Bay. Each sold bottle of Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout, which is brewed with oysters from Rappahannock River, allows the Oyster Recovery Partnership ( ORP ) to plant 10 oysters, a ccording to Erin Weston, director of communications for Flying Dog. On March 1, the Frederick company will present its latest donation to the ORP (from 2013 sales)
NEWS
February 15, 2014
The recent letter to the editor from a Baltimore doctor critical of flood insurance as a benefit for the rich ("Government offers a flood of help for the rich," Feb. 12) is a good example of how intelligent people on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay just do not understand that flood insurance touches people who have lived in towns and rural areas of the lower Eastern Shore for generations. These locals are not wealthy and many are living on the edge, especially in all of the waterman communities.
NEWS
September 30, 2013
As highlighted in "A Victory for the Chesapeake" (Sept. 19), Pennsylvania Judge Sylvia Rambo recently issued a thoughtful ruling in defense of the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to enforce the Clean Water Act. After a challenge by the Farm Bureau and others, the federal court affirmed that the EPA has the authority to issue pollution limits based on sound science and can continue doing its job of protecting the environment. This is good news for those of us who enjoy clean water for recreational purposes, but even more importantly, this is great news for those of us who depend on our water resources for food and commodities.
NEWS
December 10, 2009
Since 2007, the Department of the Environment has made enforcing environmental laws one of our top three priorities - along with increasing transparency and improving our fiscal structure. Progress includes enacting standard operating procedures to correct enforcement delays, increasing enforcement activity 34 percent in fiscal year 2008 and securing two of the highest penalties ever collected for state environmental violations. We did this without additional inspectors or resources. Over the past three years, due to the national economic recession and necessary state budget reductions, MDE reduced its budget by $27 million - equivalent to about a third of our annual operating budget.
NEWS
February 13, 2014
Domestic natural gas supply has increased enough to reduce the wholesale price to well below what foreign markets would offer for it. So Dominion and other corporate "players" as they call themselves want to send our natural gas overseas. The increased demand would increase domestic prices enough to support new fracking "plays" comparable to expansion during the original Marcellus Shale boom. The flip side includes those price increases showing up in heating and energy costs throughout North America.
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