This Solar Device Converts Seawater to Drinking Water

<p><a href=”” target=”_blank”>According to</a> Ricochet<em>,</em> the RCMP expanded its “exclusion zone” Saturday, taking control of most of the territory of the Gidimt’en, one of the five clans of the Wet’suwet’en.</p><p>”The exclusion zone has been created by the RCMP to force Wet’suwet’en land defenders off our land,” the Unist’ot’en Camp said in a statement. “It is a colonial and criminalizing tool to illegally and arbitrarily extend RCMP authority onto our lands. The massive exclusion zone, completely under RCMP authoritarian discretion, falls outside the injunction area. Chiefs and Wet’suwet’en people are illegally being denied access to their own territories.”</p><p>The neighboring Gitxsan Nation led a solidarity action on Saturday, blocking a rail line in protest of the RCMP’s actions, the injunction, and the Canadian government’s failure to intervene on behalf of the Wet’suwet’en people’s rights.</p><p>”The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their house members have fought the forcible removal from their territories as they seek to protect their sovereign rights and protect the land, water and air,” Gitxsan hereditary chief Norman Stephens <a href=”” target=”_blank”>told</a> Richochet. “If their rights are being trampled, our rights are being trampled.”</p>

<iframe width=”100%” height=”150″ scrolling=”no” id=”twitter-embed-1226257753590595584″ src=”/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1226257753590595584&created_ts=1581197605.0&screen_name=ricochet_en&” frameborder=”0″ class=”rm-shortcode” data-rm-shortcode-id=”HATXZU1581455109″></iframe>

<p>Other rail blockades were <a href=”” target=”_blank”>reported</a> across the country, and solidarity actions took the form of rallies and protests at government buildings in Canada as well as in the U.S.</p>

<iframe width=”100%” height=”150″ scrolling=”no” id=”twitter-embed-1226597913423380480″ src=”/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1226597913423380480&created_ts=1581278706.0&screen_name=kingstonist&” frameborder=”0″ class=”rm-shortcode” data-rm-shortcode-id=”FIB1U11581455110″></iframe>

<iframe width=”100%” height=”150″ scrolling=”no” id=”twitter-embed-1226306501620334593″ src=”/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1226306501620334593&created_ts=1581209228.0&screen_name=TorranceCoste&” frameborder=”0″ class=”rm-shortcode” data-rm-shortcode-id=”B6F1FT1581455110″></iframe>

<iframe width=”100%” height=”150″ scrolling=”no” id=”twitter-embed-1226632375011954689″ src=”/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1226632375011954689&created_ts=1581286922.0&screen_name=totalactivate&” frameborder=”0″ class=”rm-shortcode” data-rm-shortcode-id=”2GXG4E1581455110″></iframe>

<p>Climate action leader <a href=”” target=”_self”>Greta Thunberg</a> also expressed support for the Wet’suwet’en on social media.</p>

<iframe width=”100%” height=”150″ scrolling=”no” id=”twitter-embed-1226137808865243136″ src=”/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1226137808865243136&created_ts=1581169008.0&screen_name=GretaThunberg&” frameborder=”0″ class=”rm-shortcode” data-rm-shortcode-id=”RE8ZUH1581455110″></iframe>

<p>”Indigenous rights equals climate justice,” Thunberg tweeted.</p>

Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.

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Majority of US adults believe climate change is most important issue today

Majority of US adults believe climate change is most important issue today Infographic: Majority of U.S. Adults believe climate change is most important issue today. Credit: American Psychological Association

As the effects of climate change become more evident, more than half of U.S. adults (56%) say climate change is the most important issue facing society today, yet 4 in 10 have not made any changes in their behavior to reduce their contribution to climate change, according to a new poll by the American Psychological Association.

While 7 in 10 say they wish there were more they could do to combat , 51% of U.S. adults say they don’t know where to start. And as the election race heats up, 62% say they are willing to vote for a candidate because of his or her position on change.

The survey was conducted online from Dec. 12-16, 2019, by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association.

People are taking some steps to combat climate change, with 6 in 10 saying they have changed a behavior to reduce their contribution to climate change. Nearly three-quarters (72%) say they are very or somewhat motivated to make changes.

Among those who have already made behavior changes to reduce their contribution to climate change, when asked why they have not done more, 1 in 4 (26%) cite not having the resources, such as time, money or skills, to make changes. Some people are unwilling to make any changes in their behavior to reduce their contribution to climate change. When those who have not changed their behavior were asked if anything would motivate them to reduce their contribution to climate change, 29% said nothing would motivate them to do so.

