environment

Ian Donnis / RIPR

On a brilliantly sunny recent day at Oakland Beach in Warwick, waves from Narragansett Bay splash against sea rocks, a few sailboats bob in the distance, and scores of people enjoy the chance to be outside.

But the head of Save The Bay, Jonathan Stone, is thinking about a very different kind of situation at Oakland Beach from the summer of 2013. "This beach was closed for half the summer last year," Stone says, "and it wasn’t closed from pollution from Providence. It was closed because of local pollution, a significant source of which is cesspools."

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.

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.

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.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse invited world famous marine scientist Sylvia Earle to speak to and inspire local environmental leaders at his fifth annual Energy & Environmental Leaders Day.

For too long we’ve tapped into natural resources thinking they’d always be there, said Earle. She cautioned worldwide our “life support” is collapsing, such as coral reefs, kelp forests, and even the marine plants that produce half of the oxygen in the air we breathe.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Climate change is one of the country’s most serious public health threats, said Gina McCarthy, the head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She spoke to a large crowd of local energy and environmental leaders at an annual conference today hosted by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. 

McCarthy shared one example of a direct public health threat.

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.  

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.

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.

RI Tick Population Continues To Rise

Jun 24, 2014
RIPR FILE

After two record-breaking years in 2012 and 2013, the tick population in Rhode Island is continuing to rise.

Despite the harsh winter this year, the ticks in the state are thriving. The director of the University of Rhode Island's Tick Encounter Research Center Tom Mather blames the high counts on the cool and humid weather this spring. He said it's very important that people try to protect themselves from ticks.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras on Tuesday -- Earth Day -- unveiled a seven-point environmental proposal that he called a blueprint for making Rhode Island the national leader in environmental stewardship.

Pilot Program Diverts Two Tons of Food Scraps

Apr 9, 2014

Providence's pilot composting program has diverted two tons of food scraps from the Central Landfill during its first nineteen weeks in operation. Director of Sustainability for Providence Sheila Dormody says these efforts will help the city to implement a zero waste strategy by 2033.

Environmental agency directors and city managers focused on the urgent need to invest in wastewater infrastructure, stormwater management, and flood prevention at a meeting last night.

The nonprofit Save The Bay hosted its annual legislative briefing.  Executive director Jonathan Stone said many groups are working together to ensure the general assembly approves Gov. Lincoln Chafee's 75-million-dollar clean water bond.

RIPR

The three wind turbines at Field’s Point Wastewater Treatment Facility in Providence are generating more energy than originally projected.

Field’s Point Wastewater Treatment Facility is one of the largest consumers of electricity in the state. It treats about 50 million gallons of wastewater from the greater Providence metropolitan area and may treat up to 200 million gallons a day during intense storms.

Brayton Power Point Set to Close

Oct 9, 2013

Environmentalists are hailing a decision to shut down the Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Massachusetts.  Owners of the coal-fired plant filed papers Monday indicating the plant will no longer provide power to the grid by 2017.

Federal regulators have called it the heaviest polluter in Massachusetts. Environmentalists have decried the carcinogens that pour from its smokestacks. Now, the Brayton Point Power Station on the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border is closing, according to papers filed by its owner, Energy Capital Partners.

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