rhode island department of environmental management

Avory Brookins / RIPR

For some families in Rhode Island this Thanksgiving, a fresh wild turkey may be on the menu. However, that wouldn't have been possible just four decades ago. 

PARAGDGALA / FLICKR

Some 200 Burrillville residents are still unable to drink their tap water after a discovery last month of toxic chemicals in the public water supply.


NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE VIA FLICKR

The Rhode Island Departments of Health and Environmental Management are advising residents avoid bodies of water where blue-green algae blooms have been found.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

A shellfishing ban in Narragansett Bay has been lifted ahead of schedule. All conditional areas were closed over the weekend and will reopen today at noon. 

The ban was put in place more than a week ago when the water tested positive for a toxic algae. The bay and its tributaries were closed to shellfishing while the state tested the water and shellfish for the toxin domoic acid. Since then samples collected from the area have tested negative.

The state departments of health and environmental management will continue to collect and analyze samples twice a week. 

Courtesy of Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation

The Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation is kicking off a new project to collect data on black sea bass, a species that has moved north in search of cooler water.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

For the first time in years, river herring are traveling up the Saugatucket River in Wakefield without the help of humans lifting them over a dam during the spring migration. 

River herring are an important source of food for other animals. This year the Saugatucket River in Wakefield has a new fish ladder that's easier for river herring to find and swim through. Bryan Sojkowski, an engineer with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said the new ladder replaces an old one that wasn't well designed. 

RI Department of Environmental Management

The freshwater fishing season has officially begun. More than 100 waterways across the state have been stocked with trout.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

An estimated 20 percent of the trash that ends up in landfills is food. One way to reduce food waste is to compost your kitchen scraps. 

Photo courtesy of Peter Green

Over the next five years, dozens of volunteers will comb the Ocean State to map bird distribution. The data will be part of the state’s second bird breeding atlas, a joint undertaking by state and federal officials in partnership with the University of Rhode Island.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Fishermen in the Gulf of Maine have been harvesting lobsters at record highs. That’s in contrast to fishermen in Southern New England, where there has been a sharp decline in the lobster population since the late 1990s. 
 

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Earlier this spring, we brought you a report from our series Battle With The Sea about the impact of climate change on Aquidneck Island's drinking water with warmer temperatures, heavier rains, and more intense storms. But there’s more to the story. We pick up where we left off.

John Bender / RIPR

Over the years, the state has slashed budgets across all government agencies, including the Department of Environmental Management. This agency, tasked with protecting the environment, has seen a decline in staffing. Environmental advocates say these cuts have weakened and slowed enforcing environmental laws and regulations.   

Earlier this year, residents packed a small room at the Statehouse for a hearing about a zoning bill. They complained to lawmakers about industrial pollution from a quarry in Westerly. Residents blame the DEM for poor monitoring and enforcement.

Robin Angliss / NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plans to continue to monitor daily the three beluga whales exploring Narragansett Bay. Biologists want to make sure they return safely back to their Arctic habitat.

Courtesy of Narragansett Bay Commission

The board of the Narragansett Bay Commission has voted to move forward with the final phase of a water quality project designed to overhaul its old sewer systems. The wastewater agency is struggling with how much it will cost to complete the project, aimed at further improving water quality in Narragansett Bay.

The Narragansett Bay Commission’s third and final phase of a multi-year water quality project will cost about $815 million, if state and federal regulators approve the plan. This final phase could bring the project's total cost to about $1.5 billion.

The project, known as the combined sewer overflow (CSO) project, involves installing a large tunnel that would run through Pawtucket, Central Falls and the northern part of East Providence. The tunnel would stop untreated sewage and stormwater from overflowing into Narragansett Bay during heavy rainstorms.

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