Majority of US adults believe climate change is most important issue today Infographic: Most common behavioral changes people have made or are willing to make to reduce their contribution to climate change. Credit: American Psychological Association

Concern about climate change may be having an impact on , with more than two-thirds of adults (68%) saying that they have at least a little “eco-anxiety,” defined as any anxiety or worry about climate change and its effects. These effects may be disproportionately having an impact on the country’s youngest adults; nearly half of those age 18-34 (47%) say the stress they feel about climate change affects their daily lives.

“The health, economic, political and environmental implications of climate change affect all of us. The tolls on our mental health are far reaching,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D., APA’s chief executive officer. “As climate change is created largely by , psychologists are continuing to study ways in which we can encourage people to make —both large and small—so that collectively we can help our planet.”

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Psychological research shows us that when people learn about and experience local climate impacts, their understanding of the effects of climate change increases. A quarter of those who have not yet made a behavior change to reduce their contribution to climate change say personally experiencing environmental impacts of climate change (e.g., , ) (25%) or seeing environmental impacts of climate change in their community (24%) would make them want to try to reduce their contribution to climate change.

Majority of US adults believe climate change is most important issue today Infographic: Reasons people report for not doing more to address climate change Credit: American Psychological Association

The most common behavior changes people have already made or are willing to make include: reducing waste, including recycling (89%); upgrading insulation in their homes (81%); limiting utility use in their homes (79%); using , such as solar panels or purchasing electricity from a renewable energy supplier (78%); consuming less in general (77%); or limiting air travel (75%).

Adults are less likely to say they have changed or are willing to change daily transportation habits (e.g., carpool, drive an electric or hybrid vehicle, use public transportation, walk or bike) (67%) or their diet (e.g., eat less red meat or switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet) (62%).

A majority (70%) also say that they have already or are willing to take action such as working with their community to reduce emissions, for example by installing bike paths, hosting farmers markets, or using community . And nearly 6 in 10 (57%) say that they have already or are willing to write or lobby elected officials about climate change action with a similar proportion (57%) saying they already have or are willing to join an organization or committee working on climate change action.

The most common motivations for behavior changes among those who have taken action to reduce their contribution to climate change are wanting to preserve the planet for future generations (52%), followed by hearing about climate change and its impacts in the news (43%).

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This is what we can really do about climate change, says new report

  • Despite efforts to achieve net-zero by 2050, global emissions are still rising.
  • A new study suggests ways to fast-track efforts to decarbonize the planet.
  • Building a business case for sustainable energy could drive the transition.

It’s not too late to stop climate change. According to new research, decarbonizing fast enough to stabilize the climate and fast-track the planet to net-zero rests on all of us changing how we think and act – and doing it fast.

The report, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS), identifies six “tipping dynamics”, or interventions, that could act as catalysts to bring about rapid societal and technological change towards a sustainable future.

The study highlights the importance of intervening to make fossil fuels less economically – and morally – attractive. A step-change of this kind could bring about tipping points that divert investment and consumer demand away from fossil fuels towards more sustainable energy sources. It says this can be done by:

  • Removing fossil-fuel subsidies and boosting incentives to move to decentralized energy systems and make clean energy production and storage systems more economically competitive.
  • Encouraging financial markets to divest of assets linked to fossil fuels, to divert investment towards less-polluting technologies, leaving investors keen to avoid the prospect of holding ‘stranded assets’ tied to fossil fuels.
  • Building sustainable cities powered by renewable energy.
  • Revealing the “moral implications” of fossil fuels.
  • Disclosing greenhouse gas emissions information.
  • Strengthening climate education and engagement.

While awareness of the climate emergency is growing, global efforts to reduce carbon emissions are not moving fast enough to avoid irreversible damage to the planet.

Moving from the fossil fuels that drive global warming to cleaner energy sources, such as wind or solar power, is at the heart of global efforts to decarbonize. Yet emissions from power generation continue to increase.

climate change fossil fuel green investment finance energy sustainable environment nature business corporations government global warming co2 carbon dioxide emissions gas pollution

Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions worldwide (in gigatonnes).

Image: Statista

Carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector have more than doubled since the 1970s and remain on an upward trajectory.

Once we reach a point where sustainable energy generates higher financial returns than coal and oil, the world should reach the critical mass needed to halt increasing CO2 emissions levels, and begin to reverse the trend.

Think again

But building a business case for clean energy is only one part of the challenge. The study also identifies the importance of changing social values and behaviour.

Progress in combating climate change rests on converting awareness of the problem into action, so the transition to a carbon-free lifestyle is made easy for the global population to achieve.

