Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The state Department of Environmental Management has announced plans to cull the population of Virginia white-tailed deer on Block Island.

The density of white-tailed deer on Block Island is estimated at 80 to 100 per square mile.  That’s eight to ten times the desirable level so the state Department of Environmental Management has decided to cull the herd.

The DEM’s Catherine Sparks says they’ll hire professional sharp shooters to kill some of the deer early next year.

Mystic Aquarium

Hubble the seal is swimming free Friday after spending the summer recovering from injuries at the Mystic Aquarium.

Hubble’s journey began on a beach in Maine where researchers found him abandoned by his mother. He made his way to the Mystic Aquarium, and researchers fattened him up and treated problems with his eyes. Those eyes, said the Mystic Aquarium’s Skip Graf, were what made the curious, young seal so special.

One Square Mile: Bristol's Quahoggers

Oct 11, 2013
John Bender / RIPR

Quahoging has long been a major industry in the town of Bristol, situated right on the waterfront.  But as the population of local fishermen ages, and market prices plummet, the industry faces some serious threats.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender went out on a boat with a young quahogger to find out more about the town's historic industry.

Brayton Power Point Set to Close

Oct 9, 2013

Environmentalists are hailing a decision to shut down the Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Massachusetts.  Owners of the coal-fired plant filed papers Monday indicating the plant will no longer provide power to the grid by 2017.

Federal regulators have called it the heaviest polluter in Massachusetts. Environmentalists have decried the carcinogens that pour from its smokestacks. Now, the Brayton Point Power Station on the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border is closing, according to papers filed by its owner, Energy Capital Partners.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

The state Department of Environmental Management has begun stocking approximately 6,000 brown and brook trout for the fall freshwater fishing season.

Trout stocking was delayed this year due to elevated water temperatures. In addition, an infestation of blue-green algae prevented the department from stocking trout in Melville Ponds in Portsmouth.

A current fishing license is required for anglers 15 years of age and older wishing to catch a fish.  License fees cost $18 for Rhode Island residents.

Cliff Walk Repairs On Hold As Bid Is Examined

Sep 24, 2013

Repairs to the Cliff Walk in Newport destroyed by Superstorm Sandy are on hold as the Department of Transportation is examining an unusually low bid that has been submitted.

The bid for repairs came at 3 million dollars; about 2 million less than most of the others.

The low amount raised eyebrows, said city official Robert Power, who was worried about the quality of the work.

A boil water order remains in effect for 25,000 customers of the Kent County Water Authority after tests showed the water was contaminated with E. coli bacteria

School was held Monday in West Warwick but it wasn’t completely business as usual.  Bottled water was trucked in Sunday afternoon, as soon as school officials learned of the problem with E. Coli bacteria in the water supply. And other changes were made to keep kids safe, according to Kenneth Townsend, the school department’s director of property services.

Residents and businesses in the North Kingstown area are invited to a free public meeting regarding the impacts of climate change, rising tides, and flooding in the coastal communities of Rhode Island.

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.

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.

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.

RI Mosquitoes Test Positive for EEE

Sep 5, 2013

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.

Low Crop Yield Due to Inclement Weather

Sep 2, 2013

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.

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.

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.