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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U.S. Geological Survey

The New England Fishery Management Council has reduced protections of highly sensitive areas in Georges Bank, on the continental shelf east of Cape Cod, and opened it to commercial scalloping. The vote comes after a 12-year-review of habitat protection measures in the Omnibus Habitat Amendment.

Approximately 10,000 square kilometers on Georges Bank, an important fishery area for Rhode Island fishermen, have been protected from fishing for more than 20 years.

John Bender / RIPR

Over the years, the state has slashed budgets across all government agencies, including the Department of Environmental Management. This agency, tasked with protecting the environment, has seen a decline in staffing. Environmental advocates say these cuts have weakened and slowed enforcing environmental laws and regulations.   

Earlier this year, residents packed a small room at the Statehouse for a hearing about a zoning bill. They complained to lawmakers about industrial pollution from a quarry in Westerly. Residents blame the DEM for poor monitoring and enforcement.

Ambar Espinoza

Knocks went unanswered Friday at the Warwick home of Nicholas Rovinski, the man accused of conspiring to support the terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State.

Rovinksi was in a Boston courtroom earlier Friday afternoon. Reporters described him as thin, with a dark beard and cropped hair.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Ambar Espinoza reports that Rovinski's neighbors are saying little about the charges.

RIPR FILE

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has reintroduced carbon tax legislation to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost the economy.

If approved, this revised carbon tax bill would start at $45 per ton starting next year, and increase each year by two percent.

A set of public lectures on how humans affect and respond to environmental changes kicks off this week at the University of Rhode Island. The Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting is hosting this annual series.

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