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conservation

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Changes to Connecticut's "bottle bill" continue to be discussed by lawmakers. The debate centers around whether a recycling system developed decades ago is still viable.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Environmental advocates are asking legislators to support a measure amending the state constitution. The move would require a public hearing and a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, whenever the state legislature wants to give away, swap, or sell public land.

Turning Earth, LLC

Another company has gotten the green light to build a food recycling plant in Southington. The town's central location is making it a focal point for businesses looking to cash in on a growing market for old and expired food.  

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

In 2013, Connecticut's legislature passed a law requiring some businesses to recycle old food, but the rule has a catch: it only applies if a certified recycler is nearby -- and able to take it. The idea was to jumpstart a market for organic recycling in Connecticut. And now, more than three years later, the first of those new recyclers is set to come online.

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When you buy a container of soda, water, or beer, you pay five cents -- and if you return the bottle or can to be recycled, you get that money back. In Connecticut, the program is called “the bottle bill,” and it’s been around since 1980. But now, some are worried the whole system is on the verge of falling apart.

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A Yale anthropologist and dozens of other researchers from around the world warn that about 60 percent of earth's primates are at risk of extinction. It's dire news for our closest biological relatives.

Bird lovers may see a lot less of the piping plover on the region’s beaches this summer. The little black-and-white shorebirds’ winter habitat in the Bahamas was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew last year, taking a heavy toll on the birds.

Timo Newton-Syms / Creative Commons

Well, the leftovers still fill the refrigerator, there's still reams of wrapping paper to recycle, and there's the Christmas tree. If you purchased one of the more than 20 million live Christmas trees sold this year, you're probably wondering what to do with it now. 

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President-elect Donald Trump appears to have fossil fuels on his mind as he makes his cabinet picks: The former governor of Texas at the Department of Energy, an ExxonMobil CEO running the State Department, and Oklahoma’s attorney general for the Environmental Protection Agency.

But it’s an uncertain time for Republicans who have embraced clean energy. Do renewables fit into this conservative agenda? 

This week, President Obama announced what he called a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic seaboard.

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After pushback from environmental and consumer advocates, state regulators have decided to delay a decision canceling a clean energy program.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, or PURA, wanted to eliminate the Connecticut Clean Energy Options Program, or CCEO.

That's a program that allows electric customers to pay a few dollars more on their bill to support clean energy development.

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Connecticut has a program that allows electric customers to buy renewable energy credits. But some officials want to eliminate the program, and are getting pushback from environmentalists and the state office of Consumer Counsel.

 

 Several hiker-generated petitions have started in opposition to plans to build a hotel near the summit of Mount Washington, the Northeast's highest peak.

Yesterday, a new report was released with suggestions for how Seacoast communities should prepare for the effects of climate change. The document could influence town planning and development in the region for years.

The report came from the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission, which was created by the legislature back in 2013. It had 37-members representing Seacoast towns, state agencies, and private-sector interests.

The Army Corps of Engineers has denied a permit for the construction of a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline, granting a major victory to protesters who have been demonstrating for months.

The decision essentially halts the construction of the 1,172-mile oil pipeline just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Thousands of demonstrators from across the country had flocked to North Dakota in protest.

Chris Elphick

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

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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. 

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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.

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