Wikimedia Commons

Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm on October 4th. It’s not an overstatement to say the island was devastated; not only were many structures damaged or flattened by wind, the power grid was destroyed and thousands of people were without access to fresh water and food for weeks.  Dr. Stephanie Prior is a physician at The Community Health Center of Cape Cod and recently returned from a medical humanitarian trip to Puerto Rico. Dr.

People are living longer. On The Point, we discuss the factors that contribute to healthy aging, and the challenges and opportunities we face as we prepare for an aging population at the community level. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that by 2030 about 1 of every 5 Americans will be age 65 or older: that’s about 72 million people. We will see a similar trend in our region: it’s estimated that the percentage of our state population of older adults will increase from 15% in 2015 to 21% in 2030.

Kathryn Eident / WCAI-FM

Three-quarters of Americans over age 45 live in single-family homes, according to AARP. As homeowners age though, it can become increasingly difficult for them to remain in their homes safely. In recent years, a growing number of people have begun retrofitting their homes with new safety features and technology to help them live in their homes longer.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wildreturn/

It’s indeed the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas Bird Count season is upon us! Binoculars have been hung by the window with care, in hopes that rare birds soon will be there! It’s all because this weekend starts the 118th annual Christmas Bird Count, a massive, continent-wide citizen science effort with humble, turn of the century beginnings.

Bird News for December

Dec 12, 2017
Bob Muller, Creative Commons

On The Point, Mark Faherty, ornithologist at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, joins our host Mindy Todd to talk about winter birds. Somewhere out there in the complete darkness of the arctic, snowy owls are hunting for sea ducks. Some of them will come this far south. Sea birds abound in our local waters; one can see hundreds of razorbills in Cape Cod Bay, and also other alcids (stocky oceanic birds that includes razorbills, dovekies, murres,  and puffins).

Here’s a Cape Cod factoid that you can use at parties during the holiday season: “What is the only town on Cape Cod that has a pedestrian sidewalk running continuously from one end of the town to the other? Think about that for a moment or two. Got an answer?

Brian Morris/WCAI

As people age into their 60s, 70s and 80s, senior centers can offer a way to stay active and engaged. But many senior centers also suffer from an identity crisis. One Cape Cod senior center has been broadening its programs and activities to attract people who otherwise might never set foot inside.

Rob Munier, WHOI

 The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's research ship Atlantis is launching a second expedition to help search for an Argentinian submarine that’s been missing since mid-November. The ARA San Juan left the southern tip of Argentina and was headed north along the coast when the crew reported a battery short circuit and then lost all contact. Argentine officials now say they think an explosion killed all forty four crew members.

Amy Aprill, WHOI

Cuba is home to some of the Caribbean’s most pristine coral reefs, in part because of the lack of tourism. As President Obama began normalizing relations with Cuba, Amy Apprill began working with Cuban scientists to study their reefs. Now, for the first time, a joint Cuban-American expedition has delved into the highly protected Gardens of the Queen reefs. But political tensions make the future of the work uncertain.

The North Atlantic right whale is Massachusetts’ state marine mammal, and a New England icon. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, the species is again in danger. There are only about 450 individuals remaining, the numbers are declining, and this year was particularly deadly. A leading researcher says that, under current conditions, North Atlantic right whales are just two decades away from extinction. But he says there are technologies and policies that could change that.

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