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Habitat Change Threatens Connecticut’s Birds; Sound Conservation Management is Crucial to Recovery

Connecticut’s wide diversity of bird species is diminishing and is at risk of continued declines as habitats throughout the state suffer from neglect caused by a lack of conservation management. Connecticut Audubon Society has released its annual State of the Birds Report to serve as a guide, a warning, and a call to action.

The declining population of Bobolinks in Connecticut can be addressed with proper land management.

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Featured Story

sun power final cover

REVIEW: Sun Power: How Energy from the Sun Is Changing Lives Around the World, Empowering America, and Saving the Planet | Aaron Goode

A review of the book Sun Power: How Energy from the Sun Is Changing Lives Around the World, Empowering America, and Saving the Planet is written by Aaron Goode who writes, “Williams passes along lessons learned from two decades of peddling solar home systems (SHSs) in India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and other far-flung parts of the developing world….”

An osprey lands in its nest in Branford. (photo: cjzurcher, Environmental Headlines)

CT Audubon citizen science initiative to monitor CT osprey health

If you live near an active Osprey nest and can volunteer about an hour a month to be part of our network of stewards, email CT Audubon at osprey@ctaudubon.org. The goal of Osprey Nation is to create a long-term record of data that will give the conservation community a better understanding of the health of Connecticut’s Osprey population. Click on this Environmental Headline for more information.

A red tail hawk surveys the Connecticut coastline. (photo: cjzurcher, Environmental Headlines)

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Ten CT interns participating in TNC’s LEAF program

The Nature Conservancy has announced that students from its Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future Program are heading out for a great summer adventure to nature preserves in 27 states, including Connecticut. The students, many of whom have never spent time out of their city, let alone one-on-one with worms and toads, will participate in a paid internship program from July 7 through Aug. 1.

Emerald Ash Borer (photo: doacs.state.fl.us)

Emerald ash borer causing damage to town trees

A warning from entomologist Claire Rutledge to everyone who owns ash trees: “It’s time to take a look at the trees,” Rutledge said. “If you have ash trees and you want to save them you have to commit to treating it for the rest of its life.”

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CEQ updates annual environmental report

Two summertime updates, both positive: Connecticut is on track for reducing nitrogen pollution in Long Island Sound, and Connecticut businesses continue to use electricity more efficiently.

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How Bike- and Walk-Friendly Is Your Town? Bike Walk CT releases first ever town-by-town scorecard

As part of a new “complete streets” initiative, Bike Walk Connecticut released a first-of-its-kind ranking of the state’s cities and towns on how bike- and walk-friendly they are. Simsbury (1), New Haven (2), New Britain (3), Glastonbury (4), and Middletown (5) claim top honors as the five most bike- and walk-friendly communities. Click on this Environmental Headline for the full report.

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NY Communities Triumph Over Fracking Industry In Precedent-Setting Case

Local communities have triumphed over the fracking industry in precedent-setting case decided today by the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.

CFE: PURA trees decision passes the buck

While the decision moderates CL&P’s and UI’s plans it fails to go far enough to protect healthy trees that don’t threaten utility infrastructure and leaves this responsibility largely to citizens and towns.

Beluga whale (photo: EarthJustice.org)

Mystic Aquarium Scientists Tracking Unusual Whale Activity in Fall River and Nantucket

Researchers from Mystic Aquarium, the only aquarium in the Northeastern U.S. with Beluga whales on-site for study and exhibition, are in Fall River, Mass., at the Taunton River today to determine what has brought a young Beluga so far from its usual habitat.

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Tire Recycler Eyes Fair Haven Waterfront

Tires—loads and loads and loads of tires—may arrive on the shores of Fair Haven if a growing recycling company gets its wish.

An osprey flying over a marsh in Branford, Conn. (photo: cjzurcher, Environmental Headlines)

Why Osprey Nest Sightings in Connecticut Matter

The Connecticut Audubon Society wants to get a better handle on osprey populations in the state. To do so, the group is launching a new citizen science program called “Osprey Nation.”

