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Firefighting foam that spilled into the Farmington River shown contained by a boom.
Courtesy: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

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

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.

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?

Ozzy Delaney / Creative Commons

One of the nation’s most iconic creatures continues its comeback. A state report indicates bald eagles are returning to Connecticut in record numbers.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and General Electric Co. are funding a new approach to negotiating an agreement on the cleanup of the Housatonic River. Just last week, many of the stakeholders met with an independent mediator.

Photo by Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The trees are dense, the path is narrow, and everywhere, there’s the sound of water. I hike to a clearing and hear a waterfall dashing against rocks below, sending clouds of mist wafting over my trail. This is my first stop on a journey down New England’s southernmost “wild and scenic” river, the Eightmile.

Right now, a group of hydroelectric dams on the Connecticut River are undergoing a once-in-a-generation process – a federal relicensing. NHPR’s Annie Ropeik went to the dams and talked with people who live, work and play nearby about what they hope might change.  

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 draft water pollution permit for a regional wastewater treatment plant on the Connecticut River in Springfield, Massachusetts, is now back in the hands of the Environmental Protection Agency. 

U.S. Coast Guard

Massive chunks of ice have been causing problems along the Housatonic and Connecticut Rivers.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

What happens when a river fills with ice?

The Northeast has more than 200,000 dams and culverts, what U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Cathy Bozek described as "barriers to water flow." She said many of the dams no longer serve their original purpose, and many of the culverts need work. 

FRED BEVER / MAINE PUBLIC

New England is home to thousands of dams that have fallen out of use -- a legacy of our industrial past. 

Unlike large hydropower dams, where there's often serious political and emotional resistance to removal, conservationists are finding many landowners of small dams are happy to have them removed.

Over a year ago, residents near Merrimack, New Hampshire learned their drinking water had been contaminated by emissions from a plastics plant owned by the multinational company, Saint-Gobain.  

More than a year later, some residents in Merrimack say state and federal officials haven’t done enough to protect them from the contamination. Now, a few are taking things into their own hands, going door to door.

The Connecticut River springs to life in Pittsburg, New Hampshire, just a few hundred yards from the Canadian border. From there, it snakes 400 or miles southward, where it discharges into the Long Island Sound. This month, a group of river-lovers are paddling the length of the Connecticut to highlight its history, importance and beauty.

Video screengrab by Ryan Caron King / WNPR

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

Ryan Caron King / NENC

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont wastewater plants along the Connecticut River are waiting to hear from the Environmental Protection Agency. Even without specifics, managers at the larger plants know they will be required to adjust the amount of nitrogen in their treated wastewater, considerably lowering the levels, potentially at a high cost.

Ryan Caron King / NENC

By the end of the year, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new limits on the amount of nitrogen that wastewater treatment plants in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire can release into the Connecticut River.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided it will continue to hear a controversial case about which water bodies the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate, even after President Trump asked them to hold off. Vermont is one of eight states that has filed to defend the EPA rule.  

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. 

General Electric and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are battling over the last stretch of the PCB clean-up of the Housatonic River in Massachusetts from Pittsfield through Great Barrington.

GE is appealing the government’s clean-up plan, which is estimated to cost $613 million over 15 years. One big issue is where to put the toxic PCBs that are dug up from the river.

Wikimedia Commons

An environmental advocacy group claims hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage flowed into rivers and streams in the state over several years, and it's blaming the city of Danbury.

grongar / Creative Commons

A settlement has been reached in a complaint filed against a Glastonbury, Connecticut metals-treatment company. The lawsuit, which was filed under the Clean Water Act, means Connecticut Galvanizing will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and penalties.

sometimes drywall / Creative Commons

More than 2,000 volunteers recently helped clean up the Connecticut River as part of the 20th anniversary of the "Source to Sea Cleanup," a multi-state effort spearheaded by the Connecticut River Watershed Council to get trash and old plastic out of the water.

Wikimedia Commons

A chemical spill in Southington has mobilized cleanup crews and resulted in a warning for nearby residents to avoid a section of the Quinnipiac River.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Modern biologists catch and study fish much the same way they did centuries ago: by shoving their hands, or a net, into the water and pulling fish out. But safely catching slippery fish can be tricky, which makes one piece of gear invaluable: electro-backpacks. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday announced $5.5 million in projects to construct visitor centers at each entrance of the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world —  Walkway Over the Hudson. Cuomo made the announcement mid-bridge before a number of local elected officials and others.

Connecticut Fund for the Environment, the state’s largest environmental group, says runoff from a sewage treatment plant in Springfield, Massachusetts, could hurt Connecticut rivers and Long Island Sound. This week the organization asked the EPA to hold the plant to higher scrutiny.

Courtesy Clearwater

The sloop Clearwater is being readied for a return to the Hudson River after a winter of restoration work. 

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