One Square Mile: New Bedford

Beginning Monday February 5th, RIPR brings you "One Square Mile: New Bedford," a week of stories about what was once, 150 years ago, the birthplace of the whaling industry in North America.  Indeed, it was the most important and lucrative commercial fishing city in the continent...and it still is today.


While smaller in 2018, with a population of about 95,000, today's New Bedford still honors its whaling past at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.  And all this week, we’ll take you to the past, and present, of this historic port city. 


To diversify the economy, New Bedford is hoping that the wind that fueled its whaleships can be harnessed for renewable energy. We’ll also dig into the cleanup of the harbor. And how New Bedford is working to keep its scallop fishery sustainable.


You’ll learn about how the opioid epidemic has affected fishermen, and meet immigrants from Guatemala, who speak a Mayan language.


Those stories and much more as we continue Rhode Island Public Radio’s commitment to in-depth local reporting through our recurring series "One Square Mile."


Listen to all the OSM stories via podcast at

New Bedford Whaling Museum

As part of Rhode Island Public Radio's series One Square Mile: New Bedford, political analyst Scott MacKay reflects on the city's past, from whaling to textiles, to its role in the Underground Railroad.

John Bender / RIPR

Do you have a favorite book? Maybe it’s a novel you read again and again. But has a work of fiction ever inspired your vacation plans? New Bedford is the destination for devotees of one famous literary leviathan.