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It’s time for Trader Joe’s to do their part

from ConnPIRG: Antibiotic-resistant infections are on the rise, so we’re calling for a nationwide ban on the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms — but political change doesn’t always happen quickly. That’s why we’re urging industry leaders like Trader Joe’s to take action right away. Click for more from ConnPIRG.

An osprey lands in its nest in Branford. (photo: cjzurcher, Environmental Headlines)

Can you volunteer an hour a month to help osprey population?

The goal of Osprey Nation is to create a long-term record of data that will give the conservation community a better understanding of the health of Connecticut’s Osprey population.

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Bridgeport Plans to Reopen Pleasure Beach

Pleasure Beach occupies 71 acres on a peninsula shared by Bridgeport and the neighboring town of Stratford. The only way to reach the beach is by boat or hiking along a two-mile sandspit that connects Pleasure Beach to Stratford.

Water

Muddy sediment empties into Long Island Sound from the Connecticut River after Hurricane Irene in 2011. (NASA Earth Observatory)

Nitrogen Pollution in Long Island Sound Continues to Decline

A new report says nitrogen pollution discharged into Long Island Sound continues an overall decline. That’s good news for marine life because too much nitrogen can fuel the growth of algae, which dies, settles on the ocean floor, and decays, using up oxygen in the process.

A plastic water bottle floats down the Connecticut River. (photo: cjzurcher)

Everyone can help watershed council keep Connecticut River clean

Everyone can help watershed council keep Connecticut River clean

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Cleanup At Higganum Cove In Haddam To Begin This Summer

The 12-acre Higganum Cove property, beside a scenic waterfall, has been included on a list of Connecticut Superfund sites awaiting cleanup since 1989 because of the presence of PCBs, lead, and arsenic “at levels of concern to human health and the environment.”

224,000 Pounds of Toxics Dumped into Connecticut’s Waterways in 2012

Industrial facilities discharged 224,029 pounds of toxic waste into Connecticut waterways in 2012, according to a June 19 report from the Environment Connecticut Research & Policy Center.

Land

UConn Extension's Jiff Martin (seond from left) with representatives from NRCS and Lisa Coverdale at Connecticut State Capitol.

Extension Educator Jiff Martin among women honored for work in agriculture and conservation

The spotlight was on 12 remarkable women Thursday, June 19, at the State Capitol as Connecticut’s Conservation Partnership recognized them for their work in agriculture and natural resources conservation. This year’s theme was Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment: Stories of the Extraordinary Determination of Women, and the event honored the exceptional and often unrecognized determination and tenacity of women in a non-traditional field.

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Connecticut Agriculture Growth Gains National Attention

Connecticut may be the third smallest state in the nation, but it has a large agricultural presence – which led to the state being featured recently by the USDA on the federal agency’s website.

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Governor signs law helping protect state conservation lands

The law grants the Commissioners of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Department of Agriculture the explicit right to place conservation restrictions on land acquired to protect natural resources, open space or agricultural uses; and requires DEEP to create an online public use and benefit land registry containing information about state-owned conservation properties.

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Hikers enlist in cause of saving Oswegatchie Hills

A rare coastal forest similar to the 1,000 acres in Old Saybrook known as The Preserve, Oswegatchie Hills is also deserving of the state’s help in finally securing its future as protected land.

Energy

Officials praise Canton hydropower project

U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy gathered at the dam on the Farmington River in Collinsville to announce the passage of the Collinsville Renewable Energy Promotion Act.

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Why Geothermal Systems Are Heating Up

Geothermal is a niche market compared to oil and gas — less than 2 percent of residential and commercial buildings in the United States — but heat-pump sales have been rising since the 1980s, according to Geothermal Exchange Organization, a nonprofit education and advocacy group for the geothermal heat pump industry.

The Farmington River in Collinsville (photo: cjzurcher)

Dam bill a first for Esty, Murphy

The House gave final passage Monday to a bill to enable the Connecticut town of Canton to refurbish two dams on the Farmington River.

