Central Bridge washout. Photo courtesy of the Rhode Island State Archives

Remembering The 1938 Hurricane, 80 Years Later

September 21, 2018

In the afternoon of September 21, 1938 without warning, winds more than 100 miles an hour whipped the region and tidal waves about 30 feet high destroyed homes and cottages. Hundreds of people lost their lives, and when it was all over, millions of dollars worth of damage was left behind.

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August 21, 2018

For many decades, the North Atlantic right whale was a conservation success story. After being hunted to near extinction, a series of protective actions that began in the 1930s, and accelerated in the 1960s, helped the population begin to rebound.

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As Storms Become Stronger, What’s In Store For Coastal Drinking Wells?

August 3, 2018

Hurricanes can push extra sea water toward the shore. And that water, called storm surge, can flood streets and basements. But scientists at the University of Rhode Island are wondering, how can that water impact coastal drinking wells?

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Alexandra Kosiba and Paul Schaberg teamed up to study red spruce recovery. Photo by John Dillon for VPR

Researchers: Acid Rain Success Story Shows Value Of Science Informing Public Policy

July 6, 2018

Remember acid rain? In the 1970s and ‘80s, scientists found that rain 100 times more acidic than normal was harming the mountain forests of New England and New York. The pollution was linked to fossil fuel plants in the Midwest. Now, a new study shows red spruce trees are recovering thanks to tighter pollution laws.

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Plum Island. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

Plum Island Residents Weigh ‘Green’ Or ‘Gray’ Infrastructure In Struggle Against Erosion

June 28, 2018

On the northern tip of an island surrounded by river, marsh and sea, a few dozen volunteers sink shovels into a mound of sand, digging 10,000 holes to plant 20,000 stalks of beach grass.

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The porch of a cottage in the first row of houses along Roy Carpenter's Beach. This is one of the cottages that will be moved to the back in the next 2 years. Photo by Avory Brookins for RIPR

South County Beach Community In Rhode Island Continues To Retreat As Ocean Creeps Inland

June 19, 2018

The cottages in these rows are in a prime oceanfront location, but they won’t be here for long. Within the next two years, they will be moved about a quarter mile inland, because the ocean is creeping in closer and closer every year.

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Eileen Sheehan looks out into the Westport River. Photo by Juan Rodriguez

Massachusetts Residents Worry Time Is Running Out For Salt Marsh Islands

June 12, 2018

Salt marshes are coastal wetlands that span up and down the East Coast. They help protect coastal properties from strong waves during storms, absorb carbon from the atmosphere, and serve as nurseries for fish and critical habitat for birds, such as ospreys. However, residents and fishermen started noticing these marsh islands, especially in the west branch of the river, rapidly disappearing.

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The large stones seen here were once the foundation of a garrison house that stood in the early 17th century near Great Bay. Photo by Jason Moon for NHPR

Archaeologists Find Eroding Coastlines Threaten Past as Much as Present

April 13, 2018

New Hampshire’s Seacoast is home to some of the earliest history of European settlers anywhere in the country. Believe it or not, much of that history is still being uncovered. But now climate change and sea-level rise is adding new urgency to those efforts.



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Sandbags hold back water at the entrance to the Aquarium MBTA station during the March 2 nor'easter. Photo by Robin Lubbock for WBUR

How The New England Aquarium Seeks To Urge Visitors To Act On Climate Change

April 3, 2018

The Aquarium MBTA station was closed due to flooding, and the aquarium itself, nearby on Boston’s Central Wharf, was closed out of caution for its visitors.

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To Understand Great Bay’s Decline (and How to Stop It), Start on the Water

January 3, 2018

New Hampshire’s Great Bay and the Piscataqua River estuary have been in bad shape for years – and the latest data doesn’t show a lot of improvement.


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