Deepwater Wind has secured more than 290 million dollars to build and operate a wind farm off the coast of Block Island. The company plans to begin installing turbines this summer. Deepwater is, so far, the only offshore wind company in the country to get full financing for an offshore wind farm.


Two banks have financed Deepwater Wind’s offshore wind farm: a bank in France and Ohio-based KeyBank.

Courtesy of Brown University

The federal government is investing millions of dollars to harness energy from ocean waves and tides as energy demands continue to grow. (In 2013, it spent $16 million on 17 tidal projects.) It’s also investing money to research how these tidal energy projects may be developed responsibly and sustainably. Some of that research is coming out of Brown University.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island is among 15 states whose shellfish industry is at long-term economic risk from the effects of ocean acidification. That’s according to new study funded by the National Science Foundation.

Ed Hughes / Courtesy of Audubon Society of Rhode Island

Bald eagles aren’t the only bird of prey thriving in Rhode Island. Ospreys are also making a comeback.

The population of ospreys substantially declined from the use of the pesticide DDT after World War II. Rhode Island initiated an osprey monitoring program in 1977 to document the fish-eating raptor’s recovery and breeding success.

Some residents in East Providence thought they won a victory back in 2012, when the Department of Environmental Management shut down a recycling center called TLA Pond View. But now a different company that operates at that site is also facing complaints.

The state fire marshal ordered Railside Environmental Services, LLC to stop bringing new recyclables into its East Providence facility. Deputy fire marshal Richard James said the company, also known as RES Recycling, has to truck out existing materials due to the large piles of debris.


State legislators have introduced a resolution that would create a special commission to study the effects of ocean acidification on Rhode Island.

The world’s oceans are becoming increasingly acidic from all the carbon dioxide we’re dumping into them. Important habitats and fisheries, like shellfish, are rapidly degrading in many parts of the world due to ocean’s changing chemistry.

National Grid has completed installing the last of seven weather stations throughout Rhode Island. This program collects local weather information in real time.

The weather stations are strategically located in Coventry, Bristol, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, and Little Compton. The town of Westerly has had its weather station for only a couple of weeks, and already it’s proved to be useful, said Amy Grzybowski, the town’s emergency management director.

Chris Hunter / Collective Thought Media

The Aquidneck Land Trust has acquired 72 acres of land in Portsmouth to conserve as open space. The Land Trust recently purchased the parcel for $3 million. The scenic property at St. Mary’s Church includes 25 forested acres.

Land trust executive director Chuck Allott said the property at St. Mary’s Church includes forested land that neighbors St. Mary’s Pond, one of Aquidneck Island’s drinking water supplies.  “So it's a very important drinking water, watershed protection parcel and it's also an important habitat property because of that forested land.”

Heidi Piccerelli / Courtesy of Audubon Society of Rhode Island

Birders are spotting bald eagles in Rhode Island in greater numbers than ever before. As Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza reports, this is a sign the bird of prey is rebounding in much of its former geographic range, which includes New England.

The Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council, or EC4 for short, meets today for the first time this year.  New faces will join the meeting.

Courtesy Save The Bay

Seals from Maine and the Atlantic Provinces of Canada start migrating to Narragansett Bay in October. But February is one of the best months for seal watching in Narragansett Bay. That’s when the number of migrating seals peaks, ranging between 300-500. 

Whitehouse Office

The U.S. Senate passed a bill approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline Thursday.  Rhode Island’s junior Senator Sheldon Whitehouse voted against the bill.

A vocal critic from the start, Whitehouse released a sharp statement following the bill’s passage.  He calls the $8 billion dollar project a “disaster” for health and the environment.   The Keystone project would construct a nearly 12-hundred mile pipeline to carry mainly oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

Whitehouse says the project would encourage dependence of fossil fuels, which exacerbate climate change.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Managment auctioned off two out of four wind development areas off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard today for potential wind energy development. Twelve companies were eligible to place bids, but only two took part in the auction.

The two companies are RES Americas, a company headquartered in the UK, and OffshoreMW, the sister company of a German wind energy developer. They have secured provisional leases to build offshore wind farms off the coast of Massachusetts, south of Martha’s Vineyard.

File/Ian Donnis / RIPR

As crews clear roads and parking lots, the excess snow is piling up. And the Department of Environmental Management urges cities, towns and businesses to avoid dumping all that snow into any body of water.

That includes ponds, lakes, rivers, wetlands and the ocean. Why? Well, all the salt, sand, littler and oil from cars pollute the water, harming wildlife and possibly sinking down into the groundwater.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Just this week, the U.S. Senate went on the record that climate change exists. Local and state officials in Rhode Island haven’t been waiting around to take the lead from Washington. They not only know climate change is real, but they’re also planning for its impacts. As part of our Battle With The Sea series, Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza went on a tour with the Environmental Protection Agency’s northeast director to see how plans are in place.