Environment

Environment
4:52 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Winter Moth Caterpillars Defoliating Trees Across State

Defoliated leaf and winter moth caterpillar.
Credit Courtesy of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management

The Department of Environmental Management is tracking areas where winter moth infestations are most prevalent in the state. The agency is asking Rhode Islanders to report areas where winter moth caterpillars are heavily defoliating trees.

“We want to tell people that if their trees are defoliated, it would be a good idea to water them if they start to re-foliate, because the tree will need a lot of water to get the leaves back out again,” said Bruce Payton, state forester and the DEM’s deputy chief of the division of forest environment.

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Environment
4:06 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

More Than $1 Million To Help Dredge Winnepaug Pond

The Town of Westerly has secured more than $1 million in grants to dredge Winnepaug Pond in Misquamicut. Superstorm Sandy dumped about 60,000 to 70,000 cubic yards of sand, making it more shallow and warm.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Town of Westerly has secured more than $1 million in grants to dredge Winnepaug Pond in Misquamicut. 

Winnepaug Pond, behind Misquamicut Beach, has built up a lot of sediment over the course of 50 years or more, said Amy Grzybowski, Westerly’s director of planning, code enforcement, and grant administration. She said the town has wanted to dredge the pond for more than 10 years. 

Then, Superstorm Sandy dumped more sand, making it more shallow and warm.

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Environment
6:22 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Renewable Energy Program Produces Positive Economic, Environmental Impacts

The state's renewable energy fund and the program designed to stimulate the development of renewable energy projects in Rhode Island are producing positive outcomes: more jobs and less pollution. That's according to a recent report by the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources.  

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Environment
6:51 am
Wed May 14, 2014

CRMC Unanimously Approves Deepwater Wind Block Island Wind Farm

Rhode Island is one step closer to having its first offshore wind farm. Last night, the Coastal Resources Management Council unanimously approved Deepwater Wind’s proposed wind farm three miles off the coast of Block Island.

The 30-megawatt wind farm with five turbines will produce enough energy to power 17,000 homes each year, according to Deepwater Wind estimates.

CRMC Executive Director Grover Fugate said the approval vote is “historic.” It’s the first time the CRMC grants a permit to build an ocean wind farm.

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Environment
8:50 am
Tue May 13, 2014

CRMC May Vote To Approve Deepwater Wind Project

The CRMC may approve a wind turbine project in Rhode Island.
Credit RIPR FILE

The Coastal Resources Management Council will discuss a subcommittee’s recommendation to approve Deepwater Wind’s proposed Block Island Wind Farm Tuesday. This may be another big vote for the project.

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Environment
8:44 am
Mon May 12, 2014

RI DEM Partnering With URI To Start Fisheries Institute

A newly created fisheries institute in Rhode Island will develop and take on new innovative and practical research projects. The institute is partnership between the Department of Environmental Management and the University of Rhode Island.

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Environment
4:12 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Deepwater Wind Secures First Major Permit Approvals From RIDEM

Credit RIPR File Photo

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has granted Deepwater Wind its first set of major permit approvals for the Block Island Wind Farm. This marks a significant milestone for the project.

The DEM has deemed the wind farm and underwater transmission cable in compliance with state and federal water quality regulations. So it issued the company Water Quality Certificates. The DEM also issued a Freshwater Wetland permit for certain onshore construction activities. 

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Environment
4:03 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Gov. Lincoln Chafee Seeks Public Comments For Draft Climate Change Report

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and DEM Director Janet Coit, who also chairs the Executive Climate Change Council, released a draft report on how to prepare for climate change at a press conference at Bristol Town Beach.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Executive Climate Change Council (EC3), recently established by Gov. Lincoln Chafee, released a preliminary report about how the state should prepare for climate change. The EC3 includes representatives from various state agencies, including the departments of health, environment, and transportation. 

Chafee said it’s important to tap into resources and talents across all sectors to develop coordinated statewide solutions to such threats as extreme weather events. Some of those steps may include moving roads, elevating buildings, or covering equipment.

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Environment
4:43 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Deepwater Wind Proposes To Build The West Coast's First Offshore Wind Farm

Credit RIPR File Photo

Deepwater Wind has announced it’s proposing to develop the West Coast’s first offshore wind farm. The project is also poised to become the world’s first offshore project to use a floating foundation for the turbines.

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Environment
4:12 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Deepwater Wind Adopts Additional Steps To Protect North Atlantic Right Whales

“We have seen the most significant aggregations of North Atlantic right whales ever documented right in Rhode Island Sound,” said Tricia Jedele, vice president and director of advocacy for Conservation Law Foundation’s Rhode Island office.
Credit National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Deepwater Wind has agreed to adopt additional protective measures to minimize harm to the endangered North Atlantic right whales during the initial construction stages of its proposed wind farm in federal waters off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The company signed an agreement with Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), which collectively developed these extra protective measures.

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