For this to happen, a new world view is needed that embraces a climate-friendly and sustainable stance, which demands a fundamental overhaul of existing social, political and economic norms. And this new perception needs to be contagious so it is adopted globally.

The paper’s authors suggest greater transparency could produce tipping points that change what’s considered normal or acceptable, by revealing the moral implications of fossil fuels and disclosing greenhouse gas emissions information. At the same time strengthening climate education and engagement among the global population.

Climate change poses an urgent threat demanding decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top of the list.

To limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policy-makers, and civil society advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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The World Economic Forum’s Climate Initiative supports the scaling and acceleration of global climate action through public and private-sector collaboration. The Initiative works across several workstreams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policy-makers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.

Climate action was a key theme at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos. Klaus Schwab, the Forum’s Founder and Executive Chairman, and the heads of Bank of America and Royal DSM, sent a letter to all summit participants asking companies and investors to make a commitment to act on climate change, which is more urgently needed than ever before. The Forum’s ongoing work on climate change includes Mission Possible, a platform to help industries make the transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The climate challenges facing the planet transcend national boundaries, requiring urgent action from policy-makers, businesses, organizations and communities to speed up the transition to a net-zero future.

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World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with our Terms of Use.

Reverse solar panel generates power at night — via the coldness of outer space

For obvious reasons, today’s sun-powered solar cells don’t work at night. But researchers from the University of California, Davis believe that they may have come up with a solution. And it’s one that would allow specially designed photovoltaic cells to keep generating power even when it’s dark. While this would only be around a quarter of what a regular solar panel is able to generate during daytime, that would nonetheless be a quarter more power than is currently generated at night.

The approach works a bit like a regular solar cell in reverse. A conventional solar cell is cool compared to the sun, so it absorbs light. But if you take a warmer object and point it someplace cold it will radiate heat toward it in the form of infrared light. That’s what the UC Davis researchers have been doing, directing their solar cells at the sky, where it will radiate infrared light because it is warmer than outer space. Due to some smart physics and a device called a thermoradiative cell which generates power by radiating heat, they believe they may have come up with a breakthrough type of solar cell.

“As you know, in many places solar cells work great for about eight hours per day, but after the sun goes down we need other power sources or storage,” Jeremy Munday, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC Davis, told Digital Trends. “That is where this concept comes in. I like to think about solar cells as being kind of like heat engines without the moving parts. You take a semiconductor that is doped in a particular way, and you put it between a hot object and a cold object. For a normal solar cell, the hot object is the sun and the Earth is the cold object. For our devices, the Earth becomes the ‘hot’ object and deep space, with a temperature of 3 K (negative 454.27 Fahrenheit), becomes the cold object.”

In their latest piece of research, the investigators explore the theoretical and practical limits of such devices. In the lab, meanwhile, they have developed prototypes, although Munday says there’s still much to be done before they can be used to generate a significant amount of power. “So far, it is just proof-of-principle,” he noted.

Should all go according to plan, it will be possible to build solar cells which can be used to produce power during both the day and the night. These could be used on their own or in conjunction with traditional photovoltaics.

A paper describing the work, titled “Nighttime Photovoltaic Cells: Electrical Power Generation by Optically Coupling with Deep Space,” was recently published in the journal ACS Photonics.

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Electric dream: Britain to ban new petrol and hybrid cars from 2035

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will ban the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars from 2035, five years earlier than planned, in an attempt to reduce air pollution that could herald the end of over a century of reliance on the internal combustion engine.

FILE PHOTO: A car is plugged in at a charging point for electric vehicles in London, Britain, March 6, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

The step amounts to a victory for electric cars that if copied globally could hit the wealth of oil producers, as well as transform the car industry and one of the icons of 20th Century capitalism: the automobile itself.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seeking to use the announcement to elevate the United Kingdom’s environmental credentials after he sacked the head of a Glasgow U.N. Climate Change Conference planned for November known as COP26.

“We have to deal with our CO2 emissions,” Johnson said at a launch event for COP26 at London’s Science Museum on Tuesday. “As a country and as a society, as a planet, as a species, we must now act.”

The government said that, subject to consultation, it would end the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans in 2035, or earlier if a faster transition was possible.

Countries and cities around the world have announced plans to crack down on diesel vehicles following the 2015 Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) emissions scandal and the EU is introducing tougher carbon dioxide rules.

The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens have said they plan to ban diesel vehicles from city centres by 2025. France is preparing to ban the sale of fossil fuel-powered cars by 2040.

While demand for electric vehicles has surged in Britain, Europe’s second-largest market for new vehicles, diesel and petrol models still account for 90% of sales. Prospective buyers of greener models are worried about the limited availability of charging points, the range of certain models and the cost.

