Exploring a Beautiful State Park with a Deadly Past

Last Friday, on Black Friday, instead of hitting the malls or shopping online, I escaped to go paddling in my kayak. I explored the streams, rivers, and wetlands at Point Lookout State Park, in far southern Maryland. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

On Socially-Distanced Holidays, Connect To Nature's Internet

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, but because of the coronavirus, many people – for the first time in their lives — won't be able to gather with their families and friends. As an alternative to a big indoor get-together, consider a socially-distanced hike in the woods with your family in one of Maryland's 53 state parks. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

BF's Oyster Campaign Is More Fundraising Scheme Than Meaningful Solution

Just before the presidential election, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation sent me a letter asking me for money. Many of you probably received the same fund-raising letter from the nonprofit group, urging financial support for their oyster planting campaign. The letter said, "You can help bring back the oysters and save the Bay! Your gift to CBF of just $18 will help us plant 1,800 oysters... Larger gifts will help us do even more!" See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

BF's Oyster Campaign Is More Fundraising Scheme Than Meaningful Solution

What President-Elect Biden Could Mean for the Climate and Chesapeake Bay

After a presidential campaign that gave historic prominence to climate change and a debate over the future of the oil industry, Democrat Joe Biden's victory – even in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the oil industry – could have been a cause for jubilation by environmentalists. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

What President-Elect Biden Could Mean for the Climate and Chesapeake Bay

EPA Records Show Benzene from Refineries Leaking into Minority Neighborhoods

Charlie Reeves grew up in public housing in South Philadelphia near the oldest and largest oil refinery on the East Coast.

EPA Records Show Benzene from Refineries Leaking into Minority Neighborhoods

Biden's Move Away From Oil Not Surprising to Wall Street

Next Tuesday is Election day. And for the first time ever, environmental issues --and specifically climate change --are center stage in the public debate during the decisive final phase of a presidential contest.

Report: Allowing Trees to Grow on 15 Percent of Farmland Could Solve Environmental Crises

The Earth, as we know it, is being threatened by at least two simultaneous environmental crises.

Report: Allowing Trees to Grow on 15 Percent of Farmland Could Solve Environmental Crises

Amid a Rising Sea of Vacant Malls, Developer Plans to Clear-Cut a Forest

Forty minutes northeast of Baltimore, at the Boulevard at Box Hill shopping mall in Harford County, hundreds of empty parking spaces surround a J.C. Penney store. Signs out front proclaim: "CLOSING. Entire store, 75 to 90 percent off. Everything must go!"

Amid a Rising Sea of Vacant Malls, Developer Plans to Clear-Cut a Forest

GOP's Rejection of Science Comes Home with COVID in White House

After months of ridiculing scientific guidance on the use of masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus – and even demanding that his own employees inside the White House not take precautions around him – President Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19.

Trump Proclaims Himself "The Great Environmentalist?" A Reality Check

Earlier this month, during a press conference in Jupiter, Florida, President Trump recalled how lawmakers from Florida asked him to sign a nonbinding resolution urging Congress to expand a moratorium on oil and gas drilling off America's southeastern coast. "They came to my office and they said that this will make us, and make you, the number one environmental president since Teddy Roosevelt," Trump said from the podium. "I said, 'Huh. Why does it have to go back only to Teddy Roosevelt, which is over 100 years? Why can't we say from George Washington? Right from the beginning. It's true. I'm number 1 since Teddy Roosevelt. Who would have thought? Trump is the great environmentalist." Trump's endorsement of an offshore drilling ban in Florida – a key swing state in the upcoming election – was a switch for the President, who has opened up millions of acres of public lands to drilling and mining as part of what he calls his "Energy Dominance" policy. But beyond that, what about this idea of comparing Trump's environmental record to that of Teddy Roosevelt and other presidents? Well, Roosevelt –an avid outdoorsman, hunter and explorer – protected 230 million acres of public lands, including by establishing 18 national monuments, one at Grand Canyon. He also created five national parks, 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, and four national game preserves. Another Republican – Richard Nixon – created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Nixon is not often thought of as a tree hugger, but he gets credit for singing the landmark National Environmental Policy Act, which requires in-depth federal studies before major development projects. George H.W. Bush signed amendments to the federal Clean Air Act that dramatically reduced sulfur dioxide air pollution across the U.S., curbing acid rain. Barack Obama raised fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. He also established the largest ocean sanctuary on the planet, imposed limits on greenhouse gas pollution from coal-fired power plants, and signed the Paris Climate Accord to combat global warming. How does that compare to President Trump's record? Well, Trump yanked the U.S. out of the Paris agreement. Hiring a former coal industry lobbyist to run his EPA, Trump worked energetically to undo almost every environmental protection that Obama, and many of his predecessors, put into place. Trump has dismantled nearly 70 environmental regulations, including protections for many wetlands and streams and limits on water and air pollution. Three times, the Trump Administration attempted to eliminate at least 90 percent of the funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program, which oversees the Bay cleanup effort, before being stopped by Congress. He removed federal protections from two million acres of scenic national monuments in Utah, opening them up to potential uranium mining. In the area of environmental law enforcement, Trump's EPA has let many companies responsible for illegal pollution off the hook. Amid budget cuts and a shrinking staff, annual inspections and evaluations by EPA of polluting industries declined in 2019 to the lowest level in at least two decades, according to EPA data. The number of civil cases referred for enforcement also dropped last year to the lowest point since at least 2001, federal figures show. So, no, Trump's record does not quite stand up to Teddy Roosevelt's...or even Richard Nixon's, or George H.W. Bush's, or Jimmy Carter's, or Barack Obama's...or any other president's. When it comes to anti-environmentalism, Trump is truly greatest of all time, all the way back to George Washington.

