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Environment

Jiří Nedorost / Creative Commons

Gun season for deer hunting begins in Connecticut on Wednesday.

 

The state has expanded its hunting seasons and relaxed deer hunting restrictions over the past few years.

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

An invasive weed that’s toxic to livestock and resistant to herbicides has turned up in Connecticut. The state announced Thursday that Palmer amaranth, a type of pigweed, was discovered this fall in two pumpkin fields in East Windsor.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

A large silver tank sits in the front of Cherry Brook Primary School in Canton. In it are gallons of clean, filtered water that pump into the school’s fountains, sinks and water bottle filling stations.

It’s been a fixture on school grounds since Nov. 6 when town officials notified parents that Cherry Brook’s well water could be contaminated with PFAS, a family of man-made chemicals that may be toxic to humans. That contamination is thought to have occurred after firefighting foam was used at the school five years ago.

Quinn Dombrowski (Flickr) / Creative Commons

November is for wrapping up the garden and protecting plants from winter. One plant that often needs protection are roses.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

The town of Canton is holding an informational meeting Wednesday night about possible contamination at Cherry Brook Primary School. Firefighting foam was released on school property in 2014 and emerging evidence indicates some of the chemicals found in those foams are toxic to humans and the environment.

Chion Wolf

There are more than 800 miles of Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails in Connecticut. Today we're doing our show from one of them. 

NTSB via AP

Christopher Albani was at home when he heard the call that a B-17 crashed at Bradley International Airport, killing seven people. He’s a firefighter, one of several who responded to the Oct. 2 crash. 

Albani was put on a hose line, dumping firefighting foam onto burning wreckage. 

“So in that moment, being exposed to it, guys were covered, head to toe, in the stuff,” Albani said.

What begonias make sense to bring indoors?
Raul P (Flickr) / Creative Commons

This common flower originated in Central and South America and is named after a famous botanist Michel Begon. Gardeners love the wide variety of flower and leaf shapes, colors and sizes and its tolerance of shade. This plant is called the begonia.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

While the U.S. is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, states like Connecticut are still committed to reducing their carbon emissions. Offshore wind power is one way.

This hour, we take a look at proposals to bring wind energy to Connecticut. How will the Trump administration’s inaction on renewables impact this emerging industry in our region?

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Mr.TinDC / Creative Commons

AAA Northeast is warning drivers to watch out for deer.  

November is a particularly bad time for deer strikes because fall is mating season for white-tailed deer in New England. Also, with the end of daylight saving time, it’s often dark during the evening commute. 

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Gov. Ned Lamont’s office announced Monday that the state has completed its final action plan to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, a class of nearly 5,000 chemicals that has been linked to health problems in animals and humans.

As Connecticut Releases Electric Vehicle Roadmap, Some Question Its Direction

Oct 31, 2019
Adam Moss / Wikimedia Commons

A long-awaited state report on electric vehicle policy options was released the same week the state also reduced rebates.

The timing couldn’t have been more curious. 

The State of Connecticut

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced a new initiative, the Opportunity Zones Program, to spur investment in the nation’s most distressed communities. The state of Connecticut is home to 72 Opportunity Zones. What efforts are being made to attract investors to these regions? This hour, we find out, and we also hear from you. Do you live in or near an Opportunity Zone? 

A thin layer of leaves on your lawn can help the soil and grass.
Aarthi Ramamurthy (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Fall is great for shuffling through layers of dried, fallen leaves. I love the smell, sound and feeling of the leaves underfoot. But leaves are also a great resource for your garden, lawn and yard. So, let's look at five ways to use those leaves in the garden.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Morgan Bengel stood about 35 feet underground, gesturing at the cold, rocky walls inside Old New-Gate Prison & Copper Mine. Late 18th-century descriptions of this subterranean penitentiary were bleak.

“Some of the words are, hell, a dungeon, woeful mansion,” Bengel said. 

Chris J (Flickr) / Creative Commons

It's getting closer to the big day. Halloween rivals Christmas for the amount of money spent on decorating, costumes and parties. However, with all the things you can buy for Halloween decorations, the pumpkin is still at the center of all the action.

Mary Anne Williams

Dozens of Connecticut homes have been hoisted off the ground as the state helps pay homeowners to repair ruined concrete foundations. 

