Pollutants in the Water
12:23 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Nitrogen Pollution in Long Island Sound Continues to Decline

Nearly a week after Hurricane Irene drenched New England with rainfall in late August 2011, the Connecticut River was spewing muddy sediment into Long Island Sound.
NASA Goddard Photo and Video

A new report says nitrogen pollution discharged into Long Island Sound continues an overall decline. That's good news for marine life because too much nitrogen can fuel the growth of algae, which dies, settles on the ocean floor, and decays, using up oxygen in the process.

Read more
Ocean Life
2:12 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Rare Sighting of Beluga Whale in Massachusetts

A Beluga whale sighted in the Taunton River.
A. Lyskin IFAW

In Connecticut, we're used to seeing Beluga whales at Mystic Aquarium, but residents in Fall River, Massachusetts are getting an unusual sight in an unusual place. A Beluga whale was spotted in the Taunton River over the past several days. 

Read more
Eel of Fortune
10:26 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Could a Glass Eel Gold Rush Come to Connecticut?

Glass eels have prompted a gold rush in recent years, with worldwide shortages pushing prices as high as $800 per pound in 2014.
Uwe Kils Creative Commons

A bill headed to Governor Dannel Malloy's desk could establish a fishing season for glass eels in Connecticut. Glass eels are a juvenile species of the American eel, about as long as your pinky finger, and called "glass" because of their translucent skin.

Read more
4:46 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Hudson River PCB Dredging Resumes Wednesday

Workers use excavators with environmental clamshell buckets mounted on flat, anchored platforms to dredge the river. The PCB-contaminated sediment is emptied onto 35-foot-wide, 195-foot-long floating barges.

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 12:32 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that dredging of the upper Hudson River to remove PCB’s will resume Wednesday.

Read more
1:48 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

What Gets Flushed Into Rivers as More Rain Hits the Northeast?

The color of rivers is one indicator of the amount of dissolved organic matter.
Nicholas A. Tonelli Creative Commons

Connecticut and the Northeast region have gotten a lot more rain over the years. A report from the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration found a 67 percent increase since 1958, more than any other part of the country.

Read more
12:07 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

How Does a Four-Inch Eel Hurdle a 40-Foot Greenwich Dam?

Joe Cassone stands in front of a 40-foot-tall dam at the base of the Byram River in Greenwich, Conn. Cassone and his volunteers trap eels, releasing them upstream beyond the dam barrier.
Patrick Skahill WNPR

Baby eels are making their annual migration from Long Island Sound to rivers across Connecticut, but along the way, they're encountering one persistent obstacle: river dams. Now, one man in Greenwich is working to make the eels' journey a little easier.

Read more
Ice Bustin'
7:15 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Why the Connecticut River Needs an Ice Breaker During the Cold Season

USCGC Bollard drives down the Connecticut River in Middletown. The 65-foot ship's main mission during the winter is breaking up ice.
Patrick Skahill / WNPR

If you've looked out on the Connecticut River this winter, you may have seen something a bit unexpected: a Coast Guard cutter. It's called the USCG Bollard, and it's been on the river for weeks, dutifully breaking up ice.

Read more
New York Thruway
9:20 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Tappan Zee Bridge to Be Replaced Using 400-Foot Floating Crane

The current Tappan Zee Bridge from Westchester County, New York.
Credit Brett Weinstein / Creative Commons

The Tappan Zee bridge across the Hudson River is being replaced, and to get the job done, one of the world's largest floating cranes has arrived in New York.

Read more
Invasive Species
1:31 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Environment Committee Holds Informational Forum on Aquatic Invasive Plants

Don Les of UConn speaks before the Environment Committee.
Credit CT-N

The Environment Committee of the state legislature held an informational meeting on Tuesday about aquatic invasive species. 

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection notes a number of non-native plants and animals that cause problems for native species, such as zebra mussels, rusty crayfish, and an aggressive perennial called hydrilla.

