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environment

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

In recent years, an invasive insect called the gypsy moth has spelled doom for countless New England trees. From 2016 through 2018, it’s estimated gypsy moths defoliated more than 2 million acres in southern New England, which means a lot of cleanup for foresters.

But among all that destruction there is some good news: gypsy moth populations are, finally, declining.  

Sources: Vineyard Wind Decision Delayed Until December 2020

Aug 18, 2019
Nadine Sebai / The Public's Radio

Final approval for the Vineyard Wind Project will likely not happen for at least another 18 months, according to information received from multiple sources by The Public’s Radio. This means the country’s first large scale offshore wind farm won’t begin construction in time to take advantage of a lucrative federal tax credit that expires at the end of the year. 

Ray Hardman / Connecticut Public Radio

Monarch butterflies famously migrate to Mexico in the winter, traveling along well established routes. One of those routes runs along the shoreline of Connecticut. An organic gardener whose mission is to increase the population of migrating monarchs will be in New Haven this weekend to show people how to raise and release these amazing creatures.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Representative John Larson took to the banks of the Connecticut River Monday to promote federal legislation he said will strengthen roads and bridges while taxing polluters and providing rebates to American taxpayers. 

Santa Clara Weekly / Facebook

An accident earlier this summer at Bradley International Airport caused thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals to spill into the Farmington River. The aviation support company responsible for that accident was also involved in a similar incident in California in 2016.

In June, a faulty manual fire alarm in an airplane hangar at Bradley triggered the release of firefighting foam containing PFAS, a group of chemicals that are highly toxic, and hard to remove from the environment. An estimated 50,000 gallons of the foam eventually made its way into the Farmington River.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Enviromental Protection

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong says the state is working aggressively to deal with toxic chemicals known as PFAS in the Farmington River. In June, thousands of gallons of the chemicals were accidentally released into the Farmington near Bradley International airport.

On Thursday, Tong was joined by legislators and environmental officials at the banks of the Farmington River in Windsor near where the spill originated. He said before any action is taken, the state needs more information.

Seals On Cape Cod Are More Than Just Shark Bait

Aug 6, 2019
Miriam Wasser / WBUR

There are tens of thousands of seals on Cape Cod and the Islands, and everyone seems to have an opinion about them. Some see them as an adorable tourist attraction that helps the ecosystem. But to others, they’re Public Enemy No. 1 — a messy, fish-eating shark magnet that needs to be culled. 

Jess Gambel / Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

This hour, we take a look at bees. From the famous animals that make the honey we eat to lesser-known native “solitary bees” that nest in holes in the ground, there are thousands of species of bees, and hundreds of them have been found right here in Connecticut!

We'll talk about the critical role these pollinators play in agriculture and learn about the threats they face.

Later, we talk about another iconic pollinator: the monarch butterfly. Have you spotted one of these rare and magnificent creatures near your home?

Jade Allen / Connecticut Public Radio

The green initiative that will charge retail shoppers 10 cents to use plastic disposable bags begins August 1st. But two chains, Big Y and Stop & Shop, have gone further and eliminated the bags altogether.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

From the moment they took the stage Tuesday night, progressive and moderate Democrats running for president clashed over who could win back the Rust Belt working-class districts that President Trump took in 2016.

But what about urban districts? Can Republican candidates counter Trump's continued disparagement--Baltimore being the latest victim--of American cities?

Fishing For A Living Is Dangerous. Will Offshore Wind Farms Make It Worse?

Jul 30, 2019
Daniel Farnham on the Megan Marie, which is undergoing a maintenance check involving fixing rust patches on the boat caused by salt water and harsh winds.
Nadine Sebai / The Public's Radio

New England commercial fishermen have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Now, they’re worried new offshore wind farms will make things worse. Construction is set to begin this year on the country’s first large scale offshore wind project. Most of the attention has focused on jobs and the economy, but the fishermen say they’re also worried about safety. 

Annie Ropeik / New Hampshire Public Radio

Eversource has officially pulled the plug on the Northern Pass transmission line.

