Environment

Urban Forest
12:36 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Hartford to Plant 1,000 Trees

The city of Hartford loses a few hundred trees each year. But now, in a partnership with a local non-profit, the city is poised to plant 1,000 new trees this fall. The goal is to plant 20,000 trees over the next ten years.  It's an ambitious program that began last year with the first 1,000 trees planted.  Now, the city wants to spend $425,000 to keep things going.

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Streets
1:59 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Hartford Wants to Improve Downtown Traffic

If you've ever gotten stuck in traffic in downtown Hartford, you'll like this story. The city is applying for a grant that will allow it to upgrade traffic signals in the central business district. The plan is to reduce congestion.

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Environmental Sustainability
12:33 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Connecticut College Sustainability Office Seeks to Solve Problems in Holistic Way

Social History of Art, Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut College's new Office of Sustainability allows students and staff to think about sustainability in an original way. The office looks at sustainability in three connected parts: environmental, economic, and social.

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Animal Behavior
4:50 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Dolphins Recognize The Calls Of Long-Lost Friends

Kai, seen here at age 16 at the Texas State Aquarium, recognized the whistle of another dolphin, Hastings, who he'd shared a tank with for years before the experiment. Kai is now 20.
Courtesy of Jason Bruck

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:48 pm

Scientists have known for years that dolphins recognize each other by the sound of each animal's signature whistle. But it wasn't known for just how long dolphins could remember these whistle calls.

The individually specific whistle that each dolphin generates before its first birthday "for them functions like a name," says Jason Bruck, who studies animal behavior at the Institute for Mind and Biology at the University of Chicago.

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9:59 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Connecticut Shellfish Beds Closed Due to Bacteria Outbreak

Lead in text: 
A trend of warming waters may be to blame for an outbreak of the Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria, related to cholera, in 22 shellfish beds that were recently closed by the state agriculture department.
In the wake of five reported illnesses, the state agriculture department has shut 22 shellfish beds in Norwalk and Westport and instituted a so far voluntary recall of oysters and clams harvested since July 3. The culprit is Vibrio parahaemolyticus, naturally occurring bacteria that is generally seen more on the west coast.
News
5:12 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Earth Scientists Pin Climate Change Squarely On 'Humanity'

Pedersen Glacier, 1917
Louis H. Pedersen climate.gov/National Snow and Ice Data Center

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 8:12 pm

The weather is one of those topics that is fairly easy for people to agree on. Climate, however, is something else.

Most of the scientists who study the Earth say our climate is changing and humans are part of what's making that happen. But to a lot of nonscientists it's still murky. This week, two of the nation's most venerable scientific institutions tried to explain it better.

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Wilderness
9:26 am
Tue August 6, 2013

New England Trail Has Something for Everyone

Andy Neale, Flickr Creative Commons

Congress designated the New England Trail as a national scenic trial in 2009. The 215-mile trail winds through 39 communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The trail's website has launched a new interactive map. 

"Folks really like to start their hike at home," said Clare Cain, trail stewardship director for the Connecticut Forest & Park Association. 

Morning Edition Host Ray Hardman talks to Cain about the ways the trail has improved since 2009, dramatic views, and its artist-in-residence.

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Where We Live
1:24 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

A Downtown Disappearing

Heather Brandon

You might’ve noticed a slideshow at the Hartford Courant website comparing what used to be on various downtown street corners, and what’s there now. It shows some pretty stark contrasts. Multiple, narrow stone structures were demolished to make way for, in some cases, enormous buildings that take up half a city block... and in others, maybe no buildings at all. 

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Millstone
4:51 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Connecticut Nuclear Plant Faces Uncertain Future

A recent report suggests that New England's largest nuclear power plant could be in trouble because of taxes in the future. Millstone in Waterford is in the clear for now, but it could still be economically vulnerable.

