Environment

Environment
9:40 am
Mon March 16, 2015

The Environmental Impact Of The State Budget

Misquamicut Beach in Westerly.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo’s budget proposal includes some new initiatives for the environment, including a larger role for the state’s Clean Water Finance Agency. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison to discuss the environmental impact of the budget.

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Environment
8:41 am
Wed March 11, 2015

White Rock Dam Removal Project On Schedule

The Nature Conservancy reports the removal of the White Rock Dam along the Pawcatuck River is on schedule. The organization has filed wetlands permit applications in Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Scott Comings Courtesy of The Nature Conservancy

The Pawcatuck River will have one less dam along its river in the near future. The Nature Conservancy has filed a wetlands permit application in Rhode Island to remove the White Rock Dam beginning this summer.

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Battle With The Sea
7:00 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Battle With The Sea: Helping Salt Marshes Adapt To Rapidly Rising Seas

A small industrial machine designed to scoop out mud travels back and forth on a stable section of Round Marsh in Jamestown.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Rhode Island is losing salt marshes at an alarming rate. Scientists and coastal planners say this is one of the most pressing climate change impacts already facing the Ocean State. Salt marshes are critical fish and wildlife habitats that support the state's fishing and tourism industries.

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Environment
8:00 am
Sun March 8, 2015

Record Snow In February Also Affected Birds, Other Wildlife

This harsh winter has been hard on all of us, and it's also taken a toll on our wildlife, especially waterfowl and songbirds. February is on record for the most number of injured birds a wildlife clinic in North Kingstown has taken during a winter season.

Kristin Fletcher, executive director of Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island, said frozen waters have made it difficult for waterfowl to fish. The nonprofit’s clinic is taking care of emaciated and dehydrated birds, including many Canada geese. Fletcher said winter is usually the clinic's quiet season. 

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Environment
7:00 am
Sun March 8, 2015

Some Gulf Of Maine Fishermen Exempt From Emergency Cod Rules

Atlantic cod
Courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce

The fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has exempted some Gulf of Maine fishermen from emergency fishing restrictions it issued last November. A fisheries analyst said the latest compromise still meets the goal to protect the region’s cod, but not everyone agrees.

NOAA Fisheries issued fishing trip limits last November that would reduce the Gulf of Maine cod catch by 20 metric tons. Fisheries policy analyst William Whitmore said fishermen came back with an alternate proposal.

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Environment
1:58 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

State Suing Rhode Island Recycled Metals For Alleged Pollution Of Narragansett Bay

The view of Providence, from the industrial working on Allens Avenue, where Rhode Island Recycled Metals is located.
Credit 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.

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Environment
9:18 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Trash Incineration Debate Emerges Again

Credit Flo Jonic

  Lawmakers have put the breaks on legislation that could put trash incineration on the table at the Central Landfill. A committee voted to hold the bill for further study. The bill would remove language in a law that bans the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation from including incineration in its statewide trash management plan. It would also remove any references to the high costs of incineration. This is the latest attempt to remove a ban on trash incineration.

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Environment
4:59 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Deepwater Wind Secures Full Financing For Block Island Wind Farm

Wind turbines at the Port of Providence
Credit RIPR FILE

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.

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Environment
7:20 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Brown University Researcher Examines Impacts Of Tidal Energy Projects

Brown University professor Heather Leslie took a look at the Muskeget Channel Tidal Energy project to examine more comprehensive ways to evaluate the effects of tidal energy development.
Courtesy of Brown University

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.

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Environment
5:37 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

New Report: Ocean Acidification Threatens Shellfish Industry

Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island is among 15 states whose shellfish industry is at long-term economic risk from the effects of ocean acidification. That’s according to new study funded by the National Science Foundation.

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