Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Website

The president’s new budget is out and it would slash federal funding for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay by 90 percent.

It cuts the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual spending for Bay clean up from $73 million to $7.3 million.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that this would provide money only for monitoring the progress of the cleanup but not for restoration projects carried out by the six watershed states and the District of Columbia.

Last year the EPA provided $48 million to the states including $13 million for the state of Maryland.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - An international research team including Chesapeake Bay-focused scientists says the "dead zones" that have long plagued the bay have developed and worsened across the globe.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Website

WASHINGTON (AP) - The University of Maryland is getting a sea grant.

Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen have announced the nearly $288,000 federal grant through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The program is administered through the University System of Maryland. It's part of a network of 33 national sea grant programs.

The program supports the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland's coastal waters.

Recent research has helped develop new approaches in oyster aquaculture and boost the bay's blue crab population.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Website

BALTIMORE (AP) - An environmental group is releasing a report on pollution at sewage and wastewater treatment plants in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The Environmental Integrity Project report released recently criticizes delays in upgrading treatment plants, such as the Patapsco River Wastewater Treatment Plant in the Baltimore area.

baybridge.tv

A study that has already cost $5 million is moving ahead to look at the feasibility of easing the traffic flow across the Chesapeake Bay including another bridge.

WBOC reports that the Maryland Transportation Authority says the location for such a span ranges from Harford County down to Somerset County.

There is also the possibility of expanding the existing bridge which would save some money.

Other options include tunnels and ferries.

cbf.org

An oyster restoration project in the Little Choptank River is being cut back by about one fourth or a 118 acres of the original goal.

It will mean a reduction of around 19.5 million oysters which would filter over 1 billion liters of water per day.

The decision comes after boats ran aground on another oyster sanctuary and the rebuilding of some of the man-made reefs.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the environmentalists have hailed these projects which are part of a federal-state agreement for restoration of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Angela Byrd

BALTIMORE, Md. (AP) - A nonprofit advocacy group says efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay are paying off.

The Baltimore Sun reports that fewer water samples are showing the presence of so-called "dead zones" in the bay that can't support aquatic life.

Scientists recently reported that 13 percent of the bay's waters on average showed dangerously low levels of oxygen. In 1985, the average was nearly 19 percent.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation credits the decline in dead zones to federal regulations that limit the amount of pollution that can flow into the bay.

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GLOUCESTER POINT, Va. (AP) - Researchers say the total amount of oxygen-deprived dead zones in Chesapeake Bay this summer was the biggest since 2014.

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science also said Monday that the total amount of dead zones this summer increased by 10 percent over last year.

The institute has used a three-dimensional forecast model since 2014 to gauge areas of oxygen depletion - or hypoxia - in which oxygen dissolved in water falls so low it no longer supports fish, crabs, oysters and other aquatic organisms. Pollution has been blamed.

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The Manokin and Nanticoke rivers are expected to be targeted for oyster restoration.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that they would become the fourth and fifth Chesapeake Bay tributary to undergo restoration of their oyster reefs.

They are among a list of eight potential sites.

But there has been some sharp opposition from watermen the choice of the rivers.

The paper reports that Robert Brown, president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association, says that his organization would like to see restoration done on the Western Shore.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Republicans in the House are moving to cut as much as $1 dollar for every $6 dollars that are now slated to help restore the Chesapeake Bay

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte has also authored a measure that would keep the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing the cleanup plan.

The legislation has been approved along party lines but Eastern Shore Republican Andy Harris and 12 other Republicans voted against his amendment.

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