Most scientists agree that the water quality in Narragansett Bay and the waters that flow into it is quite good and getting better. But that’s not true by every measure. In fact, a URI oceanographer found that a New Jersey river designated a Superfund site is actually much cleaner than some water bodies in Rhode Island when it comes to a recently banned group of pollutants called perfluorinated compounds.
NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — Mike Pellini doesn’t get down to the seaside home his grandfather built in 1940 as much as the Massachusetts resident would like. When he does, however, he’s increasingly spending his time removing graffiti from coastal rocks and cleaning up after others.
WARWICK, R.I. — On Aug. 19, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management issued an advisement warning the public to avoid contact with Warwick Pond because of probable blue-green algae. Cyanobacteria blooms can release toxins that can make both humans and animals sick.
PROVIDENCE — A judge is taking another step in the ineffective, multiyear effort to crack down on a scrap-metal yard that has been polluting the industrial waterfront and the Providence River since 2009.
WESTERLY, R.I. — A Pawcatuck, Conn.-based company running a local stone-crushing and gravel-processing facility has taken steps to help minimize emissions of hazardous air pollutants and visually test for dust under an agreement signed recently with the Environmental Protection Agency.
WESTPORT, Mass. — Steady population growth and increased development, particularly during the past several decades in southeastern Massachusetts, has created an overabundance of nitrogen in the harbors, bays and estuaries of Buzzards Bay.
WARWICK, R.I. — The city might be home to some of Rhode Island’s most coveted coastline, ponds and lakes, but that doesn’t mean residents get to enjoy them. Local officials and residents gathered recently at City Hall to discuss options for dealing with the pollution problems impacting the community’s water resources.
The Conservation Law Foundation, with co-plaintiff the Charles River Watershed Association, is suing the Environmental Protection Agency for its failure to enforce stormwater pollution standards in the Charles River watershed. The CLF also is moving forward with a similar suit over several water bodies in Rhode Island that it claims have been neglected by the EPA.
TOLLAND, Conn. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is investing $25 million to help targeted agricultural producers improve water quality in high-priority streams and rivers across the country, including two in Connecticut.
Fieldwork has begun in the communities of Barnstable, Dennis, Falmouth, Mashpee and Orleans on a project that may help reduce harmful levels of nitrogen and other nutrients from flowing into Cape Cod waters.
Nearly $800,000 in federal grant money will be used to help towns and organizations protect water quality in Buzzards Bay. The water-quality management grants, totaling $794,478, were recently awarded by the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program through the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management.
HALIFAX, Mass. — The town’s two popular aquatic attractions are separated by Route 58. This asphalt divide, however, isn’t the only thing that separates East and West Monponsett ponds.
Today’s environmental advocates are working toward zero waste, more renewable energy, complete streets, organic fruits and vegetables, and local food systems. Juxtaposed against these big-picture efforts aimed at systemic change, is an ongoing, often-forgotten, 20th-century effort that simply seeks — and has largely failed to secure — minor behavioral changes.