Maryland Environment

Baltimore's tree canopy is growing, slowly

Unlike most urban forests, Baltimore’s tree canopy is growing — albeit only slightly, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Foliage covered 28 percent of the city in 2015, 1 percentage point more than it did in 2007. Those estimates are based on aerial images and data gathered using technology...

  • Amendment to EPA funding bill would strip agency of power to enforce Chesapeake cleanup plan

    Amendment to EPA funding bill would strip agency of power to enforce Chesapeake cleanup plan

    A bill to fund the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal programs from December through September 2018 would strip the agency of its power to enforce a Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan, under a provision approved in the House of Representatives. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Republican who represents...

  • Federal court begins review of Baltimore's $1.6B plan to stop sewage leaks

    Federal court begins review of Baltimore's $1.6B plan to stop sewage leaks

    A $1.6 billion plan Baltimore officials recently approved to stop sewage from leaking into waterways has been filed in federal court, taking it one step closer to being enforced under the Clean Water Act. The document lays out 13 years’ worth of work needed to prevent millions of gallons of sewage...

  • Trails blocked in state park as Bloede Dam removal project kicks off

    Trails blocked in state park as Bloede Dam removal project kicks off

    Sections of the popular Grist Mill and Buzzards Rock trails in Patapsco Valley State Park were closed Tuesday for a months-long construction project to remove Bloede Dam from the Patapsco River. Closures of the paved trails are expected to last until the spring of 2019, according to the state’s...

  • Could Harvey-size storm hit Chesapeake region?

    Could Harvey-size storm hit Chesapeake region?

    In early spring, Don Boesch, Maryland’s top climate scientist, spoke at the State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit in Houston. The conference took place at a downtown hotel next to the Buffalo Bayou, the creek that had meandered quietly across Houston until last weekend, when unrelenting rains from...

  • Annual Dam Jam celebrates Baltimore area's drinking water reservoirs

    Annual Dam Jam celebrates Baltimore area's drinking water reservoirs

    Brian Shealey hoisted his young daughter onto his shoulders and walked along a display showing the timeline of the Baltimore region’s wastewater facilities going back more than 100 years. While 2-year-old Hannah was more interested in the band playing behind them, Shealey took time to glance at...

  • EPA cuts funding for Chesapeake Bay Journal, threatening publication's future

    EPA cuts funding for Chesapeake Bay Journal, threatening publication's future

    The Trump administration has cut a grant funding the Chesapeake Bay Journal, threatening the future of the publication that covers environmental issues across the estuary’s watershed. Editor Karl Blankenship said the organization is “disappointed that political appointees in the EPA have made an...

  • Maryland joins 8 other states in carbon emission cuts

    Maryland joins 8 other states in carbon emission cuts

    Maryland and eight other states plan to further tighten air pollution limits aimed at reducing global climate change. The states are part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which caps carbon dioxide pollution in the Northeast. The states announced Thursday that they plan to reduce the carbon...

  • Baltimore to pay $3.9 million to help clean up pollution from dump site

    Baltimore to pay $3.9 million to help clean up pollution from dump site

    Baltimore officials agreed this week to pay $3.9 million to help clean up hazardous pollution from a dump site in East Baltimore. The Board of Estimates, which is controlled by Mayor Catherine Pugh, voted Wednesday to enter into a consent decree with the federal government and state of Maryland...

  • Magothy River Association volunteer team dives for oysters

    Magothy River Association volunteer team dives for oysters

    On the Magothy River people are diving for oysters — not to fry, bake or slurp, but to monitor the health of the river's five oyster reefs. On Sunday morning, Dick Carey, the leader of the all-volunteer dive team for the Magothy River Association, watched the water above the Dobbins Hill reef,...

  • Dozens gather for stand-up paddle board race billed as Baltimore's first

    Dozens gather for stand-up paddle board race billed as Baltimore's first

    When Joe Ward crossed the finish line of Sunday’s stand-up paddle board race on Bear Creek, organizers didn’t give him a trophy. Instead, he was handed a trash bag. After finishing the five-mile course in about 48 minutes, the Annapolis man immediately headed back out onto the water to pick up...

