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.


9:26 am
Thu June 12, 2014

New England States Team Up To Address Rising Energy Prices

New Englanders spent $5 billion in electricity last winter, compared to $5.2 billion for all of 2012. That's why each of the New England states has introduced legislation in their respective states to address the problem of rising electricity prices. But environmental advocacy groups are worried this regional collaboration would promote unnecessary natural gas projects.

Read more
3:39 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Rhode Island In Good Shape To Meet EPA's Carbon Emission Plan

Rhode Island is in good shape to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed plan to reduce emissions from power plants, according to scientists with the Department of Environmental Management.

The EPA’s proposed plan is to cut emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and an additional 5 percent by 2030. It’s using emissions from 2005 as a baseline. The DEM’s supervising air quality specialist Frank Stevenson said the plan takes into consideration existing regional initiatives to cut carbon pollution. And that’s good news.

Read more
5:52 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

First Lady's Initials Welded At Keel Laying Ceremony

"I declare this keel to be well and truly laid," said First Lady Michelle Obama, shortly after she took a look at the welded version of her initials with Electric Boat welder, Michael Macomber (left), and Electric Boat CEO Jeff Geiger.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

First Lady Michelle Obama participated in a keel laying ceremony of a new submarine this afternoon at the Electric Boat's Quonset Point Facility in North Kingstown.

Less than a month ago, the U.S. Navy awarded $17.6 billion, its largest contract, to Electric Boat and its construction partner Newport News Shipbuilding, to build 10 new attack submarines for the fleet the Virginia class. The First Lady is the sponsor of the fleet's 13th submarine, the Illinois, named after the First Family's home state.

Read more
9:29 am
Fri May 30, 2014

State Joins Others In Pledge To Get Zero-Emission Cars On The Roads

Rhode Island has joined seven other states in trying to get millions more zero-emission cars on the road by 2025.
Credit thisisbossi / flickr

Rhode Island and seven other states have released their action plan for their collective pledge to put 3.3 million zero-emission cars on the road by 2025. It's an effort to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from the transportation sector.

Energy Commissioner Marion Gold of the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources says this commitment is in line with the state's goal to curb greenhouse gas emissions. She says the state's energy plan, and the governor's executive council on climate change underscore the goal's importance.

Read more
9:01 am
Fri May 30, 2014

More Federal Funding Coming To RI To Clean Up Contaminated Sites

The new WaterFire headquarters in Providence are being cleaned up using federal funds designated to clean up Brownfield and superfund sites.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Island has received more than $2.7 million to clean up contaminated properties in Pawtucket, Providence, and Westerly.

Senator Jack Reed says these federal grants awarded through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program will help local governments protect public health and redevelop former industrial sites for better use. Reed says it’ll also benefit the economy by creating jobs and increasing the value of surrounding properties.

Read more
6:54 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Rhode Island Artscape: Urban Ponds To Clean And To Celebrate

Ambar Espinoza RIPR

For this month's Artscape, Rhode Island Public Radio's environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza profiles the Urban Pond Procession, a group of artists, scientists, educators, and residents who want to promote the health of urban ponds. The group's focal point is around raising awareness about the contamination that plagues Mashapaug Pond on the south side of Providence and ways to heal it.

Read more
10:34 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Meeting Underway To Revisit Burying Power Lines In Providence-East Providence

An Energy Facility Siting Board hearing is underway this morning on burying waterfront power lines in Providence-East Providence. More than 1,700 people have signed a petition to urge the governor and the mayors of Providence and East Providence to move forward with this project.

National Grid will provide updates on the project’s cost estimates and feasibility studies. The feasibility studies would look at drilling borings under the Providence and Seekonk rivers, among other requirements. 

Read more
10:05 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Nearly 12,000 Pounds Of Trash Collected From Rhode Island Shorelines

Nearly 12,000 pounds of trash were collected from Rhode Island shores during an international coastal cleanup last September. The Ocean Conservancy, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, mobilizes this annual cleanup. It recently released its yearly data report highlighting the cleanup’s results.

Read more
4:52 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Winter Moth Caterpillars Defoliating Trees Across State

Defoliated leaf and winter moth caterpillar.
Credit Courtesy of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management

The Department of Environmental Management is tracking areas where winter moth infestations are most prevalent in the state. The agency is asking Rhode Islanders to report areas where winter moth caterpillars are heavily defoliating trees.

“We want to tell people that if their trees are defoliated, it would be a good idea to water them if they start to re-foliate, because the tree will need a lot of water to get the leaves back out again,” said Bruce Payton, state forester and the DEM’s deputy chief of the division of forest environment.

Read more
4:06 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

More Than $1 Million To Help Dredge Winnepaug Pond

The Town of Westerly has secured more than $1 million in grants to dredge Winnepaug Pond in Misquamicut. Superstorm Sandy dumped about 60,000 to 70,000 cubic yards of sand, making it more shallow and warm.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Town of Westerly has secured more than $1 million in grants to dredge Winnepaug Pond in Misquamicut. 

Winnepaug Pond, behind Misquamicut Beach, has built up a lot of sediment over the course of 50 years or more, said Amy Grzybowski, Westerly’s director of planning, code enforcement, and grant administration. She said the town has wanted to dredge the pond for more than 10 years. 

Then, Superstorm Sandy dumped more sand, making it more shallow and warm.

Read more