Katie Peikes | WYPR

Katie Peikes

Katie Peikes came to Delaware from Logan, Utah, where she worked as a municipal government reporter for a newspaper while simultaneously serving as a correspondent for Utah Public Radio covering science, technology, transportation and features. She has also contributed as an intern to other member stations including WNPR News in Hartford, Connecticut and WDIY in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Her interest in science and technology news comes from the opportunities she had to cover environmental stories in Utah. She has published numerous pieces on Cache County’s air quality, water quality, waste management and solar energy.

When she’s not searching for stories or reading about the latest tech and science trends, Katie enjoys hiking, running, skiing and watching Seinfeld reruns.

Tourists visiting the Chesapeake Bay region have plenty of options: boating, fishing, dining and more.

But one particular type of tourism that has grown over the last five years gets those visitors thinking about the natural environment around them: Ecotourism.


Just as Maryland and Virginia are in the middle of ambitious oyster restoration efforts in Chesapeake Bay tributaries, a new threat has appeared; excess acid in the deeper waters.

According to new research out of the University of Delaware, deeper bay waters—30 to 50 feet—are becoming more acidic. That means carbon dioxide is dissolving in the water, which could potentially hurt oysters.

Katie Piekes

More than 60 people gathered on the beach at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, Tuesday to watch the folks from Baltimore’s National Aquarium release a harbor seal they had been treating for more than two months back into the Atlantic Ocean.

Phil—he was named for a fisherman who helped monitor him—had been in a pond in Kent County, Delaware, all winter and came to the aquarium in mid-April with an eye irritation — likely from being in freshwater too long.

Suzanne Thurman, the director of the Marine Education Research and Rehabilitation Institute in Delaware, said Phil likely stayed in the pond because he had no competition for food.

Katie Peikes/Delaware Public Media

Coastal states throughout the nation have come to depend on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Grant programs for research and education on issues ranging from storm damage, erosion and sea level rise to aquaculture.

But those 33 university based programs face an uncertain future under President Trump’s budget proposal, which would cut the entire sea grant program.