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Environment

Twenty years ago Tuesday, a plucky little probe named Pathfinder landed at Ares Vallis on the surface of Mars.

It didn't land in the traditional way, with retrorockets firing until it reached the surface. No, Pathfinder bounced down to its landing site, cushioned by giant air bags. It was a novel approach, and the successful maneuver paved the way for a similar system used by the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity in 2003.

A record-breaking 2.3 million New Englanders are expected to be hitting the road this Fourth of July weekend, driving more than 50 miles from home.

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center / Creative Commons

Long before our modern highways, there was an extensive network of Native American trails up and down the East Coast.

This hour, we hear about efforts to map these old trails and find out how they’re helping archaeologists and others learn about the past. 

Baker County Tourism / Creative Commons

We think of peaches as a special summer treat from Georgia or New Jersey, but they were originally grown in China and can be grown in Connecticut. 

Millstone Power Station

Legislators in Hartford recently passed over a bill to aid the Millstone nuclear station. Plant owners now say they have authority to close the facility, which employs over 1,000 people in Waterford and accounts for about half of Connecticut’s net electricity generation.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Honey bees have been having a tough time lately. Pests and disease have plagued many hives, killing off the pollinators and forcing people looking to save the bees to get creative.

redplanet89 / Creative Commons

Deepwater Wind, the group behind the nation's first offshore wind farm, is now proposing a massive clean energy project in Connecticut. The company wants to build what could be one of region's largest solar farms in Simsbury.

FarOutFlora / Creative Commons

This stately perennial has white, pink, blue, or purple flower buds that ancient Greeks called delphis or dolphin. They thought the flower buds resemble Flipper. We know theses plants as delphiniums.

A beached humpback whale discovered dead several days ago in Jamestown is still lying on the rocks near the island’s southern coast. Scientists hoped to remove the whale's body Monday, but were unable due to the weather.

Wikimedia Commons

Climate scientists and activists are writing to state policy makers, urging more support for the Millstone nuclear power station. Meanwhile, a bill to assist Connecticut’s only nuclear plant failed this legislative session.

apasciuto / Creative Commons

Crashing waves, cawing gulls, the cutting scent of a falling tide -- there's nothing quite as invigorating as the experience of summer along the New England coastline.

For writer Jonathan White, however, it was not the East but the West Coast that fueled a lifelong passion for the water. 

Kevin O'Neill is driving his electric car down a road in Cumberland when he presses down harder on the gas pedal. He's doing this to prove his point that electric cars are more fun.

“From dead zero, you’ve got fantastic acceleration,” O'Neill said. "I don't like to drive fast, but I do like to feel that it's kind of zippy."

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Summer *officially* kicks off next week -- and if recent temperatures are any indication of what's to come, then it's going to be a hot one.

This hour, we find out what opportunities -- and challenges -- lie ahead for Connecticut’s garden lovers. We check in with gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi, and we want to hear from you. 

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration failed to follow proper environmental procedures when it granted approval to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project.

It's a legal victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and environmentalists, who protested for months against the pipeline. Oil started flowing through it earlier this month. The tribe fears that the pipeline, which crosses the Missouri River just upstream of its reservation, could contaminate its drinking water and sacred lands.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Although I grew up in Waterbury with a big veggie garden in the backyard, my first foray into gardening as an adult was in a community garden. 

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