A 9-year-old female right whale (left) and a smaller right whale spotted earlier this month off the coast of Jekyll Island.

Federal officials shoot down emergency request aimed at protecting right whales from ship strikes

January 23, 2023

Federal officials have denied a request from conservationists to expedite the implementation of proposed ship speed reductions that might help protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale population. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is considering new rules aimed at stopping large vessels from colliding with right whales. A coalition of conservation groups asked that…

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Peconic Bay scallop die-offs are ‘a cautionary tale’ for New England

January 20, 2023

Once one of the largest fisheries on the East Coast, Peconic Bay scallops have faced near complete die-offs on Long Island since 2019. A study by Stony Brook University shows this could be a cautionary tale for New England. Christopher Gobler, a co-author and endowed chair of coastal ecology and conservation in the School of…

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Harold Davis stands on his snow plow truck, which he bought this fall.

‘You can’t plow a puddle’: How warmer winters are changing snowplowing

January 18, 2023

This winter, Harold Davis decided to get into the snow plow business for himself, after about a decade of working for other removal companies. He bought a shiny, canary yellow snowplow a few months ago. It’s still pretty spotless. “It’s depressing. This time of the season, there should be snow banks,” he said, looking out…

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Warm weather and rain bring tough snow season for NH skiers, snowshoers and others

January 9, 2023

Warm temperatures and rainy days have created difficult conditions this winter for Granite Staters who like to get out in the snow. With a snowstorm in mid-December, many local ski areas were able to establish a base coating on their slopes. At Pats Peak in Henniker, N.H., most trails have opened. But the recent conditions…

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Outdoor groups, park officials host First Day Hikes across New England

January 3, 2023

Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts around New England took part in First Day Hikes — a national New Year’s Day tradition that began in Massachusetts 30 years ago. A few dozen people made their way to the Chester-Blandford State Forest, where the Western Mass Hilltown Hikers joined representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation for a…

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Study: Improved forestry could boost carbon storage in New England by nearly half a billion tons

December 21, 2022

A new study published in an international forestry journal finds that better forest management could significantly grow New England’s carbon storage, improve wildlife habitat and provide a reliable timber supply. Published in the journal Forests, the study finds that improved forest practices including increased stocking of trees could bolster carbon storage by an estimated 488…

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3M says it will stop producing PFAS chemicals that have contaminated communities across New Hampshire

December 20, 2022

The company 3M, which manufactures everything from Post-It notes to dental implants, has announced it will stop making PFAS — a group of man-made chemicals linked to a variety of health issues. The move comes as federal regulators are preparing to place limits on the chemicals in drinking water. 3M cited that plan as a factor in…

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Tourists on the summit of Cadillac Mountain, in Acadia National Park. Signs direct visitors to stay on the path, to avoid trampling sensitive mountain flora.

Forget the views: scientists say Cadillac Mountain is a prime spot for studying climate change

December 19, 2022

On a perfect summer day at the summit of Acadia’s Cadillac Mountain, throngs of tourists are taking in the expansive view of rocky ledges, surrounding hills and the Gulf of Maine spreading out endlessly to the south. But Chris Nadeau is focused on the tiny plants at his feet, shooting up from thin soil between…

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Russell Eng, president of Friends of Reggie Wong Park, stands at the center of the park on a winter evening.

Fight for Chinatown park snagged by asbestos concerns

December 19, 2022

Environmental hazards in Chinatown’s only recreational park are at the center of a yearslong battle for open space in the neighborhood. Reggie Wong Memorial Park is a paved lot near South Station that community groups have been trying to lease from the state for years. Neighborhood advocates say they need the lease to ensure the…

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A turbine blade at The Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown, Mass.

Ever wonder how they build turbines at sea? Here’s what it takes to create an American wind farm

December 4, 2022

Today’s offshore wind turbines stand taller than the Boston skyline. Each blade is about the length of a football field, which means 50 feet have to be cut off to get one inside the state’s Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown. That’s where the blade for Vineyard Wind went through strength testing earlier this year.…

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