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Where We Live
11:03 am
Mon July 29, 2013

The Economics of Nuclear Power

Panther (Wikimedia Commons)

The recent early retirements of four US nuclear reactors, because they’re too expensive to keep up, has some wondering how much longer the two working Millstone reactors in Waterford, Connecticut might last.

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10:58 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Gina McCarthy Takes the EPA Helm

Lead in text: 
After a delayed confirmation vote, Gina McCarthy is now the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. President Obama has tasked her with reining in carbon emissions.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - When Lisa P. Jackson announced at the end of last year that she was stepping down as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, President Obama faced a choice. He could play it safe by appointing her deputy or he could confront Congress head-on and signal a strong commitment to tackling climate change by appointing the agency's head of air quality, Gina McCarthy.
Here & Now
1:17 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

As Americans Drive Less, What Does That Mean For Cities?

(vonderauvisuals/Flickr)

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 10:15 am

A new report from the advocacy group U.S. Pirg has found that for the first time in six decades, Americans are actually driving less.

A number of factors have contributed to this, according to Micheline Maynard, editor of the journalism project, “Curbing Cars: Rethinking How We Get Around.”

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10:16 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Microgrid Pilot Projects Coming to Connecticut

Lead in text: 
Connecticut will soon see nine microgrid pilot projects in eight communities across the state.
The state's first microgrid projects have been announced. Nine projects in eight communities have been approved as part of a microgrid pilot project - the first in the nation - conceived after Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm in 2011 left large swaths of the state without power for more than a week.
Energy
12:20 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Connecticut Launches Nine Microgrid Projects

WNPR Files

Superstorm Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene has promoted state officials and utility companies to come up with ways to minimize massive power outages.

This week, United Illuminating announced upgrades and retrofits to its elictric substations. Yesterday, Gov. Dannel Malloy and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Daniel Esty announced funding for nine microgrid projects. 

The projects will allow cities and towns to keep critical services going in the event of another super storm.

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Gas Well On Fire After Blowout In Gulf Of Mexico

Before a blaze broke out, a cloud of gas could be seen rising Tuesday from the Hercules 265 drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana.
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 12:57 pm

A natural gas well off the coast of Louisiana was on fire Wednesday, one day after a blowout forced 44 workers to evacuate. There were no injuries reported.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement says the mishap at Well A-3 below a "Hercules 265 jack-up rig," about 55 miles off the Louisiana coast, was first reported around 9:45 a.m. ET Tuesday.

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Climate Change
3:47 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Blumenthal, Murphy Endorse Obama's Climate Change Plan

Samaia Hernandez

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Housing
2:17 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

A New Development for Aging Public Housing in Hartford

Dwayne Patterson stands outside his apartment building at Bowles Park in Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

It's been more than a half century since the state built two big public housing developments in Hartford -- nestled in neighborhoods that now include middle-class housing, the University of Hartford, and expensive single family homes. The housing developments are called Westbrook Village and Bowles Park. Over time, the units have grown too old and expensive to repair.

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Environment
6:58 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Bald Eagles' Nest Brings People Together

Adult and baby eagles.
Michael Lejeune

For the past few months, a group of people has been gathering each night along an industrial stretch of Route 5 in Hamden. There, next to a nondescript building, they lift their binoculars,  focus their telescopes and gaze across the street--past the traffic, over the railroad tracks, and up about 70 feet high.  

Nestled in a crook of two branches in a tree sits a large nest.  Inside is a  bald eagle chick, with a watchful adult hidden nearby.

"This is the only birdwatching I’ve ever done."

Michael Lejeune works at the town library. 

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Wildlife Conservation
6:58 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Bald Eagles' Nest Brings People Together

Michael Lejeune

For the past few months a group of people has been gathering each night along an industrial stretch of Route 5 in Hamden. 

There, next to a nondescript building they lift their binoculars,  focus their telescopes and gaze across the street, past the traffic, over the railroad tracks, and up, up about 70 feet high.  Nestled in a crook of two branches in a tree sits a large nest.  Inside is a bald eagle chick, with a watchful adult hidden nearby.

