Environment

Rhode Island researchers have received 500 thousand dollars in federal grant money to investigate a fungus that’s killing native bats. The mysterious illness has attacked bats across the country.

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.

RIPR FILE

The New England Fishery Management Council made the right move recently, voting to ask the federal government to suspend an at-sea monitoring program required of the groundfish industry, according to long-time fisherman Fred Mattera, who said shifting the cost to fishermen could decimate the industry.

Mattera, who was a commercial fisherman for 40 years, said fishermen already have to deal with quota cutbacks and depressed prices for locally caught fish. 

Photo Courtesy of St. Michael's Country Day School

The bill to make the American burying beetle the official state insect heads to the governor’s desk. This was the result of steady lobbying by third graders in Newport.

  Third graders at St. Michael’s Country Day School hope designating the American burying beetle as the state’s official insect will raise awareness about the beetle’s endangered status, according to State Rep. Lauren Carson, one of the bill’s sponsors.

Carson said the students recognize the beetle’s important role in the environment: They break down dead animals into soil.

RIPR File Photo

The New England Fishery Management Council plans to ask the federal government to suspend an at-sea monitoring program required of the region’s groundfish industry.  The council voted this week to send that request to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA Fisheries requires that one out of every five fishing trips has a human being monitoring catch. At-sea monitors collect data on catch, bycatch, and fish thrown back to sea.

Beginning late August, NOAA Fisheries will no longer be able to pay for at-sea monitors.

The bill that requires phasing out cesspools heads to the governor’s office, after the Senate and House passed it.  It will take effect January 1, 2016.

Homeowners who are selling their property or transferring ownership have 12 months within the date of sale or transfer to remove and replace their cesspools.  

Low-interest loans and hardship waivers will be available for low-income property owners or purchasers. 

This post has been updated.

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