environment

sand dunes
Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Gov. Gina Raimondo’s proposed budget devotes about 1.1 percent of all state spending to the state’s two major environmental agencies: the Department of Environmental Management and the Coastal Resources Management Council. The DEM got a small bump from the governor’s last budget, while the CRMC held steady. We break down the numbers.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

A state Senate report says the need to lower carbon emissions offers an opportunity to expand green jobs. The report says green jobs are already a growing sector of the state economy, having increased by more than 6 percent in recent years.

The Senate report outlines a series of recommendations to add more green jobs, include creating workforce training programs, increasing sources of renewable energy, and strengthening the state’s solar industry.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Environmental advocacy groups and businesses have been finding common ground in recent years around an unlikely issue: stronger enforcement of environmental laws.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

2015 had no shortage of stories about the environment and energy, including the start of construction on Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm. Rhode Island Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio Morning Edition host Chuck Hinman about what’s in store for the environment in 2016.

Rhode Island Public Radio

This week in Paris, world leaders launched a major climate change summit. The two-week meeting is aimed at negotiating an agreement to reduce carbon emissions. A group of Brown University professors and students is also at the summit. Rhode Island Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza spoke with the group to hear what the next two weeks have in store.  

    

Addieville East Farm in Burrillville, Rhode Island is a haven for sport hunting, and has gained an international reputation. And as part of our Series One Square Mile: Burrillville, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender reports, running this massive operation is labor of love.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The state Department of Transportation will be required to immediately take comprehensive steps to correct years of federal Clean Water Act violations involving more than 200 bodies of water, under a consent agreement filed Thursday morning in U.S. District Court.

RIPR File

The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Rhode Island five grants totaling more than a million dollars to clean up contaminated properties across the state.

The money will help with the cleanup of contaminated sites in the cities of Central Falls, Pawtucket, and Providence.

RIPR FILE

The City of Providence has rolled out a new initiative to implement the city’s sustainability plan, aimed at reducing the effects of climate change. The initiative has a strong focus on community outreach.


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.

Todd Ugine / Cornell University Department of Entomology

Scientists have confirmed a sighting of a rare ladybug at Rocky Point in Warwick.  The nine-spotted ladybug, once common in the eastern U.S. has almost disappeared. Volunteers with the Rhode Island Natural History Survey found one of the ladybugs during an expedition last year.  Natural History Survey Executive Director David Gregg says Warwick is not a place he would have expected to make a scientific find.

    

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Department of Environmental Management has announced the closure of two areas in Charlestown; trails through East Beach and Ninigret Conservation Area. The trails are closed as of Tuesday, to protect Piping Plover nesting areas. 

The small shore bird is endangered and makes its home in the Ocean State.

Rhode Island has received $1 million dollars from the Environmental Protection Agency to help clean up local brownfields; areas contaminated by toxic substances.  The money will go toward cleaning up areas in Pawtucket, Central Falls and Providence.  

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Welders have started to build parts for a wind energy facility off the coast of Block Island. It’s on track to be the country’s first offshore wind farm.  State leaders were on hand for the start of construction today (Monday). Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza says they are calling it a great day for Rhode Island and the nation.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The state’s management plan that zones offshore waters for renewable energy projects is getting an update. The first public meeting for stakeholders is happening Thursday at the University of Rhode Island.

The Ocean Special Area Management Plan, or SAMP for short, is a planning tool that allows the state to balance both the economy and the environment as it pursues offshore energy projects. It includes about 15-hundred square miles of portions of Block Island Sound, Rhode Island Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean.

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