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NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | April 17, 2012
Heavy spring rains, a hot summer and two major storms caused the Chesapeake Bay's overall health to worsen last year, scientists said Tuesday, though there apparently was a slight improvement in the Baltimore area's Patapsco and Back rivers, long considered among the bay's most degraded tributaries. The beleaguered bay saw its ecological grade slip from a C- in 2010 to D+ last year in an annual report card drawn up by the University of Maryland and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
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NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | August 5, 2012
On a hot summer day, it's hard to see how the Conowingo Dam could hurt the Chesapeake Bay. Anglers line the shore below the 94-foot high impoundment, casting out into the gently roiling Susquehanna River for rockfish breaking the water. Yet unseen, on the other side of the dam, millions upon millions of tons of sediment and nutrient pollution are slowly building up that could wreak havoc on the bay if they get through. "It's an invisible problem," said Michael Helfrich, the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, as he watches the fishermen.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | December 3, 2010
Maryland officials released their latest plan Friday for accelerating cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay, calling for a series of ambitious pollution reduction measures affecting farmers, city dwellers and suburbanites that would cost $10 billion or more — about twice what's now being spent to restore the troubled estuary. The 234-page document , presented four days after a federal deadline for bay states to submit final cleanup plans, spells out steps state officials pledge to take over the next seven years to achieve 70 percent of the pollution reductions needed.
NEWS
By Jonathan Pitts | January 31, 2010
It cannot be that I shall live and die a slave. I will take to the water. This very bay shall yet bear me into freedom. - Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass H e had always loved the Chesapeake Bay and enjoyed history, but for the longest time, when Vince Leggett tried to blend his twin passions, he was left with some haunting questions. "I'd read of all the shipbuilders, boat captains and shipping magnates who supposedly made bay history, most of them members of the majority community," says Leggett, a public historian and former schools administrator who lives in Annapolis.
FEATURES
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | March 14, 2013
Larry Simns, who founded and led the Maryland Watermen's Association for four decades and was a key influence on efforts to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, died Thursday. He was 75. Mr. Simns, who grew up in the Eastern Shore fishing village of Rock Hall, was the public face of watermen, who saw their once-heavy catches of blue crabs and oysters becoming ever lighter as pollution crept into the bay. In the 1970s, he met with then-Sen. Charles McC. Mathias of Maryland, who was on a mission to examine the bay's environmental condition.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | July 3, 2013
The Chesapeake Bay's health improved last year, University of Maryland scientists reported Wednesday, and the leader of the troubled estuary's annual checkup said he sees signs the cleanup effort is making progress. The bay's overall health earned a 'C' grade for 2012, up from a D-plus the year before, according to the analysis by UM's Center for Environmental Science. Most indicators of bay water quality and biological vitality increased, said William Dennison, the center's vice president for science applications.
NEWS
Tim Wheeler | January 2, 2013
The Chesapeake Bay's health appears to be slowly rebounding, but still has a long way to go to be considered fully recovered, according to the region's largest environmental group. The Annapolis-based Chesapeake Bay Foundation rated the estuary's overall condition last year slightly better than it was two years ago, when the group took its last comprehensive look.  CBF gave the bay a score of 32 out of 70 for 2012, a one-point gain from two years ago and up four points since 2008.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | June 22, 2012
After a spate of bad news about the Chesapeake Bay's health, here's an uptick: the "dead zone" that forms every spring is smaller than average so far this year. Water sampling done in early June by the Department of Natural Resources found dissolved oxygen levels too low to be suitable for fish, crabs and shellfish in just 12 percent of the bay, according to the department's " Eyes on the Bay " web site. That's well below the long-term average since 1985 of 17.1 percent of the Chesapeake experiencing low oxygen levels.  It's also a dramatic improvement over last year, when fully a third of the bay's waters were starved of the oxygen that fish, crabs and shellfish need to breathe.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | April 18, 2013
The Chesapeake Bay and its rivers have lost 44 percent of their underwater grasses over the past three years, scientists reported Thursday, reducing vital habitat for crabs and fish to a level not seen in nearly three decades. Scientists blamed weather and storms for much of the decline seen last year, but they said an as-yet unexplained long-term decline in the bay's water clarity has played havoc with this key indicator of the Chesapeake's health. An aerial survey flown from late spring to early fall last year found 48,191 acres of submerged vegetation, down 21 percent from the extent of grasses seen in 2011, according to scientists from Maryland and Virginia.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | November 8, 2011
A state task force called Tuesday for tripling the "flush fee" Maryland homeowners pay as a way to help finance an accelerated cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay. The 28-member task force, appointed by Gov. Martin O'Malley to tackle sewage and growth issues, voted overwhelmingly to recommend that the $2.50 monthly bay restoration fee be doubled next year and increased to $7.50 a month by 2015. The fee is levied on water and sewer bills for utility customers, and on property tax bills for homeowners on septic systems.
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