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
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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Environment
5:47 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

State Officials Hold Ceremonial Signing Of Climate Change Bill

The ceremonial signing of the "A Resilient Rhode Island Act" took place in North Kingstown, one of many places state officials consider vulnerable to damages caused by climate change.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

State officials hosted a ceremonial signing this afternoon in North Kingstown Town Beach for Rhode Island’s first comprehensive climate change bill. Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the bill into law last month.

The governor noted Wickford Cove experienced a little tsunami last year. He said that’s just one reason why the General Assembly passed this bill into law: to better prepare the state for future extreme weather events.

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Science
9:43 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Scientists Use URI Research Vessel To Study Microscopic Ocean Plants

Phytoplankton, microscopic ocean plants, are a major food source for clams and oysters. Pictured here are mostly phytoplankton and zooplankton, tiny marine animals that typically drift in the surface of water bodies.
Credit Dick Willapalens / Creative Commons

A group of scientists with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Scientists and other partner universities are still at sea on the research vessel the Endeavor. The Endeavor is operated by the University of Rhode Island. These scientists are studying microscopic plant organisms that are fundamental to our everyday life.

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Environment
6:06 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Rhode Island To Identify Offshore Sand Sources For Beach Replenishment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers trucked in 90,000 cubic yards of upland sand sources, a relative small amount compared to future needs, to restore the beach from Superstorm Sandy damages.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

The U.S. Bureau of Energy Management has awarded Rhode Island $200,000 to identify offshore sand and gravel resources for replenishing beaches. This is part of a federal effort to help coastal communities recover from Superstorm Sandy and prepare for future major storms.

State officials expect future major storms to damage our beaches more than Superstorm Sandy did. That means Rhode Island’s sand needs will continue to grow as we experience more extreme weather events, said Grover Fugate, executive director of the Coastal Resources Management Council.

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Environment
4:59 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Hearing Examines Threats Posed By Climate Change

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse discussing climate change on the Senate floor.
Credit RIPR FILE

The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing this afternoon to examine climate change threats. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse chaired the hearing.

The hearing highlights the harm climate change imposes on the economy, people’s health, and natural resources. Whitehouse invited an economist, a businessman, and a Florida official among others to speak.

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Environment
8:53 am
Mon July 21, 2014

New Program Helps Elderly Deal With Climate Change

A program designed to help Rhode Island's older adult population prepare for climate change threats is one of several projects that will receive federal money as part of the state's disaster recovery action plan.  This program will receive $150,000 over the next two years.

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