Puget Sound

Puget Sound orcas
1:53 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Newborn orca calf reported in Puget Sound

The new calf, believed to have been born on Monday, is the first offspring of 11-year-old J37.
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.

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Puget Sound Environment
2:55 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Algae bloom on Puget Sound 'more intense' this year

This is probably the more intense Noctiluca bloom we’ve seen in central Puget Sound, according to the Department of Ecology.
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.

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Environment
8:39 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Battle over building in Puget Sound flood plains

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.

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Environment
11:18 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Ban on cruise ship discharges proposed for Washington waters

Cruise ships such as the Norwegian Star are cabable of holding their sewage for the 24 hours or less that they typically berth in Seattle. The Department of Ecology and several non profits are asking for a ban on all discharges in Washington waters.
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.

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Environment
1:50 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Puget Sound 'tub' tainted by industrial residue of toxic dioxin

A dioxin survey map from the EPA, establishing baseline data through sampling by the research vessel Bold. Sediment samples were collected and analyzed at 70 locations throughout the Sound.
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. 

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Economic Recovery
10:19 am
Thu January 12, 2012

Improving economy predicted for the Puget Sound

Are happier days just around the corner?
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."

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Puget Sound life
11:41 am
Mon December 12, 2011

Sea lion vs. octopus: Photographer catches rare glimpse of battle

In this screen grab from the Everett Herald's YouTube video, you can see the sea lion surfacing after taking off a chunk of octopus. Click inside to see the video.

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.)

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Puget Sound
12:41 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

More seal pups spotted ashore in Seattle

Harbor Seal pups, perhaps like this one born in June at the research institution in Seward, Alaska, are crowding the beaches in West Seattle.
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.

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Protected Lands
10:52 am
Fri September 9, 2011

New refuge preserves underwater landscapes in Puget Sound

A management plan for the proposed Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve is to be signed at a ceremony today near Olympia. It will be the seventh area to receive this designation as part of the state's efforts to clean up and protect Puget Sound.
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.

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Environment
9:20 am
Mon August 22, 2011

Illegal crab activity Puget Sound put crab populations at risk

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.

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Puget Sound
11:18 am
Wed July 27, 2011

Dead gray whale calf on Bremerton beach was very emaciated

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.

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Environment
9:31 am
Mon July 11, 2011

Newborn calf spotted among returning orcas

In this July 6 photo provided by the Center for Whale Research, K-44, right, a newborn male orca whale, is shown swimming with his mother, K-27, near Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands.
Associated Press

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

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Environment
2:19 pm
Tue June 21, 2011

Puget Sound 'streaks' are likely harmless algae bloom

Marine plankton at the surface of Puget Sound east of Vashon Island. 6/20/11
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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Environment
4:16 pm
Thu June 9, 2011

Fishing for the ghost nets of Whatcom County

Dead crabs and live sea stars are among the creatures pulled up with derelict fishing gear collected by the Northwest Straits Initiative in Puget Sound, here on a boat at Alden Bank, off the coast of Ferndale.The coalition has mapped 934 remaining nets.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

They’re known as ghost nets – old tangles of synthetic lines snagged on underwater rocks or reefs and left behind by fishermen as long as seventy years ago.   

A coalition out of Mount Vernon has removed thousands of them over the past decade.  There’s still work to be done, but they’re running out of funding. 

Since 2002, The Northwest Straights Initiative has removed nearly four thousand derelict fishing nets from shallow waters of Puget Sound. 

“Because they just don’t degrade. They can get torn apart by wave action, but they won’t degrade," says Northwest Straits Initiative Director, Ginny Broadhurst.

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Puget Sound
9:05 am
Tue March 29, 2011

Pier Peer: Discovering the Creatures of the Night

Naturalists and curious youngster gather at night on a dock at Seattle's Elliott Bay Marina. They're studying the sea life drawn to an underwater light bulb.
Liam Moriarty KPLU News

What with theaters, concerts and clubs, Seattle has a pretty lively night life. But as a group of people gathers after dark at a marina on Elliot Bay, they’re looking for a completely different kind of thrill.

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