environment

Work is underway to remove the White Rock Dam on the Pawcatuck River, along the Rhode Island/Connecticut border.The dam was built in 1940.

The White Rock Dam is located seven miles from the mouth of the Pawcatuck River, near Westerly and Stonington, Ct. Dams have restricted its flow since before the American Revolutionary War. The current dam stands six feet tall and more than 100 feet long. 

Diver Dan Abbott unloads his scuba gear on a beach in Monterey, Calif. — his tank, flippers and a waterproof clipboard covered in tally marks. He spent the morning counting fish: pile perch, black perch, blue rockfish and kelp rockfish are among the 150 fish he spotted.

Abbott is diving with a team from Reef Check California, a group of volunteers doing underwater surveys by counting everything in the kelp forest in Monterey Bay.

One of the challenges to stemming the flow of pollution into Lake Champlain is that so much of runoff comes from disparate sources across the vast watershed. And one source of water pollution is hidden-in-plain-sight: roads.

A crowd of more than 30 people gathered at the town hall in Cabot this week to discuss the way Cabot Creamery gets rid of wastewater leftover from cleaning its plant. The cheese maker is asking the state to renew its permit to spray the liquid on land. The crowd was there for a hearing called by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources to take public comment on a draft permit issued in June.

The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has agreed with Vermont that a hearing is needed over the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant's use of money from its decommissioning fund for management of radioactive waste at the plant site.

Fish Stocks Rebound After Vermont Yankee Shutdown

Sep 4, 2015

A leading environmentalist says fish populations in the Connecticut River have rebounded after the shutdown of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

Snowshoe Photography - Alaska / Creative Commons

When you're a scientist trying to count every tree on the planet, you need to prepare yourself for some good-natured ribbing. 

Wednesday night marked the first in a series of open houses during which Eversource is presenting its latest proposal for a power line that will connect the massive hydro-electric dams of Quebec all the way down to the town of Deerfield, New Hampshire.

Creative Commons

Watering is key during the hot, dry stretch of weather we're in right now. But one crop I don’t have to worry about in this heat is sweet potatoes.

Even as state and federal officials direct new money and staffing to water quality efforts across the state, the networks of pipes that bring water to and from Vermont homes and businesses are crumbling beneath their feet.

A proposal to erect two commercial wind turbines in Irasburg is drawing local opposition. But the developer, David Blittersdorf, says the project would benefit the entire state.

Close to $10 million in local, state, and federal money has been spent in the last couple of years to construct or renovate parks of all shapes and sizes in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts.  The projects have opened up new recreational opportunities, eliminated blight, and brought parks closer to the people.

Children this summer had a chance to cool off and play on a splash pad in one of Springfield’s newest parks.

At a festival on the Danish island of Fyn, Claus Holm, a fast-talking Danish celebrity chef, is sniffing and mixing into a pot of stew an ingredient he calls "totally forbidden." It's cream, and it expires today.

Photo courtesy of Page Technologies

The cities of New Haven and Waterbury and the Connecticut Department of Housing are receiving federal funds to help combat poisoning from lead-based paint in housing.

gailhampshire/flickr creative commons

Kids head out the door to catch the school bus as the crispness of the early morning air begins to linger and that familiar wistful feeling sets in. The replacement of sticky, sun-drenched days and warm, song-filled nights marks the unofficial start of fall. It’s not just that the days are getting shorter and the colors are changing, or that the temperature is cooler and the air drier. With autumn comes the conclusion of the songs of summer — the chorus of night-singing insects. 

The World's Disappearing Natural Sound

Aug 31, 2015

With guest host Jane Clayson.

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings from around the world. We’ll listen in.

pcbinschools.org

A new investigation by WNPR reporter David DesRoches found that two-thirds of Connecticut schools could be contaminated with toxic PCBs. 

The White House announced Sunday that President Obama is changing the name of North America's highest peak.

Mount McKinley — named after William McKinley, the 25th president, who served in the White House until his assassination in 1901 — is returning to its traditional Alaska Native name, Denali.

Obama will make a public announcement of the name change in Anchorage Monday, during a three-day visit to Alaska.

Eversource

The parent company of Connecticut's nuclear plant and federal regulators have reached a settlement over the plant operator’s decision, without regulatory approval, to halt the use of a safety-related pump in the event of a severe accident.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Thursday cited a "willful violation" for changes by Dominion Resources Inc. without a license amendment at its Millstone Unit 2 plant in Waterford.

Ken Holt, a Millstone spokesman, said Dominion does not agree that the violation was deliberate.

Updated at 11:05 p.m. ET

Tropical Storm Erika has caused extensive flooding and landslides on the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica, killing at least four people and cutting power and water to many residents.

The storm dumped 9 inches of rain on the mountainous island late Wednesday.

"The situation is grim. It is dangerous," Ian Pinard, Dominica's communications minister, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying.

Rosewoman / Creative Commons

This common flower's botanical name means “to sit,” probably for the way it creeps along rocks. It is also called rocky stonecrop in England for the way it's perched on cliffs. We know it as sedum.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

A Connecticut firefighter has returned home from fighting wildfires in California and he said unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, are becoming a growing concern. 

The blue-green algae blooms invading Lake Champlain this summer can cause nasty stomach problems and skin irritation  and even liver damage in people who accidentally swallow the water. But researchers say there might be longer-term health consequences for people who come into contact with the blooms. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

For nearly three decades across the U.S., toxic polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were widely used in school construction and renovation work. A WNPR investigation has found that two-thirds of schools in Connecticut could be contaminated.

Despite a 1979 ban on PCBs -- a synthetic chemical -- and their classification as a known human carcinogen by the World Health Organization, there’s no state or federal law that requires testing for the presence of PCBs in schools.

Fishermen in the Gulf of Maine have been harvesting lobsters at record highs. That’s in contrast to fishermen in Southern New England, where there has been a sharp decline in the lobster population since the late 1990s. 

 

The Science of Sinkholes

Aug 24, 2015

This week a sinkhole in Interstate 93 near Concord prompted an emergency road closure and a major traffic jam. Despite the disruption it caused, the cavity doesn’t actually meet the definition of a sinkhole, but it maybe the sort of thing that the Granite State could see more of.

To answer how can a gaping hole suddenly appear in the ground, you need to start somewhere in the sky.

Dave / Creative Commons

Our basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley herbs are going to town in the garden. But what do we do with all these herbs?

Chris Burke flickr.com/photos/thirdworld / Creative Commons

Connecticut's environmental commissioner has endorsed a U.S. Army Corps of Engineering plan to dump dredged materials from waterways and harbors into areas of Long Island Sound. 

Jessica Lucia flickr.com/photos/theloushe / Creative Commons

Hunting for fireflies at dusk is a staple of summertime fun, but for years, no knew exactly how the bugs emitted their signature glow. Now, new research claims to have the answer. 

Ben Byrne / Creative Commons

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would like to acquire more than 160,000 acres of land in 22 locations in the four states along the Connecticut River.

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