Environment

WNPR's Environmental Reporting Initiative is made possible by United Technologies Corporation.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A first-of-its-kind, large-scale, one day water-testing event took place Wednesday along the Connecticut River and its major tributaries. 

This post was updated at 5:06 a.m. ET Friday:

The National Weather Service has downgraded Hurricane Iselle to a tropical storm. Residents are still warned to take precautions. Strong winds have already knocked out power to parts of Hawaii's Big Island.

This post was updated at 8:45 p.m. ET.

At the moment, Hawaii is forecast to receive a direct hit from a hurricane for the first time in 22 years.

claumoho / Creative Commons

For 50 years, the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield has provided a hands-on look at the natural diversity of northwestern Connecticut. With workshops, educational programs -- even its own Nature Museum -- the center has been teaching visitors about the various species and habitats found on the surrounding land. 

A state-financed expansion of public transportation in western Massachusetts is being launched this month.

    The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority will introduce seven new bus routes, including a much demanded cross-town bus in Springfield, and a new route between Amherst and Holyoke.   There will be more hours, mostly on the weekend, on 14 routes and buses will run more frequently on 15 routes.   PVTA Administrator Mary MacInnes said ridership was up 2 percent last year.

Tomorrow morning, a European space probe will arrive at a comet with a tongue-twister of a name: Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Getting there has been proven even trickier than pronouncing it.

The Rosetta spacecraft began its journey way back in March of 2004.

First it swung past Earth to gather speed. Then it catapulted out to Mars, for a boost from that planet's gravity field. Then in 2007, it came back to Earth for another push — then back out to an asteroid, and back to Earth.

U.S. Army

A 20-person crew of firefighters from Connecticut is heading to California to help fight wildfires in the northern part of the state.

State officials hosted a ceremonial signing this afternoon in North Kingstown Town Beach for Rhode Island’s first comprehensive climate change bill. Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the bill into law last month.

The governor noted Wickford Cove experienced a little tsunami last year. He said that’s just one reason why the General Assembly passed this bill into law: to better prepare the state for future extreme weather events.

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the University of Rhode Island published surprising findings of a deep sea octopus that guarded her eggs for 4-½ years. This is the longest brooding period ever recorded by any animal on the planet.

Mystic Aquarium

Researchers from Mystic Aquarium are set to release a snapping turtle into the wild that will be outfitted with a Crittercam. The release is scheduled for Monday afternoon at Rogers Lake in Old Lyme. 

Yale University

How do you give an eye exam to a creature that's been extinct for hundreds of millions of years? First, you need a fossil -- a really well-preserved fossil.

Tropical Storm Bertha Takes Aim At The Caribbean

Aug 1, 2014

Tropical Storm Bertha is moving northwest, taking aim at Puerto Rico and expected to skirt the Dominican Republic's coast.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm warning for Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, while the Dominican Republic has issued a tropical storm watch.

Luckily, forecasters with the Hurricane Center say upper level winds are not favorable for further strengthening, so maximum sustained winds should remain at about 50 mph.

Derek Hayn / DerekHayn.com

Birds have a special place in our culture. No, not just the BirdNote moments heard on WNPR. We’ve got Bald Eagles on our money. Sports teams have names like the Orioles, Blue Jays, Hawks, and Cardinals. People who especially love birds go out of their way to feed and house these wild animals.

The U.S. Bureau of Energy Management has awarded Rhode Island $200,000 to identify offshore sand and gravel resources for replenishing beaches. This is part of a federal effort to help coastal communities recover from Superstorm Sandy and prepare for future major storms.

What shape is the moon? When it's full, we'd all agree that it looks perfectly round. But careful measurements by a team of scientists have shown that's not the case.

Like many an Earth-bound observer, it turns out that our nearest neighbor in space is hiding a slight bulge around the waist. It's less like a ball and more like a squashed sphere, with a lump on one side.

Ken Douglas / Creative Commons

It’s an hour for the birds! We are joined by bird lovers and experts to discuss the state of the bird population in our state and to answer your burning bird questions. We also check in with our environmental reporter Patrick Skahill about his recent bird-related reporting.

USDAgov / Flickr Creative Commons

The Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect first detected in the state in 2012, has now spread to 39 Connecticut towns. That's up from just five towns two years ago. The most recent addition? Bridgeport.

An intrepid bird called the red knot migrates from the southern tip of South America to the Arctic and back every year. But changes in climate along its route are putting this ultramarathoner at risk.

CandiceDawn/iStock / Thinkstock

Federal proposals to cap carbon emissions could actually benefit some states economically, according to a new study released on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

Johnan J.Ingles-Le Nobel / Flickr Creative Commons

Mosquitoes trapped in East Haven are the first this year to test positive for West Nile Virus.

David Brooks / Creative Commons

Have you been to a state park lately? On July 26 and 27, you'll be able to visit any state park in Connecticut for free.

Greg Thompson / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Nearly two years after Superstorm Sandy pounded the northeast, communities in Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island are preparing to track down and remove debris from marshland. 

Tom Glennon / University of Rhode Island

NASA has begun a new experiment to monitor plankton off the Atlantic coast using boats, airplanes, and satellites.

Marccophoto/iStock / Thinkstock

The globe is on a hot streak, setting a heat record in June. That's after the world broke a record in May. 

A group of opponents of the Vermont Gas Systems pipeline say the cost of Vermont Gas Systems’ pipeline from Colchester to Addison County is no longer justifiable in light of a recently announced cost increase.

In November of 1969, astronaut Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the moon. His mission, Apollo 12, arrived at the moon a few months after Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. That historic event celebrates its 45th anniversary Sunday.

Apollo 12 got off to a dramatic start: A storm rolled in as the rocket was scheduled to launch. Bean, with fellow astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon, sat inside the spacecraft while the bad weather threatened the operation.

An independent journalist says he's found a way around the so-called "ag-gag" laws by flying drones over large livestock operations to document animal welfare problems and pollution.

Will Potter, a Washington D.C.-based author and blogger, recently raised $75,000 on Kickstarter to buy the drones and other equipment to investigate animal agriculture in the U.S.

Mystic Aquarium

Two five-month-old seal pups rescued in March have returned to the Atlantic Ocean after recovering from their injuries at the Mystic Aquarium.

Ocean Waves As You Have Never Seen Them Before

Jul 17, 2014

Clark Little photographs ocean waves.

Catie Talarski

There are currently some 57 turtle species living in the United States and Canada, 12 of which can be found right here in Connecticut -- including some sea turtles!

Chances are, you’ve probably seen a few of them poking around a nearby pond or basking on some sunlit rocks. Perhaps you’ve even rescued a few from the peril of oncoming traffic.

But there’s a lot more to these terrestrial critters than meets the eye.

The area of Russia is said to be called, ominously enough, the end of the world. And that's where researchers are headed this week, to investigate a large crater whose appearance reportedly caught scientists by surprise. The crater is estimated at 262 feet wide and is in the northern Siberian area of Yamal.

Pages