About the Bay Journal News Service

The Bay Journal News Service provides Chesapeake Bay watershed and mid-Atlantic editorial and outdoor page editors with a credible, reliable source for op-ed columns, commentary and essays on environmental and conservation issues affecting the region.

Our columnists are leading thinkers on the region's environment. They include scientists, authors, journalists, farmers, policy experts and others who are familiar with, and write about, the places, people, and issues familiar to newspaper readers in the region.

Natural treasures abound here. We have world-class trout streams and Chesapeake Bay blue crabs. Hundreds of thousands of miles of streams and rivers weave through vast tracts of forest and rich farmlands. Near the center of it all is the world's most productive estuary. Yet the region faces challenges to match. Sprawling development consumes farmland and forests. In some parts of the region, rural poverty remains high. Industrial and agricultural pollution dirties our water and air. Our population soars and strains our resources and infrastructure.

Readers talk about these issues all the time. Our service will offer regional voices that deal with them in a regional way. We hope to cast more light than heat, to explore ideas, to offer insight, and suggest solutions. We also hope to make you laugh with an occasional bit of whimsy or pause to take in a snapshot of life in our beautiful mid-Atlantic.


Each Tuesday, the Bay Journal News Service distributes one new column via email to editors on our circulation list. The column is sent in a text format, with a jpeg thumbnail portrait of the columnist available upon request. The columns are available free of charge.

Online, editors can review each week's column, download columns from the archive, and read about our columnists.

Sign up now and get each Bay Journal News Service column delivered to your email box!


Columnists are chosen for their unique perspectives, and their views are their own. The Bay Journal News Service seeks out these independent voices to help elevate the dialogue about the environment, and to bring an environmental perspective to personal actions and discussions about public policy.

Bay Journal News Service is supported by the Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the Town Creek Foundation and an anonymous doner which promote public education about regional conservation efforts. Op-Eds distributed by the Bay Journal News Service do not necessarily reflect the views of those organizations.

Bay Journal News Service Leadership

Managing Editor Karl Blankenship has been editor and principle writer for the Bay Journal, an award-winning monthly newspaper covering issues affecting the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, since 1991. The Bay Journal, which has a distribution of about 47,000, is read by policy makers at both the state and federal levels, scientists, journalists, and citizens interested in Chesapeake and coastal issues. Its accurate, in-depth coverage of scientific and policy issues has made it the "paper of record" for the Bay restoration effort. Prior to that, Blankenship was a reporter at the Harrisburg Patriot-News in Pennsylvania where he helped to create a once-a-week page devoted to environmental issues. A journalism graduate from Michigan State University, his first reporting job was at the Saginaw News in Michigan. He is frequently consulted on the creation of environmental publications, and communicating science and environmental issues. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, an avid bicyclist, and enjoys camping in the mountains. He lives near York, PA.

Editor Michael Shultz reported for and was editor of weekly papers before joining The Evening Sun in Baltimore. There, he reported on politics, government, and environmental issues. He became an assistant managing editor at The Evening Sun where he guided a news staff of 70 reporters and editors. He moved from the newsroom to the business side and as a senior manager in The Baltimore Sun Company's marketing division was responsible for market research, public relations, and internal communications. He moved to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation where, for a period of five years, he was vice president of external affairs and responsible for the organization's communications program. He formed Market Street Communications in 2003. The firm primarily represents non-profit and government agencies. The firm provides strategic communications counsel and conducts public information campaigns. He grew up on the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland. A sailor and paddler, he lives in Annapolis, MD.

Contributing Editor Tim Zink is the director of communications for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, a coalition of national hunting, fishing, and conservation organizations. Zink previously has worked as Trout Unlimited's manager of media relations; as managing editor of the Blue Ridge Press; and in the National Geographic Society's magazine and television operations. He grew up in southern Pennsylvania and holds a journalism degree from Washington & Lee University. An avid hiker, bicyclist and fly fisherman, he lives in Washington, D.C.