environment

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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.

Did Copar Quarries Expand Beyond its Means?

Mar 27, 2013

In Westerly, the Zoning Board is holding a special meeting this evening about a controversial quarry. The board is hearing an appeal about an expansion at the quarry.

Protecting the Eastern Bluebird in RI

Mar 11, 2013
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Northeast Region flickr.com

As spring arrives in the Ocean State it’s important to monitor your bird houses.

The Eastern bluebird, a native to southern New England, has been on the steady decline since the late 1800’s.  This is in part due to the introduction of the House Sparrow from Europe.

Rhode Islanders can help the Bluebird population by staying vigilant, says Linton Harrington, of the non-profit environmental group the Trustees of Reservations.

Junk Finds Home Through Reuse Marketplace

Mar 8, 2013

The Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation has launched Rhode Island’s participation in a regional program—the “Reuse Marketplace.” This online marketplace allows businesses to find homes for extra items in their offices or warehouses that would otherwise be sent to the landfill.

Businesses and organizations from Rhode Island and several other northeastern states can post items they have or need, and anyone can browse these listings. Resource Recovery Recycling Services Director Sarah Kite says the online marketplace will benefit both businesses and the environment.

CCRI Becoming More Energy Efficient

Feb 27, 2013
Bradley Campbell

The Community College of Rhode Island is upgrading its flagship campus in Warwick. The upgrades are geared to save energy costs.

Conservation Group Ranks RI Delegation "Green"

Feb 21, 2013

Rhode Island’s entire congressional delegation gets top scores in the League of Conservation Voters’ 2012 National Environmental Scorecard. The ranking is based on 35 votes taken by the House and 14 by the Senate.
Both Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse scored 100 percent.  Congressmen David Cicilline and Jim Langevin scored 94 percent.   The average Senate score is 56 percent. The average House score is 42 percent.
    

The young injured bald eagle found Monday at Johnston’s Central Landfill is “standing bright and alert” today, according to Veterinarian Chi Chan at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Association of Rhode Island. The eagle was in poor condition yesterday. X-rays revealed that the snow-storm battered eagle had 3 buckshot pellets lodged in her leg, tail, and chest, and the clinic is still waiting for the results of lead-poisoning blood work. This is the first bald eagle brought to the clinic in 20 years.

Newport Tree Society giving away free trees

Feb 13, 2013

The Newport Tree Society has announced a program that will provide homeowners in Newport with trees. 

Unlike previous programs, the “Specimen Tree Restoration Program” will provide trees free of cost.

Homeowners who receive trees will be asked to sign a contract promising to take care of the tree.

The Society hopes the program will serve as a model of urban forest management for other cities.

The regional cap on carbon dioxide emissions could be lowered by nearly half next year.  New England’s regional greenhouse gas emissions are already lower than expected.

Flame Box Crab found around Block Island

Feb 4, 2013

The flame box crab, or Calappa Flammea, has recently been caught twice in the waters off Block Island. 

The crab, distinct for the red flame-like pattern on its shell, is generally found in the Gulf Coast, though it has been found as far north as Massachussetts.

Chair of the Block Island Shellfish Commission, Hermann Gempp, told the  Block Island Times that the crabs most likely migrated north in a storm, or traveled up the Gulf Stream.

Plastic bag ban could affect food safety

Feb 1, 2013

As Bristol becomes the latest Rhode Island town to consider banning plastic bags, experts say the benefits of a ban could extend to the food we eat.

Associate Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, Rainer Lohmann, says toxins clinging to plastic trash can make their way up the food chain, polluting our seafood. He says banning plastic bags is a good first step for cleaning up plastic pollution.

Bristol proposes plastic bag ban

Jan 31, 2013

Following in Barrington’s footsteps, Bristol’s Town Council will review a proposal to ban single-use plastic bags from the town’s businesses in a meeting scheduled for February 20th. Council Member Timothy Sweeney initially proposed the ban on January 23rd. He says the response thus far from Bristol citizens seems positive, as the ban would reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the Bay.

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