Environment

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.

RIPR FILE

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration submits its annual fisheries report to Congress Wednesday. By law (the Magnuson-Stevens Act), NOAA Fisheries must report annually on fish populations within 200 miles of the coast. The agency is also tasked with rebuilding depleted stocks.

Last year, NOAA Fisheries brought two fish species, (considered depleted), back up to healthy levels, and removed several others from the overfishing and overfished lists.

Lisa

In advance of Earth Day, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, the agency that runs the Central Landfill, has launched it's annual education campaign focused on recycling. The campaign includes TV and radio spots and a series of web videos on how to recycle properly. 

Sarah Kite, director of recycling services, said workers at the recycling facility continuously find items that don’t belong in there.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Fishermen are facing tougher quotas and declining populations for some of the most popular fish species, most notably Cod, a New England favorite. That’s one reason why environmentalists and fishermen have been working to promote more locally-caught seafood. Some, like lobster, quahogs, and other shellfish are catching on. But there are other fish that teem the waters of Narragansett Bay. There's one effort underway to raise awareness about scup, an abundant local catch. 

John Bender / RIPR

The state of Rhode Island and a scrap metal recycler have reached an agreement through a court order to address pollution on the Providence waterfront. The state recently sued Rhode Island Recycled Metals for failing to comply with environmental rules. 

  David Chopy, chief of the Department of Environmental Management’s Office of Compliance and Inspection, said the state is concerned that the company doesn’t have enough money to do the required cleanup.

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