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conservation

Chris Elphick

The Connecticut Audubon Society is warning of the possible extinction of one of the state's coastal birds: the saltmarsh sparrow.

kaboompics.com / Creative Commons

When I drive around and see home owners raking and bagging their leaves to remove them from their yard, I think they're missing a big opportunity. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut introduced the country's first-ever mattress recycling program in 2015. 

In North Dakota, tension over the 1,200-mile Dakota Access oil pipeline is escalating. Police and National Guard troops arrested more than 140 protesters near a construction site Thursday.

The Standing Rock Sioux have sued to stop the pipeline from crossing under the Missouri River next to their reservation, claiming the project would destroy sacred sites and threaten the water supply.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts have selected several proposals to develop more clean energy for New England. 

Those who knit and crochet are familiar with two standbys: needles and yarn, but there's a lesser-known material in the world of needlework -- plastic yarn, or "plarn."

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Walk a few hundred yards into the woods in Durham, Connecticut, and you'll see something that looks like it's out of "Mad Max" -- large trucks, with big wheels, and giant robotic arms, grabbing trees and slicing them down. 

Ken & Nyetta / Flickr Creative Commons

This hour, we look at the impact of climate change on New England's native plant and animal species. We talk with scientists and science journalists, and we hear from you. Have you noticed anything different about the flora and fauna in your backyard? And what can historical records -- like the observations of naturalist Henry David Thoreau -- teach us about our changing environment? 

NOAA

President Barack Obama has signed an order protecting a section of underwater mountains and canyons off New England's coast. It's the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean.

Two students from Sacred Heart school in Greenwich were given an award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for developing an organic fertilizer using orange and banana peels.

Just 12 years ago, researchers feared that the California Island fox, a species about the size of a cat inhabiting a group of islands off the Southern California coast, was toast. Non-native predators and pesticides had dramatically reduced their ranks. The few that remained were placed on the endangered species list.

anuradhac / Creative Commons

Two painted storks are making their public debut at Brooklyn's Prospect Park Zoo, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. 

Editor's note: Since this story was originally published — on Friday, July 29 — Explore.org, in partnership with the National Audubon Society, captured this dramatic slow-motion footage of a bald eagle attacking ospreys on Hog Island, Maine. Watch below, then read our story about what the bald eagles' resurgence means for other bird species.

Call it conservation blowback: Since the 1970s, when the pesticide DDT was banned and the Endangered Species Act took effect, the emblematic American bald eagle’s population has roared back from near-extinction. But more eagles need more food, and for some other struggling bird species — here in Maine and around the country — the eagle’s success story has a menacing side.

Ken and Nyetta / Creative Commons

This hour, we look at the impact of climate change on New England's native plant and animal species. We talk with scientists and science journalists, and we hear from you. Have you noticed anything different about the flora and fauna in your backyard? And what can historical records -- like the observations of naturalist Henry David Thoreau -- teach us about our changing environment? 

David DesRoches / WNPR

It was a muggy and overcast Thursday morning as John Volin led me through patches of tall milkweed and wild raspberries. 

The trip had mechanical setbacks, and the plane's average speed would be legal on many American streets. But when the Solar Impulse aircraft touched down in Abu Dhabi in the early morning darkness Tuesday, it successfully completed a round-the-world voyage using only solar power.

Swiss pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg took turns flying the single-seat aircraft that began its trip on March 9 of 2015, flying more than 26,700 miles in a total of 17 stages (23 days) as they soared under the sun's power and then glided through the night.

Wikimedia Commons

The debate continues over what to do with Plum Island -- a small island off the coast of Long Island, New York. On Thursday, environmental advocates filed a motion in federal court to block its sale.

A federal judge in Wyoming has struck down the Obama administration's regulations on hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management doesn't have the authority to establish rules over fracking on federal and Indian lands.

In the ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said Congress had not granted the BLM that power, and had instead chosen to specifically exclude fracking from federal oversight.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

They have green backs, pink bellies, and are only about two inches in diameter.

Leif Anderson / Flickr

Animal rights have come a long way over the last century, providing, of course, we're not talking about fish. While other vertebrates have slowly been recognized as social, feeling, even sentient beings, fish remain good for three things: owning, catching and eating.

Fred Bever / MPBN

Compact fluorescent light bulbs were once all the rage, promoted as an energy-efficient way to light homes and businesses. But those spiral-shaped CFLs may be fading into history.

Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut's chief insect expert said he's hopeful rain will help control gypsy moth populations in the state this year. The non-native insect feeds on leaves, which can cause health issues in trees. 

Tracy Lee Carroll / Creative Commons

This Saturday, you have no excuse to say there's nothing to do in Connecticut. That's because it's the state's Open House Day for residents and visitors to explore the state -- from the smallest of historical sites to the largest of museums. This hour, we preview just a sliver of what is out there. What little gems exist where you live?

U.S. Department of Agriculture

State officials have confirmed the emerald ash borer -- a small green beetle that feeds almost exclusively on ash trees -- has now been detected in all eight Connecticut counties.

Joanna Gilkeson / USFWS / Creative Commons

Every year, monarch butterflies make an amazing journey from Canada and New England all the way down to Mexico.

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