Environment

Environment
3:57 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

City by city, plastic bag bans gaining momentum

A plastic bag ban ordinance modeled after the ones already passed in Bellingham and Seattle is on the agenda of two suburban Puget Sound cities this week.

Bainbridge Island’s council is holding a public hearing on the issue tonight (Wednesday, 5:30 pm.) The hearing can be monitored via webcast.

And a committee at the City of Issaquah takes up the issue Thursday evening.

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Killer Whales
7:18 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Mystery surrounds bruised and bloody killer whale carcass

Necropsy team including personnel from Portland State University, Seaside Aquarium, Cascadia Research, Seattle Seal Sitters and WDFW.
Dyanna Lambourn WDFW

The bruised and bloody carcass of an endangered killer whale washed ashore at Long Beach, Wash., this weekend. An initial necropsy did not pinpoint a cause of death.

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Environment
12:02 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Researchers on hunt for killer whales' winter hideout

A porpoising juvenile transient orca. Photo by Richard Dudley/Flickr

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 5:45 pm

This week , federal biologists will cast off on a research cruise from NOAA's new homeport in Newport, Oregon. They hope to crack an enduring mystery about some of the most studied killer whales on earth. Namely, where do the Northwest's resident orca whales go in the winter?

Every winter, the three pods of orca whales that call Northwest waters home just disappear into the wild blue yonder. Research biologist Dawn Noren and colleagues from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center are about to embark on a three-week mission to find them.

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The Salt
7:56 am
Sun February 12, 2012

Battling the bottle: Students and industry face off over water

Humbolt State University

Originally published on Sun February 12, 2012 3:55 am

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Gardening
9:47 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Artistic passions on display at the NW Flower and Garden Show

It’s been sunny and fair lately…but what do you do when the dark and cloudy skies of late winter get you down?
 
For many people in the Pacific Northwest, the answer is gardening.
 
Their passion is on display this week at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.
 
KPLU environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp went to check it out. (Click on the "Listen" button up top to hear some highlights from the preview tour.)
 

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Environment
3:44 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Pierce County burn ban lifted

Air quality is improving. The Stage One burn ban in Pierce County ends at 4 p.m. today.

During a Stage One ban, burning is prohibited in uncertified wood stoves and fire places. Outdoor fires are also not allowed.

You can learn more about burn bans and air quality at pscleanair.org.

Environment
12:22 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Loggers and tree huggers united: feds rewarding cooperation in U.S. National Forests

Restoration projects in Eastern Washington’s Colville National Forest are a model for the nation; that was the word from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack two years ago.  

And now those efforts are netting nearly a million dollars in new federal funding.

At the same time, funding has been renewed for another project in Washington: the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative, near Yakima.

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Environment
12:12 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Here comes the sun ... and the Pierce County burn ban

It's great to see the sun again during this dark time of the year, but it carries a price.

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has issued a Stage One Burn Ban for Pierce County, effective at 4:00 this afternoon. Outdoor fires are banned, and no burning is allowed in uncertified wood stoves and fireplaces.

The high pressure system that's bringing us sunshine through the weekend is also trapping more air pollution near the ground.

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Environment
11:41 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Ribbon seal far from Arctic home in good shape

In this photo provided by NOAA, a ribbon seal is seen Friday, Jan. 20 on a dock in Marysville, Wash. The ribbon seal is commonly found in the frigid waters off the coasts of Alaska and Russia, but has recently been spotted in the Seattle area.
The Associated Press

EVERETT, Wash. — An Arctic ribbon seal rarely seen in Puget Sound has had its southerly sojourn interrupted for a medical checkup that shows the male is in good health.

Marine mammal experts from NOAA fisheries in Seattle threw a net over the white-striped seal on an Everett dock Tuesday and held him for a 20-minute examination.

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Redesigning Transit
8:20 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Bus route spared after public outcry; Metro adjustments enacted

Public outcry may rescue a popular South Seattle bus line. An amendment to the transit re-alignment plan passed by the King County council late Monday afternoon has temporarily spared the route.

Ten other bus lines that are considered inefficient have been eliminated.

It’s the first phase of a voter-approved plan to make King County's  Metro Transit agency more efficient.

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Environmental Law
12:44 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Tougher rules for oil spill prevention - hearings underway

On Oct. 13, 2004, about 7,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a ConocoPhillips oil tanker. The slick spread quickly and covered much of Colvos and Dalco Passage and Quartermaster Harbor in Puget Sound.
Courtesy of Washington Department of Ecology

Washington State already has some of the highest oil spill readiness standards in the country – if not in the world.

An update to those regulations is raising that bar even higher.

The tightening is in response to the catastrophic BP oil spill nearly two years ago in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The new law places new requirements on oil companies operating in Puget Sound or on the Columbia River.

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Environment lawsuit
3:36 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Groups sue over Navy sonar use off Northwest coast

Conservationists and Native American tribes have filed a lawsuit over the Navy's expanded use of sonar in training exercises off the Washington, Oregon and California coasts, saying the noise can harass and kill whales and other marine life.

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Environment
9:14 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Groups boycott 'The Grey' with Liam Neeson for portrayal of wolves

A new Liam Neeson action thriller opening Friday is receiving howls of protest from wolf advocates. They say “The Grey” wrongly portrays wolves as massive, bloodthirsty beasts. And some wildlife groups are organizing a boycott.

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Environment
4:04 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Audubon map – new Puget Loop unveiled as enviro groups strategize

Stormy weather is not the best recipe for bird watching.

But that’s not stopping environmentalists from getting together in Olympia to set their legislative priorities.

And among the festivities celebrating the Washington Conservation Voters’  day of lobbying is the unveiling of a colorful new, hand-drawn bird-watching map.

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Environment
3:11 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Arctic ribbon seal spotted in Seattle

In this photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fisheries, an adult, male ribbon seal sits on an ice flow in Russian's Ozernoy Gulf in the summer of 2005, just prior to capture.
The Associated Press

A ribbon seal commonly found in the frigid waters off the coasts of Alaska and Russia has been spotted in the Seattle area thousands of miles away.

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