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.

Ways to Connect

Stephen Depolo / Creative Commons License via Flickr

National Grid has come under fire for two proposals related to natural gas. The utility company's goal is to bring down the cost of electricity in the wintertime, but some state lawmakers and environmental groups aren’t convinced.

Christopher Irwin / Creative Commons License via Flickr

For a year and a half, tens of thousands of people in Flint, Michigan were exposed to drinking water with dangerously high levels of lead. In the wake of the crisis, water sampling methods have come under scrutiny. Rhode Island Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza sat down with the chief of the center for drinking water quality at the Rhode Island Department of Health to learn how Rhode Island has changed its testing protocols post-Flint.

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Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Cumberland, Rhode Island popped up on a list of cities and towns that have unsafe levels of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. It’s used to make Teflon. It turns out those levels have dropped significantly in the town over the past year.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

  Three of the state’s largest environmental groups have announced their opposition to the proposed power plant in Burrillville, citing concerns over threats to the climate, forest habitats and biodiversity.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

At a private tour at ProvPort, state officials got a close look at blades that will eventually spin at the Block Island Wind Farm, contracted to the company Deepwater Wind.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The doctor-turned-politician from Massachusetts is running for a second time as the Green Party presidential candidate. 

The city’s planning commission has approved a 21-megawatt solar farm, covering 60 acres. City planners say the solar panels will provide renewable energy. But some residents opposed the project. They say the solar farm will harm land that could be set aside for conservation. Douglas Doe, a neighbor of the property, said the project will harm visitors’ enjoyment of the nearby forests.  

“So anybody going to enjoy the conservation land that we paid for is going to be confronted by one chain link fence, a gravel road, and anywhere from 40-60,000 solar panels,” said Doe.

John Bender / RIPR

The Port of Providence operator has updated its expansion plans to address concerns flagged by environmental advocates at Save the Bay. 


Hundreds of Burrillville residents welcomed Gov. Gina Raimondo Monday night at a community meeting, where the majority voiced steadfast opposition to a proposed power plant. 

Activists and protester have been marching since Saturday in opposition to the power plant and in anticipation of meeting with governor.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Protestors plan to march from the Statehouse to Burrillville this weekend as they continue to fight a proposed power plant. The state is still vetting the project, but it has support from top state officials, including the governor. Opponents of the power plant have concerns about the project’s transparency. 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Nature enthusiasts around the state are monitoring butterflies for an annual survey taking place across North America. Many factors, including climate change and pesticides, are affecting butterflies,  hindering their ability to successfully breed and develop.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed an $8.9 billion budget into law. It includes millions of dollars for environmental initiatives. Rhode Island Public Radio news director Elisabeth Harrison gets the details from our environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza. 


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.