News

Protecting Newport’s Drink Water | Part 1

Courtesy of Ambar Espinoza | Rhode Island Public Radio With more than 500 public drinking water suppliers in the state, the Rhode Island Department of Health is worried about how they will cope with climate-related changes like intense rains, rising seas, and warmer temperatures. For the next installment of our series, Battle With The Sea, environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza heads to Newport, home
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Landscape Design to Improve Coastal Resilience

Three Rhode Island communities will serve as new pilot projects to increase coastal resilience to climate change impacts, such as sea level rise, flooding, and increased storminess. The project will explore landscape methods that are natural – or that mimic nature – to restore ecosystem services (habitat and stormwater filtration, for example) to developed areas. The
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Truths and Half-truths: Communicating Climate Change

Special report by Barbara Moran | Courtesy of Boston University Ted Smayda was a 28-year-old assistant marine biologist, “just one of the rinky-dinks,” he says, when he first started gathering data on Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay more than 50 years ago. Smayda chugged into the bay on the University of Rhode Island’s research boat, the Billie II,
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An Ounce of Prevention: Probiotics Hold Potential for Shellfish Disease

Deep lacerations  scar the shells of lobsters. Entire populations of oysters die in less than 24 hours. These are the results of disease, potentially caused by bad bacteria. And although bacteria may be the cause, in it also lies potential for a solution. Can something as simple as a probiotic, the good bacteria, like the
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Preparing Ports to Ride Out the Storm

DEVASTATION FROM SUPERSTORM SANDY IN 2012 is still visible along the New Jersey shore, where thousands of houses were swept away or damaged, and it will be years before the destruction is no longer visible. The Port of New York and New Jersey was effectively shut down for one week after Sandy made landfall, resulting in
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Acidification Threatens Rhode Island’s Shellfish

Rhode Island is identified in a new study as one of the top at-risk areas from ocean acidification in the nation. A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change looks at impacts on shellfish stocks from ocean acidification, identifying Rhode Island waters as one of the top 15 at-risk areas in the nation. Mark Gibson,
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Battle With The Sea: Helping Salt Marshes Adapt To Rapidly Rising Seas

Courtesy of Rhode Island Public Radio By: Ambar Espinoza / RIPR Rhode Island is losing salt marshes at an alarming rate. Scientists and coastal planners say this is one of the most pressing climate change impacts already facing the Ocean State. Salt marshes are critical fish and wildlife habitats that support the state’s fishing and
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Lessons in Applied Shellfish Farming

Courtesy of the Providence Journal BRISTOL, R.I.— If you want to become a shellfish farmer, a good place to start isn’t in a South County salt pond or a cove off Narragansett Bay, but in a class on dry land. This winter and spring, in a lecture hall at Roger Williams University, as he has done
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Blue mussels not yet the bellwether of NE coastal environment

The following information was released by Brown University: PROVIDENCE, R.I.— Mussels could be the perfect ‘sentinel’ species to signal the health of coastal ecosystems. But a new study of blue mussels in estuary ecosystems along 600 kilometers of coastline in the Northeast uncovered three key mysteries that will have to be solved first. Ecologists sometimes look
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The Nitrogen Cycle Lie

The nitrogen cycle seems simple. As a gas, it’s the most abundant element in the atmosphere, but it can quickly be turned into organic nitrogen, ammonium or nitrate through fixation done naturally in ecosystems by microbes. It can then be used to fuel plant growth. But there’s a catch. “It’s a lie. A total lie,”
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