The utility filed a notice with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday, a spokesman says, “reflecting our conclusion that Northern Pass has unfortunately been brought to an end.” 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Port Authority Board Chair Bonnie Reemsnyder announced Wednesday she is stepping down, after Governor Ned Lamont called for her resignation. It’s just the latest trouble at the agency responsible for promoting investment in Connecticut’s three deepwater ports.

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Hemp production. It's a growing field in Connecticut... and we mean that in the most literal sense. This hour, we learn about the state's newly seeded hemp industry and consider the challenges and opportunities of farming the plant on local land. 

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

A road that cuts through a dusty Connecticut farm bisects what could be the past and future of Connecticut farming. On one side is broadleaf tobacco, a staple crop of Connecticut farms for generations. On the other, delicate hemp plants, swaying in the July heat. 

Michael Hamann / Creative Commons

Jim Webb has been drinking the tap water in his Glastonbury home for 15 years. When he first bought the house, he got the water tested, because it comes from a private well.

Campobello Whale Rescue

A showdown over lobsters and whales appears to be brewing between Maine and the federal government.

Under direction from Gov. Janet Mills, the Maine Department of Marine Resources is telling federal regulators that the state will not accept their targets for reducing risk that endangered North Atlantic right whales will be entangled in rope the state's lobstermen use to tend their gear. 

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

An accident at Bradley International Airport caused tens of thousands of gallons of firefighting foam to leak into the Farmington River in June. That foam contains PFAS, a group of chemicals linked to serious health risks. 

This hour, we take a look at how this accident happened, and what threats it poses to our health and environment. Here in Connecticut, some lawmakers are just learning about the risks of these “forever chemicals”.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Governor Ned Lamont told reporters Monday he's finding out more about the environmental and health risks associated with the family of chemicals known as PFAS.

Pxhere / Flickr Creative Commons

Where does your food come from? Most of us go to the grocery store to buy produce, dairy, and meat. And these items aren’t necessarily local; they may come from hundreds or thousands of miles away.

This hour we hear how more people are getting involved in producing the food they eat. It’s called “modern homesteading.”

Terry Gross / Wikimedia Commons

Fear of sharks spiked last summer after a great white fatally bit a 26-year-old surfer off the coast of Cape Cod. The fever still runs high as reports of great white sightings coincide with people heading to the beach this 4th of July. 

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

The Quinnipiac River was, historically, one of Connecticut’s most polluted. For decades, nineteenth-century factories and densely populated towns poured sewage and industrial waste into the river. 

But recent history has been kinder to the Quinnipiac – thanks to a combination of conservation and environmental laws, which helped to boost its water quality and pave the way for the return of fish and wildlife.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

The operator of Bradley International Airport said it is stepping up pollution control measures following a recent accident that released PFAS – a family of chemicals linked to a variety of negative health effects. 

Dying For A Photo

Jun 26, 2019
Sam Hawley / Creative Commons

A photo of people inching their way up a snaking line to the peak of Mount Everest last month has drawn attention to a number of problems, one of which was the jostling at the top of the mountain to take social media-ready selfies and photos. 

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

The finding comes more than two weeks after an accident at a private aircraft hangar sent thousands of gallons of contaminated water into the river.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Lawmakers and environmental advocates gathered on the banks of the Farmington River Friday, calling for state and federal action following a chemical spill at a private aircraft hangar, which contaminated the river.

Courtesy: CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

There’s increasing concern over a chemical spill into the Farmington River that happened earlier this month. An accident June 9 at Bradley Airport released 50,000 gallons of firefighting foam containing chemicals known as PFAS -- and a substantial amount of it made its way from the sewer system into the waterway. In the days since, it’s become evident that it’s going to be very hard to contain and remove the chemicals from the spill. 

A recent accidental dump of firefighting foam into the Farmington River near Bradley International Airport has conservationists concerned.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden is once again open to visitors following a series of storms last spring that saw tornadoes touching down just outside the park’s border.

The nation's first off-shore wind farm off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island in October 2016.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

This hour we take a look at some of the environmental bills the Connecticut General Assembly passed this legislative session, including a new commitment to offshore wind power. We learn what this renewable energy source means for the state’s power grid—and its economy.

And we take a look at one essential component behind offshore wind power, a group of special metals called “rare earth elements”. What does the availability—and environmental impact—of harvesting these materials mean for our energy future?

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