Gubernatorial candidates Gina Raimondo and Allan Fung have agreed to do a limited number of joint appearances and televised debates before the general election.  A coalition of environmental groups is disappointed its invitation for a debate didn’t make the list.

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About 2,000 volunteers will dedicate their entire morning tomorrow cleaning up beaches around the state as part of the International Coastal Cleanup, which draws about 650,000 volunteers worldwide.

More than 2000 land conservation leaders from around the country are flocking to Rhode Island this week for a conference.  They’ll get to tour special protected places around the state.

Rhode Island has more lands trusts per square mile than anywhere else in the country: 45 of them. And they’ve conserved about a quarter of the state’s protected lands. Rupert Friday, director of the Rhode Island Land Trust Council, says that accomplishment is one reason why Rhode Island was picked for the second time to host the conference.

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Bird populations are declining across many keys habitats in the country, according to the most comprehensive report of the health of our nation’s birds, the State of the Birds 2014, created by the nation’s top bird science and conservation groups. 

The report brings good news, too, said Laura Carberry, refuge manager for Fisherville Brooke Wildlife Refuge in Exeter.

Carberry said the report highlights the recovery of bird populations in places where states invested in conservation. In Rhode Island, for example, the population of piping plovers is rising again.

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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse invited world famous marine scientist Sylvia Earle to speak to and inspire local environmental leaders at his fifth annual Energy & Environmental Leaders Day.

For too long we’ve tapped into natural resources thinking they’d always be there, said Earle. She cautioned worldwide our “life support” is collapsing, such as coral reefs, kelp forests, and even the marine plants that produce half of the oxygen in the air we breathe.

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Climate change is one of the country’s most serious public health threats, said Gina McCarthy, the head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She spoke to a large crowd of local energy and environmental leaders at an annual conference today hosted by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. 

McCarthy shared one example of a direct public health threat.

The Block Island offshore wind farm is now fully permitted by all state and federal agencies.

The latest approval comes from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lead federal permitting agency for such a project.

A total of nine state and federal agencies have reviewed and approved what may be the country’s first offshore wind. Deepwater Wind is set to build five turbines three miles off the coast of Block Island. It’s already begun the initial stages of constructing them.

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Lobster fishermen, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Sen. Jack Reed, and other state leaders celebrated the grand opening of a new kitchen facility in Newport on Friday. The Newport Lobster Shack Kitchen, owned and run jointly by commercial lobster fishermen, sells freshly cooked food made directly from lobsters landed at Pier Nine on Long Wharf. 

DEM Director Janet Coit said many state leaders showed up to push a growing local seafood marketing effort in Rhode Island.

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Rhode Island has lost more than half of its salt marsh habitats to erosion and other climate change impacts. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse will tour the Narrow River tomorrow to learn about a new technique to restore eroding shorelines.  

Rhode Island lawmakers showed commendable leadership on groundbreaking environmental bills. That’s according to a green report card issued every two years by the Environment Council of Rhode Island in advance of state primary elections.

The green report card is meant to help inform voters and lawmakers about the environmental record of the General Assembly for the last two legislative sessions.

A few Burrillville residents and climate change activists staged a sit-in at Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s office in downtown Providence this morning. They want him to oppose the expansion of an existing natural gas pipeline system.

Spectra Energy's proposed expansion is designed to give the Algonquin Gas Transmission pipeline from New York more capacity to help meet Southern New England’s immediate and future natural gas demands. It would require the upgrade of six compression stations, including one in Burrillville.


Inspectors didn’t identify what chemical prompted an evacuation at the recycling facility of the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation. Earlier this week, the agency shut down its recycling facility, after workers reported smoke coming from the sorting line.

Gary Maddocks, chief of security at the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, reported thirteen workers taken to the hospital for chemical exposures are all well. He said workers do their best to sort and remove anything that doesn’t belong in the recycling facility to prevent such incidents.

© 2007 MBARI

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the University of Rhode Island published surprising findings of a deep sea octopus that guarded her eggs for 4-½ years. This is the longest brooding period ever recorded by any animal on the planet.


The Department of Environmental Management is offering two workshops about the invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle this month. August is Forest Pest Awareness Month.

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State officials hosted a ceremonial signing this afternoon in North Kingstown Town Beach for Rhode Island’s first comprehensive climate change bill. Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the bill into law last month.

The governor noted Wickford Cove experienced a little tsunami last year. He said that’s just one reason why the General Assembly passed this bill into law: to better prepare the state for future extreme weather events.