Environment

Transportation
6:05 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

More leaving cars behind when going to work in Seattle

In a newly released survey, commuters say they take public transit more than any other means of transportation to work in downtown Seattle.
King County Metro

More people who work in downtown Seattle are riding mass transit than driving to the office. That’s according to a survey just released by Commute Seattle, a non-profit that tries to reduce the number of people who drive alone. 

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Environment
3:10 pm
Thu June 16, 2011

Invasive eelgrass doesn't follow the usual invader's script

Japanese eelgrass smothered Willapa Bay clam beds in September 2010.
Dr. Kim Patten WSU Extension

WILLAPA BAY, Wash. – The usual story of invasive species goes something like this: An exotic plant or critter hitches a ride on an incoming cargo ship. Alarm bells go off. An eradication campaign starts. But now there's a non-native seaweed on the West Coast that breaks the mold. Japanese eelgrass has defenders along with its critics.

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Environment
9:50 am
Thu June 16, 2011

Annual gypsy moth hunt begins

Unwanted: The gypsy moth
Ian Marsman Flickr

The summer search is under way across Washington for the gypsy moth, an invasive insect capable of defoliating forests and urban landscapes.

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Environment
10:29 am
Wed June 15, 2011

Two clouded leopards born at Point Defiance Zoo

Two clouded leopard cubs were born yesterday at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.
Seth Bynum Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

(Update with new photo and video)

Chai Li, a female clouded leopard at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, gave birth to a litter of two cubs Tuesday. Staff had been on a round-the-clock pregnancy watch of the 23-month-old clouded leopard for the past 24 hours.

This is Chai Li’s first litter. She and the cubs’ father, 23-month-old Nah Fun, were born at the Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Thailand and put together as a future breeding pair when they were five days old.

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Boating
1:56 pm
Mon June 13, 2011

Seattle’s proposed regulations on liveaboards sharply criticized

Three Sheets Northwest reports that proposed regulations would impact liveaboards in Seattle, including around 600 people living on about 300 boats at Shilshole Bay Marina.
James Hall Flicker

The city of Seattle's revamped Shoreline Master Plan would limit the number of people living on boats to 25 percent of slips in any marina. The boating website Three Sheets Northwest reports the proposed regulation would dramatically reduce the number of liveaboards and place new requirements on the marinas they call home.

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Environment
10:00 am
Fri June 3, 2011

Bainbridge Island tries peer pressure to save energy

The inspiration for the energy use street painting came from Brighton, UK, where it looked like this.
Courtesy The Tidy Street Project.

Starting this weekend, residents of two neighborhoods on Bainbridge Island will get an in-your-face reminder of how much energy they’re using. Bainbridge is one of three Northwest cities to receive a federal grant to do aggressive energy efficiency outreach.

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Wildlife reintroduction
2:45 pm
Thu May 12, 2011

Pygmy rabbits face possible last stand in the state

Fish and wildlife agents work to construct a temporary enclosure for pygmy rabbits on Sagebrush Flats Wildlife Area north of Ephrata.
Anna King N3

In north central Washington, scientists are trying once again to reintroduce a tiny endangered rabbit species into a big, predator-ridden landscape. Next week, scientists plan to release about 100 young pygmy rabbits, each one the size of a tennis ball.

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Environment
10:28 am
Fri April 29, 2011

Prospect of more coal trains raises concerns in NW Washington

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire puts one long running environmental controversy to bed Friday. She’s traveling to Centralia to sign into law a phase out of coal-fired electricity generation in the state. But meanwhile, another coal controversy is heating up in another part of Washington. It has to with a big new export terminal planned for north of Bellingham.

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Environment
10:03 am
Wed April 20, 2011

"GoGreen '11" conference showcasing best practices from who's who of Seattle businesses

The company behind those "Redbox" DVD vending machines is one of the local businesses making a presentation about sustainability in the workplace at the "Going Green '11" conference in Seattle.
AP photo

Insiders from many of Seattle's most recognizable big businesses are gathering today at the Washington State Convention Center downtown.

Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, REI, and The Mariners have all been invited to give interactive presentations meant to inspire others in the region to follow in their footsteps. The topic? Going Green.

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Environment
7:27 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Study: more arid future for Northwest?

Map of Castor Lake.
Google Maps

A remarkable piece of scientific detective work has constructed a 6,000 year climate history of the Pacific Northwest. The record reveals a pattern of drought cycles and wet cycles.

Researchers drilled into the sediments at the bottom of Castor Lake near Omak, Washington. It's a telltale lake because with no river running out of it rainfall and evaporation rule there.

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News Roundup
6:42 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Tuesday morning's headlines

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Seattle Hostages, Two Others Killed by Somali Pirates
  • Snow in the Forecast
  • Higher Logging Fees Needed: Lands Commissioner

 

Two From Seattle Killed by Pirates

A Seattle couple sailing around the world were among four Americans killed by their Somali captors aboard their yacht today, according to a U.S. military statement. The four were captured last Friday.

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Reflections on the Water
8:07 am
Tue February 8, 2011

Growing an octopus' garden: Ken Kirkby helps bring back the kelp

Ken Kirkby heads the Nile Creek Enhancement Society in Bowser, B.C., on the east side of Vancouver Island.
Liam Moriarty KPLU

Human activity has taken a heavy toll on the Salish Sea. And efforts are underway across the region to restore depleted stocks of everything from salmon to eelgrass.

This week, as part of our series “Reflections on the Water,” KPLU environment reporter Liam Moriarty visits a project in the little town of Bowser, British Columbia. He sits on a beach with Ken Kirkby, who heads an innovative community nonprofit that’s been restoring a crucial type of habitat : underwater forests of bull kelp. 

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Environment
1:48 pm
Tue January 11, 2011

Goldmark promotes plan to make jet fuel from wood waste

Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark says he'll propose legislation to promote making aviation fuel out of wood waste.

Goldmark told the Pacific West Biomass Conference in Seattle on Tuesday that he wants to start a pilot project to make jet fuel as part of the Department of Natural Resources' forest biomass program. 

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Water Purification
5:55 pm
Sun January 2, 2011

Some help for Yakima Valley residents with bad wells

Sandy Halstead, of the Environmental Protection Agency, and a summer intern, listen to the concerns of a homeowner in the Yakima Valley. Many private wells in the Eastern Washington agricultural area are polluted with nitrates.
Anna King N3

Residents with contaminated wells in the Yakima Valley are getting state-funded purification systems, at least some of them are. Many families there have been drinking water polluted with nitrates and bacteria.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
8:36 am
Thu November 18, 2010

Highly radioactive soil found near Columbia River

Hanford Nuclear Reservation officials say they don’t know how much radioactive contaminated soil they’re dealing with yet. What they do know is that newly discovered radioactive dirt exceeds lethal limits and is not far from the Columbia River and the city of Richland.


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