This hour, we check in on the crumbling foundations crisis that is impacting homes and homeowners. We talk with the Hartford Courant journalist behind a yearlong series on Connecticut’s ruined concrete foundations

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Politicians and environmentalists met on the banks of the Farmington River Monday to call for more federal action to regulate a band of toxic chemicals. The call comes following two-high profile accidents at Bradley International Airport.

Smooth Mud Crab Found In Maine For The First Time

Oct 14, 2019
This Oct. 3, 2019 photo provided by Marissa McMahan shows a smooth mud crab in Georgetown, Maine. The crab normally lives further south, and it's unknown how it ended up in Maine waters.
Marissa McMahan / AP

Experts are hoping to learn more about how a species of crab, normally found in the warmer waters of the mid-Atlantic and Gulf Coast, wound up in the New Meadows River in West Bath.

Carmen Baskauf / Connecticut Public Radio

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?

Japanese barberry.
Calin Darabus (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Fall is a great time to watch birds enjoy the various wild berries, as they get ready for winter and migration. However, some of the plants the birds enjoy are not good characters. There are a number of invasive shrubs that are spread by birds eating the berries and then pooping out the seeds. These shrubs can take over habitats, crowd out natives and make the environment less hospitable for wildlife.

Lydia Brown / Connecticut Public Radio

It’s a lethal hunter, marked by its tufted ears and focused gaze. It's a breathtaking sight, if you’re lucky enough to see one.

This hour: the bobcat.

This stealthy species has made a comeback in recent years. We talk to researchers who are working to better understand Connecticut’s only wild feline. 

Clownhouse III / Creative Commons

Financial auditors Wednesday cited the state Department of Agriculture for a “serious breakdown” in its accounting procedures. It’s a breakdown that included numerous uncashed checks that were left in a safe in a store room in Hartford. 

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

A ban on consuming fish taken from a portion of the Farmington River will likely remain in place “at a minimum” for the remainder of the year, the state said. 

The timeline from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection comes following two high-profile discharges of per-and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) at Bradley Airport.

Each summer for the last two decades, Jim Parker has readied his small whale watch boat, and made a business out of ferrying tourists out into the cool blue waters of the Gulf of Maine.

For years, it was steady work. The basin brimmed with species that whales commonly feed on, making it a natural foraging ground for the aquatic giants. Whales would cluster at certain spots in the gulf, providing a reliable display for enchanted visitors to the coastal community of Milbridge, Maine.

If you're in the mood for a tuna poke bowl or an old-school tuna niçoise salad, here's a tip: Don't hit up the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland. It has been nearly six years since chef Jonathon Sawyer became a "tuna evangelist" after attending a meeting of like-minded chefs at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was there that he made the decision to forgo tuna — both in his personal life and on the menus at all four of his restaurants.

Thawt Hawthje / Creative Commons

New England experienced fewer days with unhealthy air quality this year compared to last year, but Connecticut fared the worst in the six-state region, according to federal environmental officials.

Leonora (Ellie) Enking (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Fall is in full swing. The perennial flower gardens are taking on the colors of autumn with colorful berries, foliage and flowers. While we all know about goldenrod, asters and chrysanthemums as traditional fall flowers, there are other perennial flowers, hardy in our area, that can increase the fall color range and interest.

images of Giant ground sloth (Megatherium americanum), Moa (Megalapteryx didinus), Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
Ballista, George Edward Lodge, Michael L. Baird / Wikimedia Commons

What would it have been like to see a huge, elephant-like mastodon roaming our state? 

The earth has been home to some spectacularly large animals. A few of them still roam or swim our world today. This hour, we take a look at the biology of these giants. 

From chunky island-dwelling birds to the enormous blue whale, what do we know about why these creatures evolved to be so big? And why don’t we see more of them today? 

Plus, with a UN report warning that a million species are at risk of extinction in coming years, are we at risk of losing those big creatures we still have?

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

State health and environmental officials say Connecticut’s drinking water should undergo required testing for PFAS, a group of more than 4,000 synthetic chemicals. That’s according to a new report, which comes as the Department of Public Health issued a new PFAS-contamination alert following the crash of a vintage aircraft with 13 people onboard Wednesday morning.

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