Block Island

RIPR File Photo

The annual deer hunting season is gearing up on Block Island. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza tells us, the hunt on the Black Rock/Rodman Hollow parcel of land opens on Jan. 20.

The Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will set up a deer checking station at the Block Island Police Station in preparation for next week. The hunting season opens Jan. 20 and lasts until Feb. 13. This deer checking station will be open on certain days during the season to check deer taken by hunters.

RIPR FILE

More approvals rolled in this week for the five-turbine wind farm Deepwater Wind.  And  the company says it has secured the last of its permits for the offshore wind farm planned for three miles off the coast of Block Island.  Construction is set to start next year.

The Coastal Resources Management Council has approved the lease agreement for the underwater land on which the wind farm will sit. The lease took effect earlier this month and will be valid for 25 years from the wind farm’s start date.

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.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark talk with the CEO of Deepwater Wind Jeff Grybowski. They discuss the five-turbine wind farm’s timeline and how it’s on track to becoming the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

RIPR FILE

The Coastal Resources Management Council will discuss a subcommittee’s recommendation to approve Deepwater Wind’s proposed Block Island Wind Farm Tuesday. This may be another big vote for the project.

Forest Wander / Creative Commons

The deer culling scheduled to begin this week on Block Island has been postponed until next year. The sharpshooting company hired to cull the deer recommended to postpone the project.

With no natural predators on the island, the Virginia white tailed deer population has grown out of control.
The deer have damaged the island’s ecosystem and spread Lyme disease.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Professional sharpshooters will descend on Block Island next week to cull the island’s deer population.

The Connecticut-based company hired to cull the deer population has been scattering bait since early February to lure deer to specific areas around Block Island.

Copyright: Alstom / Nicolas Jobs

Deepwater Wind has selected a Norwegian company to carry and install the turbines for the Block Island offshore wind farm project. This is the second contract Deepwater has awarded recently.

The Norwegian company, Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, is supplying what’s called a liftboat to install the wind turbines. The liftboat, called the Bold Tern, has a large open deck and cranes robust enough to manage the weight and size of a wind turbine while at sea.

RIPR File

Deepwater Wind selected the French company Alstom to supply its wind turbines for the Block Island offshore wind farm project.

According to a company press release, Deepwater Wind made an initial multi-million dollar payment to Alstom back in December, so that the French manufacturer could begin to build the turbines.

Alstom will supply Deepwater Wind with five 6 megawatt turbines, including tower sections for the wind farm. Construction of the turbines marks a major milestone for the project.

State Managed Deer Hunt Begins On Block Island

Jan 20, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Starting Tuesday, the second annual state managed deer hunt will be held on Block Island.

It’s the only hunt of its kind on state-owned land. 

The four week hunt takes place on a one-hundred fifteen acre parcel of state-owned land known as Black Rock.

Any Rhode Islander with a state hunting license is eligible to take part in the hunt. However only six hunters will be allowed on the property per day; they’ll be chosen via a lottery system. The bag limit is eight deer per hunter.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The state Department of Environmental Management has announced plans to cull the population of Virginia white-tailed deer on Block Island.

The density of white-tailed deer on Block Island is estimated at 80 to 100 per square mile.  That’s eight to ten times the desirable level so the state Department of Environmental Management has decided to cull the herd.

The DEM’s Catherine Sparks says they’ll hire professional sharp shooters to kill some of the deer early next year.

Wikimedia Commons

United Healthcare has notified an unknown number of Rhode Island doctors that they’re being cut from its Medicare Advantage plan network. The news comes during Medicare’s open enrollment period and could affect thousands of senior citizens in the Ocean State.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Block Island Health Service officials say the state Department of Health has agreed to meet with them about the steep increase in Lyme disease on the island. Island officials want the state to take a more active role in fighting the disease.

Block Island Health Services officials say they’ve seen 68 cases of Lyme disease through August of this year. That’s up from 48 for all of the previous year. Health service head Barbara Baldwin says she decided it was time to ask for some help.

Courtesy RISCA

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is taking submissions from local artists for gallery space at TF Green and the Block Island airport.

An airport might not be the first venue that comes to mind when one thinks of an art gallery. But both the Block Island Airport and TF Green have set aside space to highlight the work of Rhode Island artists. Now the state’s arts council is looking for work to fill those spaces next year.

file / RIPR

Deepwater Wind is looking for a new location to connect its offshore wind farm to the mainland. The original plan was to run a line from its Block Island wind farm to Narragansett’s Town Beach.

Residents complained about the plan, and the town council voted to suspend talks with Deepwater back in May. Deepwater Wind insisted that the lines would be buried ten feet underground. After meeting with residents back in June, Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski withdrew an application request on Friday.

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