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Updated 2:14 a.m. ET Thursday

The National Hurricane Center says the dangerous core of the storm will move away from Puerto Rico Thursday morning and is expected to pass just north of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Irma is expected to be near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas by Thursday evening.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

As Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm that the National Hurricane Center calls "extremely dangerous," is making its way west through the Caribbean Sea.

National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Irma is now a powerful Category 5 storm, and it’s headed for the island of Puerto Rico -- a literal and emotional home for hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents. And on Hartford’s Park Street -- the lifeblood of many local Latino businesses -- people are paying close attention. 

Updated at 2:15 a.m. ET Wednesday:

The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history made its first landfall in Northeast Caribbean islands. The eye passed over Barbuda around 1:47 a.m, according to the National Weather Service.

Updated at 11:10 p.m. ET

"Hurricane Irma has intensified into an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane," the National Hurricane Center says, citing the latest data from NOAA and Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft.

Office of Governor Dannel Malloy / Creative Commons

The catastrophic flooding happening in Texas is highlighting the importance of coastal resiliency. Researchers at the University of Connecticut say a lot of climate science currently focuses on biology and ecology, overlooking something else very important: the humans who own the land.

Supporters of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are going to have to wait to find out what’s in store for the project that encompasses nearly 88,000 acres.

This week, Newport is hosting a first in the sailing world: the J Class world championships. J Class yachts are rare, and they’re huge. 

apasciuto / Creative Commons

Crashing waves, cawing gulls, the cutting scent of a falling tide -- there's nothing quite as invigorating as the experience of summer along the New England coastline.

For writer Jonathan White, however, it was not the East but the West Coast that fueled a lifelong passion for the water. 

USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) / Facebook

A Suffield man is among the sailors missing after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker Monday in the Pacific Ocean.

Updated at 4:25 a.m.

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, the three-star commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet was relieved of command on Wednesday. The fleet is based in Yokosuka, Japan.

A statement from the Navy explains why Aucoin was dismissed.

"Adm. Scott Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, today relieved the commander of Seventh Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

A public comment period has just closed on a proposal by the Trump administration to expand drilling along the U.S. Atlantic coast.  

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

An international air-sea rescue has been launched in waters off Singapore for 10 missing U.S. sailors after a collision between the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker.

Lori Mack / WNPR

Lobster populations in Southern New England are in dramatic decline and recovery is not likely to happen anytime soon.

It's the end of only the first week of the official Atlantic sturgeon fishing season on the St. John River in New Brunswick, Canada. But the two fishermen who supply Cornel Ceapa's Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar company have already landed close to half of the season's catch.

America's oldest commissioned warship returned to Boston's waters in shipshape on Sunday night.

One of the biggest fishing magnates in the country could be sentenced to prison this coming week, and the forfeiture of his boats could be a big hit for the Massachusetts port where he amassed a small empire.

Between his scalloping and groundfishing boats, Carlos Rafael – nicknamed "the Codfather" — came to be the largest single owner of fishing vessels in New England, and possibly in the country.

A massive iceberg the size of Delaware has broken free from Antarctica and is floating in the sea.

Earlier Wednesday, scientists announced that the 6,000-square-kilometer (about 2,300 square miles) iceberg had come loose, after satellites detected it had calved off the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula.

A beached humpback whale discovered dead several days ago in Jamestown is still lying on the rocks near the island’s southern coast. Scientists hoped to remove the whale's body Monday, but were unable due to the weather.

apasciuto / Creative Commons

Crashing waves, cawing gulls, the cutting scent of a falling tide -- there's nothing quite as invigorating as the experience of summer along the New England coastline.

For writer Jonathan White, however, it was not the East but the West Coast that fueled a lifelong passion for the water. 

Video screengrab by Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Once plentiful in New England’s rivers, native Atlantic salmon have since all but disappeared.

apasciuto / Creative Commons

President Donald Trump this week ordered a review of the U.S. Antiquities Act. The move could impact the Atlantic Ocean's first-ever marine national monument, created last fall.

Wikimedia Commons

Millions of river herring used to return to New England's fresh waterways to spawn, but at some collection spots today, populations have dropped into the dozens. 

This month, I ventured to ask the man behind the counter at a Whole Foods Market what kind of shrimp he was selling. "I don't know," he replied. "I think they're just normal shrimp." I glanced at the sustainable seafood guide on my phone. There were 80 entries for shrimp, none of them listed "normal."

What about the cod? Was it Atlantic or Pacific? Atlantic. How was it caught? I asked. "I'm not sure," he said, looking doubtfully at a creamy fish slab. "With nets, I think. Not with harpoons."

NOAA

Connecticut Sea Grant supports a wide range of environmental and educational activities in Connecticut, but could be eliminated under President Donald Trump's budget.

Unsplash / Creative Commons

A Russian intelligence gathering vessel, the Viktor Leonov, has been spotted 30 miles off the Connecticut shoreline. The ship is still in international waters, but is in close proximity to the naval submarine base in Groton. 

AP Ancient City Productions Ltd.

The new documentary film "Atlantis Rising" premieres soon on National Geographic. It centers on an underwater search for evidence of the mythical lost city and civilization of Atlantis.

A group of scientists is gathering this week in the U.K. to discuss a slab of ice that's cracking in Antarctica. The crack could soon split off a frozen chunk the size of Delaware.

One glacier scientist, Heidi Sevestre, spent six weeks last year living on that giant slab of ice off the Antarctic Peninsula.

DAVID SCHEEL / Flickr Creative Commons

The octopus has always been the stuff of spine-tingling legend, like that of the Kraken, the many-armed sea monster believed to drag ships to the bottom of the sea after dining on the crew. Or  Gertie the Pus, the giant Pacific octopus that lives under the Narrows Bridge connecting Tacoma, Washington to Gig Harbor.

Some fishermen are pinning their hopes on a new kind of trawl net at use in the Gulf of Maine, designed to scoop up abundant flatfish such as flounder and sole while avoiding species such as cod, which regulators say are in severe decline.

There’s some good news for sushi lovers. A new report finds that over an 8-year period, mercury levels in Gulf of Maine tuna declined 2 percent a year — a decline that parallels reductions in mercury pollution from Midwest coal-fired power plants.

Two years ago, Dr. Nicholas Fisher, a professor of marine sciences at Stony Brook University in New York, had a bit of luck — he found out that a colleague had established a collection of 1,300 western Atlantic bluefin taken from the Gulf of Maine between 2004 and 2012.

Fishermen and scientists are trying to understand how the Block Island Wind Farm may affect fish in Rhode Island waters. This week Rhode Island Public Radio’s Ambar Espinoza reported on what we know and don't know yet about the impact of the offshore wind farm on fisheries. She joined Rhode Island Public Radio News Director Elisabeth Harrison for an update on acoustics, marine mammals and wildlife habitats.

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