Stories

New Method to Save Salt Marshes Piloted in Buzzards Bay

November 17, 2020

Wearing tall rubber boots, a scientist walked along an overgrown path to the Little Bay salt marsh in Fairhaven. “I’m going to kind of weave us up through this back zone,” said Alice Besterman, the post-doctoral researcher with the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Besterman pushed past tall, pale grasses that hid crabs underfoot, and when she…

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October 21, 2020

The great shearwater is a seabird commonly seen off the New England coast. It’s not particularly striking — to the untrained eye, it looks like a brown seagull with long wings. It eats by diving underwater, grabbing prey and then returning to the surface to swallow it down. The birds aren’t rare or endangered, but…

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What Will It Take To Rid The Region’s Ponds of Toxic Cyanobacteria Blooms?

October 21, 2020

Biologist Karen Malkus’s laboratory in the Barnstable Town Offices features a marble vanity with a mirror framed by light bulbs. “It used to be … the ladies’ room, which is now converted into the lab,” she said recently. Pipettes and amber bottles crowd Malkus’s lab bench. Mostly, she works with her microscope, and device called…

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‘I Felt Like I Was Poisoned’; Toxic Cyanobacteria Blooms Imperil Region’s Ponds

October 19, 2020

In early August, carpenter Michael Forgione told his mother that he was heading out to go crabbing in the brackish waters of Chilmark Pond on Martha’s Vineyard. Carol Forgione, a 72-year-old nurse practitioner, wished him a good catch. “This is the pond,” she said on a recent visit. “This is the entrance that he went…

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Could The Presidential Election Affect The Housatonic Cleanup?

October 19, 2020

Last month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wrapped up a public comment period on its controversial plan to remove toxic PCBs from the Housatonic River. The agency said it hopes to issue its final plan by the end of the year. That would be before any possible change at the White House. It can take…

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As Climate Change Drives Droughts, Water Conservation And Infrastructure Become Key

October 4, 2020

Despite some recent rain, New Hampshire’s drought is growing, causing wells to run dry across the state. And the hotter temperatures of a changing climate could make future droughts more likely. As part of NHPR’s By Degrees project, Annie Ropeik reports on how the dry conditions are affecting people who rely on well water, and…

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Industry Heavyweights To Invest In UMaine Offshore Wind Project Near Monhegan Island

August 7, 2020

The University of Maine’s effort to pioneer floating offshore wind technology took a $100 million leap forward Wednesday with the announcement that two industry heavyweights are going to invest in development of the project near Monhegan Island. A subsidiary of the Mitsubishi company, called Diamond Offshore Wind, is joining with RWE Renewables to invest the…

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Trump Opens Atlantic Marine Monument To Fishing During Maine Roundtable

June 5, 2020

President Donald Trump signed a proclamation in Bangor on Friday that he says will undo most of the fishing restrictions President Barack Obama ordered for a 5,000-square-mile swath of submerged canyons and mountains off the Atlantic coast that’s prized for its biological diversity. A legal battle is expected. Obama established the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts…

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In Housatonic River Deal With GE, Towns Agree To Toxic Waste Dump In The Berkshires

February 10, 2020

After more than a year and a half of mediation, the U.S. EPA New England office, General Electric and cities and towns along the Housatonic River have agreed to dispose some toxic PCB sediment at a site near the Lee-Lenox line, about 1,000 feet from the river. But not all participants in the mediated settlement…

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Artificial Intelligence Could Help Scientists Predict Where And When Toxic Algae Will Bloom

January 10, 2020

Climate-driven change in the Gulf of Maine is raising new threats that “red tides” will become more frequent and prolonged. But at the same time, powerful new data collection techniques and artificial intelligence are providing more precise ways to predict where and when toxic algae will bloom. One of those new machine learning prediction models…

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