The Environment in Focus http://wypr.org en Multiplying Oyster Harvest Triggers Debate Over Catch Restrictions http://wypr.org/post/multiplying-oyster-harvest-triggers-debate-over-catch-restrictions <p>After more than a century of decline, the&nbsp; harvest of oysters from the Chesapeake Bay has quadrupled over the last four years.&nbsp; This increase has inspired a debate over whether more -- or fewer -- restrictions are needed on the harvest of the Bay's keystone species.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:56:21 +0000 Tom Pelton 502525 at http://wypr.org Multiplying Oyster Harvest Triggers Debate Over Catch Restrictions The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay http://wypr.org/post/ghost-fleet-mallows-bay <p>In a shallow bay of the Potomac River about an hour south of Washington, D.C., lie the remains of 214 wooden cargo ships from World War I, some of which have sprouted trees and become islands.</p><p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 15:27:42 +0000 Tom Pelton 502245 at http://wypr.org The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay Pollution Now Driving Evolution http://wypr.org/post/pollution-now-driving-evolution <p>For years,&nbsp;people thought that evolution was something that happened slowly, over thousands or millions of years. Not true, as it turns out.</p><p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:57:18 +0000 Tom Pelton 501861 at http://wypr.org Pollution Now Driving Evolution Governor O'Malley's Visit to Iowa Sparks Protest http://wypr.org/post/governor-omalleys-visit-iowa-sparks-protest <p>Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's political campaigning in Iowa,&nbsp;a farming&nbsp;capital of the U.S.,&nbsp;has sparked complaints from some environmentalists, who claim that he is pandering to the powerful farm lobby.</p><p><font size="3"><span style="font-family: 'Arial', 'sans-serif'; color: black">&nbsp;&nbsp;Michele Merkel, co-director of the justice program at Food&nbsp;&amp; Water Watch, accused O'Malley of avoiding&nbsp;action in his own state to regulate manure from Maryland’s huge poultry industry, which is polluting the Chesapeake Bay</span></font><font size="3"><span style="font-family: 'Arial', 'sans-serif'; color: black">For example, she said, the governor in 2013 signed a law – sought by farmers and their allies -- called the “Agricultural Certainty Act.”&nbsp; It provides exemptions from any new pollution control regulations for farms that meet minimum requirements.</span><o:p></o:p></font></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"><font size="3"><span style="font-family: 'Arial', 'sans-serif'; color: black">The O’Malley administration also twice delayed poultry manure regulations that would prohibit the spreading of more poultry waste on Eastern Shore fields that are already overloaded with phosphorus from chicken litter.&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></font></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"><font size="3"><span style="font-family: 'Arial', 'sans-serif'; color: black">O'Malley's Secretary of Agriculture, Buddy Hance, however&nbsp;argues that the O'Malley Administration has made real strides toward preventing runoff pollution from farms. </span><o:p></o:p></font></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"><font size="3"><span style="font-family: 'Arial', 'sans-serif'; color: black">For example,&nbsp;Hance said, the state issued regulations prohibiting the spreading of manure in the winter, and required water pollution control permits for 80 percent of the large poultry farms in Maryland.&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><o:p></o:p></font></p><p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt"><span style="font-family: 'Arial', 'sans-serif'; color: black"><font size="3">Hance said the administration may still issue the long-delayed manure management regulations to control phosphorus -- after conducting an economic impact study to determine the cost for farmers.</font></span><o:p></o:p></p><p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 16:55:45 +0000 Tom Pelton 501540 at http://wypr.org Governor O'Malley's Visit to Iowa Sparks Protest Singing to Stop an Incinerator in their Back Yard http://wypr.org/post/singing-stop-incinerator-their-back-yard <p>Sisters Leah and Audrey Rozier wrote a song to protest the proposed construction of what would be the largest incinerator in the United States near&nbsp; their homes&nbsp;in far south Baltimore.</p><p>The&nbsp;sisters, aged 16 and 19,&nbsp;want&nbsp;Maryland&nbsp; officials to&nbsp;stop the construction in the Fairfield neighborhood of the Energy Answers waste-to-energy plant, which would burn pulverized garbage to generate electricity.</p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 17:57:52 +0000 Tom Pelton 501187 at http://wypr.org Singing to Stop an Incinerator in their Back Yard Farmer Profits by Flying from Big Poultry Company http://wypr.org/post/farmer-profits-flying-big-poultry-company <p>After 23 years of raising chickens for Perdue, Carole Morison found she could earn more money by becoming an independent farmer and selling her own pasture-raised eggs.</p><p></p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 19:37:49 +0000 Tom Pelton 500840 at http://wypr.org Farmer Profits by Flying from Big Poultry Company President Obama's Conservative Approach to Global Warming http://wypr.org/post/president-obamas-conservative-approach-global-warming <p>President Obama's proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from coal-fired power plants have been attacked as a neo-socialist, federal power grab. Ironically, however, his "cap and trade" strategy for reducing carbon dioxide&nbsp;is actually a conservative and modest approach that uses a&nbsp;Wall Street-friendly method of reducing pollution&nbsp;championed&nbsp;by President George H.W. Bush.</p> Tue, 10 Jun 2014 17:14:07 +0000 Tom Pelton 500483 at http://wypr.org President Obama's Conservative Approach to Global Warming Ancient Dumps Are Fertile Ground for Wildflowers and Archeologists http://wypr.org/post/ancient-dumps-are-fertile-ground-wildflowers-and-archeologists <p>Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center are studying Native American trash heaps full of oyster shells around the Chesapeake Bay that date to thousands of years ago.</p><p>Susan Cook-Patton, Torben Rick and colleagues recently published an article in the journal <em>Landscape Ecology</em> that describes how these old oyster shells enrich the soil with calcium, nitrogen and phosphorus, spurring the growth of unusual communities&nbsp;of wildflowers and grasses.</p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 19:18:15 +0000 Tom Pelton 500166 at http://wypr.org Ancient Dumps Are Fertile Ground for Wildflowers and Archeologists The Last Stand for the Mouse Beaver http://wypr.org/post/last-stand-mouse-beaver <p>Nutria, also called <em>Myocaster coypus</em> (latin for mouse beaver),&nbsp;are&nbsp;large&nbsp;rodents native to South America that wreaked havoc on the Chesapeake Bay's wetlands when they were imported in the 1940's for the fur trade.</p><p>But now&nbsp;nutria face their last stand on Maryland's Eastern Shore.&nbsp; Only&nbsp;a few are left after an intensive,&nbsp;more than decade-long&nbsp;trapping&nbsp;campaign&nbsp;by&nbsp;federal and state government agencies.</p><p>Wildlife managers have been trying to eradicate the invasive species because they&nbsp;eat the roots of wetlands plants. This&nbsp;accelerates the erosion of marshes that are important breeding grounds for fish and birds, and also work as water pollution filters&nbsp;that clean&nbsp;the Chesapeake Bay.</p><p> Tue, 27 May 2014 17:10:55 +0000 Tom Pelton 13713 at http://wypr.org The Last Stand for the Mouse Beaver Wind Farm Resurrected by Governor's Veto http://wypr.org/post/wind-farm-resurrected-governors-veto <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">On Friday, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley used a rare veto to stop legislation that would have&nbsp;delayed (and perhaps killed) the first wind farm proposed for the </span>Delmarva<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Peninsula.</span></p><p> Tue, 20 May 2014 17:01:32 +0000 Tom Pelton 13386 at http://wypr.org Wind Farm Resurrected by Governor's Veto