A Bay Journal blog article (2017-08-23) announced that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to rescind a multi-year grant to the Bay Journal. The grant provided approximately a third of the Bay Journal’s annual budget – the paper would have next received $325,000 in February of 2018. According to the article, the nonprofit Bay Journal has been reporting on Bay issues since its founding in 1991 as an EPA-funded newsletter. From the article:
Needless to say, we’re baffled by the EPA’s decision. The notice informing us attributed the withdrawal to a “shift in priorities” at the EPA, without elaborating.
Karl Blankenship, the Bay Journal’s editor, issued the following statement:
We are disappointed that political appointees in the EPA have made an unprecedented decision to cut short a multi-year grant to the Bay Journal with no clear explanation.
For 27 years, the Bay Journal been an important source of news and information for those who care deeply about the Chesapeake. In surveys, our readers tell us they consider the accurate, independent reporting by our small, award-winning staff their most trusted source of information about the effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, and for related trends and events throughout the six-state watershed.
We will be exploring next steps regarding the EPA funding, as well as other potential funding sources.
The article noted that over time staff has grown and the paper’s coverage has expanded to include other water quality issues such as natural gas hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the Eastern Shore poultry industry, waterman issues, and the Conowingo Dam.