Environment

Jason Moon for NHPR

Yesterday, a new report was released with suggestions for how Seacoast communities should prepare for the effects of climate change. The document could influence town planning and development in the region for years. The report came from the Coastal Risk and Hazards Commission, which was created by the legislature back in 2013. It had 37-members representing Seacoast towns, state agencies, and private-sector interests. Their report identifies where the Seacoast is vulnerable to the effects of...

Outside/In: Ties That Bind

Nov 18, 2016

For alpinist Ben Clark, scaling the world’s toughest mountains is a source of pride and peace; for his mom and dad it is a source of constant worry. What's a parent to do if their son’s lifelong ambition puts him in harm’s way? Plus, The “Save the Whales” movement of the 1970’s was instrumental in putting a stop to commercial whaling. But even as humpbacks and other whale populations have bounced back, one species is still up against the ropes. Literally. Later in the show, Sam tackles the problem of whale entanglement and discovers that proposed solutions include crossbows, Australian lobsters, and Chinese finger traps.

The Conservation Law Foundation is suing the Pease Development Authority over water contamination issues at the former Pease Air Force base in Portsmouth. The Conservation Law Foundation says the Pease Development Authority failed to seek required federal storm water runoff permits from the Environmental Protection Agency. Conservation Law Foundation lawyer Tom Irwin says the federal Clean Water Act requires the PDA to have a storm water runoff management plan. “It’s not a matter of waiting...

New research from the University of New Hampshire suggests a person’s political leanings can influence how they perceive some of the impacts of climate change. In a recent study , researchers at UNH started with the basic, factual premise that there has been an increase in flooding in New Hampshire over the last ten years. But according to the survey conducted of more than 2,000 New Hampshire residents, your political leanings play a big role in determining whether you agree with that fact....

Outside/In: There's No "i" in Team

Nov 11, 2016

When you walk a trail in the woods, have you ever wondered, how did this get here? Who carved this path? Chances are a team of hardscrabble men and women worked tirelessly to make sure the paths you follow blend right into the landscape. This week we find out why one such trail crew, known as the 'TFC', is the stuff of legend. Also, running and completing a marathon is an amazing achievement that is the culmination of many hours of hard mental and physical training. But can you really claim you finished when you collapse just a few yards from the finish, or is that cheating. And we'll finish it off with a heartwarming story of the ultimate gesture of sportsmanship from a place called Ushuaia, Argentina known as the "End of the World".

Outside/In: Fighting the Odds

Nov 4, 2016

In this week's episode, we have two stories about people fighting and overcoming tough odds: First, the tale of Tony Bosco, who camped in the woods around Rutgers University for more than two decades. Second, the life and work of Dr. Percy Julian, a pioneering chemist who helped unlock the secrets of the soybean and change the face of modern medicine.

Outside/In: Go Big or Go Home

Oct 28, 2016

In this week's episode, the rise and fall of the Keene Pumpkin Festival, a quaint New England tradition that took a dark turn when riots broke out during the 2014 festival. Plus, the calmest extreme sport you'll ever witness: bird-watching. Sam answers a listener question about some rather nefarious crows and we travel to the most glamorous outdoor spot you've likely never noticed and discover it is teeming with microscopic life.

Outside/In: Take the Reins

Oct 21, 2016

In this week’s episode, we look at a controversial method of wildlife management called biocontrol . Then we practice a little biocontrol of our own by cooking and eating an invasive fish that’s terrorizing the ocean, and finally we set sail with just the sun, the stars, and our long lost sense of direction to guide us.

Conservation biologists say that the good news for wildlife is there are still extensive tracts of forest habitat in the northeast. Yet as humans have built up roads and housing developments, crossing between key habitat areas — such as from the Adirondacks to the Green Mountains — can be a dangerous trip for a moose or a bear.

Dennis Amith via Flickr CC

Dartmouth College officials say a second private well near a Hanover farm where contaminated laboratory animals were buried in the 1960s and 1970s has tested positive for a toxic chemical believed to have migrated from the site.

The drought conditions that have gripped much of the Northeastern U.S. this summer appear to have a silver lining — fewer ticks. From Maine to Rhode Island, researchers say they expect tick numbers to be down from previous years especially for the blacklegged ticks, known as deer ticks, which transmit Lyme disease. It's too early to say, however, whether fewer ticks could mean a decline in Lyme disease cases. About 30,000 confirmed cases are reported each year across the country and those...

A Dartmouth hazardous waste burial site has contaminated the ground water near a Hanover neighborhood. Those chemicals are now on the move, and at least one family’s drinking water has been affected.

Jason Moon for NHPR

For New Hampshire’s Seacoast, it’s no secret that climate change and the resulting rise in sea-level rise is one of the biggest challenges facing the region. But while the threat is well known, the ways Seacoast communities are preparing for it aren’t always what you’d expect. NHPR’s Jason Moon reports for our month-long series Life on the Seacoast . In downtown Portsmouth, there’s this little red brick building that sits across the water from Peirce Island. It isn’t remarkable, just a...

Bryan Hanson / Morguefile

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced a million dollars in grants Tuesday to restore New Hampshire’s forest and fish habitat. Eight organizations received funding to restore wildlife habitat in New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine. Collectively, the groups will open nearly 200 miles of streams for fish passage and improve habitat for the New England Cottontail, American woodcock, and golden-winged warblers. Eversource, New Hampshire’s largest electric utility, is...