  • Plan for natural gas pipeline under Potomac River in Western Maryland draws scrutiny

    Plan for natural gas pipeline under Potomac River in Western Maryland draws scrutiny

    A proposed 3.5-mile underground natural gas pipeline crossing far below the Potomac River in Western Maryland would provide a critical link, proponents say, between gas producers in Pennsylvania and manufacturers in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. But opponents are calling on Gov. Larry Hogan...

  • Project to prevent massive sewage backups begins at Back River

    Project to prevent massive sewage backups begins at Back River

    Officials kicked off a three-year, $430 million project on Thursday that will eliminate miles-long sewage backups that lead to overflows into the Jones Falls and the Inner Harbor. The so-called “headworks project” at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Dundalk will add pumps to move backed-up...

  • Baltimore farm-in-a-box a potential catalyst in urban revitalization

    Baltimore farm-in-a-box a potential catalyst in urban revitalization

    Leafy greens grow profusely at the tiny East Baltimore farm, but not in parallel rows in the ground. They pop out of vertical white troughs that hang from a metal ceiling. Light-emitting diodes glow 18 hours a day, providing the equivalent of full sunshine. Electronic sensors gauge temperature,...

  • Baltimore officials approve $1.6 billion, 13-year sewer repair plan

    Baltimore officials approve $1.6 billion, 13-year sewer repair plan

    City leaders on Wednesday approved a $1.6 billion plan to rehabilitate Baltimore’s aged sewer system and stop wastewater from leaking into the Inner Harbor by 2030 — 15 years after an earlier missed deadline. The consent agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency will have direct financial...

  • Hogan plans test dredging of sediment at Conowingo Dam

    Hogan plans test dredging of sediment at Conowingo Dam

    Gov. Larry Hogan announced plans Tuesday to dredge a small amount of the sediment trapped behind the Conowingo Dam, a test project to determine whether doing so on a larger scale would help improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Hogan said the state will ask companies this month to submit bids...

  • Scientists say it could take years to find any link between massive iceberg and climate change

    Scientists say it could take years to find any link between massive iceberg and climate change

    Ice oozes across the surface of Antarctica and breaks off into the southern oceans constantly — but not normally in chunks the size of Delaware. So after a massive iceberg separated from the Antarctic peninsula this week, the burning question among glacial scientists is: Was it influenced by warming...

  • 'In Our Hands': U.S. aquariums launch anti-plastic campaign

    'In Our Hands': U.S. aquariums launch anti-plastic campaign

    Citing a growing threat to marine life, the National Aquarium in Baltimore and others across the country launched a campaign Monday against disposable plastic products, and vowed to “significantly reduce or eliminate” single-use plastic bottles at their facilities by 2020. The new Aquarium Conservation...

  • Diamond dog finds diamondback terrapin, sets rescue mission into motion

    Diamond dog finds diamondback terrapin, sets rescue mission into motion

    Out for a walk around 6:45 a.m. the morning of July 4, Diamond the American Staffordshire terrier found something unique at a small beach near a marina in Hillsmere — a diamondback terrapin. The diamondback terrapin is the official turtle of the state of Maryland. It has scaly gray and whitish skin,...

  • At Smith Island, a chance to shore up the future

    At Smith Island, a chance to shore up the future

    John Tyler's family name can be traced through this Chesapeake Bay community back at least 300 years, and as many as a dozen generations. But a few years ago, he feared his generation might be the island's last. Taking stock after Hurricane Sandy washed over the island, the state proposed using...

  • Hogan says he opposes offshore drilling as state raises concerns about seismic testing

    Hogan says he opposes offshore drilling as state raises concerns about seismic testing

    Gov. Larry Hogan said this week he's against gas drilling off of Maryland's coast, and as President Donald Trump's administration considers seismic testing to search for energy reserves, state officials are asking the federal government to more closely study its impact. The Trump administration...