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Environment

For months, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others in North Dakota mounted a massive protest against the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, in part over concerns that any leak could contaminate their drinking water.

kateausburn / Creative Commons

After pushback from environmental and consumer advocates, state regulators have decided to delay a decision canceling a clean energy program.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, or PURA, wanted to eliminate the Connecticut Clean Energy Options Program, or CCEO.

That's a program that allows electric customers to pay a few dollars more on their bill to support clean energy development.

dianeham / Creative Commons

Buying local doesn't just need to be for produce. That's the message of a program trying to get consumers to think bigger about the so-called "locavore" lifestyle.

Martin Svedén / Flickr Creative Commons

A tree’s roots touch more than just soil. They reach into the recesses of our past; into our culture and our traditions. It's something Fiona Stafford writes about in her new book The Long, Long Life of Trees. This hour, we sit down with the author. 

NAIT / Creative Commons

Connecticut has a program that allows electric customers to buy renewable energy credits. But some officials want to eliminate the program, and are getting pushback from environmentalists and the state office of Consumer Counsel.

Tracey Adams flickr.com/photos/bikracer / Creative Commons

One of the simplest and most rewarding activities to bring in some holiday cheer this time of year is to make your own wreath. You can go to local garden centers and take a wreath-making workshop, or buy a pre-made wreath. But I like to construct my own wreath made from materials around my home. 

There’s some good news for sushi lovers. A new report finds that over an 8-year period, mercury levels in Gulf of Maine tuna declined 2 percent a year — a decline that parallels reductions in mercury pollution from Midwest coal-fired power plants.

Two years ago, Dr. Nicholas Fisher, a professor of marine sciences at Stony Brook University in New York, had a bit of luck — he found out that a colleague had established a collection of 1,300 western Atlantic bluefin taken from the Gulf of Maine between 2004 and 2012.

Wikimedia Commons

As Donald Trump readies to assume the presidency in a few weeks, politicians and diplomats at home and abroad are questioning the future of environmental action. Recently, that debate came to New Haven.

 

 Several hiker-generated petitions have started in opposition to plans to build a hotel near the summit of Mount Washington, the Northeast's highest peak.

Yesterday, a new report was released with suggestions for how Seacoast communities should prepare for the effects of climate change. The document could influence town planning and development in the region for years.

The report came from the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission, which was created by the legislature back in 2013. It had 37-members representing Seacoast towns, state agencies, and private-sector interests.

The Army Corps of Engineers has denied a permit for the construction of a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline, granting a major victory to protesters who have been demonstrating for months.

The decision essentially halts the construction of the 1,172-mile oil pipeline just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Thousands of demonstrators from across the country had flocked to North Dakota in protest.

Ted Thompson flickr.com/photos/buffaloted / Creative Commons

I'm always fascinated with plant names. Take Christmas cactus, for example. It's not really a cactus, and can bloom from November until March. Yet it's this time of year when we see Christmas cactus everywhere. 

FuelCell Energy, Inc.

Connecticut is home to several fuel cell manufacturers whose products are competitive on the global market, but state officials still overlooked fuel cell technology in the latest round of picks for clean energy development.

Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET

In eastern Tennessee, deadly wildfires are still burning and authorities say it's still too dangerous for thousands of people to return to their damaged and destroyed homes and businesses.

On Wednesday, authorities in Gatlinburg, Tenn., said the confirmed death toll had grown to seven people, reported The Associated Press. Search and rescue crews from local law enforcement agencies and the National Guard combed through the remains of buildings looking for survivors.

Ryan Lackey / Flickr

As social creatures we know that isolation can be emotionally difficult, but research shows that it can be psychologically damaging as well. So why then, would anyone live this way by choice? This hour, we hear two such cases of isolated living.

Office of Governor Dannel Malloy / Creative Commons

Clearing Connecticut highways of snow and ice will be quicker and  more efficient this winter, thanks to a fleet of innovative new snow plows. 

The new plow is towed in the rear of a plow truck, which swings out mechanically, essentially doubling the plowing capability of a regular plow to two full highway lanes in a single pass.

Fishermen and scientists are trying to understand how the Block Island Wind Farm may affect fish in Rhode Island waters. This week Rhode Island Public Radio’s Ambar Espinoza reported on what we know and don't know yet about the impact of the offshore wind farm on fisheries. She joined Rhode Island Public Radio News Director Elisabeth Harrison for an update on acoustics, marine mammals and wildlife habitats.

Mr. Nixter flickr.com/photos/stankus/15241691836 / Creative Commons

One of my favorite vegetables for Thanksgiving is the leek. Called the poor man's asparagus by the French, leeks originated around the Mediterranean, and have been eaten for more than 3,000 years. 

Chris Elphick

The Connecticut Audubon Society is warning of the possible extinction of one of the state's coastal birds: the saltmarsh sparrow.

Lori Mack/WNPR

Connecticut U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal is anticipating what a Trump presidency could mean for efforts to stall climate change. He assembled a group of Connecticut environmental advocates in New Haven to strategize on Monday.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Plastic today is everywhere: in our bottles and cell phones, our grocery bags, and our trash. Some plastic garbage is so small, it's impossible to see with the naked eye: tiny microbeads, which have been banned from some products because of their environmental impact. WNPR met up with a group of scientists who are looking for them, in an effort to determine how many are in the water off Connecticut's coast.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

The state is making more rebate money available to customers who buy electric vehicles, or EVs: $2.7 million.

The state of Connecticut is working on a plan to inventory all of Long Island Sound’s natural resources and the ways people use it. It’s called the Blue Plan, and they’re starting to take public comment on it.

Every morning in a government office building in Boulder, Colo., about a dozen people type a code into a door and line up against a wall on the other side. There are a couple of guys in military uniform, and some scientists in Hawaiian shirts. They work at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and they're here for a daily space weather forecast.

Kake flickr.com/photos/kake_pugh/6641536287 / Creative Commons

Gourmet mushrooms have become popular for cooking, and none more so than the shiitake mushroom. 

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