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Features (News)

Leg 8 gives women their first win and Abu Dhabi Racing the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race trophy

It has been a long time coming, but an all-woman team has won a leg of the modern Volvo Ocean Race.
    English skipper Sam Davies and her largely rookie crew of Olympic champions of Team SCA had won some in-port races but not an offshore leg.
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When every ounce is a drag on speed, how to provision for 5,500 calories per sailor per day?

In the nine brutal legs covering the 38,739 nautical miles of the Volvo Ocean Race, every ounce matters with the evenly matched, one-design boats. Sailors have been known to shave down their toothbrushes, and drinking cups often double as dishes.
    So what would the grocery list on a Volvo-65 look like on one of the longer legs, say from China to New Zealand?
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Widgeon grass has made itself a 13-acre bed around South River Farm Park, reports Riverkeeper Diana Muller, from her June 4 reconnoiter with the Underwater Grass Expedition Kayak Team. That expansion “is exciting news in water quality,” Muller says.
    A species native to the river, the underwater grass has great value for waterfowl, listed in the authoritative Life in the Chesapeake Bay as one of two “of the most important.”
 

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Latest push to save honeybees

Plants pretreated for insect resistance with neonicotinoids will no longer be on the shelves at Ace Hardware. That’s good news for any bees in the area. A relatively new class of pesticides, neonicotinoids have come under scrutiny as a possible cause of the collapse of honeybee colonies. The chemical pesticide targets an insect’s nervous system, causing paralysis. Bees are apparently as susceptible as pesky bugs.
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Special Olympics athletes set their sights on the summer games in Los Angeles

Brandan Ehrmantraut of Prince Fredrick loves being part of Special Olympics. “It shows we aren’t different even with our disabilities,” the 20-year-old says. “We can compete like everyone else.”
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Big strides toward a healthier planet

48 Days of Blue made waves. By the time the National Aquarium campaign to protect the environment (started on Earth Day) concluded on June 8, World Oceans Day, it had proved that small changes can help to protect the oceans that cover 71 percent of the earth’s surface.
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Blooms are bigger, badder

The Bay is being overrun by algae. Billions and billions of the tiny creatures are making life harder on the rest of the ecosystem. The three most common algae in the Bay have been blooming more frequently over the last 20 years, according to researchers at University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
    Mahogany tide, formally known as Prorocentrum minimum, doubled its average number of annual blooms between 1991 and 2008.
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On water and land, our wakes stretch ­farther than we can see

In Edgewater, at Camp Letts, on a tiny peninsula that juts into the Rhode River, erosion could down a might oak. The tree has done yeoman’s work by keeping the soil in place. But even now, as a living shoreline restoration project undertaken by the West/Rhode Riverkeeper seeks to halt the degradation, the soil is sinking between the roots and falling into the river.
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At stake: The location, size and scope of Anne Arundel County public libraries

You’d expect this kind of action in a thriller borrowed from your public library. Not over it.
    Instead, Anne Arundel County’s public libraries are the story in a showdown with high stakes: The location, size and scope of public libraries for the county’s 555,743 people.
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As construction proceeds, both sides hold their ground

At the forefront of America’s newest energy boom — export of now-abundant natural gas — the standoff continues. Though you wouldn’t know it at first sight.
    Trucks are rolling and earth moving as Dominion Cove Point continues on its way to becoming the East Coast’s first liquid natural gas exporter.
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