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.

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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.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The bills aimed at giving Burrillville residents a say in a tax treaty between the local town council and Invenergy, the company proposing to build a power plant, died in a senate committee this week.

The company proposing to build a natural gas-fired power plant in Burrillville is billing the project as a solution to alleviate future energy shortages and rising energy costs in New England. But two experts testifying on behalf of the Conservation Law Foundation filed written testimonies with the state’s Public Utilities Commission disputing those statements.

Courtesy of Curt Guyette

As many as 100,000 people in Flint, Michigan were exposed to harmful concentrations of lead in the city’s drinking water.  In an attempt to save money, the city decided to disconnect from Detroit's water system and began to use water from the corrosive Flint River. 

Caterpillars Flourish Across The State

Jun 10, 2016
Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Caterpillars feasting on oak and other hardwood trees are defoliating wooded areas and backyards across the state.

Heather Faubert, a plant specialist at the University of Rhode Island, attributes this year’s infestation to a drought last May. She said diseases usually keep caterpillar numbers low.

“But when we had the driest May on record, those diseases weren’t spread until it really started to rain. And by that time, the caterpillars had advanced, matured, and then those females laid eggs,” said Faubert.

Those eggs survived over the winter.

Courtesy of SmartPower

A state program designed to make buying and installing solar panels affordable and easy is available for residents and small businesses in Providence through late June.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Lawmakers in the Rhode Island House of Representatives easily approved legislation related to the state’s Energy Facility Siting Board and to tax treaties with electricity-generating facilities in Burrillville. But some lawmakers in the state Senate were not as receptive to the bill.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Rhode Island House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to allow a voter referendum on a possible tax agreement between the Burrillville Town Council and Invenergy, a Chicago-based developer proposing to build a 1000-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant. 

Courtesy of Steve Dubois

The Westerly Town Council is considering buying a quarry that has been a source of complaints and lawsuits over the course of more than five years. As a first step, the Westerly Town Council votes Monday night on whether they will move forward hiring an appraiser to assess the quarry's property value. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

State Representative Cale Keable’s power plant bill took a step forward at the Statehouse yesterday. The House Environment & Natural Resources Committee voted 11-2 for the bill, which now moves to the house floor for consideration. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Four peregrine falcons hatched earlier this spring on top of the Superman Building in downtown Providence. Volunteers have now banded the birds so that biologists can keep track of them. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The House Environment and Natural Resources committee heard hours of testimony last night for a bill related to a proposed power plant in Burrillville. Opponents of the bill say it would set a bad precedent for other infrastructure project proposals in the state.

But State Rep. Cale Keable, the lead sponsor, said the bill aims to increase public input into the project’s approval process. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Scientists are still working to understand all of the factors behind massive die-offs of honeybees in what’s known as “colony collapse disorder.”

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