Stories

Hameed Bello, wearing a cowboy hat, holds a bowl of potatoes on his farm, Agric Organics in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.

Western Massachusetts urban, rural farmers feeling effects of severe drought

August 26, 2022

Around New England, several states are experiencing severe drought. That includes almost all of Massachusetts. Wells and reservoirs are at all-time lows, so are streams and rivers. The rain earlier this week helped, but it wasn’t enough. In Granby, Massachusetts, at Red Fire Farm some fields are looking worse than others. “We have one field…

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August 22, 2022

It’s 5:15 a.m., and the sky is just starting to lighten in the east as Becki Morin rolls her electric bicycle out of her garage in Falmouth, Maine. Morin lives about six miles from Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she’s a nurse practitioner. She says she used to ride a conventional bike to work…

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Want to help the planet? Rethink your lawn

August 22, 2022

When Erica Tharp and her husband bought their home in Framingham four years ago, the lawn needed some work. Tharp looked at the scraggly grass with its dying tree, and decided she wanted something that was less work and more eco-friendly. “That was the goal — minimal maintenance and as least harm as possible,” she said.…

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So you’re in the market for an electric vehicle? Here’s how the new federal and Mass. laws will help

August 18, 2022

August has been a big month for the environment. At the national level, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which allocates over $360 billion to help fight climate change. And more locally, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a sweeping state climate and clean energy bill into law. Both laws cover a lot of ground. But one notable…

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Nashua, N.H., at a crossroads after proposal to build asphalt plant near downtown

August 17, 2022

Catherine Nieves didn’t know that asphalt is used to build roads and highways until she learned about a company that wants to produce it very close to her home. Her neighborhood, which is only a mile from Nashua’s downtown, is a mix of apartments, small businesses, and home to two Latino churches. Many Brazilians, Puerto…

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Connecticut agriculture chief says drought is hitting farmers’ pocketbooks

August 16, 2022

For many Connecticut residents, the impacts of an ongoing drought extend only as far as brown lawns or wilting flowers in a garden bed. But weeks of dry weather are having a more serious impact on the state’s agriculture industry, forcing farmers to buy extra water and recalibrate their plans for harvest. “Connecticut dairy men…

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Conservationists say New England’s drought is another wakeup call about climate change

August 12, 2022

Alicea Charamut went for a hike last weekend to a place where she thought her dog would have a chance to cool off with a swim. Devil’s Hopyard State Park, in East Haddam, Connecticut, has a big waterfall. But on this day, the water was barely flowing and Charamut’s dog found no relief. “There was…

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Monarch butterflies are now endangered. New England scientists say we can do more to protect them

July 22, 2022

A global conservation collaborative — the International Union for Conservation of Nature — has declared North America’s migrating monarch butterflies endangered. The designation doesn’t carry regulatory weight — but it sends a strong message that the species is in trouble. Eastern monarch butterflies spend their summers along the eastern seaboard and migrate thousands of miles every…

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A Maine forest offers decades of data on trees’ ability to remove carbon from the air

July 22, 2022

For decades, scientists from around the world have been visiting a mature forest just off the interstate, about 30 miles north of Bangor. They’ve undertaken groundbreaking studies on acid rain, forest ecology and soil health. NASA used it for a remote sensing project. And at one point the 550-acre Howland Research Forest was the most…

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Biden pledges executive action on climate change, opens Gulf of Mexico to offshore wind

July 21, 2022

In a visit to Somerset’s Brayton Point on Wednesday, President Biden pledged to take executive action on climate change if Congress won’t act. “This is an emergency,” he said. “An emergency. And I will look at it that way.” But he stopped short of declaring climate change a national emergency, something Senate Democrats and other…

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