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Environment

New Method To Save New England Salt Marshes Piloted In Mass.

Nov 19, 2020
Wenley Ferguson, director of habitat restoration for Save the Bay in Rhode Island, stands by the excavator on the Little Bay salt marsh in Fairhaven.
Eve Zuckoff / CapsandIslands.org

Wearing tall rubber boots, a scientist walked along an overgrown path to the Little Bay salt marsh in Fairhaven, on Cape Cod.

“I'm going to kind of weave us up through this back zone,” said Alice Besterman, the post-doctoral researcher with the Buzzards Bay Coalition.

Pixabay.com

There are some houseplants that are great for those gardeners who live or work in a dwelling with little natural light and are a bit forgetful about watering. One of the best is the snake plant.

Snake plant or Sansevieria also has the unfortunate common name of mother-in-law's tongue. That's due to the pointed leaf tips can pinch you unexpectedly if you touch it. The traditional snake plants stand 2- to -3-feet tall with broad, thick leaves. The leaves are dark green and some have yellow edges.

But with the boom in houseplants, there are many different types of Sansevierias that are smaller, more colorful and less likely to pinch you!

Courtesy: Sierra Club

A new study of natural gas infrastructure in Connecticut says harmful amounts of methane are leaking from aging underground gas pipes. The findings add to an emerging body of science demonstrating the scale of methane leaks in America.

Pixabay.com

“Essentially, all life depends upon the soil. There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.” That was Charles Kellogg writing in the USDA Book of Agriculture about 100 years ago.

There's a new appreciation of our soils underfoot, especially as we search for ways to slow the pace of global warming. Soils and plant roots can capture carbon from the atmosphere and hold it in the soil for decades. Soil is also a living entity upon which all life depends. This view can change our gardening practices to be more soil friendly.

State regulators on Friday approved a rate hike for utilities Eversource and United Illuminating. The changes mean that if you’re a customer of those utilities, part of your bill will go up in January. 

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority said the rate hike is tied to seasonal variations in the energy market.

During the winter, prices for natural gas are higher, and since that fuel is used to generate most of the region’s wholesale power, "supply" portions of your bill go up. 

Some much-needed rain has lowered the threat of drought across the state.

garlic
See-ming Lee (Flickr / Creative Commons)

The rush is on to get all the gardening chores done. But remember you should plant some garlic.

Artist's reproduction of Caihong juji, a dinosaur with iridescent feathers. Guest Julia Clarke was co-lead author on the paper which describe the species.
Velizar Simeonovski / Field Museum

When you think about a dinosaur what springs to mind? Probably something with giant teeth, but is it grey and scaly like a lizard? What about the sound it makes? Does it have a roar like a supersized lion?

Earlier this month Where We Live producer Carmen Baskauf moderated a virtual event with paleontologist Julia Clarke, a lecture presented by the Yale Peabody Museum.

Clarke studies the evolution of dinosaurs—including birds—and in her research, Clarke takes on questions that seem impossible to answer, like: What color were dinosaurs? And what might a Tyrannosaurus rex sound like?

elaine faith (Flickr / Creative Commons)

It's estimated in Connecticut, that 22 percent of the waste we send to landfills is food scraps. That's a shame because all those food scraps can be turned into compost to feed our gardens.

Pixabay

Dogs are man’s best friend, but what’s really going on inside of their heads?

This hour, we talk with canine cognition researcher Brian Hare.

courtesy Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm

Turkey growers describe this time of year as the industry’s Super Bowl, when orders for turkeys start rolling in. But Thanksgiving will be different this year because of the pandemic.

Rick Hermonot said it’s still a little early to know how many people will order smaller turkeys from his farm in Sterling.

Bennilover (Flickr / Creative Commons)

Halloween is right around the corner and many gardeners are decorating pumpkins for the holiday. A fun way to decorate is to make a pumpkin planter filled with succulents.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

State Attorney General William Tong said Wednesday utilities Eversource and United Illuminating should immediately compensate ratepayers for food and medicine lost during Tropical Storm Isaias.

Tong’s remarks opened three days of scheduled public comment on how utilities prepared for and responded to Tropical Storm Isaias. But on Wednesday, only a handful of people joined the call to share their stories. 

Five northeast governors banded together Thursday to call for a reform of New England’s electricity grid.

Pixabay.com

As the leaves start dropping, many gardener's attention turns to fall garden cleanup. While this is an autumn tradition, there's some new advice about how and when to cleanup the yard and garden that might help make the work easier and help our bees, beneficial insects and birds.

Infrared photo of Venus at night, from the Japanese robotic spacecraft Akatsuki, which orbits the planet
JAXA / ISAS / DARTS / Damia Bouic

Extreme heat, crushing air pressure, and toxic clouds. Venus may not seem like a hospitable place.

