Delaware Public Media

Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative

The Chesapeake Bay is America’s largest estuary, with a watershed that spans 64,000 square miles, touching on six states. It’s an economic engine to two of those states, a source of food for many and close to the hearts of millions. Five public radio organizations—WYPR in Baltimore, Virginia Public Radio, Delmarva Public Radio at Salisbury University, Delaware Public Media and WESM at The University of Maryland Eastern Shore are collaborating to produce reports examining a broad spectrum of issues affecting the Bay and its watershed. 

Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative is funded with grant support from the Clayton Baker Trust, The Bancroft Foundation, Michael and Ann Hankin, The Jim and Patty Rouse Foundation, The Rob and Elizabeth Tyler Foundation, and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.


Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could not disagree more on climate change. Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, sees it as a real threat while Trump, the Republican, dismisses it as a hoax.

And because climate change can lead to rising sea level, among other things, their views on the subject are important to those who live and work on the Chesapeake Bay.

John Lee

Oysters are nature’s filtration machines, and there used to be enough of them in the Chesapeake Bay to filter and clean all that water in three days. Now, there are so few oysters it takes more than a year.

So, environmentalists are trying to rebuild the population by growing oysters.

Pamela D'Angelo

The Atlantic blue crab, Chesapeake Bay’s signature crustacean, has been through tough times in the last 20 years. Some recent improvement has been credited to restrictions on harvesting females. Yet Virginia still allows the harvest of egg-bearing females, something Maryland banned back in 1917. The reasons why seem to be wrapped up in economics.

Photo credit: Joel McCord

While you finish up leftovers from that Thanksgiving turkey, here’s something else to think about this time of year; oysters. Fat, juicy Chesapeake Bay oysters. Five years ago, if you had a Maryland oyster – it was most likely caught wild by a commercial waterman. Now, it’s increasingly likely those oysters are farm raised.

As part of our with WYPR in Baltimore , Virginia and Delmarva Public Radio and WESM – WYPR’s Joel McCord joins us this week to tell us  that Maryland’s oyster aquaculture program has mushroomed since 2010.  It still has a way to go to catch up with Virginia, but is well ahead of  the one here in the First State – which hasn’t gotten off the ground.