"This is the only bird watching I’ve ever done."

Michael Lejeune works at the town library. 

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Public Health
9:58 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Heavy Rains Bring Record Number Of Mosquitoes; West Nile Expected

Flickr Creative Commons - Ashok666

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, which runs the state’s mosquito trapping and testing program, is reporting record numbers of mosquitoes this year.  Chief Entomologist Dr. Theodore Andreadis says it’s a direct result of the heavy rains.

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National Parks
12:19 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Wolves Not Linked to Elk Decline at Yellowstone Park, Yale Researcher Says

lanbullock68 Flickr Creative Commons

According to Wyoming's Game and Fish Department, there has been a 70 percent decline in migratory elk calf production in Yellowstone since 1992. For years, researchers suspected predatory wolves were to blame. Now, a new study details a more complex set of circumstances that account for the low calf numbers. 

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Beach Water Quality
8:48 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Connecticut Beaches No. 17 in Water Quality

Hakaider - Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut's beach water quality ranks 17 out of 30 states, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

State environmental officials say those findings, like many states, are heavily dependent on weather conditions. 

"The issue in Connecticut is more of a storm runoff issue," said Dennis Schain, spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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Shoreline
8:48 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Connecticut Beaches No. 17 In Water Quality

Hakaider - Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut's beach water quality ranks 17 out of 30 states, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

State environmental officials say those findings, like many states, are heavily dependent on weather conditions. 

"The issue in Connecticut is more of a storm runoff issue," said Dennis Schain, spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:30 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

How Parking Can Be Greener, Better Designed, & More Available

Flickr Creative Commons, taberandrew

Some of you may actually be in moving cars right now, listening to this show, but the average automobile spends 95 percent of its life parked somewhere. 

Your car might be parked at work for a while, and that big employee parking lot uses up a lot of valuable space and throws off a lot of heat on summer days.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:30 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

How Parking Can Be Greener, Better Designed, and More Available

Flickr Creative Commons, taberandrew

Some of you may actually be in moving cars right now, listening to this show, but the average automobile spends 95 percent of its life parked somewhere. 

Your car might be parked at work for a while, and that big employee parking lot uses up a lot of valuable space and throws off a lot of heat on summer days.

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Sandy Recovery
1:43 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Seeking the Calm After the Storm

Paul Pfeffer

It has been a long time since Michael Gordon had fished at Silver Sands State Park in Milford.

“See that building right there,” he said looking back to what was his house until “I got kicked out …fire department.”

Back then he sought snappers, bluefish and stripers

Today he came to “Kind of decompress a little bit, I should be down here more often”

The people and the shoreline…still reconnecting eight months after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.

For the CPBN Media Lab, reporting from Milford, I’m Paul Pfeffer

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News
1:43 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Seeking the calm after the storm

Paul Pfeffer

It has been a long time since Michael Gordon had fished at Silver Sands State Park in Milford.

“See that building right there,” he said looking back to what was his house until “I got kicked out …fire department.”

Back then he sought snappers, bluefish and stripers

Today he came to “Kind of decompress a little bit, I should be down here more often.”

The people and the shoreline…still reconnecting eight months after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.

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Plum Island
3:36 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Plum Island Sale Moves Forward; Environmental Imact Questioned

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News
8:42 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Connecticut Farmers To Receive State Assistance

Melanie McCue (Flickr Creative Commons)

Connecticut is offering $5 million in emergency assistance for farmers who have been hurt by severe weather.

Governor Dannel Malloy announced yesterday that the assistance may be used to repair damaged property, replant lost crops, purchase feed, apply fertilizer and perform activities needed for recovery.

Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky says the rough winter in early 2011, Hurricane Irene, the October snow storm, Superstorm Sandy, this year's blizzard, and recent rain have taken a toll on farmers.

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