Bryan Russo | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Bryan Russo

Host, Coastal Connection

Russo is WAMU's "guy on the coast", serving as both the Coastal Reporter and the host of Coastal Connection, a weekly public affairs program which airs on WRAU 88.3 in Ocean City on Fridays at noon and 8 p.m.

Russo is an award winning journalist and an entertaining storyteller who is known for not only his hard news sensibility, but also his sensitivity in dealing with complex subject matters that impact the lives of people in the region. Russo strives to make Coastal Connection a weekly conversation about the issues that effect life on the coast, for both the locals and tourists, even if it means chasing a massive hurricane. In addition, Russo is also an acclaimed singer-songwriter and composer, whose music has been heard all over the world on radio, TV, and film.


Articles Written by Bryan Russo

WAMU 88.5
In Maryland, one of Worcester's County's most historic spots has just been crowned "America's Coolest Small Town" in a national online. Still, the town of Berlin has been going through an economic renaissance for years and has now become the model for small town success on the shore....
WAMU 88.5
In Delaware, Rehoboth Beach could be the next seaside town in the First State to ban smoking, and proponents are pushing hard to ensure that the ban happens before the summer season. Banning smoking has been brought up in Rehoboth Beach before, but the issue has always been like a can that's being kicked down the road, even as neighboring resorts like Dewey, Fenwick Island an...
WAMU 88.5
A 2013 study in Delaware found that 80 percent of the inmates in the state's prison system end up back in jail within three years of their release. But now a small art program in one of the prisons near the coast is trying to change that. Coastal reporter Bryan Russo talks to Chase Fehrenbech, one of the prisoners involved in the program. Bryan Russo:...
WAMU 88.5
A 2013 study in Delaware found that 80 percent of the inmates in the state's prison system end up back in jail within three years of their release. But now a small art program in one of the prisons near the coast is trying to change that. Chase Fehrenbach was in his early 20's when a rampant heroin addiction pushed him to commit armed robberies. He's now six years into a 21...
WAMU 88.5
In Ocean City, Md., the century-old fishing pier which was partially damaged during Superstorm Sandy, has been battered once again. Months of frigid temperatures and storms have walloped the coastline this winter and those prolonged harsh conditions are being blamed for the snapping of 5 massive pilings that hold up the iconic pier. Back in 2012, ...
WAMU 88.5
On Maryland's Eastern Shore, the Worcester County Board of Education has voted to change the start of the next school year to after Labor Day — making it the only county in the state to do so in the last five years. This longstanding debate is pretty simple: Some say the pre-Labor Day ringing of the school bell hurts resort businesses in Ocean City because it cuts short the...
WAMU 88.5
In Maryland, a new solution to help ease the tension between the state's agricultural industry and environmental groups, which have long been at odds over what to do with the half million tons of poultry manure produced in the state each year, has been brought to the state Senate floor. Farmers see poultry manure as a valuable resource: good to spread back onto their land as ...
WAMU 88.5
In Maryland, an outbreak of overdoses linked to a deadly opioid has officials on the Eastern Shore ramping up their enforcement and treatment programs. For the past several years, Salisbury has been battling a huge uptick in violent crime and gang violence. And while declining crime statistics and dozens of arrests and convictions of the city's most violent criminals may seem...
WAMU 88.5
One hundred years ago, oysters were a big business on the coast, especially on George's Island, near Stockton, Md. But after the famous 1933 hurricane that created the Ocean City inlet, the seafood industry, and particularly the oyster farming trade, rapidly declined. There were 15 oyster packing houses that were essentially destroyed during the storm, many of which were never...
WAMU 88.5
Poultry farmers on Maryland's Eastern Shore who are vehemently opposed to a bill in Annapolis that would levy a five cent tax on every chicken grown in the state have new reason to be optimistic about the political debate. Gov. Martin O Malley voiced his support for the poultry industry last night at the annual Taste of Maryland dinner, borrowing part of a famous line from for...
WAMU 88.5
Residents on Maryland's Eastern Shore and Coastal Delaware reported earthquake-like tremors earlier this afternoon that shook the ground and rattled windows. While officials were initially puzzled, the booms are now being attributed to supersonic flights. Social media was abuzz this afternoon here on the coast as people took to their accounts to report earth-shaking tremors th...
WAMU 88.5
In Maryland, a provision in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 could help the struggling seafood industry on the Eastern Shore. Senator Barbara Mikulski, the Democrat from Maryland with a self-proclaimed soft spot for the Eastern Shore, and the uber-conservative Republican Rep. Andy Harris may not see eye to eye on a lot of issues, but they are in full agreement on ...
WAMU 88.5
Officials in Ocean City, Md., are considering a few new rules they hope will help repair its bruised image as a family-friendly destination. Some of the items being brought to the table could backfire in the realm of public opinion. Last June, there were a string of violent incidents: robberies, stabbings, and gang-related fights that became a PR nightmare for Maryland's large...
WAMU 88.5
Bird enthusiasts on Maryland's Eastern Shore and in coastal Delaware have been enjoying what ecologists are calling a once in a lifetime irruption of Snowy Owls. Scientists have launched a project that aims to learn more about this little known species. When you think of Snowy Owls, the first picture in your mind might be of Harry Potter's pet owl Hedwig, but birders and ecolo...
WAMU 88.5
A woman who endured life-threatening burns on more than 20 percent of her body has been released from the hospital, more than a month after a homeless man set himself on fire and ran into the Ocean City church at which she was volunteering. Gauze and bandages cover most of 41 year old Dana Truitt's face She was volunteering at St. Paul's By the Sea Episcopal Church on ...
WAMU 88.5
In Maryland, Salisbury University officials are returning from winter break to a fraternity hazing scandal after a former student came forward with new and alarming claims of brutality during fraternity initiation ceremonies. The Sigma Alpha Epsilon Chapter of Salisbury University has been suspended since October 2012 after an investigation by police and the university's boar...
WAMU 88.5
Eighty-six percent of the real estate in Ocean City, Md. belongs to out-of-towners, but recent assessments show the value of your typical beach house has tanked by as much as nine percent. The State Department of Assessments says property values declined for 82 percent of the more than 10,000 homes and condominiums analyzed in Worcester County over a three-year real estate ass...
WAMU 88.5
For years, environmentalists have been searching for a breakthrough in their efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. And now, they think they’ve found that breakthrough — in the form of the humble woodchip. The Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy in Easton, Md. is working with several farmers on the Eastern Shore to install “woodchip bio-reactors” on their farms. These...
WAMU 88.5
The producers of a movie shot in Ocean City, Md., have announced it will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this January. Ping Pong Summer is a coming-of-age story set in the summer of 1985, about a ping pong and hip hop music obsessed teenage boy on a family vacation to Ocean City. The film wrapped production in the resort one day before Superstorm Sandy...
WAMU 88.5
Rich Bloch started working in a magic shop at the age of seven, and has been hooked ever since. But that’s not his only gig. When not pulling rabbits out of hats, he can be found working as an attorney in Washington, where he's sorted out labor disputes for the likes of the National Football League and Major League Baseball. He now owns his own theater, in coast...