Environment

Stephen Melkisethian / Creative Commons via Flickr

A new urban farm in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood opens today. It’s the fifth urban farm created by the nonprofit Southside Community Land Trust.

Rain Provides Brief Relief During Dry Summer

Aug 3, 2016
Harish Kumar / Creative Commons via Flickr

Rhode Island got some much-needed rain this week after a summer of unusually dry weather. The state’s Drought Steering Committee has called a meeting Thursday to decide whether to declare a statewide drought.

Emily Corwin / New Hampshire Public Radio

A new kind of water contamination has shown up all over the U.S., including New England.

This time it’s not lead, like in the Flint, Michigan water system -- but instead, it's a chemical used to manufacture Teflon pans, firefighting foam, and even microwave popcorn bags. It's forced some communities to hand out bottled water and shut down their water systems.

Although companies have stopped using this chemical because of health worries, a new replacement compound may be toxic, too.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Cumberland, Rhode Island popped up on a list of cities and towns that have unsafe levels of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. It’s used to make Teflon. It turns out those levels have dropped significantly in the town over the past year.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

  Three of the state’s largest environmental groups have announced their opposition to the proposed power plant in Burrillville, citing concerns over threats to the climate, forest habitats and biodiversity.

RIPR FILE

The report highlights the importance of headwater streams to the health of the bay. These small bodies of water feed into the bay, and stretch as far north as Worcester, Massachusetts. These feeder streams can be polluted by agriculture and runoff from parking lots and roadways.

Watershed Counts spokeswoman Nicole Rohr said pollution can flow from the streams into the Bay.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

At a private tour at ProvPort, state officials got a close look at blades that will eventually spin at the Block Island Wind Farm, contracted to the company Deepwater Wind.

Emily Corwin / NENC

They have green backs, pink bellies and are only about 2 inches in diameter. The green crab is an invasive predator that’s been destroying clam and scallop populations from South Carolina to Maine -- since they were introduced here two centuries ago.

Now, some New England chefs are looking for ways to put this invasive species - on the menu.

The city’s planning commission has approved a 21-megawatt solar farm, covering 60 acres. City planners say the solar panels will provide renewable energy. But some residents opposed the project. They say the solar farm will harm land that could be set aside for conservation. Douglas Doe, a neighbor of the property, said the project will harm visitors’ enjoyment of the nearby forests.  

“So anybody going to enjoy the conservation land that we paid for is going to be confronted by one chain link fence, a gravel road, and anywhere from 40-60,000 solar panels,” said Doe.

John Bender / RIPR

The Port of Providence operator has updated its expansion plans to address concerns flagged by environmental advocates at Save the Bay. 

Ambar

Hundreds of Burrillville residents welcomed Gov. Gina Raimondo Monday night at a community meeting, where the majority voiced steadfast opposition to a proposed power plant. 

Activists and protester have been marching since Saturday in opposition to the power plant and in anticipation of meeting with governor.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Protestors plan to march from the Statehouse to Burrillville this weekend as they continue to fight a proposed power plant. The state is still vetting the project, but it has support from top state officials, including the governor. Opponents of the power plant have concerns about the project’s transparency. 

RIPR FILE

  The Green Infrastructure Coalition led a tour this week showcasing projects designed to trap runoff, the leading cause of water quality problems in the state.

Artist Holly Ewald attended the tour. She’s a part of a group that worked with students at Reservoir Avenue Elementary School in Providence to transform a dirt patch into a rain garden. 

“They came up with an idea using clay and cardboard and straws,” said Ewald. “Then if you look at the final structure, you can see a total connection between what the kids’ design and ideas and the final structure that was built.”

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Nature enthusiasts around the state are monitoring butterflies for an annual survey taking place across North America. Many factors, including climate change and pesticides, are affecting butterflies,  hindering their ability to successfully breed and develop.

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