Environment

Oysters
3:09 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Sandy's Damage Under The Sea, Through The Eyes Of Oyster Farmers

What they pull up is discouraging. Normally, 30 seconds under water would bring up a cage full of mostly healthy oysters. This time, Jimmy Bloom pulls up a cage that is barely one-third full. And it's haul is a mix of broken, chipped, meatless oysters.
Jeff Cohen for NPR

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy wrapped up a post Hurricane Sandy news briefing earlier this week by talking about sewage discharges into Long Island Sound. "Suffice to say in the immediate time being, no one should eat the clams or oysters," he said.

That's right. Because of water quality issues, the state put a temporary stop to oyster farming, but that's usually a short-term thing and it happens fairly regularly after a big storm.

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Modern Technology
1:51 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Buoys in Long Island Sound Measured Sandy's Significant Wind Speed and Direction

UConn Department of Marine Sciences

Hours before Connecticut started to feel the effects of Hurricane Sandy, a network of buoys in Long Island Sound were measuring the wind speed and potential storm surge. Joining us by phone is James O'Donnell, a marine sciences and physics professor at UConn's Avery Point campus, and oversees the Long Island Sound Integrated Coastal Observing System. LISICOS operates four buoys throughout the Sound, all providing data to the NOAA forecasting system in real time, about every 15 minutes.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:10 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Was Hurricane Sandy A Result Of Climate Change?

NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab

It's really possible that ten years from now, the main thing anybody will remember about this presidential election is that the two candidates had three debates and never mentioned climate change. Ten years from now, this will seem to everyone as astonishing as it seems to me right now.  If the last few days are any indication, climate change is going to re-map our physical world and introduce a new level of uncertainty into our lives. Climate change is, I believe, the most pressing human issue of this century and nobody talked about it.
Astonishing.

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Where We Live
10:35 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Resilient Cities

Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York

The phrase is: “The new normal.” The world we used to know...one where Connecticut seemed neatly tucked away from hurricanes and tornadoes, destructive storm surges and catastrophic snowstorms.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:16 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Connecticut After The Storm

James Baldwin's book "Fire Next Time" takes its title from a gospel song about Noah, whose warnings were not heeded by others. "God gave Noah the rainbow sign. Said it won't be water, but fire next time."

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Where We Live
11:54 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Sandy's Aftermath

Diane Orson

For days, meterologists and state officials have been saying that “Superstorm Sandy” would be one of the worst weather events in history - and as we woke up this morning, it seems those predictions were true.

More than 625 thousand customers are without power today because of high winds that uprooted trees and knocked down power lines.

And as Governor Dannell Malloy told the state in a briefing this morning, an unknown number of shoreline residents may be stranded by flooding.

Today, we’ll go around the state and get the latest on storm recovery.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:48 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Is Here

Jan Ellen Spiegel

This is going to be a bad storm, but it doesn't have to be personally catastrophic. There will be considerable loss of property, but loss of life and limb doesn't have to be terrible if people will get out of the way of the water.

Easy to talk about. The persuading can be hard.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:35 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: A Monday Afternoon Update

Mary Cesar

You could say we really have two storms today. There's the one on the coast and the one the rest of us have. The one the rest of us have will be pretty severe. The one on the coast is the one whose dangers are so intense and so complex that it's kind of a head scratcher. 

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Where We Live
10:57 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Monday Morning

Harriet Jones

As Hurricane Sandy moves in, we check in with Governor Dannel Malloy, the mayors of Stamford and Bridgeport, meteorologists and reporters.

Governor Malloy has ordered all state highways to be shut down to non-emergency vehicles starting at 1pm. A truck ban starts at 11am.

For the latest updates on the storm, follow us on Twitter @wnpr.

We will be carrying all of Governor Malloy's press briefings on-air. The Colin McEnroe Show will also be live today at 1pm with more updates on the storm.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:38 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

The Nose: Preparation, Fear In Advance Of Hurricane Sandy

Flickr Creative Commons, NASA Earth Observatory

I think is going to be a pretty bad storm.

