Boating deaths in Maryland last year were nearly double the average annual number recorded by the Department of Natural Resources in the past decade, and unusually warm weather could be a major reason for the jump.
The Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population is at a 19-year high, a significant improvement from several years ago when conservation efforts were put in place.
Republicans and Democrats are at odds in the General Assembly over whether Maryland should pursue offshore wind or natural gas fracking as a way to improve the state’s energy output.
Maryland got one step closer to advancing offshore wind in the state when the House of Delegates Thursday preliminarily approved a modified version of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposal to build turbines off the coast of Ocean City.
A bill requiring large gatherings of boats, essentially floating parties, to obtain permits is on its way to a final vote in the Senate after several key amendments were approved Thursday.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources wants to require large gatherings of boats to obtain permits because of the strain on police caused by events like Bumper Bash, Canal Day and AquaPalooza.
The number of Natural Resources Police Officers – about half as many as there were in 1990 – has some legislators and state officials concerned about safety and the protection of the state’s vital resources.
Legislators questioned Gov. Martin O’Malley about whether the jobs created from his offshore wind legislation will actually go to Marylanders during a House Economic Matters Committee hearing Thursday.
Two Maryland legislators are using a Supreme Court decision to pressure the Department of Natural Resources into releasing warrants used to install GPS devices on boats last year.
Last year, the Maryland Natural Resources Police had to shut down rockfish season a month early because of serious poaching incidents, but this year, officers have, so far, encountered no illegal activity.