Environment

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.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed an $8.9 billion budget into law. It includes millions of dollars for environmental initiatives. Rhode Island Public Radio news director Elisabeth Harrison gets the details from our environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza. 

National GMO Labeling Bill Would Override State Labeling Laws

Jun 24, 2016
Kathleen Masterson / Vermont Public Radio

Leaders on the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee this week reached an agreement on legislation that would require the first mandatory, nationwide label for food products containing genetically engineered ingredients.

If the bill were to pass, it would override labeling laws in such states as Vermont, as well as legislation under consideration in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Vermont Public Radio's Kathleen Masterson reports.

RIPR FILE

A crackdown on impaired boating kicks off this weekend. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management will increase boat patrols in waterways starting Friday through Sunday.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island is the first state in the nation to join a national program aimed at using a standardized recycling label. Major corporations, such as Whole Foods and Disneyland, have already signed up.

Paul Goyette / Creative Commons

A new recycling program is driving an uptick in the recycling of mattresses and box springs, according to the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation.

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