Puget Sound

The Associated Press

More than a dozen killer whales swimming past West Seattle gave residents a spectacular sight Monday as the sun set.

There have been a few glimmers of hope lately for the U.S. economy, such as a better-than-expected jobs report. But local economist Dick Conway  says there’s even more reason for optimism for the Puget Sound region. 

Center for Whale Research

BREMERTON, Wash. — A newborn orca calf has been reported off the west side of San Juan Island in the Puget Sound.

The Center for Whale Research reports the new calf was first spotted midday Monday among the adults of J pod, one of three killer whale pods that frequent Puget Sound.

Department of Ecology

If you’ve taken a ferry across Puget Sound recently, you may have wondered if someone dumped out cans of tomato soup in the water. Some have worried there's been an oil spill.

Large levels of algae called Noctiluca are visible in Puget Sound and people sailing on the water are noticing. The Washington State Department of Ecology says they are getting more worried calls this year.

A federal judge is hearing arguments Tuesday over whether to stop the federal government from issuing flood insurance policies for new development in flood-prone areas around Puget Sound.

Photo by Drewski2112 / Flickr

Cruise ships are big business for the Port of Seattle.

Last season, about 200 calls brought nearly 900,000 passengers and their wallets though the city. Projections for this season are about the same. Each call equates to about $1.9 million in local spending.

But that economic benefit comes with ecological risk.

Now the state’s Department of Ecology is backing a proposed ban on cruise ship discharges while the vessels are in Washington waters.

US EPA image

When you think about Puget Sound, a bathtub might not be the first image to come to mind.

But that’s one way environmentalists and scientists sometimes describe it, because the shape of Puget Sound is an important factor when it comes to keeping it clean.

A long-awaited report from the Environmental Protection Agency on the health effects of dioxin is confirming what many experts have known for a long time. 

Flickr

"It is a sunny day, with some clouds," says Dick Conway, a Puget Sound Economic Forecaster. "The more I study the Puget Sound economy, the more I am struck by the fact that the more it changes, the more it stays the same."

Last Wednesday, Dec. 7, Everett Herald photographer Mark Mulligan caught a rare sight on camera – a stellar sea lion feeding on an octopus. (See video inside.)

Associated Press

A bumper crop of chubby, adorable harbor seal pups have been hauling out on rocks and beaches of West Seattle in high numbers in recent weeks.

Courtesy Washington State Department of Natural Resources

The state is adding 15,000 acres of protected land around the Nisqually Reach Wildlife Refuge, exempting it from commercial development of any kind.

All the land is under water. It’s the seventh and southern-most area in Puget Sound to be designated as an Aquatic Reserve. Signing of a new management plan takes place today at 1:30 p.m.

With more people taking up crabbing in Puget Sound, the people who police the harvest are seeing an uptick in illegal activity. Officials say the illegal activity is a major threat to future crab populations.

BREMERTON, Wash. – A gray whale that washed up on a Bremerton beach was alive when the stranding was reported this morning but it was dead when a National Marine Fisheries employee arrived on the site on Dyes Inlet.

Associated Press

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

Washington Department of Ecology

It may look like a toxic "red tide," but don't panic. Scientists with the Washington Department of Ecology say the reddish orange streaks in Puget Sound this week appear to be a harmless algae bloom.

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