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Environment

A Million Dollar Fish

May 17, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

The state Department of Environmental Protection has partnered with the store, Cabela's, to sponsor a fishing contest. The agency’s goal is to encourage more people to fish.

Chemistry Students Get Clean Energy Grant

May 16, 2011
Horia Varian, Flickr Creative Commons

Students and teachers at West Haven High School are celebrating a small grant to research renewable energy. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports

WNPR/Nancy Cohen

The New Haven to Springfield high speed rail line snagged $30 million in federal funding today. But that's far less than the $227 million Connecticut was hoping for.

Governor Dannel Malloy says he's not disappointed with the pay-out.

"You ask for a lot money in the hopes that you're going to get it. Amtrak asked for a lot more than they're getting. Everybody asked for more than they're getting," Malloy says. "No, I'm feeling great. We're going to compete time and time again. We're going to be in those fights. And we're not going to take passes."

Chion Wolf

A new report says almost all low-income residents in Connecticut's biggest cities have access to public transportation. But those buses, shuttles and trains are often too infrequent to get them to work.

After two years of crunching data, Alan Berube was surprised to find that nearly 70 percent of people in America's metropolitan areas have access to public transit.

That's true in Connecticut too. But "access" here could just mean a bus runs down your street every half hour.

flicker user smaedli

Earlier this week, Connecticut received $30 million federal dollars for the New Haven to Springfield rail project. As the money starts to trickle in, WNPR is checking in with a few towns along the line to see how they're preparing. The first stop is Meriden, a city well on its way to welcoming the train.

Meriden's downtown isn't that different from those in other industrial towns in Connecticut. After manufacturing dried up, retail fled to the malls and slowly, all that was left behind started to crumble.

Environmental Groups Attack Governor’s 'Plan B'

May 12, 2011

While Governor Malloy continues to negotiate with state employee 
unions for $2 billion in concessions, his budget chief has come up
with a contingency plan to balance the budget. It’s known as “Plan B”.

As WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports, Plan B proposes cutting more than 20% 
of the new Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the 
entire staff at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

Photo Courtesy Cricket Hill Garden

Cricket Hill Garden in Thomaston, Connecticut is one of the only farms in the country cultivating a rare perennial variety ... the Chinese tree peony. As part of WNPR's Small Business Project, Andrew Huston spoke with members of the family who run the garden about their plans to improve the business.

In the coming weeks, the woody shrubs lining Cricket Hill Garden’s woodland terraced garden will burst with large, fragrant, colorful blossoms.

East Haddam Selectboard Votes No On Land Swap

May 9, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would swap a piece of preserved land in Haddam with a developer for a much larger property. But officials in East Haddam have voted against the deal and are sending a letter to lawmakers and the state’s environmental Commissioner arguing against the swap. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

Keney Park in Hartford Receives $96,000 For Trails

May 6, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

Keney Park in Hartford has received a $96,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration. The money will be spent to improve hiking  trails. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

A crowd gathered in front of a windswept pond to celebrate the grant. The pond is part of the park’s 693 acres which includes trails for hiking, biking, and even a golf course. Henry Hester, of the Friends of Keney Park, says the money will pay for enhancing trails and creating a web-based trail guide

Chion Wolf

Because we're live from Billings Forge in the Frog Hollow section of Hartford today, let's take the opportunity to talk about cities and why some of us love them.

Small towns are great, and suburbs have their purpose. But one of the ideas of a city is the notion that intelligence and creativity can collect in little pockets.

Electric Cars Power Up

May 5, 2011
JM Rosenfeld, Creative Commons

Earlier this week Connecticut Light & Power Co launched the "Plug My Ride'' campaign to increase awareness of electric and hybrid vehicles in the state.  This also kicked off a research project that aims to understand how an influx of electric vehicles in the near future will affect the region's power grid.   

We spoke with Watson Collins, the electric vehicles project manager for parent company Northeast Utilities, about the company's plans to install up to 30 charging stations by the end of the year.

Report on RGGI: Carbon Emissions Up Slightly

May 2, 2011

A regional agreement between ten states calls for reducing carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. This week the non-profit group, Environment Northeast, released its annual report analyzing how greenhouse gas emissions have changed in the region. 

Tracking The Journey Of A Golden Eagle

Apr 29, 2011
Cellular Tracking Technologies

Scientists released a Golden eagle in Connecticut about a month ago outfitted with a GPS tracking device. Researchers say by following the journey of birds like this they can make predictions about where to build wind turbines that are not on migration routes.  WNPR's Nancy Cohen reports on the eagle's path since it left the state.

Hartford’s Riverfront Parks Get Swamped

Apr 28, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

This time of year, as temperatures rise, so does the water in our rivers. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen recently visited the banks of the Connecticut River in Hartford to see the effects of recent spring floods.

With the record snowfall this past winter one might expect record flooding. But so far the Connecticut River in Hartford has had only minor flooding. Minor or not, the water still leaves behind a mess.

