Volume 15, Issue 4 ~ January 25 - January 31, 2007

Way Downstream

In Calvert County, remember being told how the Coast Guard would be protecting all those liquid natural gas tankers arriving at Cove Point from terrorist attacks and other potential mischief? Recall being assured, as other communities around the country were rejecting LNG facilities because of risk, how this was a thoroughgoing job bonanza that would be foolish to turn down?

That was then. Earlier this month, Calvert’s Board of Commissioners agreed to assign 10 sheriff’s deputies to the Cove Point plant following the Coast Guard’s decision to stop providing security for the huge tankers as they unload. Dominion Energy, which operates the plant, says it will reimburse the county. Democratic commissioner Barbara Stinnett opposed the arrangement, saying that the county shouldn’t be in the business of private security …

On a lighter note in Calvert, two local pups have become famous. The black labs Chubby and Checkers — rescued by the Calvert Animal Welfare League last October — star in Animal Planet’s 3rd annual Puppy Bowl during the Super Bowl. The duo got the role when The Discovery Channel called Calvert’s shelter looking for puppies under 12 weeks with camera presence. On February 4, both dogs, now adopted by Calvert families, join bulldogs, boxers and more for a mock puppy football game. See them 6pm and 9pm on Animal Planet …

In Washington, there was good and not-so-good news as far as restoring Chesapeake Bay’s streamside forest buffers. The Forest Service said that Bay Program partners restored 731 miles of buffers last year, putting us on track to reach the 10,000-mile goal by 2010. The not-so-good news? Most of it, 617 miles, was restored in Pennsylvania. Virginia was next with 83.7 miles, while Maryland planted just 28.7 miles …

Our Creature Feature comes from the Potomac River, where biologists have an elaborate plan to bring back the Bay’s Rodney Dangerfield of fish — the American eel — which can’t seem to get any respect.

By year’s end, the Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to complete a passageway around two Potomac River dams, enabling eels to make their migration along on their 1,000-mile journey from the Sargasso Sea, where they’re born, the Associated Press reports. Eels have diminished rapidly in the Chesapeake Bay, prompting discussion about declaring them an endangered or threatened species.

But the two-foot wide eelways can help, and Maryland also built one last year along a tributary of the Chester River in Queen Anne’s County.

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