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CAI News Series

This page contains a list and summary of all CAI's Series Reporting.

To see awards that our reporting has won, visit our Awards page.

In Transit
A 2-Part Report - August 2021

Our series exploring public transit on Cape Cod.

The Lifeline that Strangles
A Special 3-Part Report - June/July 2021

Our series examines the Steamship Authority ferry line, the impacts of its increasing vehicle traffic, and what the service may look like in the future as growth continues.

Toxic Ponds: The Struggle to Protect Public HealthA Special 3-Part Report with additional resources - October 2020

Toxic algae blooms are growing in ponds across the region and towns are struggling to deal with the problem. CAI's Eve Zuckoff reports on the topic in this special series, Toxic Ponds: The Struggle to Protect Public Health.


Race and Systemic RacismSummer/Fall, 2020

The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police May 25, 2020, not only sparked protests nationwide, it inspired national conversations and deep reflection about race and diversity, police brutality, and systemic racism in the U.S. 


The Big Blue BinA Special 4-Part Report  - May, 2019 

Disruptions to international recycling markets have been widely reported, leading many to wonder how well our local recycling is working. Our series examines the four major household recycling streams – cans, glass, paper, and plastic – to discover how much of what we toss into the big blue bin is really being recycled, and at what cost.

Sober HousesA Special 3-Part Report  - April, 2019 

Sober houses are a key part of the path of addiction recovery. Group residences for people coming out of treatment, they’re meant to be a final step in the journey to living independently or returning to family. The town of Falmouth has more sober houses than any other town on Cape Cod, and one of the highest numbers per capita of any part of the state. WCAI's three-part series examines the pressing need for sober houses, their importance in the addiction-recovery journey, and the challenges they can pose for communities. 

Pilgrim Nuclear at a Turning PointWhen a nuclear plant closes, it leaves behind radioactive waste and a lot of unanswered questions -  A Special 3-Part Report  - February, 2019 

Built in 1972 on the shores of Cape Cod Bay, Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station has been the subject of controversy and concern for decades. Now, it’s scheduled to close in the next few months. This is our 3-part report on the plant as it heads towards permanent shutdown in mid-2019.

Indicator SpeciesNew England's Fishermen and the Challenges of Climate Change  -  A Special 3-Part Report  - November, 2018 

New England’s coastal waters are warming faster than 90% of the rest of the world’s oceans. We look at fishermen as an indicator species, on the leading edge of that change, forced to adapt. Fishermen are engaged in new collaborations with scientists to understand climate change; in some cases they've switched to fishing entirely new species; and for some fishermen, adapting has meant moving out of the marine fisheries into aquaculture—but even that industry is proving vulnerable to environmental threats.    

Teaching the FutureClimate Change Education on Cape Cod -  A Special 3-Part Report  - October, 2018 

It could be the most important subject of the next 20 years. But even now, in most schools, climate change is still just starting to make its way into classrooms, and many teachers don’t have the training, or the resources, they need to teach it.

Cape Cod's Hidden Student WorkforceA Special 3-Part Report  - August, 2018 

They’re students from abroad, and they’re called J-1’s, after the type of visa they hold. It’s a cultural exchange visa, but it allows them to work while they’re here for three-to-four months. Massachusetts has the highest number of these kinds of J-1 students in the United States, and the majority are on the Cape and Islands for the summer. Our 3-part report examines why they've become so important to the seasonal economy, whether the program that brings them here has drifted from its original mission in order to fill a labor need, and what the experience of Cape Cod is for these students, many of whom are living away from home for the first time while working two, and sometimes three, jobs.

Are We Ready?Hurricane Preparedness on Cape Cod and the Islands  - August, 2018 A collaboration with the Cape Cod Times

Last year's historic hurricane season, with its devastating impacts on Texas, Puerto Rico, and Florida, raises questions about our readiness for the likelihood of a major hurricane striking Cape Cod. In this 5-part series, we examine the ways in which regional and local planners are preparing for a major hurricane; the ways in which development in recent decades has made us more vulnerable to catastrophic storms; how building engineering has evolved to create more storm-proof housing; and what individuals can do to be ready when a major storm strikes. The series is a unique collaboration with the Cape Cod Times.

