Brass shell casings for the .50 caliber machine gun, informally known as “Ma Deuce.” Many Massachusetts soldiers must travel to Vermont to qualify with the weapon.

EPA deals major blow to Cape machine gun range; report finds significant danger to public health

April 27, 2023

A proposed machine gun range on Joint Base Cape Cod could create a “significant public health hazard” by contaminating drinking water for 220,000 year-round residents on the Cape, according to a much-anticipated draft report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For the last 20 months, the EPA has conducted an “exhaustive” scientific review of the…

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Salt marshes behind the the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Conn.

An experiment in Connecticut aims to make New England’s salt marshes more resilient

April 21, 2023

Employees of the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut are in an alcove out back by the river, building greenhouses — hammering, sawing and drilling. “Cutting PVC to shape, cutting greenhouse plastic and assembling these one-meter-volume cubes,” said Justin Susarchick, the aquarium’s projects director. His colleague Rebha Raviraj fires up a power saw and cuts a…

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The barrier beach and marsh system at Seawall Beach and Sprague River Salt Marsh.

Maine beaches that have escaped development can help us understand rising seas

April 3, 2023

Caitlin Cleaver, the director of the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area in Phippsburg, Maine, is on a dune looking out over Seawall Beach and the Sprague Marsh behind it. “This is one of the largest undeveloped barrier beaches in Maine,” she says, “and we have a conservation area behind it that is close to 600 acres.”…

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Biggest patch of unprotected private land in Green Mountain National Forest to be preserved forever

April 1, 2023

The largest remaining piece of unconserved private property in the Green Mountain National Forest has been permanently protected from development. The Rolston Rest property spans 2,744 acres along the Green Mountain ridge near Killington. It includes eight mountain summits. Hiking through, you might not even know you were on private property. The Green Mountain Club…

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Peconic Bay scallop die-offs are ‘a cautionary tale’ for New England

January 20, 2023

Once one of the largest fisheries on the East Coast, Peconic Bay scallops have faced near complete die-offs on Long Island since 2019. A study by Stony Brook University shows this could be a cautionary tale for New England. Christopher Gobler, a co-author and endowed chair of coastal ecology and conservation in the School of…

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Warm weather and rain bring tough snow season for NH skiers, snowshoers and others

January 9, 2023

Warm temperatures and rainy days have created difficult conditions this winter for Granite Staters who like to get out in the snow. With a snowstorm in mid-December, many local ski areas were able to establish a base coating on their slopes. At Pats Peak in Henniker, N.H., most trails have opened. But the recent conditions…

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Outdoor groups, park officials host First Day Hikes across New England

January 3, 2023

Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts around New England took part in First Day Hikes — a national New Year’s Day tradition that began in Massachusetts 30 years ago. A few dozen people made their way to the Chester-Blandford State Forest, where the Western Mass Hilltown Hikers joined representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation for a…

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Study: Improved forestry could boost carbon storage in New England by nearly half a billion tons

December 21, 2022

A new study published in an international forestry journal finds that better forest management could significantly grow New England’s carbon storage, improve wildlife habitat and provide a reliable timber supply. Published in the journal Forests, the study finds that improved forest practices including increased stocking of trees could bolster carbon storage by an estimated 488…

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Tourists on the summit of Cadillac Mountain, in Acadia National Park. Signs direct visitors to stay on the path, to avoid trampling sensitive mountain flora.

Forget the views: scientists say Cadillac Mountain is a prime spot for studying climate change

December 19, 2022

On a perfect summer day at the summit of Acadia’s Cadillac Mountain, throngs of tourists are taking in the expansive view of rocky ledges, surrounding hills and the Gulf of Maine spreading out endlessly to the south. But Chris Nadeau is focused on the tiny plants at his feet, shooting up from thin soil between…

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Across New England, a group is working to find – and save – native plants

October 18, 2022

Before you can save a seed, you have to find it. On a clear day this summer, our search began just a few steps off a trail near a rocky ledge in southern Connecticut. “We’re looking for muhlenbergia capillaris, which is the hair cap muhly,” said Michael Piantedosi, director of conservation at the Native Plant Trust. Piantedosi’s…

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