Environment

Annie Ropeik / NHPR File Photo

A new federal permit for New Hampshire's largest coal-fired power plant will not require the installation of cooling towers, which advocates say are vital to protect the Merrimack River.

The Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t updated Merrimack Station’s five-year water quality permit since the 1990s. The permit regulates water intake and discharge between the plant and the adjacent Merrimack River.

Taylor Quimby

In the latest installment of our series Inside/In, short science stories for families and individuals who want to discover how the natural world ties us together even when we're stuck inside, we explore a pair of organisms that we often just step right over or immediately pitch into garbage.

Meet our friends, mold and moss.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Eversource has notified the state that it plans to power up its new Seacoast transmission line at the end of this month, on May 29.

The Seacoast Reliability Project runs about 13 miles between Madbury and Portsmouth, with a mile buried underwater beneath Little Bay, between Durham and Newington.

Eversource proposed the project in 2015 as part of its response to a call for more reliable infrastructure from the regional grid operator, ISO-New England. The utility says the line will help carry electric load and back up other transmission lines in the area.

Pascal Terjan, https://bit.ly/2Tajgxg

On this show, the urban evolution of pigeons, the magic of kettle bogs, and what to do if you've been bitten by a tick. 

Flickr Creative Commons | Brian Gratwicke

Every other Friday on Morning Edition, Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown tackles a question from a listener. 

Susanne from Rumney asks: "I’ve been going for a walk every morning since we’ve been quarantined. So, I’ve noticed lately that I’ve heard a lot of woodpeckers in the morning and I haven’t noticed them before. And I wondered if there are more of them or if this is the time of year that they are seeking wood from the trees?"

 

Massive solar flares, mental health in the time of coronavirus and all the time, and taking a deep breath about "murder hornets."

Flickr Creative Commons | USFWS Mountain-Prairie

Every other Friday on Morning Edition, Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown tackles a question from a listener. 

Cindy from Chichester asks: "Every year I have a skunk that comes around and makes divots all over my yard looking for grubs. The question is this: Do they actually know that there is a grub in the place that they dig, or do they just randomly dig holes until they find something? I have not been able to get an answer to this question, so it’s your turn." 

Challenge accepted, Cindy.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire is laying out a potential phased plan for resuming normal operations at state parks and other outdoor recreation sites, with new controls to protect public health.

Most state parks have remained open and well trafficked, including by out-of-state visitors, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, many public and private campgrounds, beaches and other amenities and attractions have closed.

Pexels

From seismology to the lives of lab animals, coronavirus is changing science in a variety of ways.

Zoom screenshot

Democratic state lawmakers say they'll push for renewable energy development as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19.

State senator and gubernatorial candidate Dan Feltes addressed the issue during a virtual Earth Day town hall Wednesday.

Click here to sign up for our coronavirus newsletter to get the latest updates.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Members of Congress from Massachusetts want details on how Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant is handling COVID-19.

Seabrook Station is currently offline and in the midst of a periodic refueling. That process requires a large extra workforce.

The plant’s owner, NextEra, has said it’s operating under its pandemic plan but it hasn’t offered more details.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR File

Before the coronavirus pandemic, another global crisis was capturing more and more of the world’s attention: climate change. 

Now, the virus is reshaping our response to global warming -- changing how we think about everything from disaster preparedness, to the role of science in public policy.

NHPR wants your help to tell this story, starting this Wednesday, April 22, on a special edition of The Exchange for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Taylor Quimby

With so many of our favorite outdoor activities currently off-limits, we’re looking for accessible ways to explore the magic of nature from the safety of our homes and neighborhoods. This is the first in a series of short episodes for families and individuals who want to discover how, even when we’re stuck inside, the natural world ties us together.

Wikimedia Commons

Every other Friday on Morning Edition, Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown tackles a question from a listener. 

Claudia Asks: “What is the difference between a turtle and a tortoise? Which do we have in New Hampshire? Could you give some examples of each please?”

This is one of the classic turtle questions, and as such we’re going to knock it out of the park quickly and pivot to some #turtlefacts.

BOEM.gov

A fishing industry group wants New Hampshire and neighboring states to put off planning offshore wind development during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance, or RODA, sent a letter to the governors of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts on Tuesday. The group represents the fishing industry in states with offshore wind development.

Courtesy Emily Atkin

The overlap of COVID-19 and the climate crisis, a critique of Tiger King, and a deeper look at the phenomenon of big cat ownership in the United States.