Read more
Water Treatment
4:47 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Sewage Spill Along the Naugatuck River Is Contained

At it's peak, raw sewage spilled from this broken manhole structure into the Naugatuck river at a rate of 100 to 200 gallons a minute. The leak was contained on Friday.
Credit Steve Cherhoniak

A leak at a water treatment plant that spilled thousands of gallons of raw sewage in the Naugatuck River has been contained. The leak started Wednesday at Veolia Environment North America, a wastewater treatment plant in Seymour. 

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
4:18 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Eels Are The New Lobster

Credit Flickr Creative Commons, mr bolonga

Eels are hailed as monster-seducers by New Zealand's Maori and are the only fish that spawn in the middle of the ocean, but spend their lives in freshwater. Chad Johnson uses them to get the ladies. They've inspired Internet memes. And in Maine, where eels sell for upwards of $2,000 per pound, this misunderstood fish is providing a modern gold rush for struggling fisherman.

Read more
3:49 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

A Night to Remember

Steam power captivated the popular imagination in the nineteenth century. Regular steam navigation on the Connecticut River dates back to the early 1820s. Hartford and New York were linked by steamers whenever the river was ice free, typically from March through November of each year.

Read more
2:30 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Farmington Valley Residents: Don't Ask Us To Quench UConn's Thirst

The University of Connecticut needs more water – but many Connecticut residents are doing their best to make sure that the water doesn’t come from the Farmington River. They made their voices heard at a public hearing earlier this week.

UConn has always struggled to keep up with the water demands of its huge population. A few years ago, the nearby Fenton River was actually pumped dry when students returned to campus in the fall and demand skyrocketed. Since then UConn has gotten serious about conserving water. But it still doesn’t have enough.

Read more
Bone Dry
1:50 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

University of Connecticut Proposes Options to Expand Its Water Supply

At the University of Connecticut's Storrs campus, plans for a major expansion are being hindered by a lack of water. So the university is looking at a few options for a new water supply, including drawing water from the Farmington River.

Joining us to talk about the proposals is Karl Wagener, executive director of the Council on Environmental Quality.

Read more
Where We Live
10:30 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Taking a Ride Down the Connecticut River

Bongaboo, Creative Commons

It flows from the upper reaches of New Hampshire through the heart of New England...and winds its way through our state - twisting, turning, sometimes flooding, and eventually emptying into Long Island Sound.

The 410-mile-long Connecticut River was recently designated America’s first National Blueway.

Read more
Great Outdoors Initiative
3:08 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Connecticut River First to Receive National Blueways Designation

Mike Cline (Wikimedia Commons)

The Connecticut River has been designated the country's first National Blueway. 

The National Blueways System is part of the Obama administration's America's Great Outdoors Initiative, which aims to conserve natural resources while encouraging recreational use of the land. The National Blueways system recognizes river systems that through various public and private advocates work together for the benefit of both the river and watershed.

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
3:56 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Just Talkin' About Shad

Wikimedia Commons

It seems clicheed, but here in Connecticut, shad is more than a fish.

First of all, it's our official state fish. Second, it's linked to a peculiar fishing culture that barely exists any more. If you've driven down along the lower Connecticut River, you've probably seen those sad shacks and wondered about them. And the Windsor Shad Derby is still a giant event as is the selection of a Shad Derby Queen.

Read more
9:07 am
Sun September 18, 2011

Initial Shock Of Irene Is Waning, But Emotions Still Raw In Vermont

Nancy Eve Cohen

About three weeks after Irene hit people in some areas of Vermont have been living without phone service, impassable roads and a scarred landscape.  WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports some Vermont residents are worn out physically and emotionally.

The Rock River in South Newfane flows through the back yard of Maureen Albert-Piascik. She says when Irene hit the river started to crest and she evacuated.

"it just went up so fast. The river was just so high the next thing I knew my house was surrounded by water." 

Read more
6:30 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

EPA To Discuss Housatonic Clean Up With Massachusetts, Connecticut

Nancy Eve Cohen

The U-S Environmental Protection Agency has decided to meet with biologists from the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts to discuss the clean up plan for the Housatonic River. As WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the meetings will delay the release of EPA’s clean-up proposal.

