Department of Enivronmental Management

The Department of Environmental Management has issued an air quality alert for Tuesday.  DEM forecaster, Darren Austin says ozone levels are expected to reach unhealthy territory this afternoon and this evening.

“So what that means is that really people should try to take it easy,” said Austin. “You don’t want to be outside exercising vigorously. Sensitive groups, you could feel the effects of this if you’re outside today breathing this air and asthmatic, but really on alert days, everyone can be impacted.”

Ryan von Linden / flickr/New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Rhode Island researchers have received $500,000 in federal grant money to investigate a fungus that’s killing native bats. The mysterious illness has attacked bats across North America.

Over the last decade, biologists believe an illness known as white-nose syndrome has killed some six-million bats in North America. The fungus appears on the bat’s muzzle. It targets hibernating bats, causing serious infections on their wings, and bodies.

John Bender / RIPR

The state is suing a scrap metal yard on the Providence waterfront, at the upper Narragansett Bay, for alleged environmental violations.  This is not the first time the company has come under fire.

Back in 2012, the Department of Environmental Management, notified Rhode Island Recycled Metals, it was violating numerous rules on water pollution.  The state worked with the company on a plan to solve the issues.  But more than 2 years later, the DEM says the company still hasn’t cleaned up. DEM director Janet Coit says she’s taking them to court.

The Department of Environmental Management wants the public to have a role in shaping the state’s wildlife conservation efforts. The DEM will hold the first of four public meetings tonight to discuss the state's wildlife action plan. 

Governor Lincoln Chafee and other elected officials will be touring the grounds of Rocky Point in Warwick Friday.  On Saturday the former amusement park land will be open to the public.  This will be the first time in about two decades.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Small and beginning farmers and fishermen have until April 1 to apply for new grant money available to help them grow and promote their businesses.   

The governor’s office and the Department of Environmental Management announced a new program with more than $200,000 in grants to make the state’s local food system stronger. The grant program was established by the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) of 2012.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The state Department of Environmental Management has announced plans to cull the population of Virginia white-tailed deer on Block Island.

The density of white-tailed deer on Block Island is estimated at 80 to 100 per square mile.  That’s eight to ten times the desirable level so the state Department of Environmental Management has decided to cull the herd.

The DEM’s Catherine Sparks says they’ll hire professional sharp shooters to kill some of the deer early next year.

Wiki Commons

Three more mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus. The positive results were from mosquitoes trapped in the Smith Hill area of Providence, in the southern section of East Providence, and in central North Kingstown. All of the mosquitoes were of a species that feeds on birds and mammals.

The Department of Environmental Management says these findings are not unexpected this time of year.