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

This Independence Day, Connecticut residents will 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, University of Virginia professor and 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. 

Paolo Zialcita / Connecticut Public Radio

After several years of limited budgets and reduced lifeguard staff, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection secured funding for state park operations, which will be used to hire full lifeguard crews.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

It's a warm, Saturday afternoon on the water in Fishers Island Sound. There are three of us in the 20-foot long sailboat. At the helm is Kiera Dawding. She's almost 17, and she's from Westerly, Rhode Island, which we can see from the water. From our position, we can actually see three states, including New York, points out Kali Cika, Kiera's sailing instructor.

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

This Memorial Day weekend, Connecticut residents will 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, University of Virginia professor and 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. 

The oceans are getting warmer and fish are noticing. Many that live along U.S. coastlines are moving to cooler water. New research predicts that will continue, with potentially serious consequences for the fishing industry.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

In nature, fascinating biology can be found on the edges -- intermingled habitats where biodiversity can flourish. Connecticut Public Radio recently traveled to one such edge, what’s called a “head of tide.”

A group of New England senators is calling on the U.S. government to speed up an analysis of Canada’s efforts to protect the endangered North American right whale, and to consider trade action if Canada’s rules do not prove as strong as in the U.S.

A dead humpback whale is floating in a Lubec cove. Scientists are eager to find the cause of its demise, as the discovery comes at a time of increasing mortality rates for the species.

Young visitors to the aquarium use their phones to capture a picture of a loggerhead sea turtle.
Robin Lubbock / WBUR

The irony was hard to miss.

The Aquarium MBTA station was closed due to flooding, and the aquarium itself, nearby on Boston's Central Wharf, was closed out of caution for its visitors.

Mystic Country CT (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Connecticut and New York are butting heads over a controversial decision by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to allow dumping of dredged material in Long Island Sound. It’s an unusual split between two states that have been pretty lockstep in suing the EPA.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Three developers have submitted bids to sell offshore wind to Connecticut. That could mean big things for New London's economy, but officials and advocates said the state needs to act fast to ensure it doesn't miss the boat.

New science is bearing down on a poorly understood part of the North American lobster’s diet. And it turns out that a tiny crustacean’s abundance may help to explain expected declines in Maine’s lobster harvest.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A federal budget cycle akin to a wild roller coaster ride ended up boosting funding for some environmental work. With his signature last week, President Donald Trump signed into law a $1.3 trillion spending package that shores up funding for two conservation and research programs in Long Island Sound.

CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

The endangered North Atlantic right whale population took a big hit last year, with a record number killed by fishing gear entanglements and ship strikes. Now, an ongoing debate over threats posed by Maine's lobster industry is gaining new urgency.

Some of the worst flooding during this past weekend's East Coast storm happened during high tides.

Shoreline tides are getting progressively higher. A soon-to-be-published report obtained by NPR predicts a future where flooding will be a weekly event in some coastal parts of the country.

Selbe Lynn / Creative Commons

Federal authorities were in Hartford this week, taking comment on President Donald Trump’s proposal to expand offshore drilling for oil and gas. Lately, the politics surrounding offshore drilling have changed a lot.

Aequorea victoria
Sierra Blakely / Wikimedia Commons

Did you know 75 percent of animals in the ocean glow?

Lobster conservation techniques pioneered by Maine fishermen helped drive a population boom that's led to record landings this century. That's the conclusion of new, peer-reviewed research published today

A powerful magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska late Monday night, initially prompting a tsunami warning for a large section of the state's coast and parts of Canada. As more data came in, the U.S. Tsunami Warning System downgraded the threat to an advisory for Alaska's Chignik Bay.

Justin Brockie / Creative Commons

Across New England, freezing temps and blizzard conditions marked an unforgiving start to 2018.

This hour, we consider the factors underlying this extreme winter weather -- including the role of global climate change. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Long Island Sound has a new guardian of sorts. Earlier this year, biologist Bill Lucey was named soundkeeper of the Northeast estuary.

This hour, the Connecticut native stops by our studios.

We learn more about his role and talk about efforts to improve life in and around the Sound.

On a normal night, dozens of tourists would be gaping at the glowing sea life on Mosquito Bay, a cove named after a legendary pirate ship in Vieques, Puerto Rico. But on a night in mid-December, it's empty. The loudest sounds are the frogs croaking in the mangroves.

Aequorea victoria
Sierra Blakely / Wikimedia Commons

Did you know 75 percent of animals in the ocean glow?

Fishermen up and down the New England coast say it has been decades since they’ve been able to catch so many Atlantic bluefin tuna, so fast. Once severely depleted, populations of the prized sushi fish appear to be rebuilding.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Long Island Sound has a new guardian of sorts. Earlier this year, biologist Bill Lucey was named soundkeeper of the Northeast estuary.

This hour, the Connecticut native stops by our studios.

We learn more about his role and talk about efforts to improve life in and around the Sound.

During a July morning at the New England Aquarium Animal Care Center in Quincy, Massachusetts, a clinical volunteer checked the heart rate of a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle with a Doppler instrument as a part of its physical exam.   

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Oily and smelly - Atlantic menhaden are one of the least sexy fish imaginable. But this humble fish, also called “bunker” or “pogie,” has deep roots off the coast of New England. 

Tropical Storm Jose is just grazing New England, but it’s creating unsafe conditions for fishermen out at sea. Even as the storm moves north, many commercial fishermen remain in port, waiting for the storm to pass further away.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

A string of tiny Caribbean islands have been left stunned and devastated by the destructive force of Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the region. Some islands appear to have been spared, but others suffered loss of life and damage on a near-apocalyptic scale.

Antigua and Barbuda

Updated at 5:00 a.m. ET Friday

The National Hurricane Center says Irma is now a Category 4 storm. It has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Hurricane Irma continued its northwestward sweep Thursday evening, losing little steam as it skirted the Dominican Republic and Haiti and bearing the full force of its 165-mph winds down upon the southeastern Bahamas and away from the Turks and Caicos islands. Forecasters upgraded their alert for South Florida to a warning.

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