The Environment in Focus From WYPR 88.1 FM in Baltimore. The Environment in Focus with Tom Pelton is a weekly perspective on the issues and people changing Maryland's natural world. There's a story behind every bend of the Chesapeake Bay's 11,684 miles of shoreline, in every abandoned coal mine in the Appalachian Mountains, in every exotic beetle menacing our forests and in every loophole snuck into pollution control laws in Annapolis. The Environment in Focus is sponsored by The Environmental Integrity Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to holding polluters and governments accountable to protect public health.
The Environment in Focus on WYPR

The Environment in Focus

From WYPR - 88.1 FM Baltimore

From WYPR 88.1 FM in Baltimore. The Environment in Focus with Tom Pelton is a weekly perspective on the issues and people changing Maryland's natural world. There's a story behind every bend of the Chesapeake Bay's 11,684 miles of shoreline, in every abandoned coal mine in the Appalachian Mountains, in every exotic beetle menacing our forests and in every loophole snuck into pollution control laws in Annapolis. The Environment in Focus is sponsored by The Environmental Integrity Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to holding polluters and governments accountable to protect public health.

Most Recent Episodes

Protest Shines Light On Refusal Of Democrat To Endorse "Green New Deal"

It was 9 am Friday outside an office tower on Charles Street in downtown Baltimore. Thirteen activists wearing black t-shirts emblazoned with a rising sun emblem and wielding bright yellow and orange cardboard shields gathered to protest at the office of U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. Evelyn Hammid, a local leader of the group, called the Sunrise Movement, explained what the organization is all about.

Protest Shines Light On Refusal Of Democrat To Endorse "Green New Deal"

Hogan Administration Considers More Delay For Poultry Pollution Regulations

More than two decades ago, an outbreak of toxic algae and fish kills in the Pocomoke River on Maryland's Eastern Shore set off alarms about the dire state of the Chesapeake Bay's health. On December 1, 1997, a blue ribbon panel of experts, led by former Governor Harry Hughes, recommended that Maryland take "immediate" action to halt the over-application of poultry manure to farm fields, which was feeding the algal blooms.

Hogan Administration Considers More Delay For Poultry Pollution Regulations

The Rise Of Electric Cars, The Fall Of Autoworker Jobs

Last November, just after Thanksgiving, General Motors announced that it would eliminate 4,000 auto manufacturing jobs by shutting down plants in Baltimore County; Warren, Michigan; and Lordstown, Ohio. But then in March, GM switched gears. The company said it was building a new $300 million auto plant north of Detroit. However, the new plant in Orion, Michigan, would employ only 400 workers – not 4,000. And the workers would primarily be building electric vehicles, not petroleum-fueled cars and trucks. The change was a sign of the times.

Bullfrog Farming Spreads Deadly Fungus

Populations of frogs and other amphibians have been declining around the world and biologist Lisa Schloegel believes that she may have discovered why.Schloegel and her fellow researchers concluded that the breeding and farming of bullfrogs in Brazil, Taiwan and China, and the international sales of these live frogs may be spreading a fungus that causes a disease called chytridiomycosis, which is often deadly in amphibians.Although bullfrogs are native to North America part of the natural ecosystem here, their sale, release and multiplication around the world is also creating an invasive species problem in other countries, as the large and aggressive bullfrogs gobble up smaller frogs and amphibians.

An Answer To The "Environmentalist's Paradox"

Around the world, humans have wiped out 60 percent of all mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, according to a report by the World Wildlife Foundation. To cite one just example in North America, seventy percent of shorebird populations have disappeared since 1973. That was when I was a child strolling on the beach. Modern civilization is wreaking havoc on biodiversity, with our industries, population growth and pesticides gradually killing off most large forms of life that do not serve humanity or feed off of us.This is frightening. But at the same time, the average life span of people around the world has more than doubled since 1900, because of medical improvements, advances in farming technology and rising incomes.

Investigation Digs Up Eco-Corruption In Local Recycling Programs

Since 1971, 10 states – led by Oregon and Vermont – have passed bottle deposit laws. These so-called "bottle bills" have proven to increase recycling rates and reduce litter on roadsides and in waterways. The laws give people a financial incentive, often five or ten cents per bottle or can, to pick up the litter and return the containers for a cash reward.For example, Michigan passed a 10 cent bottle deposit law in 1976 and today enjoys a 95 percent recycling rate for bottles and cans. That's almost four times the 25 percent rate in Maryland, which does not have a deposit law.Six times in Maryland over the last decade, legislators have proposed bottle bills. Predictably, soda and beer manufacturers and store chains have fought the laws, because they don't want to lose any income or take responsibility for handling dirty containers.But that's not why the bottle bills keep dying in Maryland and other states.

Cultivating ----Hip Hop Forestry---- to Grow the Environmental Movement

Thomas RaShad Easley grew up in an apartment in an urban neighborhood in Birmingham, Ala. But he learned to love nature, in part because his grandparents cultivated a lush garden amid the concrete and blacktop.He was also an Eagle Scout, and Scouting got him out of the city and into the woods, where he enjoyed spending time at Tannehill State Park."Yes, we would go camping, and I'm glad that we did it. Because at first, I didn't want to do it," Easley recalled. "And then, when we got out there, it was so much fun. You know, me and the guys. And the other good thing about our scout troop was we were a diverse scout troop. So we had black, white, as well as brown young men in our troop. So it was almost like a social experiment – Troop 49 in Birmingham, Alabama."

Cultivating ----Hip Hop Forestry---- to Grow the Environmental Movement

Baltimore Paid Almost $200 Million Too Much For Massive Drinking Water Project

Last week, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young abruptly announced the retirement of city\u8217\us Director of Public Works, Rudy Chow, amid public controversy surrounding steep rate hikes that have more than tripled water and sewer bills.One of the most expensive infrastructure projects that Chow launched was right here, in Baltimore\u8217\us Hanlon Park. Hundreds of trees have been cut down and the grass torn up into a mud and gravel landscape rumbling with bulldozers.

Baltimore Paid Almost $200 Million Too Much For Massive Drinking Water Project

The Climate Future Of The Land Of Pleasant Living

Many of us would like to gaze into a crystal ball and see what the future will be like.Well, Matt Fitzpatrick, an ecologist and associate professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, did just that for Baltimore. And he discovered that our future is \u8230\u Mississippi.

The New Residents Of A Vanishing Island

Settled by the English in the 1600\u8217\us, James Island was once a 1,300 acre expanse of forested land — a fishing and farming community with 20 homes, a school, store, and Methodist church. But it was abandoned to rising sea levels in the 1910\u8217\us. James Island is one of hundreds of Chesapeake Bay islands that have been consumed by rising sea levels driven by climate change.

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