"Watershed Counts," a collection of information that focuses on the water quality of the state's beaches, reports that the health of Narragansett Bay is improving. However, the report also monitors the effects of global warming and pollution on the bay and has found that beaches are still being closed due to higher than average bacterial levels in the water.
Nicole Rohr of the University of Rhode Island's Coastal Institute worked on the report. She says climate change is causing more unpredictable storms, which has led to more polluted runoff into the bay.
For this month's Artscape, Rhode Island Public Radio's environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza profiles the Urban Pond Procession, a group of artists, scientists, educators, and residents who want to promote the health of urban ponds. The group's focal point is around raising awareness about the contamination that plagues Mashapaug Pond on the south side of Providence and ways to heal it.
If you have a cesspool within 200 feet of a drinking well, a public reservoir, or the coastline, expect to receive a $200 citation in the mail from the Department of Environmental Management. The deadline to replace cesspools with a septic system or to connect to a municipal sewer system has passed.
Cesspools are holes in the ground used to get rid of human waste from buildings. The untreated waste seeps into the soil and contaminates ground and surface waters. A law to phase out cesspools focuses on cesspools within public drinking water supplies or the coastline.
Rhode Island is remarkably close to meeting a goal of reducing nitrogen discharged in upper Narragansett Bay by 50 percent. Upgrades at wastewater treatment plants have played a major role in helping meet this goal. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environment reporter Ambar Espinoza joined Elisabeth Harrison in the studio to talk about what it means to reduce the amount of nitrogen we put into the bay.
It’s been a decade since a big fish kill in Greenwich Bay grabbed headlines. It prompted the state to take more action for a healthier upper Narragansett Bay. Local wastewater treatment plants responded and it turns out, the state is on track to meet the goal of cutting back how much nitrogen we put into Narragansett Bay. That’s great news for one quahog fisherman who’s made a livelihood from the bay for decades.
There’s no better season to go quahogging than the winter season for Warwick resident Jody King, even though he makes half as much money as he does in the summer.
A new report about Rhode Island’s beaches finds steady improvements in the water quality since 2008. Health officials closed beaches for fewer days last year than it did in 2011, and more improvements are in the works.