Environment

Stories about the environment focused on the Pacific Northwest, with many from KPLU's Environment reporter, Bellamy Pailthorp.

Washington Department of Ecology

With summer in full swing, area beaches see a lot of action. But the shores of the western coast of the United States may be hit with large-scale erosion in coming years, wiping out coastlines that provide protection from the surf, as well as pleasure.

Bert van Dijk / Flickr

Washington officials say residents have recycled more than 100 million pounds since the state's electronics recycling program began in January 2009.

In Seattle, residents have hit an all-time high in recycling of all products, according to the City of Seattle’s annual recycling report to be released Wednesday.

Idaho National Lab / Flickr

A new facility at the Idaho National Laboratory would test the effects of radiation on the materials that could be used to build future nuclear reactors. The lab is requesting a permit from the state of Idaho and the federal EPA to allow low levels of radiation emissions.

RICHLAND, Wash. – A bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would breathe new life into the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada. The House will vote today on a larger spending bill that includes a budget increase for reviewing the project.

Some nuclear cleanup advocates are concerned that if Yucca Mountain doesn't open, it could mean high level waste could be permanently stored at Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Mayor McGinn's photostream / flickr.com

The city of Seattle is greening up its fleet of vehicles with the addition of five Nissan Leafs. The city plans to have a total of 35 Leafs by the end of 2012.

Seattle is one of 18 cities taking part in The EV Project, the nation's largest electric vehicle demonstration.

The eastern Washington town of Quincy may get another 28 large diesel engines for its growing data center industry. That's the subject of a state-run public meeting today at Quincy's city hall.

Some residents are concerned about the pollution that comes from the big generators.

Some of your Internet queries might get answered by one of the thousands of servers spinning away in the town of Quincy. Those servers can't go dark even for a second.

Seattle City Light

Seattle City Light says the first phase of its LED street light program has already saved the city $300,000. The utility installed 6,000 of the energy efficient lights in the past year between the Ship Canal and North 65th Street.

Environmentalists are seeking to stop exploratory drilling on forest lands near Mount St. Helens, as a Canadian company prepares next month to drill more holes to probe for copper, gold and other minerals.

John / Flickr

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Bellingham City Council has approved a ban on single-use plastic bags in an effort to cut down on litter and pollution.

Associated Press

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. – A newborn calf has been spotted among one of the pods of killer whales returning to the Puget Sound.

Photo courtesy Washington State Dept of Health

If you see an unusually low-flying helicopter cruising above Seattle or Bellevue, don't worry. It’s just a project of the State Department of Health to measure naturally occurring radiation in King and Pierce Counties.

Courtesy of Robert Waddell

NEWPORT, Ore. – Climate change may push fish native to the Northwest coast further northward and bring fish from southern waters up here.

That's according to a forthcoming study by American and Canadian fisheries biologists. They suggest West Coast fishermen will need to adapt to different prey if the Pacific Ocean warms as projected over the next fifty years.

Courtesy of Leo Pauly

WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla park officials are certain the predator that has killed about two dozen birds at the Pioneer Park Aviary is a big raccoon.

A motion detector camera showed the raccoon stealing bait from a trap.

Conservation Northwest

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is developing a proposal that could make this year's wolf hunting season even more controversial. It would allow wolf hunting in most parts of Idaho without a cap on the total number of wolves being killed. As correspondent Jessica Robinson reports, that news from Idaho comes on the same day Washington announces some new wolf numbers of its own.

Joe Sebille / Courtesy of Conservation Northwest

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says a hiker's photo confirms a sighting of a grizzly bear in Washington state's North Cascades for the first time in perhaps half a century.

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