Content about Natural Resources

09.07.11

Hurricane Irene brought destruction to the mid-Atlantic region, but it also had a positive impact on the Chesapeake Bay, stirring the waters and allowing oxygen into the vast dead zone that stretches from Baltimore to Virginia.

05.06.11

The fruit of a third of the work done by state agencies, organizations and fisheries to restore the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay is being stolen through illegal harvesting, according to biologists who research oyster beds in the bay.

03.04.11

This year's fishing season has seen the largest rockfish poaching bust in more than 20 years. Officers found nearly 13 tons of illegally caught fish over the next few weeks, sometimes working 18-hour days to haul in nets.

02.22.11

ANNAPOLIS -- Rockfish season will re-open for two days this month beginning on Friday.

02.09.11

A bill that would essentially impose a hold on natural gas drilling in Western Maryland until further studies are completed will be introduced Thursday in the House of Delegates.

02.05.11

Gill net fishing season was closed for the month and multiple agencies are offering a reward for information leading to arrests after a 10-ton rockfish poaching bust earlier this week.

11.05.10

By NICOLE DAO Capital News Service Friday, November 5, 2010

DEAL ISLAND - J.R. Gross, a veteran waterman, will drive two hours from his home on Monday to his boat in St. Jerome Creek to begin harvesting oysters off the shores of Southern Maryland.

05.12.10

By JENNIFER HLAD Capital News Service

CAMBRIDGE - Two years after Maryland and Virginia implemented major restrictions on crab harvesting, the Chesapeake Bay's crab population has more than doubled. Now state officials hope an oyster hatchery, combined with new oyster sanctuaries, can help bring that population back from the brink.

04.09.10

By MORGAN GIBSON Capital News Service Friday, April 9, 2010

CAMBRIDGE - Rep. Frank Kratovil is diving into a key issue in his district, hoping to learn more about Chesapeake Bay oysters and efforts to save them.

Kratovil, D-Stevensville, went out on the Choptank River late Friday morning with some of Maryland's watermen and environmental scientists to watch how they study and restore oysters.

03.23.10

By JENNIFER HLAD Capital News Service Tuesday, March 23, 2010

ANNAPOLIS - A bill filed late in the House of Delegates would require the Department of Natural Resources to establish oyster sanctuaries in half of the viable habitat and create a more specific fishery management plan for oysters -- and place a moratorium on oyster harvesting until those goals are met.

03.12.10

By JENNIFER HLAD Capital News Service Friday, March 12, 2010

ANNAPOLIS - For 20 years, Roy Rafter made his living as a waterman, catching fish, crabs and oysters. Now, Rafter spends hours in a dark boat, working to catch poachers.

"It's kind of like fishing. Sometimes you catch them, sometimes you don't," said Rafter, a Natural Resources Police corporal, as he finished up a predawn patrol of the Chesapeake Bay Wednesday morning.

03.09.10

By JENNIFER HLAD Capital News Service Tuesday, March 9, 2010

ANNAPOLIS - Watermen converged on the State House on Tuesday to voice their support for bills that would drastically diminish the Department of Natural Resources' ability to regulate oyster harvesting.

03.06.10

Environmental Protection Agency

Chesapeake Bay Program Office

NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Fish & Wildlife Service

Chesapeake Bay Commission

Maryland Department of Planning

02.16.10

By JENNIFER HLAD Capital News Service Tuesday, February 16, 2010

ANNAPOLIS - Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller Jr. said his bill to create a Chesapeake Conservation Corps accomplishes the second of the two most important legislative priorities this year: balancing the budget and creating jobs.

But Sen. Andy Harris, R-Baltimore County, says it fails at the first.

Miller, D-Calvert, touted his bill at a Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee hearing Tuesday, saying it is "about creating jobs for young people."

01.19.10

ANNAPOLIS - More than 150 watermen took a day off from the water Tuesday to protest a proposed oyster restoration plan and support a bill they say will help them hang on to their livelihood.

10.22.09

By ALEKSANDRA ROBINSON Capital News Service Friday, October 23, 2009

HAVRE DE GRACE - Biologists from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources stood knee deep in cold water Friday afternoon, pawing through the contents of a seine net, searching for a species of fish that many believe could be extinct.

They tossed brightly colored leaves unceremoniously back into the stream at Susquehanna State Park in Havre de Grace, but each tiny fish was inspected. There were plenty of them -- many of them belonging to the darter family.

10.15.09

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.

09.24.09

When John Smith traveled the bay 400 years ago, he wrote that oysters, "lay as thick as stones," and that sturgeon were plentiful -- "more than could be devoured by dog or man."