Written by Leslie Taylor
COLLEGE PARK — The General Assembly passed a bill this week that would create a task force to evaluate effects of acidification in the Chesapeake Bay and other state waters and make recommendations on how to address the issue.
House Bill 118, which would form the task force and charge it to make recommendations by Jan. 1, 2015, passed with bipartisan support on Monday, the final day of the 2014 session. The state Department of Natural Resources would be required to provide staff to assist the task force.
Gov. Martin O’Malley has not indicated whether he will sign the legislation, a spokesman said.
The bill passed unanimously in the Senate, and the House of Delegates passed it 104-32. Delegate Eric Luedtke, D-Montgomery, the bill’s sponsor, said some House Republicans opposed the bill because it relates to climate change, which scientists have tied to increases in acid levels in global waters.
As more carbon dioxide is released into the air, more is also absorbed into global waters, leading the water to become more acidic. This could make it more difficult for sea life, including oysters, to grow.
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The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:
The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.Read more...
Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.
Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.Read more...