Environment

WNPR's Environmental Reporting Initiative is made possible by United Technologies Corporation.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

The state fire marshal and local police are investigating a blaze aboard a lobster boat at Stonington Town Dock. The fire is thought to have broken out in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and may have been burning for some time before the alarm was raised at about 4.30 am.

Adam Moss / Creative Commons

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said a Boston-bound Amtrak train has struck and killed a person on the tracks in Connecticut. 

Bill Dickinson / Flickr

A plan to transform the nation's busiest commuter rail line has reached a milestone.

MichaelTK (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Interstate fishing regulators are considering what to do about southern New England's collapsed lobster population, and fishermen fear new restrictions could land on them as a result.

jahansell / Creative Commons

Let's face it: in Connecticut, even the biggest farms are small. 

Ryssby / Creative Commons

Federal and state environmental officials are set to announce nearly two dozen grants worth $1.3 million to improve the environmental health of Long Island Sound.

Denimadept / Creative Commons

Officials said the mast of a sailboat struck part of the Connecticut River Railroad Bridge as it was closing, causing delays on Amtrak's Northeast Regional line.

Parker Knight / Flickr Creative Commons

The Green Revolution of the mid-twentieth century revolutionized the way the world fed itself.  It introduced new fertilizers, pesticides, and hybrid seeds. At the same time, it also placed an enormous burden on the world’s environmental and ecological systems.

Patrick / Creative Commons

A new section of a proposed multi-state bike and walking trail opened earlier this week in Manchester. The state Department of Transportation took the occasion to outline the governor's five-year strategy for Connecticut's trail system.

oakridgedairy.com

Connecticut has added the largest dairy farm in the state to its farmland preservation program.

slack12 / Creative Commons

A new federal plan for Long Island Sound aims to protect thousands of acres of open space and reduce beach closures caused by sewage leaks.

Vermonters are proud of many things: maple syrup, skiing, a presidential candidate and, of course, cheddar cheese.        

Yale University

Yale University has recently added 4,400 solar panels to the roof of a storage building on the school's West Campus, prompting officials to say it may be the largest solar installation in Connecticut at this time.

Neanderthals have long been recognized as humans’ closest relatives. They were highly intelligent, skilled hunters, with a rugged build, and a knack for toolmaking.

Eric Hunt flickr.com/photos/ericinsf/28907735 / Creative Commons

With the emphasis on pumpkins, apples, and chrysanthemums at this time of year, it's easy to forget those subtropical bulbs that have faded with the cold weather. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The I-84 viaduct in Hartford -- the “futureless freeway” that divided neighborhoods and demolished historic architecture when it was built in the 1960s -- will most likely meet its end in the next decade.

The state is exploring options for reconstruction, looking for feedback from communities in and around Hartford on whether they should replace or renovate the current structure, bring it to ground level, lower it in a trench, or bury the highway in a tunnel. One city resident has a vision for what he thinks would work. 

Lars Plougmann / Creative Commons

A new wood product used in construction could help create greater demand for materials from local forests. Some tree buffs say more desire for New England timber could actually be a good thing for preserving Connecticut woodlands. 

Connecticut Department of Transportation

Following a nationwide search, the Connecticut Department of Transportation has appointed a veteran New Jersey Transit official to lead the state’s bureau of public transportation. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

A team from Connecticut-based non-profit AmeriCares is on the ground in Mexico assessing the need for disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Patricia. Patricia made landfall late Friday as a Category 5 hurricane, but weakened rapidly to a tropical storm.

On Thursday morning, Patricia was a relatively small Category 1 hurricane. By Friday afternoon, it was the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.

Is climate change to blame for this record-breaking storm's ferocious rise?

The answer is complex, and shows why it's so hard to tie a single weather event to global warming.

Railroads warn they may have to shut down unless Congress extends an end-of-the-year deadline to install new safety equipment called Positive Train Control.

PTC is a complex system that monitors a train's location and speed, then automatically slows down or stops a locomotive if the engineer doesn't respond to a danger warning.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

The National Hurricane Center says the eye of Hurricane Patricia has made landfall near Cuixmala on Mexico's southwestern Pacific coast. Its winds were measured at 165 mph, somewhat weakened but still a Category 5 storm capable of catastrophic damage.

Our original post continues:

In New Hampshire, male crickets start singing in July or August.  They stop singing when the temperature drops below 50 and they die when it gets too cold.  The death of the crickets is, in a way, a sign that winter has begun.  This year, as NHPR's Sean Hurley reports, the crickets stopped on October 17th with the first hard frost.

For centuries, Vermont has been able to turn fall foliage into tourist dollars for the state. But there are two men who are now exporting the colorful leaves — for a price.

Bruce Guenter / Creative Commons

Look around Connecticut. We don't have fracking for natural gas. There aren't underground oil deposits, and solar energy is just now starting to get popular. All that means when it comes to managing energy that’s often produced out-of-state, Nutmeggers have historically been pretty thrifty. 

The most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the eastern Pacific will make a "potentially catastrophic landfall" in southwestern Mexico Friday, the National Weather Service says. Hurricane Patricia is bringing winds that now top 200 mph; it's expected to strike Friday afternoon or evening.

Susy Morris / Creative Commons

Being an Italian-American from Waterbury, Connecticut who likes to cook, I eat a lot of garlic. Luckily for me, growing garlic is almost as easy as eating it. 

Editor's Note: In some cities, transportation of the future may resemble the transportation of the past. From Washington, D.C., to Guangzhou, China, cities are looking to streetcars. NPR's Franklyn Cater looks at the struggles to revive them in Washington, while Anthony Kuhn examines the new technology that's up and running in Guangzhou.

New streetcars glide along tracks set into a grassy strip along the Pearl River in southern Guangzhou city. The first tramline covers five miles in the city's up-and-coming Haizhu district.

Every other Saturday, a huge semi truck with a 42-foot trailer pulls up in a parking lot in Putnam, Connecticut. Amid the barking of dogs in the background, a burly man named Greg Mahle hops out.

For the past 10 years, Mahle has made it his mission to find homes for rescue dogs. He brings them up from the South to what he calls “forever families” here in the North. He estimates he has saved some 50,000 dogs.

Chris Lewis flickr.com/photos/chrissam42/10024722525 / Creative Commons

Environmental officials in Connecticut are trying to preserve 21 percent of the state's land as open space in the next eight years. So far, the state is making ample progress toward the goal.

Pages