Stories

Planting 1,000 wildflowers to restore a biodiversity hotspot on Martha’s Vineyard

July 6, 2022

Tim Boland stood next to his black pickup on a dirt road in Edgartown, and waited for a moment. Then, he started handing out wildflowers. “Who would like a flat?” he called to the dozen-or-so volunteers standing nearby. As they eagerly trotted over to the truck, Boland handed out black plastic trays, each holding fifty…

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July 1, 2022

White sharks are arriving in Massachusetts waters for the summer, and researchers who study shark behavior off Cape Cod are testing some new techniques. State shark biologist Greg Skomal works closely with Megan Winton, staff scientist at the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy. They and other scientists up and down the coast share data from nearly…

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Mainers speak out against Supreme Court decision regulating greenhouse gases

June 30, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday issued a ruling limiting the federal government’s authority to regulate the greenhouse gases that drive climate change. The decision was roundly criticized by Maine’s environmental community, state and federal officials and representatives of some Maine businesses. The case deals with a set of regulations from the Obama administration, known…

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A new study finds that deer ticks can survive the cold winter in northern Maine

June 28, 2022

New research suggests that disease-carrying deer ticks can survive the deep cold of Maine’s winter in the right conditions — even in far northern Maine. The findings come from a study at the University of Maine, where researchers compared tick winter survival rates at sites across the state. The study found that in areas with insulating…

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A researcher takes a gas sample from a stove.

Unburned natural gas contains 21 toxic air pollutants, study finds

June 28, 2022

There’s been a lot of focus recently on the negative health impacts of burning natural gas indoors, but a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology sheds light on what’s in the unburned gas piped into millions of homes across the U.S. Researchers sampled natural gas from homes across the Greater Boston area and found 21…

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Martha’s Vineyard farmers worried avian flu could devastate their flocks

June 24, 2022

Hundreds of dead seabirds are turning up along the Massachusetts coast — especially on Martha’s Vineyard — and state environmental and health officials suspect avian influenza could be the cause. Cormorants, seagulls, eiders and other birds have been found dead or dying over the past few months, and farmers are concerned the virus could spread…

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Federal court rules against part of New England grid operator reliability plan

June 23, 2022

A federal appeals court has thwarted part of a plan to improve the reliability of New England’s electric grid during the winter that would pay electricity generators extra for keeping fuel on-site. As climate change causes more unreliable weather and conflict in Ukraine pinches energy markets, ISO-New England, the organization in charge of keeping the region’s lights…

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Vermont is piloting a new program to help farmers rely on one another during stressful times

June 16, 2022

Valerie Woodhouse is a co-owner of Honeyfield Farm in Norwich, Vt. She was in the second week of launching the organic vegetable farm when the pandemic began. It was a tough time. “That I can safely say was, you know, my lowest point in my own mental health care,” she said. “Just because, you know,…

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A rare orchid, thought to be extinct, has been rediscovered in Vermont

June 9, 2022

A rare plant thought to be extinct in Vermont has been discovered in the state. Scientists with the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife have confirmed the existence of a population of small whorled pogonia on Winooski Valley Park District conservation land, the department announced Wednesday. The plant is a globally rare orchid, and is…

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Wading through revitalized Connecticut rivers, in search of key link in food chain

June 2, 2022

As spring winds down, so concludes the migration of two species of fish that travel from the ocean to spawn in freshwater. While once abundant in rivers and streams, alewives and blueback herring have seen their migration routes fractured by dams over centuries of development. Conservationists are working to remove some of these barriers to…

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