But the discovery of a certain chemical, phosphine, in that planet’s atmosphere has raised new questions about the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Scientists wonder if a living organism could possibly be creating this unexpected chemical.

This hour, we sit down Martha Gilmore, a Wesleyan professor. She’s a planetary geologist and Venus expert.

What questions do you have about Venus or our solar system?

Pixabay.com

I recently returned from a trip to the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden and was thrilled to see large plantings of Japanese anemones. Japanese anemones are different from the spring flowering bulb anemones or the wildflower anemones. This Asian native is a hardy perennial that grows into a 2- to 4-foot tall beauty that flowers from August until frost. Depending on the variety, the flowers range from white to pink to a deep rose color. The daisy-shaped, single or double petaled blooms dance atop wiry stems and seem to float in the breeze. That's why this plant is also called the windflower. Most varieties, such as 'Bressingham Glow' and 'Honorine Jobert' stand 4 feet tall, but 'Whirlwind' is a good 2 foot tall variety that can even grow well in containers.

Beef cattle standing in a field
Carmen Baskauf / WNPR

Do you worry about how you’re everyday actions contribute to climate change? You may think about the carbon gas-burning cars are putting into the atmosphere, or coal-powered electricity in your houses.

But what about the food you eat?

This hour we talk about the role of the livestock industry on putting carbon into the atmosphere. Are our carnivorous habits contributing to the climate crisis?

Permafrost thaw on the Peel Plateau of Canada
Scott Zolkos / Woodwell Climate Research Center

As climate change continues to raise temperatures worldwide, the arctic is warming even faster than the rest of the world.

Today, we take a look at the unique arctic terrain that is under threat from climate change: the permafrost. This frozen landscape is defined by deep layers of soil that never get above freezing.

But now, that’s starting to change, and the permafrost is starting to thaw—with devastating affects for the communities living on top of it.

Pixabay.com

It's October and time to think about planting spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinths. There's nothing like the look and scent of these beauties blooming on cool, gray April days. And now is the time to act.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

It took Rich Scalora and his crew four days to drive from Connecticut to the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in northwest California. Normally they’d hop on a plane and be there in a day. But this year COVID-19 forced the 10-person crew onto the road, for a drive out West that contained hints of what they’d face in California. 

Firefighters are battling multiple wildfires in northern California that are threatening entire towns, while thousands are under evacuation orders, burning through homes and some of the state's prestigious wineries.

Speaking at a news conference Monday afternoon, Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the fast moving Glass Fire in Napa County and the Zogg Fire in Shasta County, are top priorities. Both fires erupted Sunday and their cause is under investigation.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Connecticut’s ban on utility shut-offs during the COVID-19 pandemic will expire at the end of the month, but state regulators said last week that utility companies haven’t done enough to educate customers about alternative payment programs. 

Pixabay.com

Our dahlias have been magnificent this year. The plants are growing large and flowering up a storm. Here are a few late season dahlia tips to keep them looking great.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

As the dry weather continues in Connecticut, state officials on Monday asked residents of New London County to voluntarily cut back on outdoor irrigation and other nonessential uses of water. 

Brad Rippey / U.S. Department of Agriculture

Drought conditions in the state continue to worsen with federal agencies now saying a portion of land along the Connecticut-Rhode Island border is experiencing “extreme” drought conditions. 

Hurricane: NASA Goddard - Flickr Creative Commons / Tornado: Justin1569 - Wikipedia / Wildfire: U.S. Dept of Agriculture - Wikipedia

I’ve had a recurring dream ever since I was a little kid: I’m playing in the front yard of the house I grew up in, and suddenly, the atmosphere around me changes. I feel an ominous breeze on my face. I look up, and barreling down the street, is a tornado headed straight for me. I turn to run… and the dream ends. 

I think my compulsion to run away from dangerous weather - in my dreams and in real life - is probably shared by a lot of people. But today? The folks you’re gonna meet go towards the danger to stop it, or to document it so we can understand it better.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

Believe it or not, next Tuesday is the Autumnal Equinox - the first day of fall! This hour, Charlie Nardozzi, from Connecticut Garden Journal joins us to answer all of our fall gardening questions.

Patrick Skahill

State officials say a forest fire in Windham is getting under control, but it could continue to smolder over the coming weeks if statewide drought conditions worsen. 

Turns out, birds love to eat persimmons, too.
Rick Derevan (Flickr / Creative Commons)

Usually when I think of fall fruit trees, I think of apples and pears. They're great but there's another fruit tree that I've grown for a while now and it's a beauty.  

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