conservation

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.

Rafael Medina / Creative Commons

There's a lot of concern about pollinating insects and butterflies. As native populations dwindle, gardeners are rallying to support them.

Mention the concept of food waste, and for many people, it's likely to conjure images of rotting fruit and vegetables or stale meals unfit for consumption.

But a lot of the food that gets tossed out in America — some $162 billion worth each year, enough to fill 44 skyscrapers — is fresh, nutritious and downright delicious: think plump eggplants, bright yellow squashes, giant, vibrant-orange carrots with a crisp bite. The kind of beautiful produce that would be perfectly at home in, say, this giant vegetable paella made by celebrity chef José Andrés and his team.

Courtesy Clearwater

The sloop Clearwater is being readied for a return to the Hudson River after a winter of restoration work. 

State officials are apologizing for the way they’ve handled a plan to use an island in the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts as a breeding ground for endangered timber rattlesnakes. They say they are now looking at alternatives.

A legislative hearing held near the reservoir in Athol Tuesday brought out some strong opposition and showed what a major political issue rattlesnakes have become in that part of the state.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As Schuyler Thomson lead a group of paddlers down the Housatonic River in northwest Connecticut, he squinted through the morning sunlight on the water. 

cogdogblog / Creative Commons

After more than two years, an effort to reduce the amount of food thrown out by big businesses and supermarkets is finally starting to take hold in Connecticut.

A bill before the U.S. House of Representatives would designate Connecticut's lower Farmington River as “wild and scenic,” which means it would get federal funding and protection. Last week the U.S. Senate voted in favor of it, something advocates have wanted them to do for nearly ten years.

MIT

Power markets and utility regulators need to rethink the way they do business, as new technologies begin to change how we generate electricity.

Dean Hochman / Creative Commons

Money set aside for energy-efficiency projects could soon get slashed as state legislators work to close a large budget deficit.

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. 

Gov. Malloy One of 17 Governors to Sign Energy Accord

Feb 17, 2016
Jeff Hitchcock / Creative commons

Governor Dannel Malloy and 16 other governors have signed onto a clean energy agreement.

The Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future includes plans to expand sources of clean energy, modernize energy distribution, and increase clean transportation options.

lutrus / Flickr

Researchers with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth said a new video system will help provide data to better inform management of New England's beleaguered cod population.

A citizens group pushing for the revitalization of the Hoosic River in North Adams has released detailed plans to redevelop a section of the waterway.

Wikimedia Commons

Atlantic salmon are back, and they're spawning in Connecticut. It's the first time in centuries this creature has returned naturally to the state. But climate change and dwindling conservation money still present a lot of issues for this migratory fish.

peasap / Creative Commons

Republican lawmakers are proposing a constitutional amendment that would make it harder for the state to give away open space. The measure comes at a time when officials say Connecticut won't meet its goals for land conservation. 

pedrik / Creative Commons

A conservation goal set more than a decade ago points to an ambitious target: preserving 21 percent of Connecticut's land as open space by 2023. Funding has now lagged, the state said, and it won't reach that goal. 

Block Island has been dubbed one of “the last great places” in the western hemisphere. It has a shoreline largely untouched by development. But on the northwest corner of island, storms have been washing away at the bluffs, unearthing what used to be the island’s landfill.

International Whaling Commission / iwc.int

A whale’s majesty can be glimpsed during a whale watching trip anywhere the regal mammals roam. But the chances of that vision being marred are increasing as more whales become entangled in fishing gear.

Albert Ter Harmsel / Creative Commons

As climate change negotiations in Paris continue, another weather event is coming to the fore in Connecticut. The state is currently in the midst of a "moderate drought."

There's a building in Mountain View, Calif., where energy-saving technologies of the future are being tried on for size.

Step inside, and the first thing you notice is the building is dead quiet: no noisy air whooshing through louvers.

That's because the building uses passive cooling instead of traditional air conditioning. Cool ground water passes through a system of small tubes running below the ceiling.

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