Voices Along the Herring RiverA Special 3-Part Report  - June, 2018 

The Herring River Restoration is a proposed $40-$50 million project in Wellfleet. The idea is to remove the Chequessett dike, originally built in 1909, allowing seawater to flow up the river estuary, restoring the saltwater marsh. It would affect more than 1000 acres and six miles of waterways, and requires the construction of two secondary dikes. Within Wellfleet, there are those who are passionately in favor of the project. There are those who are opposed. And there are many who see both sides of this immense issue. At WCAI, we were interested to hear some of these voices. Reporter Stephanie Guyer-Stevens introduces us to three people connected to the Herring River, each with a different understanding of what’s at stake.

In the Shadow of ExtinctionThe Effort to Save the North Atlantic Right Whale  - May, 2018

The North Atlantic right whale is facing extinction. Researchers estimate there are less than 450 left. Of those, about 100 are reproductive females. Last year, at least 16 of the whales were found dead, while just 5 new calves were identified. The math is against the species; if nothing is done to alter the equation, scientists say, the North Atlantic right whale could be functionally extinct in 20 years. But an effort is underway to save them. WCAI examines the challenges facing the North Atlantic right whale, and the people working to preserve the species.

The Changing Face of AgingChallenges and Opportunities  - December, 2017

Cape Cod is home to twice the national average of people 65 and older. This has impacts for the region in almost every measure of a community: in the economy, the workforce, health care, and  family structures.  There are ways in which it poses a challenge to the region—but equally, it’s a source of opportunity.

Our Mortal LivesConfronting Death and Dying - November, 2016

Learning how to live with death may be the hardest lesson, but the most important. In our series “Our Mortal Lives,” we explore how residents along the Cape, Coast, and Islands cope with end-of-life issues. How is death handled, how is it changing, and what are our choices? As a culture we don’t like to talk about this. But we're going to, because death happens to all of us. It’s a part of life.

Waste Goes WhereA Look at Our Region's Trash Troubles - June, 2016

Recycling rates are up. The amount of trash we're throwing into landfills and burning in incinerators is down. But with all that progress, our region still faces serious challenges when it comes to our trash. In WCAI's newest series, we look at our trash troubles—everything from the rising recycling costs, to our propensity to just dump stuff in the woods, to the fact that we're closely approaching the day when the landfills we already have will be full.

Making It WorkManufacturing on the Cape, South Coast and Islands - May, 2015

There's a long tradition of manufacturing on the South Coast, Cape Cod and even the Islands. Some of those industries have faded away, or their work sent overseas. But WCAI's radio series, "Making It Work: Manufacturing on the Cape, South Coast and Islands," found that new technologies are creating new manufacturing opportunities, particularly when it comes to highly-specialized and technical products.

Power SourceWhere People and Energy Connect - November, 2014

New England is facing serious questions about the future of its energy supply. Electricity rate hikes are underway, and there is heightened discussion about the region's reliance on natural gas and what that could mean in the future. In our series, "Power Source: Where People and Energy Connect," we look at the issues surrounding natural gas, while exploring the innovative ways people are reducing their energy consumption and their impact on the environment.

Home Away From HomeImmigrant Stories of the Cape, the Coast, and the Islands - September, 2014

For nearly 400 years, people have migrated to this part of the world in search of work, sometimes in search of a new home. In this series, WCAI’s Sarah Reynolds brings together voices and stories of some of the immigrants in our region, looking at why they’ve come here and why they stay. 

Desperate for a CureThe Search for New Alzheimer's Treatments - September, 2013

In this 5-part series, senior reporter Sean Corcoran looks at some of the most recent innovations related to finding a cure or preventative for the disease, traveling to labs in San Diego, Boston, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and New York City.

The Long HaulThe Future of New England's Fisheries - July, 2013

WCAI's in-depth look at the current state and future prospects of New England’s fisheries. 

By The NumbersWorries About Cape Cod's Workforce - February, 2013

The 2010 Census confirmed that the greying of Cape Cod is continuing. The youngest generations are leaving the Cape and they're not coming back. Some people are more alarmed about this trend than others. But people in leadership positions are thinking about what the loss in population and workforce could mean for the Cape in terms of both workforce and vitality. 

In this original three-part series, WCAI Senior Reporter Sean Corcoran examines education, housing and business opportunities on the Cape, and what the region's leadership and residents can do to help hold onto the Cape's young people.

Tiny PredatorsFacing Cape Cod's Tick Problem - August, 2012

There's growing awareness about the dangers of Lyme disease, as it and other tick-borne illnesses become more common. Disagreements about treatment and diagnosis are important and well-documented. But in the fight against Lyme, it's crucial to know where the pathogen lives when it's not inside us, and how it makes its way under our skin.

