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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Energy
8:26 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Major Step Forward For RI's Offshore Wind Farm

Wind turbine at the Port of Providence, currently there are no offshore turbines in Rhode Island.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Federal regulators have cleared the way for a transmission cable linking Block Island to Rhode Island’s mainland.  It's big step forward for Deepwater Wind’s offshore wind farm.  

The decision for the “right-of-way grant” marks a major milestone – not just for the Block Island Wind Farm project itself – but also for offshore renewable energy in the United States. The cable, which would cross federal waters, would do two things: connect Block Island to the ocean wind farm 3 miles off the island’s coast, and transmit energy between the mainland and the island.

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Battle With The Sea
5:50 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Battle With The Sea: Change Is Here (Part 1)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) visited each other’s states to find common ground on climate change, an issue that polarizes their parties.
Ambar Espinoza RIPR

Rapidly rising sea levels and severe weather threaten every community and natural habitat in the Ocean State, not just along the coast. Through a new ongoing series we’re calling, Battle With The Sea, Rhode Island Public Radio will examine the range and scope of these threats from city to city and town to town, and the solutions to prepare and strengthen Rhode Island for future threats to come.

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Environment
9:26 am
Mon November 17, 2014

RI's Coastal Resources Management Council Hits Major Milestone

After 2 years, the RI Coastal Resources Management Center has developed a shellfish management plan.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Coastal Resources Management Council have released the state’s first comprehensive shellfish management plan. The plan recommends better ways to protect shellfish and the shellfishing industry, and improve communication among state agencies, scientists, and fishermen.

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Environment
11:09 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Deepwater Wind Announces First Round Of Local Jobs

Local tradesmen and women will build some of the foundation parts of the Block Island ocean wind farm, which is slated for construction next year. This is the first round local jobs Deepwater Wind expects to create from the project.

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Environment
10:57 am
Wed November 12, 2014

EPA: Agency Has Done A Good Job Of Taking Action on Westerly Quarry

Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Westerly's Copar Quarries, now named Armetta, LLC., paid a hefty $80,000 for violating federal clean air standards. The agency also reports the quarry operation is now meeting clean air rules. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza has the EPA’s response to affected neighbors who disagree with the agency's assessment.

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Environment
7:50 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Residents Suing Westerly Quarry Request New Investigation

Neighbors of Armetta, LLC, a quarry formerly known as Copar Quarries, say this aerial photo taken from a private plane depicts a plume of stone dust coming from the quarry shortly after a blast.
Photo Courtesy of Steve Dubois

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency reported Copar Quarries in Westerly has paid $80,000 in penalties for violating federal clean air standards. According to EPA officials, the quarry is now in compliance. Not so, say neighbors who live near the quarry. Their lawyer is calling for a new investigation into dust and other concerns associated with the operation.

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Environment
8:00 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Rhode Island College Project To Address Honeybee Population Decline

Rhode Island College recently opened an outdoor Bee Education Center, which will serve as a hub for programming to promote the honeybee’s crucial role in crop production and solutions to the alarming decline of the U.S. honeybee population.
Credit Courtesy of Rhode Island College

Rhode Island College is on a mission to improve the state’s declining honeybee population. Honeybees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat. They pollinate nuts, fruits, and vegetables. The honeybee population has declined dramatically nationwide by more than 50 percent over the last 75 years.

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Environment
4:30 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Westerly Quarry Agrees To Settle EPA Claims

A quarry in Westerly has agreed to settle claims by the Environmental Protection Agency that it violated federal clean air standards. 

The EPA cited Copar Quarries, LLC, last year for failing to do three things: to notify the EPA that it started up business in 2011, to conduct the required emissions testing, and to keep proper inspection log books.

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Rhody Votes 2014
9:33 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Latino Voters Important As Ever In Rhode Island Elections

The Latino vote could prove very influential in Rhode Island's elections.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Latinos in Rhode Island make up 8.6 percent of eligible voters in the state. And that is why the Ocean State is one of 12 where the share of eligible Latino voters is larger than the current polling margin between gubernatorial candidates, according to a report by Latino Decisions, a survey research organization specializing in voting behaviors among Latinos.

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Environment
3:04 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Where To Recycle Light Bulbs With Mercury

Credit Kevin Rector / Creative Commons via Wikipedia

Wondering what to do with burnt-out light bulbs that contain mercury? Thirteen hardware stores across the state are now collection sites for recycling compact fluorescent light bulbs and linear bulbs up to 4 feet long. Mercury is a neurotoxin. It can affect memory, cognitive thinking, and fine motor skills. The most common exposure to mercury is through eating contaminated fish.

    

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