environment

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The man who once walked on the moon, and helped America define itself as a leader in space travel is now out with a new book. It reads half as a memoir, and  half as a motivational speech to the next generation of explorers who he hopes will carry on America's legacy.

But what exactly does the future of space exploration look like? And in an era of congressional budget battles and commercial space ventures, will NASA's role look at all like it did back when Apollo 11 was making news?

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Take a trip out to the Housatonic River Valley over the next few days, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a peculiar-looking fungus that’s a tasty trophy for mushroom hunters. 

If you’re in Connecticut, you can’t just walk into a store and buy a Tesla. That’s because of a state law that says car companies like Tesla can’t bypass dealers and sell directly to customers. 

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.

Liz West / Creative Commons

Colin has a "pet" raccoon that visits his porch. The raccoon will press her tiny paw up against the outstretched palm of Colin's significant other, which rests on the indoor side of the glass. Eventually, the raccoon gets a bit of food because "she" is too cute to resist. The pleased raccoon now visits on a regular basis. Colin fears this cannot end well.

Emily Mocarski/flickr creative commons

Last week, police and wildlife officials were called in to tranquilize and relocate two bears within four days.

Photonesta / Flickr Creative Commons

Okay, this show comes with a trigger warning.

We talk about things people eat, and some of those things are not for the squeamish. This is a conversation about disgust, and specifically, how our reflexive response of disgust may get in the way of things we probably need to think about doing.

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. 

mystuart / Creative Commons

We all know peonies for their audaciously large, colorful flowers. 

Adam Frenier / NEPR

A Berkshire Superior Court judge has granted Kinder Morgan an injunction, allowing it to go forward with a natural gas pipeline in Sandisfield, Massachusetts, on its way to Connecticut. But the judge did issue conditions.

Scientists have had a literal breakthrough off the coast of Mexico.

After weeks of drilling from an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico, they have reached rocks left over from the day the Earth was hit by a killer asteroid.

Bardia Photography / Creative Commons

Growing up in the shadow of my Italian grandparents’ farm, I have fond memories of my relatives wandering the fields in spring harvesting dandelion greens.

Authorities have issued a mandatory evacuation order for the 80,000 residents of Fort McMurray in Alberta, where a wildfire has taken hold in the oil sands region. According to officials, it's the largest evacuation order caused by fire in the province's history.

PORTLAND, Maine - Southern New England's fading lobster fishery will be the subject of a battery of new regulations to try to save the crustacean's population locally.

The interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's American Lobster Management Board voted on Monday to use new management measures to address lobster decline.

In 2013, the number of adult lobsters in New England south of Cape Cod was estimated at about 10 million. That is one-fifth the total in the late 1990s.

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.

Pixabay / Creative Commons

Ahh spring, the flowers are blooming, asparagus is growing, and, oh yes, the lawn needs mowing. 

Paul Van Der Woof / Creative Commons

The Tragedy of the Commons follows the theory that people can't be trusted to take care of common property without degrading it or taking more than their fair share of resources. This idea was popularized by William Forster Lloyd, who published a pamphlet in 1833 using cow herders to prove that people couldn't be trusted to share our common resources wisely. He believed property should be owned privately.

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.

In the past week, two major natural gas pipelines have been scrapped in New York. A third, which would expand a line that is near the Indian Point Nuclear Power plant, is still scheduled, but opponents are putting pressure on Governor Cuomo to use his persuasive powers with the federal government to stop the expansion.

Randy Wick / Creative Commons

A bill that would gradually phase out single-use plastic and paper bags at supermarkets and grocery stores in Connecticut has passed out of the state Senate and is awaiting action in the House. 

Ines Hegedus-Garcia / Creative Commons

The city of Hartford and Trinity College have resolved a legal dispute over whether the school should be allowed to use artificial turf for new athletic fields. The move avoids a fight between a new administration and one of the city's biggest stakeholders.

John Winkelman / Creative Commons

I've got a question for you. The top ten vegetables grown by home gardeners really haven't changed much in the last 20 years, except for one new comer. Any ideas? Think spicy.

Plans to build a $3.3 billion natural gas pipeline from New York into New England through western Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire have been suspended.

Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc. announced Wednesday it has decided to stop work on the project. It cites a lack of contracts with gas distribution companies.

The company also says New England states haven't established needed regulatory procedures to allow it to move forward and the process in each state for creating those procedures remains open-ended.

haru__q / flickr creative commons

Everybody loves a bulldozer. In fact, we all grew up loving bulldozers, didn't we? From "Benny the Bulldozer" to Katy and her big snow, from all the Tonka toys to all the die cast model Caterpillars, the bulldozer is more of an icon in American popular culture than we maybe realize.

Randy Wick / Creative Commons

A bill to phase out plastic bags at grocery stores is moving forward and it's got the support of one prominent garbage man. 

Kristin Shoemaker / Creative Commons

Irises are embedded in our art and culture. Vincent Van Gough and Georgia O’Keefe loved to paint them. Mary Oliver and Robert Frost waxed poetic about them.

Nicole Marie Photoworks / Flickr Creative Commons

Spring has sprung, and with that comes gardening season! Are you thinking about how to get your garden ready? 

This hour, we talk garden trends, soil prep, pruning, pest management, managing invasives, supporting pollinators, and so much more.

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