The government said last year it was providing an extra 2.5 million pounds ($3.25 million) to fund the installation of more than 1,000 new charge points for electric vehicles on residential streets.


While some automakers may find it hard to countenance the end of the combustion engine, others have embraced a future in which electric vehicles prevail.

Ford (F.N), Volkswagen and Vauxhall are Britain’s biggest-selling car manufacturers, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Tesla (TSLA.O), Mitsubishi (7211.T) and BMW (BMWG.DE) produce the top three selling electric cars in Britain.

Although the ban will not come into force for another 15 years, the change will affect decision-making sooner as carmakers decide on investments long before a vehicle first rolls off a production line with a model life cycle lasting around seven years.

The ban poses a threat to German jobs as Britain is the biggest export market for its car manufacturers, amounting to about 20% of global sales, and electric cars take less time to build than combustion-engined or hybrid variants.


The two-week COP26 summit is seen as a moment of truth for the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat global warming. Britain has pledged to reach net zero by 2050.

Johnson also signalled that a phase-out of Britain’s coal-fired power plants would be brought forward by a year to 2024. Coal provides just 3% of the country’s electricity, down from 70% three decades ago, he said.

Johnson’s launch of COP26 was marred by a stinging attack on the prime minister by the summit’s former head Clare O’Neill who was sacked from the post last week.

Johnson declined to answer any questions on O’Neill, but last week the government said the role would be filled by a minister with her replacement expected to be announced this month.

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Piper, Andrew MacAskill and Susanna Twidale in London and Ed Taylor in Frankfurt; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Ed Osmond

GM to invest $2.2B in Detroit to build electric vehicles

DETROIT — General Motors is spending $2.2 billion to refurbish an underused Detroit factory so it can build a series of electric and self-driving vehicles, eventually employing 2,200 people.

GM said in a statement Jan. 27 that the factory will start building the company’s first electric pickup late in 2021, followed by a funky-looking self-driving shuttle for GM’s Cruise autonomous vehicle unit.

The truck will be the first of several electric vehicles to be built at the plant, which straddles the border between Detroit and the enclave of Hamtramck. The company has plans to revive the Hummer nameplate for one of the vehicles.

In November 2018, GM announced plans to close the factory along with three others in the U.S. But the company promised to reopen Detroit-Hamtramck to build electric vehicles during last fall’s contentious contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers union.

At that time the plant employed about 1,500 hourly and salaried workers. Currently the plant is working on one shift with about 900 workers making the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala sedans.

The factory will be shut down at the end of February, when renovations are expected to begin. The general assembly area as well as the paint and body shops will get major upgrades including new machinery, conveyors and controls, GM said.

GM will also invest $800 million in equipment for parts suppliers and other projects related to the new electric trucks.

The factory will be GM’s first assembly plant to be fully dedicated to building electric vehicles.“Through this investment, GM is taking a big step forward in making our vision of an all-electric future a reality,” GM President Mark Reuss said.

The announcement came days after Michigan’s economic-development arm, the Michigan Strategic Fund, agreed to revise tax breaks for GM in exchange for the company’s commitment to invest at least $3.5 billion more over 10 years in the state, including to build electric vehicles at Detroit-Hamtramck.

The value of the automaker’s maximum state tax credit was cut by $325 million, to nearly $2.3 billion through 2029. GM still has to retain at least 34,750 jobs in Michigan — it has about 45,000 now — but got flexibility to count more jobs at its headquarters in Detroit and its research, development and engineering campus in the suburb of Warren.

The plant now employs about 800 people. Production of the Chevrolet Impala will cease at the end of February, at which point renovations will begin to produce electric pickups and other vehicles. The plant will have 2,000 employees once it is at full capacity.

GM CEO Mary Barra has said the company will restructure to raise cash in part to develop 20 electric models that it plans to sell worldwide by 2023.

GM already has announced plans by a joint venture with LG Chem to invest $2.3 billion to build a battery cell factory in Lordstown, Ohio. The factory will supply cells to vehicles made at the Detroit plant.

GM expects the Lordstown factory to employ up to 1,000 people. Last year the company closed a giant small-car assembly plant there that employed 4,000 people just two years ago.

Workers at the battery plant likely will make less money than the roughly $30 per hour paid to vehicle assembly plant workers.

Connecticut's Largest City Sees Future in Harnessing Wind Energy

Vineyard Wind plans to develop an 18-acre waterfront site in Bridgeport, Conn.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn.—For decades, officials here have searched for an economic engine to turn around this once-booming industrial city.