Read more
4:15 pm
Thu September 8, 2011

Flooding Causes Sewage To Overflow

Nancy Eve Cohen

Heavy rains today have brought some flooding in urban areas across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports in a few places the sewage system has been affected.

In Connecticut the ground is saturated and there’s still a lot of debris left over from Tropical Storm Irene, clogging up storm drains. That means there aren’t a lot of places for storm water to go. Dennis Greci with Connecticut’s environmental agency says in some cases flooded streets have drained into the sewage system and overflowed.

Read more
11:31 am
Mon August 29, 2011

Flooding More A Problem Than Wind In Western Massachusetts

Nancy Eve Cohen

Although some people may have found Irene’s punch to be weaker than they had expected, others say it was more than enough. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports on evacuations on the Westfield River in western Massachusetts.

About midday, officials in Chester heard of a possible breach at a dam upstream of town That was enough to evacuate about 50 people there who lived close to the Westfield River.  Further downstream, in Huntington and in Westfield more were evacuated.

Read more
Irene Recovery
10:50 am
Mon August 29, 2011

Irene Breaks Records

Irene hit Connecticut as a strong tropical storm Sunday with torrential rains and gusty winds that destroyed coastal homes, toppled trees and left a record 800,000 customers without power, surpassing damage from Hurricane Gloria in 1985. More than eight inches of rain fell.

The storm reached New England weaker than expected as it failed to re-intensify after making initial landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, but it still destroyed or damaged dozens of beachfront homes in East Haven and nearby communities and undermined sections of seawall, walkways and streets.

Read more
Uncertain Future
8:21 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Morning Edition: The Ferries' Communication Problem

Photo by Chion Wolf

Today was supposed to be the day crews start the process of dry docking Connecticut's two state run ferries for the winter. The future of these historic ferries are uncertain. After state union workers rejected the first labor and concessions deal with Governor Malloy, the ferries were targeted for closure, but remain open while union members mull over a second deal. In the meantime the towns that surround the ferries are looking for other ways to keep them open.

Read more
Invasive Species
1:01 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Hunting For The Invasive Water Chestnut

Judy Preston

The Tidewater Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are surveying the lower Connecticut River for an invasive aquatic plant, called “Water Chestnut”. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

Read more
4:14 pm
Tue July 26, 2011

Toxic Waste Experts Review EPA's Housatonic River Clean Up Plan

Nancy Eve Cohen

A  board of toxic waste clean-up experts is meeting this week to review the New England EPA’s Housatonic River clean up plan. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
2:21 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

The Uncertain Fate Of Connecticut's Ferries

Chion Wolf

Before we get started on ferries, let me make a few things clear.

Read more
Conflict of Interest
5:45 pm
Wed July 13, 2011

Public Reacts To Environmental Commissioner's Long List of Recusals

Nancy Eve Cohen

Read more
5:34 pm
Tue July 12, 2011

Environmental Commissioner Recuses Himself From Working On Housatonic Clean Up

Chion Wolf

The Connecticut Commissioner of Environment and Energy has recused himself from doing work related to General Electric and to more than two dozen other companies. As WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports this means Dan Esty will not weigh in on the clean up of the Housatonic River.

Read more
5:42 pm
Mon July 11, 2011

Massachusetts And G.E. Request Delay In EPA's Housatonic River Clean Up Planning

Nancy Eve Cohen

The Housatonic River flows from Massachusetts down through Connecticut to Long Island Sound. It’s a popular destination for people who canoe and fish. But it’s also considered “impaired” by the state because it’s polluted. The fight to clean it up has played out for decades. Now in the latest round, the state of Massachusetts is squaring off with the E.P.A. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports

Read more
5:55 pm
Tue June 7, 2011

Esty Still Silent On Land Swap

Nancy Eve Cohen

Connecticut’s environmental Commissioner sent a letter to three lawmakers today who asked him to weigh in on a controversial bill to swap state conservation land with a developer. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports Commissioner Esty says the issue is a legislative matter.

Read more