Ambar Espinoza

Environmental Reporter

Ambar Espinoza’s roots in environmental journalism started in Rhode Island a few years ago as an environmental reporting fellow at the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting. She worked as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio for a few years covering several beats, including the environment and changing demographics. Her journalism experience includes working as production and editorial assistant at National Public Radio, and as a researcher at APM’s Marketplace.

Espinoza joins Rhode Island Public Radio most recently from Seattle, WA, where she earned a master of education with a focus on science education from the University of Washington. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from American University in Washington, D.C. Espinoza was born in El Salvador and raised in Los Angeles, CA.

Ways to Connect

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The new wind farm would be located off the coast, about 17 nautical miles northeast of Ocean City, Maryland. If approved, construction for the project -- dubbed the Skipjack Wind Farm -- would begin as early as 2020, and produce 120 megawatts of power. That's four times more than the Block Island Wind Farm is expected to produce.  

Deepwater Wind is in the early stages of developing a 90 megawatt offshore wind farm 30 miles east of Montauk New York, scheduled to start operating in 2022.  

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

In Washington, grassroots groups are calling on Congress to investigate the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Critics say this agency, in charge of regulating interstate transmission of oil, natural gas and electricity, is ineffective in vetting proposals for pipelines and liquefied natural gas facilities.

FANG Collective

Providence police arrested four environmental activists protesting the North Dakota Access Pipeline currently under construction by Energy Transfer Partners.  

The activists with the grassroots group FANG Collective used bike locks to chain their necks and arms to the doors of TD Bank's downtown Providence branch. 

TD Bank is one of several banks funding the construction of a crude oil pipeline that will span 1,172 miles from North Dakota to Illinois.

The Conservation Law Foundation is asking the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to reconsider its decision not to reject a consumer tax that would help pay for natural gas pipeline expansions in the region. The PUC denied CLF’s request in September.

The project was billed as a regional solution to rising electricity costs. But since then New Hampshire and Connecticut have followed Massachusetts in dropping the project. CLF Attorney Max Greene said the state of Maine has signaled it will consider the project but only if other New England states participate. 

Aaron Read / RIPR

The Rhode Island State Conservation Committee has secured a $40,000 grant through the Rhode Island Foundation to continue its work on soil, land and water conservation. But the conservation committee is still looking for money to keep the lights on.

 

Earlier this year, the General Assembly eliminated several community service grants that the conservation committee relied on to pay for rent, insurance and electricity. Sara Churgin, the committee’s project coordinator, said this new grant doesn’t cover those expenses. 

Courtesy of INSPIRE Environmental

Fishermen and scientists are trying to understand how the Block Island Wind Farm may affect fish in Rhode Island waters. This week Rhode Island Public Radio’s Ambar Espinoza reported on what we know and don't know yet about the impact of the offshore wind farm on fisheries. She joined Rhode Island Public Radio News Director Elisabeth Harrison for an update on acoustics, marine mammals and wildlife habitats.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The nation’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island will start producing electricity any day now. It’s a pilot project that will change the way the people on this small island power their homes and businesses. They’ve relied on importing diesel fuel up to this point.

John Bender / RIPR

The state is back in court Friday for a hearing as environmental officials battle a scrap metal recycling company on the Providence waterfront. The state is asking a Superior Court judge to declare Rhode Island Recycled Metals in contempt for willfully violating court orders.

Naval Station Newport

The high tide in Newport is forecast to be a foot and half above average high tide Tuesday.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Donald Trump’s surprise victory has prompted climate ministers from around the world to issue a joint statement about the need for the whole international community, including the United States, to remain committed to the Paris Climate Accords.

Rhode Island Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza talked to a Brown University climate policy expert, who is at this year’s United Nations climate summit in Morocco, to find out how leaders are taking the news.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Shawn Gately from Cranston thinks Trump’s win is amazing.

“I think the Trump presidency is a statement against the establishment, both Republican, Democrat, and the fourth estate, also known as the media, and saying that the rest of us as U.S. citizens are fed up with the current status quo,” said Gately.

Giovanni Cicione says he is stunned – in a good way – by this dramatic election’s presidential results.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The environmental nonprofit presented awards to distinguished naturalists in the Rhode Island Saturday. It’s how the nonprofit is wrapping its celebration of Natural History Week, says Executive Director David Gregg.

Gregg said Rhode Island will begin to see things in nature that we’ve never seen before.

“In order what they mean and what their implications are, we have to go out there and look at stuff,” said Gregg. “We can’t assume that things in the past are going to be the same in the future.”

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

On Tuesday, voters will decide whether to fund improvements at two of Rhode Island’s ports. It’s Question 5 on the ballot for a bond that would modernize Pier 2 at the Port of Davisville in Quonset, and expand the Port of Providence. Rhode Island Public Radio Environmental Reporter Ambar Espinoza met with port officials and environmentalists to learn what’s at stake. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Rhode Island Natural History Survey presented awards to distinguished naturalists in the state last night. The group also released a final tally of species they recorded this summer during an intense 24-hour period of taking inventory. It’s called a BioBlitz. We take you back to summer to give you a sampling of plants and animals they found on a particular parcel of land in Hopkinton.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Burrillville Town Council unanimously approved a tax treaty with Invenergy, the company proposing to build a power plant in town.

Town Council President John Pacheco said: in no way does that mean the town endorses the project.

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