Predictably scary: nutrient pollution

To the uninitiated, the forests of Pennsylvania have no connection whatsoever with the manatees of Florida. After all, they’re separated by a thousand miles. The forests are on land, the manatees in the water. But both were in the news this Halloween week. Pennsylvania forests made regional news because Governor Tom Corbett approved legislation reducing […]

Shenandoah’s snot-grass isn’t child’s play

It sounds like something kids would say to gross each other out: snot-grass. But to Shenandoah Riverkeeper Jeff Kelble and others who use the river, it’s serious business. For the past 10 years, according to Kelble’s group, long strips of slimy green algae (reminiscent of certain substances known to emanate from human nostrils) have formed […]

Sex and Drinking Water

It’s hard to get more fundamental than this. The water news this week focused on the toxic algal bloom in Lake Erie that poisoned Toledo, Ohio’s drinking water, and a federal study that discovered intersex fish throughout the Delaware, Susquehanna, and Ohio Rivers. But these stories really are just the tip of the iceberg: Many, […]

Would a moratorium solve the blue crab crisis?

This past week, the venerable Angus Phillips – former outdoors columnist for The Washington Post – emerged briefly from retirement to make an angry plea on The Post’s pages: ban crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay. He lamented this summer’s lousy blue crab numbers – foretold by this past winter’s dredge survey – and reminded readers […]

Summertime blues: dead zones hit their peak

It’s summertime. Time for swimming holes and sailboats, fishing poles and ice cream cones. And time for dead zones. It’s July, and that means the area of deoxygenated water in the Chesapeake Bay is hitting its peak right about now. The algae have bloomed, thriving on a generous diet of fertilizer released from thousands of […]