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.

Pages

Environment
9:18 am
Thu March 5, 2015

Trash Incineration Debate Emerges Again

Credit Flo Jonic

  Lawmakers have put the breaks on legislation that could put trash incineration on the table at the Central Landfill. A committee voted to hold the bill for further study. The bill would remove language in a law that bans the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation from including incineration in its statewide trash management plan. It would also remove any references to the high costs of incineration. This is the latest attempt to remove a ban on trash incineration.

Read more
Environment
4:59 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Deepwater Wind Secures Full Financing For Block Island Wind Farm

Wind turbines at the Port of Providence
Credit RIPR FILE

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.

Read more
Environment
7:20 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Brown University Researcher Examines Impacts Of Tidal Energy Projects

Brown University professor Heather Leslie took a look at the Muskeget Channel Tidal Energy project to examine more comprehensive ways to evaluate the effects of tidal energy development.
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.

Read more
Environment
5:37 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

New Report: Ocean Acidification Threatens Shellfish Industry

Credit 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.

Read more
Health Care
5:21 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Raimondo: Abuses At Slater Hospital Are "Unacceptable"

Elisabeth Harrison RIPR

State police and state and federal health officials are investigating the apparent abuse of three patients with profound disabilities at the state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital. Gov. Gina Raimondo said the alleged abuses are upsetting.

Raimondo said Maria Montanaro, the new director she appointed to state department of behavioral healthcare, is conducting a robust investigation.

Read more
Environment
7:59 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Rhode Island Continues To Make Gains In Osprey Population

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.

Read more
Environment
10:23 am
Fri February 20, 2015

New Company On Former Recyclables Site Faces Similar Complaints

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.

Read more
Environment
2:06 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

State Lawmakers Want To Find Out What Acidifying Waters Mean For The Ocean State

State lawmakers hope to create a council to study what ocean acidification could mean for Rhode Island's waters.
Credit RIPR FILE

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.

Read more
Environment
9:33 am
Thu February 12, 2015

New Weather Stations Provide Critical Data During Storms

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.

Read more
Environment
7:32 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Aquidneck Land Trust Conserves More Than 70 Acres Of Land

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.”

Read more

Pages