In our series, "Tiny Predators: Facing Cape Cod's Tick Problem" WCAI reports on researchers' newest understanding of tick ecology -- how they travel, how they live, and how they survive — as well as some of the innovations available in the fight against the tick.

Power Struggle

The Future of the Pilgrim Power Plant - November, 2011

With the end of its 40-year license approaching in 2012, the owners of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth have applied for a 20-year extension. But opponents of the plant, including some local and state politicians, question the reactor's safety, especially after three sister reactors in Japan experienced explosions and likely meltdowns this past year. Sean Corcoran reports.

Studying LibrariesFebruary, 2012

Libraries are expanding their offerings while struggling during this difficult economic time. The battle over e-books pits libraries against book publishers, many of which are creating obstacles to prevent libraries from loaning out books in digital formats. Sean Corcoran reports in our original three-part series, Studying Libraries.

Cape Cod National SeashoreAugust, 2011

The Cape Cod National Seashore celebrated its fiftieth anniversary on August 7, 2011. To mark the event, WCAI and the Cape Cod Times collaborated in a week-long series, bringing to life the stories of the Park.

Cape ChangeA Local Perspective on Global Warming

The science is clear, climate change is already altering many defining features of the Cape and Islands. Our Cape Change series examines these effects, and what the natural world can teach us about the need to adapt to climate change. Heather Goldstone reports.

The Falmouth ExperienceThe Trouble with One Town's Wind Turbine

The effort to install land-based wind turbines on Cape Cod has become entangled in controversy after reports from neighbors in Falmouth that a turbine is making them sick. Listen here to our five-part report by WCAI Senior Reporter Sean Corcoran.

Facing Alzheimer’sThe Caregiver’s Challenge - November, 2008

Our five-part original reporting series examining Alzheimer's disease and the people who care for those with the disease. 

Venture PhilanthropyAn Investor's Approach to Curing Alzheimer's - November, 2010

An award-winning two-part report by WCAI's Senior Reporter, Sean Corcoran.

How We've GrownA Decade of Stories from the Cape and Islands - Septemeber, 2010

On September 25, 2000, WCAI first went on the air. How We’ve Grown, an eight-part series, examines a decade of news stories from the Cape and Islands: how we were then, how we’ve changed, and where we’re going.    

Educating EveryoneThe Struggles In Special Education on the Cape and Islands 

Almost 20 percent of the state's school children receive special education services, and the number is rising, as are the costs. The law says schools, no matter the price, must offer students help if they otherwise can't progress effectively. But to educate one severely disabled student can cost a school district in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, raising questions about what is fair, what is doable financially, and what is right morally. 

Fresh Water Salt Water IThe water we drink and the water we fish and swim in is a precious commodity - and is imperiled. This month-long series explores the Cape's intimate relationship with the salt water that surrounds us - and earns many their livelihood - and the small, shallow underground pool of fresh water that sustains all of our lives.

Winner of a 2009 Edward R Murrow Award for Best News Series

Fresh Water Salt Water IIWCAI's Edward R Murrow Award Winning News Series "Fresh Water, Salt Water" returns to explore the Cape's intimate relationship with the salt water that surrounds us - and earns many their livelihood - and the small, shallow underground pool of fresh water that sustains all of our lives.

Part One
Fresh Water: We wash with it, we bathe in it, our lives depend on it. Without it, we would be in serious trouble. During the first week of our Water Series, we follow fresh water from the drinking glass to the sceptic tank to explore how this most precious resource shapes our lives.

Part Two
Salt Water: What would the Cape be without the glorious ocean that, in many ways, defines it? During the second week of our Water Series, WCAI examines how our changing world, and warming planet, effects those that live in and by the sea. 

The Price of Paradise:Working Lives on the Cape and Islands

Winner of a 2008 Edward R. Murrow award for Best Series.
This series profiles 20 working people who are doing whatever they can to survive and stay on Cape Cod, despite the obstacles here. It explores how and why these lower, middle, and upper class people continue to fight to live on the Cape.

Two Cape CodsHidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands

Those who serve Cape Cod's poor are the first to point out that behind the veil of the affluent summer paradise we all recognize, hides a community that continually struggles to make ends meet.

This duPont-Columbia Award-winning series examines the unique factors that contribute to persistent and hidden poverty throughout the Cape and Islands region.