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Dolphin mass stranding on Cape found to be the largest in US history
07-15-2024 8:16 PM

By STEVE LeBLANC

Rescuers who helped free more than a hundred dolphins from the Cape Cod shoreline say they’ve confirmed that the mass stranding that began June 28 was the largest involving dolphins in U.S. history.There were two previous events on record in Hawaii...

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Comerford shares details of Quabbin water legislation at forum
07-10-2024 9:55 AM

By ERIN-LEIGH HOFFMAN

ORANGE — State Sen. Jo Comerford met with area residents on Monday to answer questions and provide updates pertaining to bills that she and state Rep. Aaron Saunders have put forward to study the feasibility of giving western Massachusetts...


Air quality alert issued for Tuesday
07-08-2024 6:08 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Environmental officials have issued an air quality alert for Tuesday in Hampshire County and several other parts of Massachusetts due to expected elevated levels of ozone. The Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has issued...


Saving spotted owls: Wildlife officials to deploy trained shooters on West Coast to kill 450,000 barred owls
07-05-2024 8:58 AM

By MATTHEW BROWN

To save the imperiled spotted owl from potential extinction, U.S. wildlife officials are embracing a contentious plan to deploy trained shooters into dense West Coast forests to kill almost a half-million barred owls that are crowding out their...


More than 200 acres protected for agriculture in Deerfield’s North Meadows
06-19-2024 4:35 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

DEERFIELD — With the execution of two separate conservation restrictions by Historic Deerfield and the Antonellis family, more than 200 acres of land in Deerfield will remain permanently accessible for agriculture.In early May, Historic Deerfield...


Will local control be lost? State climate bill likely to usurp authority over siting of clean energy infrastructure
06-16-2024 1:01 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Regional planning groups and local municipalities remain wary of the looming implications on municipal jurisdiction should the state’s massive climate bill move ahead in the coming weeks with promises to reform the slow process of siting and...


Earth Matters: Swamps, stewardship and conservation: What does it mean to care for a forest?
06-06-2024 3:32 PM

By CHRISTINE HATCH

Swamps are great story villains. They are notoriously difficult to navigate due to their sinking sticky mud, spiked vines and dense vegetation; they are neither fully land nor water, negating boats and footwear as helpful vessels for traversing them;...


Hadley asks state to probe shopping cart structure along bank of Connecticut River
05-30-2024 10:29 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

HADLEY — The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is investigating the legality of a makeshift riverbank and retaining wall using dozens of carefully arranged shopping carts alongside the Connecticut River behind a home on Honey Pot...


Earth Matters: Honoring a local hero: After 40 years, Hitchcock Center bids farewell to educator and creative leader, Colleen Kelley
05-03-2024 1:51 PM

By TED WATT and HELEN ANN SEPHTON

This column honors Colleen Kelley, the education director at the Hitchcock Center, who will soon be leaving her post after 40 years.In the fall of 1984, Colleen walked into the Hitchcock Center — young, bright, idealistic, and fresh off a position as...


Ashfield considers seeking ‘Climate Leader’ designation
04-25-2024 2:35 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

ASHFIELD — The town is seeking a “Climate Leader” designation from the state that would help it reduce emissions by increasing its use of equipment run on electricity rather than those requiring fossil fuels, and maximizing the efficiency of...


Locking up carbon for good: Easthampton inventor’s CO2 removal system turns biomass into biochar
04-24-2024 4:44 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HOLYOKE — Like many people, Michael Garjian believes global warming is a pressing issue of our times.Unlike most, he’s putting his ideas for reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere into practice — and at the same time bidding for a share of the $100...


Earth Matters: From Big Sits to Birdathons: Birding competitions far and near
04-18-2024 1:46 PM

By JOSHUA ROSE

A few months ago, headlines flared that Peter Kaestner had seen his 10,000th bird species. This could have been anticlimactic, as Kaestner has been renowned for years among birders for traveling worldwide and seeing more species than anyone.However,...


Gravel pit defenders in Granby make case
04-09-2024 2:31 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

GRANBY — David Trompke grew up walking and riding his bike down Bachelor Street back when five gravel pits were in operation.Now, at 75, the lifelong Granby resident whose family developed a subdivision off Trompke Avenue wants to lease 19 acres for a...


Earth Matters: Why opposites attract: The magnetism between two things isn’t always fully explicable; sometimes it just feels right
04-05-2024 2:01 PM

By RACHEL QUIMBY

One of my favorite books from childhood is P.D. Eastman’s “Big Dog, Little Dog,” the story of two bi-pedal pooches who are best friends. But Fred is tall, and Ted is short; Fred drives slowly and Ted drives fast; Ted plays the tuba, and Fred plays the...


Earth Matters: Living in a recycled material world: Hitchcock Center inspires a fossil free future
03-14-2024 10:22 AM

By MARGAUX PAINE

As the world grapples with environmental challenges, the Fossil Free Zones initiative, championed by Leave it in the Ground Initiative (LINGO), takes inspiration from the transformative work at The Hitchcock Center for the Environment. The Center...


Wildlife Spotters: Hatfield elementary students tracking animal activity as part of science project
03-11-2024 1:15 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HATFIELD — If deer, bobcats or foxes are passing through their neighborhood, Hatfield Elementary School students have a new way of finding out.With the help of two Amherst College students and two Smith Academy eighth-graders, John Higuera and Ted...


Speaking of Nature: Midnight wail — The call of the Red Fox
02-20-2024 9:22 AM

By BILL DANIELSON

It was early in the morning.  I had a fresh cup of coffee and a little something to nibble on as I sat down at my computer and tried to make a decision.  What was I going to write about this week?  There were two ideas rattling around in my head but...


It’s time for Northeast to prep for floods like those that hit this winter. Climate change is why
02-19-2024 10:27 AM

By PATRICK WHITTLE

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — After back-to-back storms lashed the Northeast in January, rental properties Haim Levy owns in coastal Hampton, New Hampshire, were hammered by nearly two feet of water, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage...


‘One of the dirtiest vacation choices’: If you care about the planet, you might want to reconsider taking a cruise
02-13-2024 11:08 AM

Dear EarthTalk: Has the cruise industry cleaned up its act regarding its environmental footprint in recent years? – M.B., SeattleCruise ships are a big part of the marine shipping sector that is responsible for close to 3% of global greenhouse gas...


Earth Matters: Facing the ‘age of humans’: Should a new epoch, the Anthropocene, be initiated to reflect human impact on Earth?
01-26-2024 12:35 PM

By TOM LITWIN

As I concentrated on the computer screen, the news played in the background. A story about the environment got my attention, causing me to sit back and listen more carefully. I played the piece again to be sure I heard it correctly.In summer 2023, the...


Northampton homeowner wins honorable mention in Mass Audubon’s 2023 photo contest
01-24-2024 10:27 AM

By CHAD CAIN

NORTHAMPTON — On a spring day in 2020 as he returned home from a morning of birding along the Mill River, James Lowenthal stopped to chat with a neighbor just a few doors from his Crescent Street home.As the neighbors talked, they noticed a mama...

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