Deepwater Wind has secured more than 290 million dollars to build and operate a wind farm off the coast of Block Island. The company plans to begin installing turbines this summer. Deepwater is, so far, the only offshore wind company in the country to get full financing for an offshore wind farm.
Two banks have financed Deepwater Wind’s offshore wind farm: a bank in France and Ohio-based KeyBank.
The federal government is investing millions of dollars to harness energy from ocean waves and tides as energy demands continue to grow. (In 2013, it spent $16 million on 17 tidal projects.) It’s also investing money to research how these tidal energy projects may be developed responsibly and sustainably. Some of that research is coming out of Brown University.
Bald eagles aren’t the only bird of prey thriving in Rhode Island. Ospreys are also making a comeback.
The population of ospreys substantially declined from the use of the pesticide DDT after World War II. Rhode Island initiated an osprey monitoring program in 1977 to document the fish-eating raptor’s recovery and breeding success.
Some residents in East Providence thought they won a victory back in 2012, when the Department of Environmental Management shut down a recycling center called TLA Pond View. But now a different company that operates at that site is also facing complaints.
The state fire marshal ordered Railside Environmental Services, LLC to stop bringing new recyclables into its East Providence facility. Deputy fire marshal Richard James said the company, also known as RES Recycling, has to truck out existing materials due to the large piles of debris.
State legislators have introduced a resolution that would create a special commission to study the effects of ocean acidification on Rhode Island.
The world’s oceans are becoming increasingly acidic from all the carbon dioxide we’re dumping into them. Important habitats and fisheries, like shellfish, are rapidly degrading in many parts of the world due to ocean’s changing chemistry.
National Grid has completed installing the last of seven weather stations throughout Rhode Island. This program collects local weather information in real time.
The weather stations are strategically located in Coventry, Bristol, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, and Little Compton. The town of Westerly has had its weather station for only a couple of weeks, and already it’s proved to be useful, said Amy Grzybowski, the town’s emergency management director.
The Aquidneck Land Trust has acquired 72 acres of land in Portsmouth to conserve as open space. The Land Trust recently purchased the parcel for $3 million. The scenic property at St. Mary’s Church includes 25 forested acres.
Land trust executive director Chuck Allott said the property at St. Mary’s Church includes forested land that neighbors St. Mary’s Pond, one of Aquidneck Island’s drinking water supplies. “So it's a very important drinking water, watershed protection parcel and it's also an important habitat property because of that forested land.”
Birders are spotting bald eagles in Rhode Island in greater numbers than ever before. As Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza reports, this is a sign the bird of prey is rebounding in much of its former geographic range, which includes New England.