They pursued several waterfront casinos, hoping one would prove a job-making jackpot, but none has yet panned out. They took a swing at a minor-league baseball stadium. They built it, but the city’s success didn’t come.

Now an offshore wind venture is seen as a savior. Developer Vineyard Wind has pledged to invest $890 million in Bridgeport, Conn., create thousands of jobs and return the state’s largest city to its heyday.

A similar, if smaller, plan is being negotiated with a separate wind-farm developer in New London, Conn., which is about an hour drive from Bridgeport.

“This is going to drive opportunity for Connecticut and the two deep water ports that we are blessed to have, Bridgeport and New London,” Katie Dykes, commissioner of the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, or DEEP, said in an interview. “We expect that by moving quickly we can ensure that the initial investment is anchored here in our state so that we will be a leader in offshore wind.”

Vineyard Wind, a Massachusetts-based company owned by Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, won a 20-year state contract in December to provide 14% of the state’s electricity, or enough to power 400,000 homes with renewable energy. Its winning bid included agreements to use cable from a manufacturer that has been in the region since 1854 and employ a statewide high-tech manufacturing group to train workers. Vineyard Wind also agreed to work with the parent company of the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company to develop a decaying 18-acre waterfront site called Barnum Landing into an operations and maintenance facility.

“Park City Wind will transform a long dormant property into a hub for 21st century jobs and create significant economic activity for the City of Bridgeport and surrounding areas throughout the development, construction, and operation of the project,” said Lars T. Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind.

Katherine Mamed, program coordinator for Building Pathways Connecticut, which offers apprenticeship-readiness classes for 14 trade unions, said the wind venture could reduce Bridgeport’s 6% unemployment rate.

“We are really excited to work with the wind industry in Bridgeport because it is an area that is underserved,” Ms. Mamed said. “People there often don’t have a conduit into middle-class jobs.”

A city of 150,000 with a nearly 21% poverty rate, Bridgeport has had its share of misfires.

Vineyard Wind is set to provide 14% of Connecticut’s electricity.

President Donald Trump came to town in the 1990s, offering a glittering casino packed with jobs, but the state didn’t approve a Bridgeport casino. Then, a minor league baseball team—the Bridgeport Bluefish—was hailed as the needed catalyst. After 20 years of sluggish growth, the team departed in 2017. That year,

MGM Resorts International

promised to build a $675 million casino on the Bridgeport Harbor. Trade unions rallied in support, hoping for the promised 7,000 Bridgeport jobs. MGM would need state approval for a Bridgeport casino, as would a competing bid from the two sovereign tribal nations that already run casinos on reservations in the state. They are still waiting.

MGM spokesman Bernard Kavaler said in an interview: “A competitive process is in the state’s best interest.” The Trump Organization declined to comment and a message left for Frank Bolton, the former owner of the Bluefish, wasn’t returned.

The wind project is different, said David Kooris, chairman of the Connecticut Port Authority.

“This is not a pipe dream,” said Mr. Kooris, who once served as economic development director for Bridgeport. “Because of DEEP’s award of the 800 megawatts, there will be offshore-wind activity at the port, but the magnitude will be determined by a variety of factors still being negotiated.”

The state’s clean energy goal requires 2,000 megawatts from wind power by 2030.

Revolution Wind, a joint venture of Danish wind giant


and the Connecticut-based utility


won state bids to provide 300 MW. The company plans to join with the state on a nearly $100 million project to redevelop the State Pier in New London. That pier would serve as the New London assembly and installation hub for the massive turbines, said Francis Slingsby, Orsted’s head of strategic partnerships.

“It’s a great facility in terms of geography,” Mr. Slingsby said. “It’s only 70 nautical miles from our lease areas and that means you’ve got less days at sea for these very expensive, installation vessels.”

Revolution Wind’s turbines will be in the Rhode Island Sound while Vineyard Wind’s turbines will sit 15 miles off Martha’s Vineyard.

Justin Ballotte supports calls for the Bridgeport Harbor to be dredged.

There are still obstacles to overcome before electricity can flow.

Vineyard Wind was expecting final approval for an 800-MW project in Massachusetts when, in August, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management required the company to complete an additional study analyzing the cumulative impact of wind farms. The timeline is now unclear.

Then there is the fact that the Bridgeport Harbor hasn’t been dredged since 1964 and some of its channels have silted in. The Vineyard Wind project can operate without dredging, Kooris said, but the harbor will eventually need to be dredged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“There is great potential here in Bridgeport,” said Justin C. Ballotte, operations manager for the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, who noted that new retail and dining destinations along the harbor are drawing more interest in the area. “Increased operation in the harbor only makes the argument for dredging stronger.”

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