Trump Proclaims Himself "The Great Environmentalist?" A Reality Check

Suspension of Curbside Recycling in Baltimore is Part of a National Trend

On August 31, Baltimore suspended its curbside recycling program. The coronavirus pandemic and fear of infection had caused about a third of the city's solid waste workers to call in sick or take days off, which triggered a trash collection crisis in the city.

Suspension of Curbside Recycling in Baltimore is Part of a National Trend

Ancient Petroglyphs in Susquehanna River Reveal Lost American Culture

The sun was already low on the horizon when I set off into the Susquehanna River in my kayak just southwest of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The golden light illuminated rocky islands in the broad and quiet river, and the crowns of sycamores towering alongshore.

Ancient Petroglyphs in Susquehanna River Reveal Lost American Culture

The Beauty Of Devil's Island In The Chesapeake Bay

On the Eastern Shore of Maryland, at the very end of a long peninsula reaching out into the Chesapeake Bay, is a remote and isolated crabbing town called Deal Island.

Trump Distorts Climate Proposals to Smear Biden as a 'Socialist'

During the Republican National Convention last week, President Trump and his surrogates used environmental issues – especially climate change – to try to portray the moderate Joe Biden as a socialist radical.

Governors' Meeting Shows Bankruptcy of Bay Cleanup Bureaucracy

Last week, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan chaired an annual meeting of Chesapeake region government officials supervising the Bay cleanup effort.

Sailor Turned Sleuth Investigating Polluters in Potomac River

Brent Walls has dedicated his life to stopping water pollution in Western Maryland. He's worked for the last 11 years as the Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, an advocate with a nonprofit organization, the Potomac Riverkeeper Network.

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.

An Answer in Song for Modern Times: "Let the Trees Do What They Will."

Singer and songwriter Caleb Stine – a folk music legend in Baltimore — is playing his guitar on the porch of his rowhouse in the city's Remington neighborhood. He recently released a new song called "Let the Trees Do What They Will." In a way, it's a radical political statement about modern America – but not radical in the way most people would think.

An Answer in Song for Modern Times: "Let the Trees Do What They Will."

New Book Examines the Link Between Wildlife and Covid-19

The origin of the coronavirus wreaking havoc around the world remains a source of mystery and controversy. Scientists generally agree that COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease. That means it jumped from animals to humans, most likely from horseshoe bats to people perhaps near the city of Wuhan, in China.

Studies Document Increased Flooding from Climate Change

Lynda Mettee lives in a house built high up on risers on a slender peninsula called Swan Point that sticks out into the Chesapeake Bay east of Dundalk, in Baltimore County.

Night Herons Moving into Baltimore and Other Big Cities

My wife and I were strolling late at night in Fells Point, near Baltimore's waterfront when we heard an odd sound coming from the trees in Thames Street Park. A neighbor of the park, Rob Baumann, came walking along with his dog. He smiled at, what to him, were familiar noises.

The Impact of the Coronavirus on Energy Consumption

Driven in part by the coronavirus recession and reductions in driving and air travel, the number of oil and gas drilling rigs operating in the U.S. has plummeted by 70 percent over the last year, falling to a record low since World War II.

Terrorism Charges Against Protester Part of a National Pattern

The global plastics industry is booming, adding trash to our oceans and greenhouse gases to our atmosphere. Plastics production has grown even during the corona virus recession because of the increased need for disposable gloves, cups, and bags.

An Abandoned Fortress Reborn as a Breeding Ground for Birds

It was just after dawn when I set out paddling in my kayak to find nature in one of the least natural places on Earth.