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Be Prepared
7:56 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Following Hurricane Sandy's Path

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Local officials are urging residents to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to affect Connecticut early next week. 

This hurricane will meet up with a storm system from the west and cold air from the north to produce what is being called a "Frankenstorm." It has drawn comparisons to "The Perfect Storm" of 1991 and could actually be worse. 

Although nor'easters are not uncommon, it is unusual for a hurricane to be part of the mix.

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Skedaddle!
11:19 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Squirrel Population Boom Driving You Nuts?

Sage Ross (Wikimedia Commons)

Many parts of the country this year have seen an eruption in squirrel populations. I couldn't help but notice many, many more of the critters in my yard this fall. Is Connecticut being overrun by squirrels? Every year, we put pumpkins out on our porch and stoop, and most years we get a few nibbles and scratches on our pumpkins. But this year, they have devoured the pumpkins, just leaving the base. What's going on this year?

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To Be Sold
10:45 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Future of Plum Island in Long Island Sound Yet to Be Determined

Kyselak (Wikimedia Commons)

Plum Island in New York, off the coast of Connecticut, is currently home to the nation’s only research facility for highly contagious animal diseases. In 2008, the US Department of Homeland Security was directed to examine the need for a research facility. The federal General Services Administration was later directed to sell the island.

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Maintenance
10:49 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Severe, Erratic Weather Affecting Connecticut's Infrastructure

Metro-North

Erratic weather patterns, and an increasing number of extreme weather events, are worrying public transit agencies like Metro-North. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on what climate change could mean for commuters.

Metro-North’s tracks on the New Haven line are already some of the oldest in the region. They cost $90 million a year just to maintain. So when extreme weather events like the near-tornadoes two weeks ago happen, it’s hard to avoid serious delays.

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Stamford Parking
10:26 am
Mon October 15, 2012

The DOT's $35 Million Secret...Shhh, It's a Parking Garage

Commuters will have a chance to weigh in on state plans to rebuild a parking garage at the Stamford train station tonight. But since the names of potential developers and their plans will be kept a secret, no one’s sure what they’ll be able to weigh in on. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports.

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Hartford
6:43 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

A New Public Housing Development On an Old Site

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

The last of Hartford's post-war, barracks style federal public housing has come down.  And now, the city's housing authority is building something new in its place. 

A few years back, the Hartford Housing Authority started relocating the people who lived at Nelton Court. Then, last year, the authority started knocking the place down.  The housing authority says Nelton Court was beyond its useful life.  And it housed too many people in too small a place.  

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Rapid Growth
11:30 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Mile-a-Minute Vine Spreads its Way to More Connecticut Towns

Courtesy the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

An invasive plant has been reported in five more eastern Connecticut towns. The mile-a-minute vine spreads quickly, and chokes out native vegetation.

Joining us to talk about the mile-a-minute vine is Donna Ellis. She is a Senior Extension Educator at the University of Connecticut, and she is Co-Chair of the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group.

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Workers See Wage Decrease
2:58 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Connecticut's Slow Recovery From the Recession

Chion Wolf

A new UConn/Hartford Courant poll suggests Nutmeggers may have been hit harder by the economic downturn than the rest of the nation.

Friday's poll of 517 Connecticut voters paints a bleak economic picture for Connecticut citizens. Seventeen percent of those polled say they have lost a job in the last three years, and 25 percent say they have seen their wages actually decrease. Both of these numbers are higher than the national average.

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Food Banks
11:12 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Drought May Impact Local Food Pantries' Ability to Help Connecticut's Neediest

Jamie Lantzy (Wikimedia Commons)

Since the beginning of the recession, more families are in need of the services provided by food banks. Now this year, add in the effects of the drought that has hit much of the country. A recent report from the United States Department of Agriculture found that nearly 12 percent of Connecticut residents are what is known as "food insecure."

