Environment

Environment
2:50 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

More Mosquito Pools Test Positive for West Nile in RI

Three more pools of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus.
Credit Wiki Commons

Three more mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus. The positive results were from mosquitoes trapped in the Smith Hill area of Providence, in the southern section of East Providence, and in central North Kingstown. All of the mosquitoes were of a species that feeds on birds and mammals.

The Department of Environmental Management says these findings are not unexpected this time of year.

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Environment
8:35 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Advocates Gearing Up For Another Try at Plastic Bag Ban

Backers of a plastic bag ban have been busy collecting petition signatures this summer.  Environment Rhode Island says it has amassed ten thousand signatures urging the General Assembly to take up the issue once again. 

Rhode Island would have become the first state in the country to ban plastic grocery bags under a bill that died in the last legislative session.   Channing Jones of Environment Rhode Island says they are not deterred by their out-of-the-gate loss.

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Environment
3:05 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

More Mosquito Samples in RI Test Positive for EEE

Four pools of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus, and three pools for EEE in Rhode Island this year.

Test results from two mosquito pools in Rhode Island have come back positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. This is the second time EEE has been confirmed in the state this year.

The samples came from traps set in Tiverton and Westerly.  The Department of Environmental Management says the findings aren’t surprising for this time of year, and it’s likely that EEE is present in other parts of the state.

Furthermore, two mosquito pools in Tiverton and Hopkinton have confirmed positive results for Highlands J Virus, that virus is a bird disease that doesn’t affect humans.

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Environment
12:43 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

RI Mosquitoes Test Positive for EEE

For the first time this year, mosquitoes trapped in Rhode Island have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a virus characterized by the sudden onset of  headache, high fever, chills and vomiting.  A second mosquito batch has tested positive for West Nile Virus.

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Environment
9:11 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Low Crop Yield Due to Inclement Weather

If you’ve noticed shortages at your local farmstand, you can blame Mother Nature.   Local growers say late spring and early summer weather wreaked havoc on their crops.

Vinny Confreda, owner of Confreda Farms in Hope, has been forced to ration produce. If a grower wants 100 cases of sweet native corn, he may have to settle for 30.  The problem, says Confreda, was an exceptionally wet June followed by an unusually hot July.

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Environment
2:58 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Waste Company Settles with EPA by Helping Schools in RI & MA

A Providence waste handler has agreed to remove hazardous chemicals from 60 schools in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The cleanup is part of a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Environment
8:45 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Searching RI For Evidence of the Asian Longhorned Beetle

Cindy Kwolek inspects a maple tree for the Asian Longhorned beetle in Cumberland, RI.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Throughout the month of August, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has been searching for evidence of the dreaded Asian Longhorned Beetle. A species so destructive it could defoliate much of New England.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender went out in search of the beetle with the D.E.M. team.

  

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Environment
8:43 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Obama Administrator Joins Local Leaders For Action On Climate Change

One of President Obama’s top advisers on climate change was in Rhode Island Wednesday, pressing the administration’s case for reducing the amount of pollutants in the air.  The stars of the press conference were two children who suffer from asthma.

Eight year old Kenyatta Richards has asthma.  On days when there’s an ozone alert – as there were nine times last month – she has to stay indoors to play.   Although she’s too young to fully understand the concept of climate change, she believes there’s a link between it and her illness.

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Environment
9:41 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Rhode Island Lobsters Again Affected By Shell Disease

Lobsters throughout New England have been affected by a disease which eats at their shells for decades, though biologists say it's getting worse.
Credit Creative Commons Image

Once again lobsters off the shores of Rhode Island and Massachusetts are being plagued by a disease that affects their shells. 

But reportedly the disease has grown harsher.

Epizoodic shell disease, or as it commonly known, lobster shell disease, has been in New England for years.

The disease is a bacteria which eats away at the lobster’s shell, causing deterioration, but is generally not fatal.

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Environment
9:24 am
Wed August 7, 2013

UPDATE: West Nile Virus Found In Rhode Island

Mosquitoes in Seekonk have tested positive for West Nile Virus, none in Rhode Island have so far.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has announced the first finding of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes in the state this year.

The department routinely checks mosquitoes for both West Nile Virus, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis starting in the late spring.

Alan Getman of the DEM said West Nile Virus has been in Rhode Island for twelve years, and today’s reappearance was not unexpected.

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