environment | Connecticut Public Radio
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environment

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

Americans throw out lots of food. Estimates from the EPA say nearly 40 million tons are landfilled or incinerated each year. And in Connecticut, food waste is second only to paper in terms of what people toss in the trash.

So more than five years ago, a new state law began requiring large businesses to recycle their leftover food. The hope was to divert organic waste from the trash bin while enticing recyclers to build in the state.

But getting that recycling industry started has been a challenge.

Pxhere

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.”

We hear from two Connecticut residents who’ve tried this practice. What drove them to pursue homesteading? And what barriers exist for Connecticut residents who want to live off the land? We find out.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Recently, part of Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford caught fire.

But this shoreline blaze wasn’t a disaster.

It was actually a carefully-planned “burn” aimed at preserving what’s been called the “last remnant” of eastern prairie in Connecticut.

Several members of a powerful science panel for the Environmental Protection Agency expressed doubt at a hearing Thursday about the long-established scientific consensus that air pollution can cause premature death.

The panel was meeting to consider recommendations that would fundamentally change how the agency analyzes the public health dangers posed by air pollution and could lead to weaker regulation of soot.

Pxhere

We all need fresh water to survive, yet it's so ubiquitous most of us barely spare it a thought in our daily lives. This hour we take a look at the state of water in our country, from rivers and streams to the water that comes out of our taps.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Officials are tightening security and opening up the state’s arson hotline following a series of fires at Silver Sands state park in Milford.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Renewable energy projects have been growing across New England in recent years. And while offshore wind and grid-scale solar have gotten lots of the attention -- a smaller, more community-oriented way of getting power has been steadily taking hold: “shared clean energy.”

Students Gather In Hartford To Demand Climate Action

Mar 16, 2019
David DesRoches

About 200 young people and their supporters gathered at the capitol in Hartford on Friday to demand action on climate change.

Cathy Malin / RiverQuest

They are one of our most recognizable national symbols, but have you ever seen a bald eagle in the wild? This hour we head out of the studio and into the field to see these birds of prey in their natural habitat--right here in Connecticut! We take you along with us on a Winter Wildlife Eagle Cruise down the Connecticut River to view these majestic birds, who nearly faced extinction in this state just a few decades ago.  

And we learn about another fish-eating raptor that is thriving on our waters today. Have you ever seen an osprey on Connecticut’s shoreline?

This playground is made of recycled materials, and about a third of it is from recyled oral care waste.
David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

Third-grader Emma Hallett helped her mom manage the recycling bins, which were set up along a wall at the back of a noisy cafeteria at Kelley Elementary School in Southington.

Video Screengrab By Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Nearly 6,000 miles of river run through Connecticut. But only a few of these miles are designated “Wild and Scenic.” Now, more miles of river are poised to be added to that list.

Matt O'Brien / AP

Last June, Rhode Island kicked off the nation’s first statewide truck-only tolling program, at two spots on Interstate 95, and so far, it’s been successful. This year, it plans to expand to ten more locations: tolling large tractor trailers. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont is looking at mimicking the plan in his state. But the trucking industry is challenging the arrangement in federal court.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Volunteers and state officials are optimistic Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden will reopen this spring, but have yet to set a specific date. The news comes following months of cleanup work after a series of devastating storms last year.

A.has / Flickr

Six states, including Connecticut, are suing the Trump administration over the “good neighbor” provision in the Clean Air Act.

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?

Scott M Salom, Virginia Tech / U.S. Department Of Agriculture

Hemlock trees in Connecticut have been having a tough go of it thanks, in part, to a small sap-sucking insect: the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Amar Batra / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut drivers are the worst. At least when it comes to skipping out on highway tolls in neighboring Massachusetts.

Harriet Jones / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has laid to rest a long controversy over land in the eastern half of Connecticut. He declared that he’s scrapping plans to build a new state police firearms training facility in the town of Griswold.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Inside a lab in northwest Connecticut is a bobcat. Its bright eyes and black-tufted ears are separated from me only by the metal grill of a large carrier. She’s sleepy, but waking up.

Matthew Messina / www.matturalist.com

With each new year come the same old resolutions. Go on a diet. Join a gym... But what if this year, we vowed to try something different? Unplug from technology. Spend more time in nature.

This hour, we consider ways to become better connected to the natural world.

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.  

Clarice Silber / CT Mirror

Shuttered national parks, TSA workers calling in sick, hundreds of thousands of paychecks missed. Americans around the country are feeling the impact of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. But it’s not just federal employees who are struggling.

This hour, we find out how the shutdown is affecting some of the country’s most vulnerable residents.

Seth Wynes and Kimberly Nicholas / Enviromental Research Letters

It takes more than just recycling to make a difference to the climate crisis. Small steps like eating less meat can reduce methane gases and make a positive impact on the environment.

The Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island in October, 2016.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut has joined nine states for a landmark agreement to reduce carbon emissions from transportation in the Northeast region.

This hour, as the federal government backs away from fighting climate change, what role can states play?

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

A new operator has been selected to run a key port in New London. The management shakeup at State Pier comes with an eye toward capitalizing on the growing market for offshore wind energy.

Millstone Power Station

Connecticut’s only nuclear plant has won a bid to provide customers with electricity over the next decade. The award comes at a time when offshore wind and solar energy continue to grow.

Bob Adelman / Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America’s Most Exclusive Shoreline

Each summer, Connecticut residents flock to the shoreline, raising umbrellas and spreading towels along the state's beaches. Yet, behind this sunny imagery hides a somber history -- a story of coastal ownership and exclusivity.

This hour, Free the Beaches author Andrew Kahrl joins us. We reflect on the impact of Connecticut’s private and restricted beaches and learn about a 20th-century crusade to unlock the state’s coast.

Matthew Messina / www.matturalist.com

With each new year come the same old resolutions. Go on a diet. Join a gym... But what if, for 2019, we vowed to try something different? Unplug from technology. Spend more time in nature.

This hour, we consider ways to become better connected to the natural world.

Jason D. Neely

It began as a six-month assignment covering the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. But NPR reporter Adrian Florido has been on the ground in Puerto Rico for more than a year now.

This hour, we check in with Florido. What changes has he observed since arriving on the island?

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