Joining us to talk about the state of food banks in Connecticut is Gloria McAdam. She's the President and CEO of Foodshare, which serves the Greater Hartford region. 

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Where We Live
10:33 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Plugging In: Electric Vehicles in Connecticut

evgonetwork, creative commons

Yesterday was “National Plug In Day,” a celebration of the environmental and economic benefits of electric cars.

At CCSU, 100 people gathered with only 15 electric vehicles. You might think that by now, there should be hundreds - or thousands - of electric cars in Connecticut.  But there are only 98 registered in the whole state. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:50 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

For The Love Of Fountains

Pink Sherbet Photography, Flickr Creative Commons

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Where We Live
12:41 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Recycling Routines: A Refresher

Heather Brandon

It wasn’t too long ago that everything you threw out went in the trash, then to a landfill. Now, due to changes in public attitude and government incentives, recycling has become a part of our daily lives.

Back in 1980, for instance, only about 10 percent of trash got recycled. That number is up to 34 percent. Much better, but still “lackluster” according to proponents of “sustainable” business. Some European countries are up around 50 percent. So, what can we do to recycle more? What’s the incentive? 

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Population Control
9:27 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Bear Problems on the Rise in Connecticut; Could a Bear-Hunting Season Be Far Off?

Mike Bender, US Fish and Wildlife Service (Wikimedia Commons)

Encounters between humans and bears are on the rise in Connecticut, and some of them could be dangerous. That’s prompting environmental officials to consider allowing a regular bear-hunting season for the first time ever in the state. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:38 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

'Adventures Among Ants' - A Journey To The Surface Of The Earth

The Colin McEnroe Show
3:36 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Hooking-Up To Power

Flickr Creative Commons, couscouschocolat

I did not participate in "hookup culture" when I attended Yale University. There were many reasons for that. World War I. The Russian Revolution.

Also, nobody wanted to have sex with me.

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Where We Live
11:00 am
Fri September 7, 2012

The Renaissance of the Connecticut Farm

NatalieMaynor

After years of decline, Connecticut farms are on the rise, and they’re smaller, more diverse, and more self-sufficient than ever before.

It seemed for a long while that Connecticut farms were going out with the 20th century as more and more farms were being plowed under to make way for new suburban housing and commercial development.

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Where We Live
10:31 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Warming Ocean Waters

NOAA (Wikimedia Commons)

Ice in the Arctic Ocean is at a record-setting low this summer - covering less of the sea, and melting at a more rapid rate than ever. Although climate change skeptics rail about Al Gore’s stranded polar bears, the melting of Arctic ice is - scientifically - really real...

Over 30 years, the area it covers has dropped by about half. It’s also not as thick as it used to be, which means it melts more rapidly. 

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Where We Live
10:30 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Taking a Ride Down the Connecticut River

Bongaboo, Creative Commons

It flows from the upper reaches of New Hampshire through the heart of New England...and winds its way through our state - twisting, turning, sometimes flooding, and eventually emptying into Long Island Sound.

The 410-mile-long Connecticut River was recently designated America’s first National Blueway.

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Where We Live
11:00 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Connecticut's Space Case

Royalty-free image collection

Two stories this summer have had us thinking about the stars... and a bit about our own backyard.  

The death of Neil Armstrong - the first man to walk on the moon - has made many nostalgic for a time when the American space program captured the world’s imagination.  The local connection?  

The iconic Apollo spacesuit was designed by Connecticut’s own Hamilton Standard.  That company - now Hamilton Sunstrand - just announced job cuts at its aerospace division.

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Transportation
6:08 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Will the Future of Rail Travel Include Metro-North?

WalkingGeek (Flickr Creative Commons)

There’s talk of Hartford to New York in half an hour. New York to Boston in 90 minutes. Tunnels under the Long Island Sound zipping trains across the region. It’s exciting stuff. But here in Connecticut, many are saying, ‘wait a minute. First thing’s first.’

“We don’t have money today to run the railroad that we operate – or try to operate – today," says Jim Cameron.

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