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A 4-year-old child who died of a rare brain infection in early August has led Louisiana health officials to discover that the cause is lurking in the water pipes of St. Bernard Parish, southeast of New Orleans.

Warming Waters: The New Normal

Aug 22, 2013
pinay06 (Wikimedia Commons)

We’ve talked about warming waters before on Where We Live. Now warm waters are in the news again. There are new climate change studies that provide more proof of the human causes of warming temperatures. The next big UN report on climate change contains some scary predictions...that sea levels could rise more than three feet by the end of the century.

Todd Binger/flickr creative commons

The Wave. Water waves. Not lazy surf lapping at your toes along the beach. Colossal, ship-swallowing rogue waves; scientists scrambling to understand the phenomenon; and extreme surfers seeking the ultimate challenge. Susan Casey’s account follows the exploits of boarders conquering suicidally large, 70- and 80-foot waves and the physicists trying to grapple with the destructive powers of 1,740-foot waves off the coast of Alaska and tsunamis in the Pacific. Casey is our guest.

Connecticut Beaches No. 17 in Water Quality

Jul 3, 2013
Hakaider - Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut's beach water quality ranks 17 out of 30 states, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

State environmental officials say those findings, like many states, are heavily dependent on weather conditions. 

"The issue in Connecticut is more of a storm runoff issue," said Dennis Schain, spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Water: The Essential but Scarce Resource

May 24, 2013
Tom Raftery (Flickr Creative Commons)

Today, nearly a third of the US. is in severe drought. In places like Kansas and Texas, reservoirs and wells are actually running dry. Even here in the Northeast, where we get plenty of rain, water is still a scarce resource. The University of Connecticut already doesn’t have enough water to meet its needs, and the plans to quench its thirst have been controversial. Paul Formica is First Selectman in East Lyme, which faces water shortages every summer.

More than half of the nation's rivers and streams are in poor condition, according to a report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Things aren't as bad in Connecticut. 

More than half of the nation's rivers and streams are in poor condition, according to a report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Things aren't as bad in Connecticut. 

Connecticut health officials are suggesting that homeowners with private wells test their water for arsenic and uranium. Wells across the state have been found to contain dangerously high levels of those chemicals.

 Arsenic and uranium are both naturally-occurring chemicals that are common in bedrock. So in rocky New England, they’re pretty common. At acceptable levels, they’re not a problem: that’s 10 parts per billion for arsenic and 30 parts per billion for uranium.

Connecticut health officials are suggesting that homeowners with private wells test their water for arsenic and uranium. Wells across the state have been found to contain dangerously high levels of those chemicals.

 Arsenic and uranium are both naturally-occurring chemicals that are common in bedrock. So in rocky New England, they’re pretty common. At acceptable levels, they’re not a problem: that’s 10 parts per billion for arsenic and 30 parts per billion for uranium.

City of Bridgeport

Many of Bridgeport’s residents are complaining that city plows never made it to their streets after last week’s blizzard. But once the snow melts, the city will be left to deal with the promise of more storms and danger to its coastline. That will be a challenge, since mayor Bill Finch has staked economic development on bringing people back to the water.

DEEP

There’s already a lot of skepticism about the state’s $115-million deal with Bridgewater to move the world’s largest hedge fund’s headquarters from Westport to Stamford. But there’s a second aspect to the controversy – the location of their new headquarters, right on Stamford’s waterfront and right in the middle of a high-risk flood zone. 

Tim Coffey

Aging infrastructure is taking its toll on Connecticut’s sewer treatment plants. But in Stamford, that problem has been coupled with years of mismanagement that could cost state and local taxpayers dearly, and is creating problems for Stamford Harbor and Long Island Sound.

I’m standing in front of a huge water tank that’s 130 feet in diameter. And I’m with Bill Degnan, supervisor of Stamford’s sewer treatment plant. The plant treats an average of 17 million gallons of water a day in Stamford and Darien.

MDC on Controversial UConn Pipeline

Jan 31, 2013
Paul Lowry, Creative Commons

Last week we spent an hour talking about pipelines, specifically the controversial MDC proposal to build a 20-mile waterline to service the increasingly thirsty UCONN Storrs campus. Many in the Farmington River Valley - which would provide the water - arent happy. We heard from some of them last week, along with a Patch reporter to lay out the issue. Today the MDC weighs in. 

The University of Connecticut needs more water – but many Connecticut residents are doing their best to make sure that the water doesn’t come from the Farmington River. They made their voices heard at a public hearing earlier this week.

UConn has always struggled to keep up with the water demands of its huge population. A few years ago, the nearby Fenton River was actually pumped dry when students returned to campus in the fall and demand skyrocketed. Since then UConn has gotten serious about conserving water. But it still doesn’t have enough.

