Ambar Espinoza

Environmental Reporter

Ambar Espinoza’s roots in environmental journalism started in Rhode Island a few years ago as an environmental reporting fellow at the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting. She worked as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio for a few years covering several beats, including the environment and changing demographics. Her journalism experience includes working as production and editorial assistant at National Public Radio, and as a researcher at APM’s Marketplace.

Espinoza joins Rhode Island Public Radio most recently from Seattle, WA, where she earned a master of education with a focus on science education from the University of Washington. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from American University in Washington, D.C. Espinoza was born in El Salvador and raised in Los Angeles, CA.

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Battle With The Sea
9:28 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Battle With The Sea: Rhode Island Develops State-of-the-Art Planning Tools

The head of the EPA Northeast Region, Curt Spalding, took a guided walking tour of Wickford Village in North Kingstown to learn about a climate change adaptation pilot project there. He also visited Westerly, South Kingstown, and Warwick.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Just this week, the U.S. Senate went on the record that climate change exists. Local and state officials in Rhode Island haven’t been waiting around to take the lead from Washington. They not only know climate change is real, but they’re also planning for its impacts. As part of our Battle With The Sea series, Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza went on a tour with the Environmental Protection Agency’s northeast director to see how plans are in place.

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Environment
10:04 am
Thu January 22, 2015

EPA Head Tours RI Areas Affected By Climate Change

EPA head Curt Spalding tours areas affected in Rhode Island.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The regional head of the environmental protection agency said Rhode Island is doing state-of-the-art planning for climate change threats.  Curt Spalding spent Wednesday seeing firsthand the tools coastal managers have already put into place.

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Environment
9:39 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Sen. Whitehouse Applauds Official Senate Recognition Of Climate Change

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse addresses the Senate during one of his weekly speeches on climate change.
Credit Whitehouse Office

Climate change is real, not a hoax. That’s according the U.S. Senate, which is now on record about the reality of climate change.  The Senate voted 98 to 1 on an amendment recognizing climate change in the Keystone Pipeline bill.  

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Environment
10:29 am
Wed January 21, 2015

EPA Head To Survey Parts Of RI Endangered By Climate Change

Misquamicut Beach in Westerly was drastically affected by hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s New England region is in Rhode Island Wednesday. Curt Spalding will survey parts of the state, to see which are at risk to storms and increased sea level rise.

For two days, the EPA’s Curt Spalding will tour areas in Westerly, South Kingstown, North Kingstown and Warwick. The idea behind the tour is twofold: to examine at-risk areas, and share ideas and existing tools for how to plan for rising seas and more violent storms.

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RI News
8:17 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Deer Hunting Season Open On Block Island Land Parcel

Credit RIPR File Photo

Deer-hunting on a state-owned parcel of land on Block Island opens today. Brian Tefft, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Environmental Management, said the deer hunting season has been underway on the island since early October, but…

  “This is a special lottery-only hunt for one parcel of state land located on Block Island in an effort to assist the town with the reduction of deer on the island,” Tefft said.

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Environment
5:00 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Year-Long Birding Competition Kicks Off In Rhode Island

A barred owl.
Ed Hughes The Audubon Society of Rhode Island

If bird watching is your way of combating the winter blues, then the Audubon of Society of Rhode Island has a challenge for you, as Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza reports.

In the past, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island (ASRI) has held something called a bird-a-thon, where bird watchers try to identify as many bird species as they can in a day.  

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RI News
3:00 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Block Island Offshore Wind Farm On Track And More Efficient

Credit RIPR File Photo

The Block Island offshore wind farm will produce more power than originally expected, said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski at an open meeting before the state's Public Utilities Commission. The company expected the wind farm to produce 40 percent of its total maximum power. But since the company proposed the project, advances in turbine technology have bumped up the wind farm’s projected efficiency.

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RI News
5:30 am
Wed January 14, 2015

RI Public Utilities Commission To Receive Updates On Block Island Wind Farm

Credit RIPR File Photo

The state’s Public Utilities Commission will be brought up to speed today on the status of the Block Island wind farm project. As Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza reports, Deepwater Wind and others will offer those updates.

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RI News
5:44 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Deer Hunting Season Gears Up On Block Island

Credit RIPR File Photo

The annual deer hunting season is gearing up on Block Island. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza tells us, the hunt on the Black Rock/Rodman Hollow parcel of land opens on Jan. 20.

The Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will set up a deer checking station at the Block Island Police Station in preparation for next week. The hunting season opens Jan. 20 and lasts until Feb. 13. This deer checking station will be open on certain days during the season to check deer taken by hunters.

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Environment
6:15 am
Mon January 12, 2015

CFL Recycling Program Keeping Mercury Out Of Waterways

Compact fluorescent light bulbs contain small traces of mercury that can get into our waterways when they are sent to the landfill. Exposure to mercury, even in small amounts, may cause serious health problems. The most common exposure to mercury is through fish consumption.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

A recycling program for light bulbs with mercury has kept nearly seven grams of mercury out of our waterways in its first four months of operation. 

Seven grams of mercury is enough to make more than 20 tons of fish unsafe to eat, said David Gerraughty, the mercury program coordinator at Clean Water Action Rhode Island, the group that’s paying for the cost of this recycling program.

Gerraughty said the most common exposure to mercury is through eating contaminated fish.

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