environment

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.

Cliff Walk Repairs On Hold As Bid Is Examined

Sep 24, 2013
RIPR FILE

Repairs to the Cliff Walk in Newport destroyed by Superstorm Sandy are on hold as the Department of Transportation is examining an unusually low bid that has been submitted.

The bid for repairs came at 3 million dollars; about 2 million less than most of the others.

The low amount raised eyebrows, said city official Robert Power, who was worried about the quality of the work.

Tim Boyle / Getty Images

Dunkin Donuts is replacing its Styrofoam cups in some New England communities with paper cups. But don’t expect those paper cups in the Ocean State any time soon.

Get a drink at Dunkin Donuts, hot or cold, and there’s a chance that a Styrofoam cup is involved. For the uninitiated, a cold drink served in a plastic cup is often placed inside a Styrofoam cup to prevent sweating. So what’s a ubiquitous chain like Dunkin going to do if a community bans Styrofoam?

URI

A biology professor at the University of Rhode Island is conducting an inventory of the types of seaweeds that grow in Rhode Island ocean waters. 

Seaweed may be an annoyance, but it offers vital clues into the health of an ocean.  That’s why University of Rhode Island biology professor Christopher Lane has embarked on a study of the slimy stuff with an eye towards learning how many species of seaweed exist in Rhode Island, and which are the most invasive.

Bay Swim Loses Navy Support

Apr 12, 2013

A fundraiser swim across Narragansett Bay is in jeopardy because of federal sequestration.  The environmental group Save the Bay says the Navy can no longer help host the summer event that’s been going on for more than 30 years in Newport.

The group still plans to hold the swim but says it’s facing financial challenges.  Save the Bay says they’ve lost at least million dollars in annual federal funding over the past few years.  Their Newport aquarium was also destroyed in Superstorm Sandy. 

Cliff Walk Repairs Draw Surfer Ire

Apr 10, 2013
RIPR

The Newport City Council will be reviewing a plan at Wednesday's meeting to rebuild the famed Cliff Walk damaged last year by Superstorm Sandy. Many in the town are concerned about how a proposed plan could alter the ocean waves that give the historic Breakers mansion its name.

Fishermen Look Ahead to Changing Climate

Apr 3, 2013
Bradley Campbell

Recreational fishing is a multi-million dollar industry in southern New England.  But fishermen are keeping an eye on how climate change will alter their industry.

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