Eastern's Institute for Sustainable Energy Wins Statewide Award

Eastern’s Institute for Sustainable Energy Wins Statewide Award

The Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Eastern Connecticut State University received the prestigious Power of Change Award for “State Difference Maker Leadership” at the Connecticut State Capitol on June 17. The 2014 Power of Change Awards celebrate the energy efficiency achievements of more than 20 Connecticut state agencies and municipalities. The winners received awards

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Business

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New Haven chosen for clean FuelCell Energy power plant

Information regarding the projects, which consist of two 2.8 MW DFC3000 fuel cell power plants to be installed at different sites within the UI service territory, was released on April 30 and identified Bridgeport as one location with the other to be named at a later date.

South Korean Company Buys ClearEdge Power; Fuel Cell Maker Abruptly Laid Off South Windsor Workers In April

Doosan Co. Ltd., based in South Korea, said it will acquire the assets and operating debt of U.S.-based ClearEdge Power, a fuel cell manufacturer for buildings, for $32.4 million, the Reuters news service reports. ClearEdge Power, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May to reduce debt and operating costs. It had major

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Nine New London County Towns Sign Clean Energy Communities Pledge

From EnergizeCT: The towns of East Lyme, Franklin, Ledyard, Lisbon, Lyme, Old Lyme, Preston, Sprague, and Waterford have all recently signed a pledge to commit to Clean Energy Communities, an Energize Connecticut program that incentivizes Connecticut municipalities to support energy efficiency and renewable energy. Under the Clean Energy Communities program, each town pledged to reduce

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CT lacks power in burgeoning wind industry

Wind power will play an increasing role in the U.S., likely supplying more than a third of the nation’s energy needs by 2050, according to a new analysis being readied by the federal Department of Energy, but Connecticut isn’t likely to be a major industry player. Click for more from the Hartford Business Journal.

Transportation

Transportation helps our region compete

by Lyle Wray and Oz Griebel Imagine for a moment what life in our region would be like if we couldn’t rely on key transportation networks such as the Interstate system, bridges over the Connecticut River and the network of streets that serve autos, freight and transit. Would we have anything like the economic success

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Suggestions to implement congestion pricing on I-84 in Hartford won’t cure traffic woes

Clearly, the time has long since arrived to improve our highways and transit systems. The key will be spending the money in a way that best serves all drivers and riders.

New Haven residents sound off on transportation woes

New Haven transportation czar Doug Hausladen said he would look into several issues he heard, including service quality, service frequency on Sundays, inadequate signage and poor bus stop conditions. Hausladen said he would personally be looking at the condition of bus stops near Walmart and 150 Sargent Drive. Hausladen said the issue at hand is

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Malloy: Connecticut can fund transportation for a month

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says Connecticut can cover the cost of various ongoing transportation projects on its own for about a month.

Climate Change

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White House Issues Bold Climate Change Warning

Putting off expensive measures to curb climate change will only cost the United States more in the long run, the White House said Tuesday.

A projection of Bluff Point in Connecticut under a scenario of 36 inches of sea level rise.A projection of Bluff Point in Connecticut under a scenario of 36 inches of sea level rise.

Sea Level Rise: Mitigation and Adaptation in the Risky Business Model

Summary.  Sea level rise is caused by expansion of ocean water as the world’s temperature rises, and by net melting of glaciers, ice sheets and ice shelves.  Ice will continue melting as long as the temperature remains above the freezing point. Sea level rise is already impacting coastal cities in the U. S. and elsewhere. 

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(photo: Natalie Cantave, The Dartmouth)

Dartmouth Climate Institute hosts tribal sustainability panel

Aiming to spread awareness of the tribal sustainability partnerships that emerged following the November Indigenous Peoples Working Group meeting at Dartmouth, students and research fellows presented findings at a Thursday panel on tribal sustainability and Arctic protection initiatives.

Connecticut Still Waiting for Action on Federal Clean Air Plans

Connecticut has to wait for more federal action on cross-border pollution, according to a top environmental official who visited Hartford. Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, is working on the agency’s “Clean Power Plan.” That’s a proposal to cut pollution from existing power plants. It’s long, at 645 pages, and adopts

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