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environment

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.

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?

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

For the past two years, lawmakers have directed more than $100 million earmarked for energy efficiency upgrades to instead, be swept into the state’s general fund.

Last week’s budget agreement got rid of those funding sweeps, but it was unable to reverse a more than $50 million diversion scheduled for July.

Where have all the wild orchids gone?

A recent study finds that about one quarter of native New England wildflower species have been lost in the last 150 years. This means that purple-fringed orchids and pink lady slippers — once abundant in the region — are disappearing from some areas, often replaced by non-native species. Researchers worry that this loss of biodiversity may harm local ecosystems.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

A measure to boost Connecticut’s investment in offshore wind sailed through the state Senate this week. The bill could shift up to 2,000 megawatts of Connecticut’s power to offshore wind by 2030.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Rhode Island regulators have unanimously approved a contract to build the state’s second offshore wind farm. The Revolution Wind project will generate enough energy to power more than 270,000 homes a year. It’s just one of over a dozen offshore wind farms popping up across the Mid-Atlantic in what’s now been dubbed “The Saudi Arabia of Wind.” 

Scott Wallace

Journalist and author Scott Wallace has dedicated years to documenting the so-called "unconquered" tribes of South America. This hour, we sit down with Wallace who, in addition to traveling and writing, is a professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut.

We walk along the path that guided Wallace into the thick of the Amazon, and learn about the issues threatening the forest's most isolated people today. 

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

At its peak, the “Hazardville” section of Enfield produced thousands of pounds of gunpowder each day. But then, about 100 years ago, the town's industry blew up.

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

Leticia Colón de Mejias thinks no problem is insurmountable if Americans come together.

“Sometimes we take these subjects and we make them so big and scary that people feel we can’t take action,” said Colón, 42, a Connecticut entrepreneur, environmentalist and mother of seven. “Climate change seems terrifying. And everyone’s like, it’s too big.”

AP Photo/Stewart Cairns

About 280 acres of undeveloped land in Simsbury were sold this week to make way for construction of the “Tobacco Valley Solar Farm.” Once built, it will be one of the largest solar arrays in New England, but the project has been controversial since its origins in 2016.

Brian Skerry / SHARK

Sharks. They’re among the apex predators of the ocean, swimming with stealth and agility across our blue planet. But more than that, they’re sources of myth and fear, stirring imaginations with their serrated jaws and cutting dorsal fins.

Melanie and Kyle Elliott / Creative Commons

NPR has a new theme song. The new theme is much like the old theme with new embellishments created by a "sonic studio" instead of one artist and a "creative director" instead of a composer or arranger. After 40 years, is it time to update or do you miss the old song?

Let's Go Chasing Waterfalls

May 3, 2019
Peter Marteka / Hartford Courant

Searching for a majestic waterfall? There's no need to travel very far. Many are right here in Connecticut.

There's gushers like Great Falls along the Housatonic River at Falls Village in the town of Canaan on the western side of the state. In the spring when it's at full power, it's been touted as the "Niagara of New England."

Others, like Sages Ravine in Salisbury, are more pristine, but a little harder to get to. For those willing to trek through the woods a bit, they may have it all to themselves.

Today we take a tour of the best cascading waters the state has to offer.

Pete Beard / Flickr

They live underground and gorge themselves in dumpsters. This hour, we’re taking a long, hard look at creatures you’d probably rather not think about: RATS!

We hear about how the city of Hartford is fighting these unwelcome rodent residents, and we ask a researcher why are these scurrying creatures so successful at living alongside humans?

Suzanne Proulx / http://www.suzanneproulx.com/

Dust is a fascinating substance. Our bodies are always shedding dust from our skin, hair, and nails, leaving little bits of DNA wherever we roam. Dust floats unseen through the air around us. It's light. It's hard to see unless it lands on a contrasting surface or crosses the path of a ray of sunshine. It can travel far and wide.  

Kelly Colgan Azar / Flickr

With the change in season, many birds that headed south over the winter are coming back to the northeast. This hour, we sit down with Connecticut’s state ornithologist. 

It’s the time of year birds are finding mates and raising chicks. What behaviors should we be on the lookout for?

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

What started a fire that destroyed a multi-million dollar state project in Milford is still a mystery, but this week police arrested two 18-year-olds in connection with a pair of smaller fires at Silver Sands State Park.

Cheryl Senter / NHPR

More women are getting counted as farmers in the state, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Falon Yates / Creative Commons

Spring has arrived, transforming Connecticut’s landscape into a vibrant canvas of yellows, pinks, whites, and greens. For gardeners, the season signals a return to the outdoors; a new opportunity to cultivate the soil and tend to rows of berries, herbs, and flowering trees.

This hour, join us as we talk all things spring gardening with Connecticut Garden Journal host Charlie Nardozzi. Do you have a question about your backyard beds or community garden plot? We want to hear from you. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

A recent state audit is critical of the quasi-public agency that handles nearly a third of Connecticut’s trash. The Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority, or MIRA, was cited for a persistent lack of communication with state officials.

Scott Wallace

Journalist and author Scott Wallace has dedicated years to documenting the so-called "unconquered" tribes of South America. This hour, we sit down with Wallace who, in addition to traveling and writing, is a professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut.

We walk along the path that guided Wallace into the thick of the Amazon, and learn about the issues threatening the forest's most isolated people today. 

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