When Ana Quezada and her husband first bought their South Providence home 10 years ago, they were thrilled about the large pond bordering their backyard. It was only after they moved in that they learned that Mashapaug Pond is so contaminated from industrial and stormwater pollution that it’s been closed to fishing and swimming for decades.
Beneath the waves are seascapes as diverse and breathtaking as anything found on land. Yet only a fraction of our ocean is protected worldwide. We make the case for protecting vital seascapes like Cashes Ledge, so that our ocean can survive and thrive for generations to come.
In August 2015, conservationist and oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle launched a dive expedition to Cashes Ledge, the underwater mountain range 80 miles off the coast of Portland. We asked Dr. Earle about the need to protect Cashes Ledge and why she has designated it one of her “Hope Spots.”
Developing clean energy resources is a vital part of our response to climate change. In summer 2015, after years of smart and effective advocacy, CLF marked a watershed moment in U.S. history when Deepwater Wind began construction on the nation’s first offshore wind farm in Rhode Island’s Block Island Sound.
The Charles River was once one of the dirtiest rivers in the country. Today, thanks to CLF and Charles River Watershed Association, Massachusetts’ iconic river is on the mend. But despite these decades-long cleanup efforts, we still have a ways to go to rejuvenate the Charles River.
Lead was removed from our gasoline and paint decades ago. But the problem of lead poisoning in children has not gone away. Many New England houses and apartment buildings were built before the 1978 lead-paint ban – as that paint deteriorates or is disturbed, children’s health is put at risk.
Rhode Island senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, delivers a weekly “Time to Wake Up Speech” on the floor to compel his colleagues to address the climate crisis. Whitehouse tells us what compels him to give these speeches, and what role environmental advocacy can play in the fight against climate change.
Today, record numbers of Americans suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma, which are strongly influenced by their neighborhood and environmental conditions. At the same time, traditional sources of public funding for development are drying up, making the vision of a healthy community harder to realize.
Cars, trucks, and buses are the largest and fastest-growing contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, states are struggling to maintain public transit infrastructure, highways, and bridges in the face of scant funding and skyrocketing costs. These problems, though far-reaching, have solutions, though finding them will take investment, political will, and tenacity.
In New England, the ocean is an integral part of our lives, economy, and communities. But today, our need for the ocean’s resources is growing. So New England is leading the way in creating the country’s first regional ocean plan to balance ocean protection with responsible development.