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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Environment
7:26 am
Tue September 16, 2014

State Of The Birds Report Highlights Gains And Losses

Pictured here in the distance are American oystercatchers, whose numbers in Rhode Island are slowly rising again due to conservation efforts. Many islands in Narragansett Bay, such as Hope and Dyer islands, are refuges for birds.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Bird populations are declining across many keys habitats in the country, according to the most comprehensive report of the health of our nation’s birds, the State of the Birds 2014, created by the nation’s top bird science and conservation groups. 

The report brings good news, too, said Laura Carberry, refuge manager for Fisherville Brooke Wildlife Refuge in Exeter.

Carberry said the report highlights the recovery of bird populations in places where states invested in conservation. In Rhode Island, for example, the population of piping plovers is rising again.

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Environment
5:00 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Legendary Oceanographer Sylvia Earle Speaks To Local Environmental Leaders

World famous oceanographer Sylvia Earle said never before have we been as equipped with knowledge about the universe, the earth, and the processes that keep us alive as we are [equipped] today. She said that should guide how we treat our planet.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse invited world famous marine scientist Sylvia Earle to speak to and inspire local environmental leaders at his fifth annual Energy & Environmental Leaders Day.

For too long we’ve tapped into natural resources thinking they’d always be there, said Earle. She cautioned worldwide our “life support” is collapsing, such as coral reefs, kelp forests, and even the marine plants that produce half of the oxygen in the air we breathe.

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Environment
3:05 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

EPA Head Affirms Climate Change Is A Public Health Threat

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said she accepted Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s invitation to be a keynote speaker at the annual Energy & Environmental Leaders Day, because she wants to celebrate what’s happening at state and federal levels to reduce carbon pollution. She highlighted the EPA’s plan to reduce their carbon emissions by the largest polluters: power plants.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Climate change is one of the country’s most serious public health threats, said Gina McCarthy, the head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She spoke to a large crowd of local energy and environmental leaders at an annual conference today hosted by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. 

McCarthy shared one example of a direct public health threat.

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Environment
2:30 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Block Island Wind Farm Fully Approved

The Block Island offshore wind farm is now fully permitted by all state and federal agencies.

The latest approval comes from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lead federal permitting agency for such a project.

A total of nine state and federal agencies have reviewed and approved what may be the country’s first offshore wind. Deepwater Wind is set to build five turbines three miles off the coast of Block Island. It’s already begun the initial stages of constructing them.

Environment
10:00 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Lobster Fishermen Open Kitchen Facility In Newport

David Spencer, president of the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation and a lobsterman, and DEM Director Janet Coit celebrated the grand opening of the Newport Lobster Shack Kitchen.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Lobster fishermen, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Sen. Jack Reed, and other state leaders celebrated the grand opening of a new kitchen facility in Newport on Friday. The Newport Lobster Shack Kitchen, owned and run jointly by commercial lobster fishermen, sells freshly cooked food made directly from lobsters landed at Pier Nine on Long Wharf. 

DEM Director Janet Coit said many state leaders showed up to push a growing local seafood marketing effort in Rhode Island.

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Environment
4:00 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

New Technique To Restore Eroding Shorelines In Place At Narrow River

The Nature Conservancy’s John Torgan said coastal restoration managers expect the coconut fiber coir logs to stem the erosion of these banks, so that the marsh will grow and become more stable and resilient in the face of storms and rising sea levels.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Rhode Island has lost more than half of its salt marsh habitats to erosion and other climate change impacts. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse will tour the Narrow River tomorrow to learn about a new technique to restore eroding shorelines.  

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Environment
11:24 am
Wed August 20, 2014

State Lawmakers Earn Good Grades On Environmental Protection

Rhode Island lawmakers showed commendable leadership on groundbreaking environmental bills. That’s according to a green report card issued every two years by the Environment Council of Rhode Island in advance of state primary elections.

The green report card is meant to help inform voters and lawmakers about the environmental record of the General Assembly for the last two legislative sessions.

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Environment
5:30 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Groups Opposing Gas Pipeline Expansion Stage Sit-In At Sen. Whitehouse's Office

A few Burrillville residents and climate change activists staged a sit-in at Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s office in downtown Providence this morning. They want him to oppose the expansion of an existing natural gas pipeline system.

Spectra Energy's proposed expansion is designed to give the Algonquin Gas Transmission pipeline from New York more capacity to help meet Southern New England’s immediate and future natural gas demands. It would require the upgrade of six compression stations, including one in Burrillville.

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Environment
10:15 am
Fri August 8, 2014

RIRRC: Proper Recycling Helps Prevent Safety Problems At Facilities

Parts of the Central Landfill in Johnston had to be shut down temporarily after a toxic gas leak Thursday.
Credit RIPR FILE

Inspectors didn’t identify what chemical prompted an evacuation at the recycling facility of the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation. Earlier this week, the agency shut down its recycling facility, after workers reported smoke coming from the sorting line.

Gary Maddocks, chief of security at the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, reported thirteen workers taken to the hospital for chemical exposures are all well. He said workers do their best to sort and remove anything that doesn’t belong in the recycling facility to prevent such incidents.

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Environment
8:52 am
Mon August 4, 2014

DEM: August Is Forest Pest Awareness Month In RI

The formidable Asian Longhorned beetle can deforest massive tracts of land.
Credit RIPR FILE

The Department of Environmental Management is offering two workshops about the invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle this month. August is Forest Pest Awareness Month.

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