Welcome back to our weekly behind-the-scenes glimpse at what’s getting our team talking. Let us know what you think at [email protected].

Bay invaders

In times of crisis, some of us turn to food for comfort. But what if food could, well, solve a crisis? According to a story that caught Contributing Editor Michaela Haas’ eye from Ambrook Research, that’s essentially what Maryland fishers are trying to achieve with a delicious but invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay.

Michaela says:


A few years ago I wrote a story for RTBC about putting invasive species on the menu in order to decimate their number. This fascinating story from Ambrook talks about the “blue catfish invasion.”

Blue catfish fishing.
Blue catfish supply often outweighs demand. Credit: Aileen Devlin / Virginia Sea Grant

It takes two

This week, Executive Editor Will Doig shared a New York Times opinion piece about a small town just across the George Washington Bridge from New York City. Palisades Park, New Jersey is benefiting from an unusual housing code provision that allows for two homes on residential lots.

will doig Will says:


We ran a story about “feel-good densification” in Portland, Oregon last year. This town just outside New York is doing something similar and rebutting the myth that densification means skyscrapers in the suburbs.

What else we’re reading

🇫🇷 How Does Paris Stay Paris? By Pouring Billions Into Public Housing — shared by RTBC Founder David Byrne from the New York Times.

🕸️ Apple waste, spider silk, enhanced cotton: How bio-based textiles could replace plastic in our clothing — shared by Editorial Director Rebecca Worby from Grist

🌿 A mecca for rewilders: the community-led project restoring Scotland’s southern uplands  — shared by David Byrne from the Guardian

From our readers…

RTBC member Janet Ozzard sent us a sobering but moving story from the San Francisco Standard about the funeral home staff who make monthly trips to the mouth of the Golden Gate to scatter the ashes of San Francisco’s unclaimed dead — a number that’s gone up along with the city’s rise in opioid overdose deaths. “This is a ministry — it’s more than a scattering,” said Reuben Houston, owner of Colma Cremation and Funeral Services. “We stand in for their family and friends.”