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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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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.

file / RIPR

Deepwater Wind is looking for a new location to connect its offshore wind farm to the mainland. The original plan was to run a line from its Block Island wind farm to Narragansett’s Town Beach.

Residents complained about the plan, and the town council voted to suspend talks with Deepwater back in May. Deepwater Wind insisted that the lines would be buried ten feet underground. After meeting with residents back in June, Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski withdrew an application request on Friday.

The Conservation Law Foundation said it plans to file a lawsuit against the operators of the Central Landfill and the companies involved in converting methane gas from the landfill into power. Director of the Conservation Law Foundation in Rhode Island, Tricia Jedele, said the landfill has been running without a required federal permit for 16 years.

The Town of Westerly and Copar Quarries head into mediation Wednesday to see if they can settle a dispute that will please both the quarry and residents.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The town of Johnston has taken the unusual step of shutting down the company charged with drawing off gases from the state’s Central Landfill.  The reason is that persistent rotten egg smell that’s dogged the town for years.

Broadrock Renewables is supposed to siphon off gas from the landfill and turn it into energy. But lately the company has been allowing it to spew from pipes into the atmosphere, according to Johnston town officials.  Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena has issued a cease and desist order, requiring the company to suspend operations until the problem is fixed.

Investigating Rhode Island's Tsunami

Jul 9, 2013
Bradley Campbell / RIPR

Scientists are still trying to understand what caused ocean levels across the state to fluctuate last month without warning. The event remains a relative mystery, but a group from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography believes it may have been a tsunami. 

The author H.P. Lovecraft wrote: "But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of the ocean." Such is the case in this story. It starts on June 13th, when Chuck Ebersole had a really unusual day. He's a Steward at the Wickford Yacht Club.


A biology professor at the University of Rhode Island is conducting an inventory of the types of seaweeds that grow in Rhode Island ocean waters. 

Seaweed may be an annoyance, but it offers vital clues into the health of an ocean.  That’s why University of Rhode Island biology professor Christopher Lane has embarked on a study of the slimy stuff with an eye towards learning how many species of seaweed exist in Rhode Island, and which are the most invasive.

If you’re going outdoors this weekend, as many of us will, you’ll want to protect yourself against mosquito bites. The state Department of Environmental Management is reporting the largest crop of mosquitos in at least 21 years. 

The reason: heavy rains last month.  The warm, dry air mass that’s with us now is slowly killing the mosquito population, but the DEM’s Alan Gettman said they’ll be bad this weekend, particularly at fireworks shows.


The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is once again urging summer campers not to move firewood from outside the state. That’s to keep from spreading a couple of tree-killing invasive insects, which, so far, haven’t shown up in Rhode Island. But this year, they’re closer than ever.

Narragansett Town Council Meets With Deepwater Wind

Jun 27, 2013
Bradley Campbell / RIPR

In Narragansett, residents filled the Town Hall Wednesday to hear a question and answer session between the Town Council and the CEO of Deepwater Wind.  The meeting focused on a proposal to run a transmission line, or power cable, underneath Town Beach.

Narragansett’s Town Hall was once again the hottest place in town Wednesday night. Both in terms of the passion of the subject matter being discussed, and the actual heat: there’s no air conditioning inside the hall.

URI Trip to Antarctica Yields Microscopic Finds

Jun 20, 2013
Caitlyn Lawrence / URI GSO

A professor at the University of Rhode Island just flew back from Antarctica with scientific cargo. Phytoplankton, will be used to study the plant’s resiliency to climate change.

Phytoplankton is microscopic plants that float in water near the surface of the Ocean. And a URI professor just hand-delivered fresh samples of the phytoplankton taken from the Southern Ocean to URI. Associate Professor of Oceanography, Tatiana Rynearson, said the samples will help scientists understand the different types of phytoplankton in the ocean.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

While kicking off a push to install a network of 50 electric vehicle charging stations, Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced the state will replace much of its fleet with hybrid and electric vehicles. Chafee made the announcement at Roger Williams University, where the first charging station was unveiled.

Director of Administration Richard Licht said the program started this spring, and so far the state has replaced 30 gas-fueled vehicles with hybrids.  He notes that a waiver will be given to agencies, such as law enforcement, that can’t find a comparable substitute.

Peter Green / Providence Raptors

Two young falcons will be released back into the wild in Pawtucket this Saturday.  The two got away from their nest which sits atop Pawtucket City Hall. 

The Department of Environmental Management picked up two juvenile peregrine falcons that were found on the ground in Pawtucket last week.

The birds, one male and one female, are siblings, and about seven to eight weeks old.

Wildlife experts say juvenile falcons can often get away from their nests when learning to fly.

By the end of the summer Rhode Island will have more than 50 charging stations for electric cars. Even with the new charging stations the state will still lag behind its neighbors.

The first one comes online next week, and through the summer more than 50 more will pop up across the state. That’s fewer than the 60-plus in Connecticut and more than 100 charging stations in Massachusetts, said Al Dahlberg who helped craft the plan.