Epa.gov

Residential water sources near a Superfund site on the Seacoast have tested below the state’s standard for perfluorichemicals - including PFOA . Earlier tests at the site showed PFCs at levels significantly higher than the state standard. Sixteen residential wells near the former Coakley landfill were tested for perfluorichemicals following the discovery of those contaminants in monitoring wells at the landfill earlier this year. All of the residential wells tested showed PFC levels below the recently established state standard.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The second largest solar array in the state is up and running as of today. It now powers municipal buildings in Durham. The newly installed 2,100 solar modules sit on a former gravel pit in Lee. These panels now provide all of the energy to buildings owned by the town of Durham, with the exception of the wastewater treatment plant.

National Audubon Society

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire think blue-green algae blooms may be contributing to the declining population of loons in certain New Hampshire lakes. While scientists have long warned humans to stay clear of algae or cyanobacteria blooms, researchers at UNH now suspect they may be harming New Hampshire’s loon population. While the state’s overall loon population has been steadily rebounding each year, some lakes are still seeing losses.

Elizabeth Szelog for NHPR

Biologists have begun investigating what killed an 18-year-old humpback whale that washed ashore in New Hampshire. New England Aquarium spokesman Tony Lacasse tells The Portsmouth Herald the reason the whale named Snow Plow died remained a mystery as of Wednesday.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A group representing New England states and federal agencies held a meeting Sunday in Portsmouth to get public input on their plan to coordinate the use of the region’s ocean resources. The Northeast Regional Planning Body was designed to coordinate the interests of a whole host of parties interested in how the ocean gets used, from commercial fishing to transportation to national security. The group includes representatives from all six New England states and nine federal agencies.

Sean Hurley

Growing up in Loudon, Andrew Timmins didn’t see his first bear until he was nearly 20. Now, as Fish & Game’s Bear Project leader, Timmins manages the state’s population of more than 5,500 bears. NHPR’s Sean Hurley recently spent a day with Timmins at a bear hotspot at the Attitash Ski Resort and learned how the state regularly catches troublesome bears and relocates them to the northernmost part of the state.

aaronHWarren / Flickr Creative Commons

A ban on lead tackle in New Hampshire goes into effect Wednesday to help protect loons and other bird species in the Granite state. Harry Vogel is a senior biologist and executive director at the Loon Preservation Committee. He calls the law one of the toughest of its kind in the nation. The law goes beyond use to include sales and also covers sinkers up to an ounce — more far reaching than most other states. Vogel says lead tackle was the largest cause of loon mortality in New Hampshire,...

Outside/In: Stake Your Claim

May 20, 2016

There used to be a time when you could strike out into the vast unexplored wilderness and stake your claim – but not anymore. Today, the story of one seaside town where one homeowner is facing a brutal property dispute against an undefeatable opponent: the Atlantic Ocean. Plus, a group of 19th century pioneers lay claim to one of the world’s most inhospitable mountains and turn it into a premiere tourist destination. And, Sam goes on a hunt for Earth’s last unexplored places, so he can plant a flag and stake his claim.

Outside/In: Living Fossils

May 20, 2016
Greta Rybus and Logan Shannon

Technology advances at breakneck speed, so why hasn’t the electric grid changed in 60 years? This week’s episode explores things, that for one reason or another, haven’t changed in a very, very long time. Like the ginkgo tree, which has remained strong--and smelly--for over 250 million years.

Outside/In: Nurture vs. Nature

May 12, 2016
Greta Rybus and Logan Shannon

Tyler Armstrong is 12-years-old. He loves video games, laser tag, and he wants to become the youngest person to summit Mount Everest. In this episode, Outside/In poses an ethical question: how young is too young to climb Mount Everest? Plus, what to expect when you're expecting a child...and a gold medal at the Nordic World Ski Championships. And a father wages a 17-year-long battle against the Department of Environmental Services over a dock.

Sandra Rehan/UNH

Monday, researchers from UNH released the first scientific findings about the state of New Hampshire’s bee population. It's the first comprehensive list of bee species in the state, including 17 species never before recorded in New Hampshire. The research comes after years of reports of declining bee populations around the country. Assistant professor of biology Sandra Rehan co-authored the report and said b iologists will use this data as a baseline to measure future trends. “We’re kind of...

Outside/In: On the Hunt

Apr 29, 2016
Greta Rybus and Logan Shannon

Ever since becoming a reporter, Sam has heard stories about a secret hunting reserve in New Hampshire, stocked with elk and 200-pound wild boar. It's the size of a medium-sized town, but most people have never even heard about it, and almost nobody wants to talk about it.

A new study from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy says towns in the Great Bay watershed stand to save a lot of money if they can coordinate their efforts at reducing the amount of nitrogen entering the bay. Communities in the Great Bay watershed have been tasked with lowering the amount of nitrogen entering the bay by federal and state regulators for years now. One way to do that is to upgrade sewage treatment plants. Another is to treat storm water runoff that comes from paved surfaces...

Outside/In: Let's Take This Outside

Apr 22, 2016
Greta Rybus and Logan Shannon

How do you define wilderness? Why are humans drawn to summits? Will the cold-hardy kiwi save a struggling local economy, or will it destroy a native eco-system? What is nutria, and why does it taste so good? Meet Outside/In . A brand new radio show and podcast that takes a look at the natural world and how we use it.

Ben McCleod via Flickr CC

The Executive Council is holding a work session on a proposal to expand the Mount Sunapee ski resort, which is supported by economic development officials and businesses, but opposed by environmental groups. The five-member Council and Gov. Maggie Hassan are scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Jeffrey Rose, the state's economic development commissioner, will discuss the plan. He called it a balanced and responsible project that brings together recreation, conservation and economic...

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Wednesday that the state is going to extend the range of water testing as results continue to come in showing widespread contamination around the former Chemfab plant in North Bennington.

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