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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OSM: Narragansett Bay
7:54 am
Tue October 7, 2014

One Square Mile: Fish Of Narragansett Bay

URI students Mary Kane (left) and Rachel Marshall are about to count, sort, and weigh all the fish species caught in this bottom trawl net.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

For the past 55 years, researchers and students from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography have trawled Narragansett Bay on a weekly basis. These trawls are one of the world's longest running surveys that track the type of fish that come and go from season to season. For our One Square Mile: Narragansett Bay series, we turn to these trawls to give us a snapshot of how fish have responded to changes.

Three URI students board the 53-foot research vessel Cap'n Bert at Wickford Harbor, as they do each week, to trawl the bay at two stations.

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Environment
2:39 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Governor Holds Ceremonial Signing Of Energy Security Act

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and other leaders have gathered at Slater Mill in Pawtucket this afternoon for a ceremonial signing of the Affordable Clean Energy Security Act, an energy bill the governor signed into law earlier this summer.

The act gives Rhode Island an opportunity to work with other New England states to address volatile electricity prices. Last winter, the New England region spent $5 billion in energy costs, nearly as much as the region spent for the entire 2012 calendar year.

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One Square Mile: Narragansett Bay
3:51 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Public Forum: How Fisheries Are Adapting To Changes in Narragansett Bay

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Environmental Reporter, Ambar Espinoza will host a public forum and conversation on the changing fisheries in Narragansett Bay.

This forum will be broadcast live on Thursday, October 9, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Rhode Island Public Radio: 88.1 FM/102.7 FM/91.5 FM and RIPR.ORG.

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Environment
7:50 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Proposed Extraction Ordinances By Charlestown Challenged By Industry

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers trucked in 90,000 cubic yards of sand from two Rhode Island quarries to replenish the beach after Superstorm Sandy. The first quarry didn't have enough sand, so the Corps subcontracted Copar Quarries for the rest.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Yesterday we brought you the story of homeowners in the communities of Westerly and Charlestown who say their lives have been disrupted by the rock blasting at a neighboring quarry. Charlestown is working on ordinances that would regulate this industry. Town officials are trying to balance the interest of homeowners and sand and gravel business owners. But one local operator said those proposed ordinances would create hardships for the industry – an industry he said is already struggling to survive. This is the second installment of a two-part series.

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Environment
8:12 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Westerly Quarry Still A Quandary For Neighboring Residents

A bird's eye view of the Westerly Quarry in April 2010 from Google Earth.
Google Earth Images

On the surface, this story is about sand and gravel. And it’s not, actually. It's a story about how stone becomes sand and gravel. And about the people who built homes around what used to be a dormant quarry in Westerly. It’s the first installment of a two-part series.

Charlestown resident Denise Rhodes lives about 1,000 feet away from this quarry, just across the border in Westerly. She invited local town council members and Rhode Island Public Radio to her house on a day when the town issued a “Code Red alert.” 

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Environment
9:25 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Rhode Island's First Farm-Based Brewery Opens

Farm-based breweries can now sell limited quantities of beer; only 72 ounces. That's about one six pack.
Credit Courtesty National Beer Wholesalers Association

Bills that would have given farmers a license to sell unlimited amounts of beer at their farm breweries and at farmer’s markets didn’t pass in the most recent legislative session.  But, Rhode Island has just licensed the state's first farm brewery.

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Environment
9:12 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Raimondo, Fung Defend Decision Not To Take Part In Environmental Debate

Gubernatorial candidates Gina Raimondo and Allan Fung have agreed to do a limited number of joint appearances and televised debates before the general election.  A coalition of environmental groups is disappointed its invitation for a debate didn’t make the list.

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Environment
7:52 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Volunteers To Pick Up, Record Trash At Beach Cleanup

Volunteers will comb the shores of Misquamicut Beach for trash, cataloging all of the debris they find.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

About 2,000 volunteers will dedicate their entire morning tomorrow cleaning up beaches around the state as part of the International Coastal Cleanup, which draws about 650,000 volunteers worldwide.

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Environment
8:06 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Hundreds Of Conservation Activists Expected In Rhode Island

More than 2000 land conservation leaders from around the country are flocking to Rhode Island this week for a conference.  They’ll get to tour special protected places around the state.

Rhode Island has more lands trusts per square mile than anywhere else in the country: 45 of them. And they’ve conserved about a quarter of the state’s protected lands. Rupert Friday, director of the Rhode Island Land Trust Council, says that accomplishment is one reason why Rhode Island was picked for the second time to host the conference.

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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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