Harriet Jones

The Malloy administration has made a big commitment to nurture manufacturing in Connecticut, despite the fall off in employment in the sector over a period of decades. Are they right to place so much faith in making things here?  A new analysis attempts to answer that question.

The Naugatuck River Valley is one of the great seats of Connecticut’s manufacturing history. And Bill Purcell, president of the Valley Chamber of Commerce says that’s still relevant today.

For Bridgeport, Post-Sandy Life Still A Struggle

Dec 10, 2012

Superstorm Sandy took a heavy toll on residents of public and low-income housing in Bridgeport. Those living near the water are faced with rebuilding as well as trying to prepare for the next storm. But they simply can’t afford to do both.

Debris still litters the front yards of Seaside Village in Bridgeport. It’s the second year in a row that resident Mariela Wilches has lost her washer, drier, water heater and furnace. Not only does she have to replace them all again, she has to pay rent to live somewhere while she has no heat.

Harriet Jones

Southeastern shoreline towns are cleaning up and assessing damage after the hurricane, which brought a record storm surge. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Outside his Stonington home, Gary Giramonti is wading through several feet of water.

“We left Monday morning, and just came back this morning after a neighbor said, called and told us you need to get back”

The structure, which faces Fishers’ Island sound is still standing, but the interior has been turned upside down.

Pink Sherbet Photography, Flickr Creative Commons

MDC's Clean Water Project

Aug 20, 2012
J Holt

The impact the Clean Water Project has had on Hartford traffic is well known to area residents and commuters. Less well known are its affects on small businesses. The MDC is working to improve both issues, but satisfying all stakeholders has proven to be difficult. WNPR’s J Holt has the story. 

YVSREDDY (Wikimedia Commons)

Stamford is ramping up efforts to test private wells for potentially cancer-causing pesticides that may be in the water. But getting the word out is a slow process, and so far, surrounding towns haven’t shown much concern.

Todd Binger/flickr creative commons

The Wave. Water waves. Not lazy surf lapping at your toes along the beach. Colossal, ship-swallowing rogue waves; scientists scrambling to understand the phenomenon; and extreme surfers seeking the ultimate challenge. Susan Casey’s account follows the exploits of boarders conquering suicidally large, 70- and 80-foot waves and the physicists trying to grapple with the destructive powers of 1,740-foot waves off the coast of Alaska and tsunamis in the Pacific. Casey is our guest.

Pesticides Found In Stamford's Well Water

Jul 5, 2012
YVSREDDY (Wikimedia Commons)

State and local health officials are asking residents with private wells to get their water tested for possible contamination. This time the sources aren’t the usual chemicals. As WNPR’s Neena Satija reports, they’re pesticides that were used in the soil decades ago, and are now believed to be a risk to human health.

Sea Levels Rising Fastest in a "Northeast Hot Spot"

Jun 28, 2012
NASA (Wikimedia Commons)

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey say that in the past 20 years, the sea level has risen more in an area they call the "Northeast hot spot" than anywhere else on the continent, a finding they say was unexpected.

New Haven Wetlands Get a Boost

Jun 4, 2012
Uma Ramiah

Connecticut Fund for the Environment is working to restore 82 acres of wetlands to New Haven's West River and Edgewood parks. This is the largest urban tidal restoration project to date in New England.

John Champion -- of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment -- is trudging through the mud on a rainy Saturday in New Haven. He's followed by a few Connecticut lawmakers. Champion wants to show them a nearly century old tidal gate, soon to be replaced.

"These things date back to 1920."

Fracking In 2011

Jan 6, 2012
Adrian Kinloch (Flickr Creative Commons)

2011 was the year fracking “cracked the public consciousness” - and it stands to be an environmental and political issue in 2012. We get an update from Nick Kusnetz who was recently a reporting fellow for ProPublica, focusing on fracking.

Here is an excerpt from ProPublica's reflection on fracking in 2011 by Abrahm Lustgarten:

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Nancy Eve Cohen

This weekend police are ramping up efforts to make the public aware of the dangers of drinking and boating. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

The project is called “Operation Dry Water”. It’s a nation wide effort by the U.S. Coast Guard and environmental, state and local police. The project is coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

So Few Smelt

Apr 11, 2011
Flickr Creative Commons, John Loo

Migrating fish just a half-foot long once flooded coastal rivers of the northeast every spring. In recent decades, rainbow smelt populations have been declining every year, and are fading to a dim memory in many places. But not in Down East Maine. As part of a collaboration with Northeast stations, Murray Carpenter reports that elsewhere in the region, scientists are trying to bring them back.   

New Haven Considers Giving Up the Bottle

Feb 8, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

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