By CATHERINE KRIKSTAN Capital News Service Friday, December 4, 2009

GRASONVILLE - From building boats and making sails to owning seafood restaurants and processing plants, black watermen have, for more than a century, made contributions to the culture of the Chesapeake Bay.

But their narrative remains largely unwritten, alive above all in oral histories, old photographs and now, a quilt.


By CATHERINE KRIKSTAN Capital News Service Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ANNAPOLIS - Algae blooms, dead zones and intersex fish, just three small examples of the ongoing bad news about the Chesapeake Bay.

But in the midst of these watershed woes, one professor has held onto a sense of cautious optimism when it comes to restoring the bay's resources. And thanks to the positive effects of a recent measure to shut down a blue crab fishery, he has a reason to be hopeful.


By CATHERINE KRIKSTAN Capital News Service Tuesday, November 17, 2009

BALTIMORE - As Maryland closes in on the construction of a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby, an environmental organization has released a report calling nuclear power a step backward in the nation's race to reduce pollution.

The Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center report, released Tuesday, calls nuclear power "too slow and too expensive," an energy source that makes little economic sense in combating climate change.


By CATHERINE KRIKSTAN Capital News Service Thursday, November 12, 2009

ANNAPOLIS - Maryland's parks, trails and estuarine allure are often what sell the state to tourists.

This month, the state unfolded an effort to encourage the tourism industry to more actively safeguard these natural resources.

Launched on the heels of the Maryland Green Registry, Maryland Green Travel is a free and voluntary self-certification program that urges businesses in the tourism industry, starting with the lodging sector, to adhere to eco-friendly practices, from waste reduction to energy efficiency.


By CATHERINE KRIKSTAN Capital News Service Tuesday, November 10, 2009

ANNAPOLIS - The governors of Maryland, Virginia and Delaware agreed Tuesday to a partnership to encourage the deployment of offshore wind energy in the region, hoping to capitalize on the Mid-Atlantic's enormous offshore wind resources.

Govs. Martin O'Malley, Tim Kaine and Jack Markell's agreement aims to generate clean, renewable energy and green jobs.


By CATHERINE KRIKSTAN Capital News Service Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ANNAPOLIS - A significant portion of the state's land is vulnerable to residential development, which might hinder land preservation goals, said an official with the Department of Planning at a special joint committee hearing Tuesday.

Large swaths of Maryland, particularly in rural areas and along the Baltimore-Washington corridor, are suffering from development pressure, said Joe Tassone, director of the planning department's office of Land and Water Resource Planning.


The Chesapeake Bay is experiencing sea level rise at a rate twice the global average, and the thin ribbons of marshes and wetlands that form along coastlines will be the first to be flooded with rising water.


From brown and mahogany tides to slick surface masses of blue-green scum, stretches of unnaturally abundant algae drift through the Chesapeake Bay. Some of the more benign blooms merely produce foul odors. Others form sweeping masses that block sunlight from reaching the submerged seagrass that provides a habitat for young fish and crabs.


By CATHERINE KRIKSTAN Capital News Service Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ANNAPOLIS - For some, the recent wave of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts has left out a crucial component of the watershed - watermen, who depend on the bay for their livelihoods, and who have suffered as it has declined.

Watermen are "fundamental to the Chesapeake Bay region's identity," said Tommy Landers, a policy advocate with Environment Maryland. The environmental advocacy group released a report Wednesday arguing that restoring the bay's ecosystem must include restoring the bay's communities.


By CATHERINE KRIKSTAN Capital News Service Wednesday, September 9, 2009

ANNAPOLIS - U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., wants to provide watershed states from New York to Virginia with new funding and incentives to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

Cardin's legislation, introduced this week, would also give the Environmental Protection Agency the power to punish states that fail to meet federal water quality standards.