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As President Trump talks about draining the swamp in Washington D.C., we turn our attention to actual swamps. Associated with death and decay, while also celebrated for their beauty and biodiversity, few landscapes evoke such contradictory sentiments as swamps.

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.

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.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

A giant, miles-long tunnel is about to be drilled hundreds of feet beneath Connecticut’s capital. This subterranean project will take years, cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and the hope is, result in cleaner water for the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound.

Betsy Kaplan / WNPR

In 1955, Connecticut experienced catastrophic flooding that killed more than eighty people. Two back-to-back hurricanes  - Connie and Diane - dropped over two feet of rain across Connecticut. The rains overwhelmed the Naugatuck, Farmington, and Quinebaug Rivers and their tributaries too quickly for many to escape its wrath. After the flood, Connecticut enacted flood control measures that led to several new dams. 

Veronica Montalvo fills up a water jug for a boy in Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, and a month later, clean water continues to be hard to come by for some residents -- particularly those in more rural parts of the island.

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Trying to walk out to Charles Island at Silver Sands State Park in Milford this summer, George Swaby drowned after he and a friend were swept up in a fast current off a sandbar.

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.

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.

For years, scientists have been warning about the transformation of Cape Cod’s seashore due to climate change. Now they’re saying the Cape’s other waterways, especially its hundreds of kettle ponds, are also affected.

Lori Mack/WNPR

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget called for eliminating federal dollars that would help clean and protect Long Island Sound. But the U.S. House of Representatives had different priorities and doubled next year’s allocation for the Sound.

For many Vermonters, swimming is learned early and central to summer fun. But for children who are new to the United States and still learning English, swimming can be a completely foreign concept.

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.

When three sacred staples of the South weren't safe from the cloudy, salty water in his town, Clay Duffie knew there was a problem.

"It'd kill your azaleas if you irrigated with it; your grits would come out in a big clump, instead of creamy like they should," Duffie said.

Even the sweet tea.

"Your tea would come out all cloudy," Duffie said. "Oh man, it was bad news."

StuffNThings / Creative Commons

A survey of hundreds of private wells in Connecticut found around seven percent contaminated with unsafe levels of arsenic or uranium -- elements linked to a variety of illnesses.

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.

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.  

Recent wet weather has put a dent in the drought that's been plaguing most of New England for much of the past year. 

In western Massachusetts, most of the area is tagged by forecasters as just "abnormally dry." Only a swath along along the Connecticut River in Hampden and Hampshire counties, extending into western Franklin County is still under a moderate drought.

Anthony Artusa with the U.S. Climate Prediction Center said the chances are good for above average rainfall over the next few months, which will help wipe out the drought completely.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee says the state will continue to receive EPA grant money for its two largest projects. The announcement comes after President Donald Trump’s administration ordered the EPA to freeze its grant spending last week.

The National Drought Mitigation Center / USDA / David Miskus NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC

The U.S. Drought Monitor said that more precipitation, combined with low temperatures and minimal evaporation, have increased soil moisture. But the agency is still classifying drought in portions of central and northwest Connecticut as "extreme."

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.

U.S. Geological Survey

Connecticut is one of 11 states with a very high prevalence of potentially corrosive groundwater, increasing the risk that water running out of the taps of homes with private wells might be tainted with lead, a study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found.

The Army Corps of Engineers has denied a permit for the construction of a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline, granting a major victory to protesters who have been demonstrating for months.

The decision essentially halts the construction of the 1,172-mile oil pipeline just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Thousands of demonstrators from across the country had flocked to North Dakota in protest.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Plastic today is everywhere: in our bottles and cell phones, our grocery bags, and our trash. Some plastic garbage is so small, it's impossible to see with the naked eye: tiny microbeads, which have been banned from some products because of their environmental impact. WNPR met up with a group of scientists who are looking for them, in an effort to determine how many are in the water off Connecticut's coast.

Steve Johnson / Creative Commons

Connecticut is in a drought. But what does that mean for the state’s water resources? This hour, we follow up on the controversy surrounding Bloomfield’s new Niagara Bottling facility.

The California-based company will be allowed to bottle millions, if not billions, of gallons of public water -- something critics warn against due to recent climate trends. Coming up, we take a closer look. 

Mara Lavitt / WNPR

Six days to the election and there's certainly a lot to cover. Nationally, the Anthony Weiner investigation has possibly uncovered some more email trouble for Hillary Clinton; and Donald Trump is trying to win over African American voters by promising to be their "greatest champion"

Lori Mack / WNPR

Clean water advocate Christopher Swain stopped in New Haven during a 130-mile swim from Montauk to New York City.

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.

The carcinogen often referred to as the "Erin Brockovich chemical" is present in about two-thirds of the drinking water across the country, according to water testing data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

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