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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Ambar

Hundreds of Burrillville residents welcomed Gov. Gina Raimondo Monday night at a community meeting, where the majority voiced steadfast opposition to a proposed power plant. 

Activists and protester have been marching since Saturday in opposition to the power plant and in anticipation of meeting with governor.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Protestors plan to march from the Statehouse to Burrillville this weekend as they continue to fight a proposed power plant. The state is still vetting the project, but it has support from top state officials, including the governor. Opponents of the power plant have concerns about the project’s transparency. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Nature enthusiasts around the state are monitoring butterflies for an annual survey taking place across North America. Many factors, including climate change and pesticides, are affecting butterflies,  hindering their ability to successfully breed and develop.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed an $8.9 billion budget into law. It includes millions of dollars for environmental initiatives. Rhode Island Public Radio news director Elisabeth Harrison gets the details from our environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza. 

RIPR FILE

A crackdown on impaired boating kicks off this weekend. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management will increase boat patrols in waterways starting Friday through Sunday.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island is the first state in the nation to join a national program aimed at using a standardized recycling label. Major corporations, such as Whole Foods and Disneyland, have already signed up.

Paul Goyette / Creative Commons

A new recycling program is driving an uptick in the recycling of mattresses and box springs, according to the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The bills aimed at giving Burrillville residents a say in a tax treaty between the local town council and Invenergy, the company proposing to build a power plant, died in a senate committee this week.

The company proposing to build a natural gas-fired power plant in Burrillville is billing the project as a solution to alleviate future energy shortages and rising energy costs in New England. But two experts testifying on behalf of the Conservation Law Foundation filed written testimonies with the state’s Public Utilities Commission disputing those statements.

Courtesy of Curt Guyette

As many as 100,000 people in Flint, Michigan were exposed to harmful concentrations of lead in the city’s drinking water.  In an attempt to save money, the city decided to disconnect from Detroit's water system and began to use water from the corrosive Flint River. 

Caterpillars Flourish Across The State

Jun 10, 2016
Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Caterpillars feasting on oak and other hardwood trees are defoliating wooded areas and backyards across the state.

Heather Faubert, a plant specialist at the University of Rhode Island, attributes this year’s infestation to a drought last May. She said diseases usually keep caterpillar numbers low.

“But when we had the driest May on record, those diseases weren’t spread until it really started to rain. And by that time, the caterpillars had advanced, matured, and then those females laid eggs,” said Faubert.

Those eggs survived over the winter.

Courtesy of SmartPower

A state program designed to make buying and installing solar panels affordable and easy is available for residents and small businesses in Providence through late June.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Lawmakers in the Rhode Island House of Representatives easily approved legislation related to the state’s Energy Facility Siting Board and to tax treaties with electricity-generating facilities in Burrillville. But some lawmakers in the state Senate were not as receptive to the bill.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Rhode Island House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to allow a voter referendum on a possible tax agreement between the Burrillville Town Council and Invenergy, a Chicago-based developer proposing to build a 1000-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant. 

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