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 […]

2014 Farm Bill: The dust settles and opportunities emerge

When the 2014 Farm Bill passed this winter, we did our best to sift through a complicated legislative landscape and understand what it meant for conservation.  Some programs disappeared and others merged, forming strange new acronyms. But now that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has started implementing these new programs, clear opportunities are emerging. […]

Bay states to Mississippi Basin: Mind your own business

It’s been two weeks since The Washington Post reported that 21 states’ attorneys general filed a court brief opposing the Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan, but the shock has yet to wear off for some. In their brief, attorneys general from most of the states in the Mississippi River watershed, joined by those from as far […]

The New Farm Bill: What does it mean for conservation?

A few days ago we tweeted that the 2014 Farm Bill on deck for this week’s vote would be good news/bad news for conservation. And in recent weeks we’ve blogged about how Congress’ failure to reauthorize the Farm Bill this past summer created harmful gaps in conservation programs this fall. So now that both the […]

Does the Potomac Pass the Test?

In 2012, the conservation group Americans Rivers ranked the Potomac one of the nation’s most endangered rivers. As 2013 came to a close, the Potomac Conservancy issued a more comprehensive report card with its latest take on the Potomac’s status. Considering five major indicators – fish, habitat, pollution, land and people – the Conservancy awarded […]

Resolve: Do Better for the Bay

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) has set some New Year resolutions for the federal government: buff up (riparian buffers, that is) and stop the smoking (from the Ohio Valley).   CBF made their recommendations to the federal interagency committee overseeing President Obama’s 2009 Executive Order on Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection. That order requires USDA, […]

Dreaming of a white (and green) Christmas

Love it or hate it, those of us in the northern and western reaches of the Chesapeake Bay watershed have already gotten a lot of snow and ice this December.  Bing Crosby may dream of it, but according to regional biologists, heavy winter precipitation can mean more algal blooms in the Bay this summer.   Runoff […]

Farm Programs Helping to Save the Bay

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shared some encouraging news last week:  Its most recent analysis of conservation programs in the Chesapeake Bay watershed show that new farming practices are reducing sediment and nutrient loading into waterways.  Federal programs promoted through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as well as state, local and private […]