Joe Pell via Flickr Creative Commons

A new report identifies 2,500 new industrial sites that may be discharging toxic PFAS chemicals, including a handful of factories in New Hampshire.

Some kinds of PFAS have been phased out of American manufacturing - but other, similar chemicals have taken their place.

The substances are largely unregulated, don’t break down in the environment, and have been linked to health problems at low levels.

The Illustrated Shooting and Dramatic News

On this week's Outside/In, Sam digs into a (shockingly controversial) debate over the now-extinct passenger pigeon, and its reputedly gargantuan flocks. Also: we debunk (and demystify) some coronavirus-related fake news about wildlife.

Listen to the program:

Emerson Aviation / Facebook

It’s the unofficial start of spring in New Hampshire – as Lake Winnipesaukee has been declared ice-free.

In keeping with tradition, a spotter plane with Emerson Aviation made the call Monday morning.

The lake is considered “iced out” when all the ports for the cruise boat Mount Washington are ice-free – in Alton Bay, Weirs Beach, Center Harbor, Meredith and Wolfeboro.

This year’s ice-out comes earlier than average. It follows a mild winter, when the ice runway on the lake was unable to open safely.

Sara Plourde | NHPR

If you’re interested in more information about how to get outside during the COVID-19 Pandemic, check out the latest episode of Outside/In, or the episode of the Exchange from earlier this week.

New Hampshire residents could be forgiven for being slightly confused about whether they’re allowed to go for a hike or not. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The state is trying to reassure environmental advocates in the wake of a controversial federal decision to ease pollution enforcement during the pandemic.

Flickr Creative Commons | C Watts

Every other Friday on Morning Edition, Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown tackles a question from a listener. 

Sara in New Orleans asks: “I’m calling because every time I think I’m very good at recognizing shore birds, I get mixed up by the fact that some of their bills change color during the different seasons, and I’m just so confused by how this happens and how long it takes for it to happen.”

Chuck Taylor / Flickr Creative Commons

The state is setting new limits on eating fish from Squam Lake after some species were found to contain high levels of a likely carcinogen.

The Department of Environmental Services says it found PCBs in small-mouth bass and yellow perch from the lake.

Past research had shown high levels of the toxic industrial chemicals in loon eggs and sediment from the lake. 

Now, DES says people should limit consumption of these fish -- even further than they would under normal state guidelines.

Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests

Despite Gov. Chris Sununu’s stay-at-home order, which takes effect at midnight Friday night, New Hampshire residents are still allowed -- and encouraged -- to go outside to exercise.

But not every hiking and walking spot is available or safe to use during the coronavirus pandemic, according to conservation groups

Flickr Creative Commons | Rod Haley

Every other Friday on Morning Edition, Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown tackles a question from a listener. 

Right now, many New Hampshirites are home, giving us a unique opportunity to question the nature invading our personal spaces.

Click here for all of NHPR's coronavirus coverage, including the latest news, FAQs, and more.

John K via Flickr CC

A new bill in Congress would give states $20 billion over the next 10 years to test and treat their water supplies for toxic PFAS chemicals.

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is a lead sponsor of the Democratic legislation, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Delaware Sen. Tom Carper.

Weirs Cam / Winnipesaukee.com

New Hampshire's frozen lakes and ponds are starting to thaw as winter winds down, and state officials want citizens to send in their observations of local "ice out" dates.

Joe Klementovich / Hubbard Brook

New Hampshire scientists unveiled a landmark study Friday of how ice storms affect northern forests.

The first-of-its-kind research, from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in North Woodstock, could help landowners and emergency managers plan for future disasters.

Flickr Creative Commons | William A. LaCrosse III

Every other Friday on Morning Edition, Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown tackles a question from a listener. 

Gary from Randolph asks: "I was curious as to whether Lyme disease affects wildlife. Do fox, moose, bear and other critters suffer from Lyme disease?"

You may have heard that dogs can get Lyme disease. You may have also heard that cats don’t. What gives? 

Courtesy WMNF

The White Mountain National Forest is expanding with the addition of a popular rock climbing destination in Rumney.

The federal forest will now include 85 acres in the Rumney Rocks area. It includes trails and a parking lot built recently by the Rumney Climbers’ Association.

Nonprofits have raised money and gotten federal funding in recent years to build out the trail and climbing route system and prevent erosion on the cliffs.

Pages