Stories of the year

A couple months ago, I had a lull at work, so I decided to start drafting a recap of the developments in the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort.

I figured the bay would make the list of my newspaper’s top 10 stories of the year, as it always had since I’ve been on the beat.

In December, the editors asked us to offer up our own top stories lists and they tallied them all up.

Big surprise: The Chesapeake Bay didn’t make the list.

My first thought was, “Oh no! The bay is practially they only thing I write about and it’s not among the top 10 news stories. What if the bosses think they no longer need a reporter writing about the bay?”

Of course, that’s silly talk. My newspaper has made a commitment to covering the heck out of the Chesapeake Bay. We even have a page dedicated to the bay that’s published every other week.

But it did make me wonder what it will take for the bay to beat out the likes of Bear-Bear the dead dog and snowmaggedon and a top politician facing a sexual harrasment lawsuit? Interestingly, this was the most important year so far in my four or five years covering the bay — the federal government finally stepped in with a crackdown on pollution and a new plan to restore the bay.

I guess perhaps how well the new plans are carried out — and whether the feds follow through on their promises — may determine where the bay’s story ranks next year.

If you’re interested, here’s a link to the newspaper’s wrapup of the top stories of 2010, and here’s the list:

1. Slots at Arundel Mills.
2. Snowmageddon.
3. Bear-Bear shot.
4. Leopold’s troubled year.
5. The elections.
6. The sagging economy.
7. Annapolis issues.
8. ‘Dead’ woman rises.
9. Violent crime.
10. Naval Academy’s up-and-down year.

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