Spring Is In the Air

Apr 25, 2011

If you like these things, then spring must make your heart beat a little faster. But even those of us who would rather not spend a moment planting, weeding, smelling mulch, or standing in line at the garden store, would occasionally like to admire someone else’s garden – or just a pot of well-tended flowers. So, in honor of all gardeners, past and present, the CHS has created a small hallway display of garden-related objects from our collections.

Some In Colebrook Oppose Wind Proposal

Apr 21, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen.

The Connecticut Siting Council held a hearing today on a proposal to build wind turbines in Colebrook. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports several residents voiced their opposition to the turbines

BNE Energy is proposing to build six turbines that could be the state’s first wind farm to supply energy to the electric grid. But some Colebrook residents say their small town isn’t the place for an industrial wind farm.

D.E.P. Commissioner Goes D.E.E.P.

Apr 21, 2011
Chion Wolf

Somers Greenhouse Powers Up With Wood

Apr 21, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture gathered at a wholesale greenhouse in Connecticut, today to celebrate a federal program that funds  energy projects.  WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

Minor Flooding Forecast On Connecticut River

Apr 15, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

The Connecticut River rose above flood stage in parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts today and is expected to continue to rise Thursday. But the forecast is for minor flooding. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

Lecture Series Marks 40th Anniversary Of DEP

Apr 15, 2011
Chion Wolf

Forty years ago this month the state of Connecticut created the Department of Environmental Protection. The D.E.P. is marking the occasion by launching a lecture series. As WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the goal is to stimulate thinking about the agency’s expanding role.

Human Traffic Signals

Apr 11, 2011
Uma Ramiah photo

For at least 20 minutes on Friday evening, no one ran a red light at the corner of Church and Chapel Streets downtown.

It may have been all those human red lights, on a mission.

“We’re here because we’ve noticed a problem in New Haven, where drivers run red lights pretty frequently,” said Juli Stupakevich (pictured), who organized a “Red Means Stop” protest at that intersection. “Red just doesn’t mean stop anymore.”

So Few Smelt

Apr 11, 2011
Flickr Creative Commons, John Loo

Migrating fish just a half-foot long once flooded coastal rivers of the northeast every spring. In recent decades, rainbow smelt populations have been declining every year, and are fading to a dim memory in many places. But not in Down East Maine. As part of a collaboration with Northeast stations, Murray Carpenter reports that elsewhere in the region, scientists are trying to bring them back.   

Public Service of New Hampshire

The nation’s first carbon trade system, which started in the northeast, may be in trouble. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ten percent by 2018. But now, three of the ten states in the initiative are considering withdrawing, in part, because of the cost to electric ratepayers. As part of a collaboration with Northeast stations, Amy Quinton with New Hampshire Public Radio reports.

Boaters Can Help Stop Spread Of Invasive Species

Apr 8, 2011
Andres Musta

The state Department of Environmental Protection is training volunteers to educate boaters about invasive species on Candlewood Lake. Last fall the invasive zebra mussel was found in Lakes Zoar and Lillinonah. The mussel can be carried in boats from one lake to another. Eleanor Mariani of the D.E.P. says the volunteers will ask boaters to make sure they’ve cleaned their vessels if they’ve been in a lake that contains the mussel.

Meeting On Mattresses

Apr 8, 2011
Violentz, Flickr Creative Commons

Government and businesses have figured out how to recycle a lot of things such as bottles and cans, old computers and even left-over paint. But how do you recycle something that’s big, bulky and may contain bed bugs? That’s the subject of the first national meeting on mattress recycling that will be held next Monday in Hartford. 

Learning About the Problem of PCBs

Apr 8, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding a series of workshops this week on the human health risks of PCBs in the Housatonic River and the different approaches to cleaning them up. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

Before the mid-1970s, when polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs were deemed toxic and banned by Congress, the chemical compound was commonly used in manufacturing. General Electric used PCBs when it made electrical transformers at its former plant on the Housatonic River in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

New Britain Busway

Apr 5, 2011

Governor Dannel Malloy has given his stamp of approval on construction of a New Britain to Hartford busway. The busway will travel along a 9.6 mile route of abandoned railroad bed, easing congestion on Interstate 84. Opponents and Supporters of the project met late last month with the Governor to offer their opinion on this controversial project.  One of those opponents is University of Connecticut Civil Engineering professor, Norman Garrick.

Governor Gives Green Light for Busway

Apr 5, 2011
Capitol Region Council of Governments

Connecticut is closer to getting its first rapid transit system. Governor Dannel Malloy announced today his support for a rapid bus project from New Britain to Hartford. As WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports the Governor says he also wants to devote state funds to study a rail project in Waterbury.

State Closes Trail to Protect Nesting Eagles

Apr 4, 2011
goingslo, Flickr Creative Commons

The state Department of Environmental Protection is closing down a hiking trail  for a few months in Windsor Locks to keep people away from a nesting pair of Bald eagles. 

Invasive Algae Discovered in Farmington River

Apr 1, 2011
Photo by Bikeride via Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut’s environmental agency says an invasive algae has been discovered in the west branch of the Farmington River, a favorite place for trout fishing. Although the algae has been found in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York this is the first time it has been seen in Connecticut. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

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