Environment

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

Karim D. Ghantous / Creative Commons

The threat of cyber attacks -- and the risks posed to water, natural gas, and electric supplies -- are very real. That's according to the head of the agency that regulates public utilities in Connecticut. 

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Wikimedia Commons

Few of us remember Hurricane Ike as vividly as we remember Katrina and Sandy. But for people down in Houston, Texas, the 2008 storm was a major wake-up call. 

Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

The CEO of General Electric has broken his silence over the company’s dispute with the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. 

Pattys-photos / Creative Commons

Biologists are starting to augment eyes in the forest with eyes in the sky. But even as satellite imagery has a growing role in a field long-dominated by on-the-ground observation, the brave biologist trekking through a rainforest with binoculars and a cool hat isn't going away anytime soon. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Standing in a laboratory packed with various scientific instruments, University of Connecticut engineering professor Arash Zaghi gestured to three steel beams, modest in appearance where they sit under the large and brightly-painted hydraulic-powered machine capable of applying weights of up to 275 tons.

The investigation into the crash of an Amtrak train just south of Philadelphia on Sunday, in which two people were killed, is ongoing.

A forward-facing video from the train that recorded footage "up to the collision" showed that there was "construction equipment on the track and work train equipment on the track immediately adjacent to the Amtrak train's track," said Ryan Frigo, the National Transportation Safety Board investigator in charge.

Andrew Malone via Flickr.com / Creative Commons

This vegetable is one of the oldest known to mankind, dating back 10,000 years.

A video of a porcupinefish trapped in a net in Chaloklum Bay, Thailand, being freed by snorkelers who happened upon it got lots of traction last week.

NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition Science Team

The fight to grant permanent federal protection to three areas off New England's coast continues, despite a setback for conservationists at one of the spots. 

Wikimedia Commons

Atomic energy advocates, state employees, and energy business leaders recently met with legislators in Hartford to assess the future of Connecticut's only nuclear power plant -- the Millstone Power Station in Waterford.

5u5 / Creative Commons

Gardeners are always looking for perennial flowers that will thrive in shade and provide color. I've got just the plant: coral bells, or heuchera.

Andy Morffew / Creative Commons

A rare bird described as a "flying rainbow" that normally doesn't fly north of the Carolinas on the East Coast has turned up in a small town in Vermont, drawing hundreds of bird watchers to Pittsfield hoping to catch a glimpse of the painted bunting. 

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

The common bed bug is currently one of the most ubiquitous insects on earth. For centuries, they've have been a source of itching, anxiety, and skin rashes that range from mild to severe.

gromgull / Creative Commons

As the lead-contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, continues, Connecticut's Department of Public Health said lead contamination levels in public water systems in the Nutmeg State are extremely low. 

After days of anticipation, a fuzzy wing flopped out of the remains of an egg shell Friday morning, signaling the hatching of a baby bald eagle who's been watched and fretted over, via an eagle cam set up at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.

The bird then worked its way out of its shell over the next hour, emerging more fully around 8:20 a.m. ET. Throughout the process, its parent eagle alternated between peering attentively (to be honest, eagles don't seem capable of anything but) and nestling over the fledgling and a second, as-yet-unhatched, egg.

Sean McMahon/Yale University

Fossils of a sea creature found in the state of Illinois in 1958 have puzzled scientists for decades. But recently a Yale-led team of paleontologists were able to identify the 300-million-year-old animal, known as the Tully Monster.  

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

Ahh sweet magnolias with memories of Grateful Dead concerts and warm, spring days. 

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Tons of sand traveled from Cape Cod to the shoreline of a beach in West Haven. It’s part of a project to build a spot for recreational beach-goers and protect millions of dollars of buried coastal infrastructure. 

The shutdown of Washington, D.C.'s Metrorail system for an entire day — 29 hours to be exact — for a safety inspection prompted a New York Times interviewee to say: "It's the capital of the United States and one of the biggest business centers in the country. This is like a developing country."

Starting at midnight Tuesday, the D.C. Metro rail system will shut down for 29 hours while authorities investigate potential dangers related to a cable fire on Monday, Metro's General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said at a news conference Tuesday.

Referring to trouble early Monday that caused delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines throughout the day, Wiedefeld said the incident showed "commonalities with the cable fire in [the] L'Enfant Plaza [station] a year ago." In that incident, a woman died after being trapped on a train filled with smoke.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission / Creative Commons

New York City and Westchester County both get power from the Indian Point nuclear plant on the banks of the Hudson River. But the plant's age, and a series of problems at the facility, have led to questions about its future. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Hartford resident Tenaya Taylor, 25, became a bike commuter last summer. She’s a college student and works a few different jobs around the city. The bus schedule can be unreliable sometimes, she said, so biking for her is the fastest way to get around. 

Nuclear Regulatory Commission / Creative Commons

New York's Indian Point nuclear facility has faced a number of recent incidents including fires, blown transformers, and most recently detection of radioactive water near the facility. This hour, an update on the situation there and in Florida where the Turkey Point nuclear facility is under scrutiny.

We also hear from WNPR’s David DesRoches, who has been following the story of PCBs in Connecticut schools and in Alabama.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Wade into a river this fishing season and if you're in the right spot, you might encounter something gooey and a little gross. 

On March 9, a total solar eclipse was perfectly visible in Indonesia. Alaska, Hawaii, parts of southeast Asia and some of Australia got a partial view.

The rest of us, alas, were out of luck.

But now you can enjoy the view from another angle — the solar eclipse as seen from space.

David Brooks / Creative Commons

A bipartisan group of legislators is voicing support for a proposed state constitutional amendment that would make it more difficult to sell off Connecticut's forests and parks.

Stephen Melkisethia / Creative Commons

This vegetable has the sad reputation from ancient Greece of rendering males impotent. 

Casey Gilman / NEPR

A huge solar array is planned for Worcester’s Greenwood Street Landfill. The project has been celebrated by the city. But it has some naturalists concerned about the future of wildlife in Massachusetts.

Steven Sola

In the 1960s, the eagle population in the United States was in critical decline, due in part to the pesticide DDT and loss of habitat. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Creative Commons

With spring just around the corner, gardeners across Connecticut are preparing to defend their gardens from unwanted insects, animals, and plants. But gardening experts said pesticides might not be the first thing to turn to as a deterrent. 

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