Puget Sound

Clean Energy
6:57 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Puget Sound waters test wave energy prototype buoy

A prototype of a wave-energy buoy
Columbia Power Technologies

An Oregon-based alternative energy company is one step closer to generating electricity from the ocean's waves. The company has launched a prototype wave energy buoy. For testing, the startup chose the gentler waters of Puget Sound.

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Water Quality
12:03 pm
Mon January 24, 2011

Marine “dead zones” detailed in interactive online map

This screen shot is from a new interactive online map that shows some of the nearly two dozen marine areas in Washington that experience low oxygen from nutrient pollution.
World Resources Institute

Growing populations and increasing pollution are contributing to more and more “dead zones” in bays and oceans around the world.

Now there’s an interactive online map pinpointing more than 760 spots across the globe—including 22 in Washington – that either are dead zones or are in danger of becoming one.

What’s a “dead zone?”

It happens when excess nutrients in the water help trigger an algae bloom. Mindy Selman explains that when all the algae die, they sink to the bottom.

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News Roundup
6:02 am
Fri January 21, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

A view of Olympiad Drive in Southworth on the Kitsap Peninsula during a January "king tide" from the state Dept. of Ecology's Flickr photo page.
Courtesy Ray Garrido WSDoE

Making headlines this morning:

  • Inquest of Woodcarver's Shooting Raises More Questions
  • Everett to WSU: Shall We Dance?
  • Here Come the High Tides
  • Huskies Zap Arizona for Pac 10 Lead

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Puget Sound Pollution
7:27 am
Thu January 20, 2011

Stormwater runoff: A flood of crud

Heavy rains often wash curbside trash into storm drains and eventually into Puget Sound.
Liam Moriarty KPLU News

We’re still dealing with landslides and flooding from the heavy rains brought by last week’s Pineapple Express storms. But the downpour also washed a flood of gunk and junk off of the region’s streets, sidewalks and parking lots, into more than 4,500 storm drains and right into Puget Sound.

Storm drains usually empty underwater, so nobody sees the flood of crud that pours into rivers and bays across the region.

Well, almost no one ...

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News Roundup
5:42 am
Fri January 7, 2011

Friday morning's headlines

A bottleneck dolphin is making a rare visit to Puget Sound. This photo of the dolphin was taken in Olympia's Budd Inlet by Cascadia Research. Biologists believe the dolphin is healthy, but lost.
Josh Oliver, WDFW and Cascadia Research

Making headlines today:

  • Gov's ferry proposal draws fire
  • Red light cameras in the hot seat
  • A bottlenose dolphin spotted in south Sound

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Saving Puget Sound
3:36 pm
Sun November 21, 2010

Cherry Point Reserve Ten Years in the Making

Cherry Point in Whatcom County. In view is a NOAA ocean observation system completed last year.
NOAA photo

There’s a stretch of shoreline north of Bellingham that hosts oil refineries and other heavy industry. It’s also a key feeding ground for salmon, shorebirds and killer whales. The new Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve – a decade in the making – is meant to thread the needle between protecting the environment and safeguarding family wage jobs.


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Reflections on the Water
5:11 am
Wed November 17, 2010

Living on island time: Gabriola Islander Sheila Malcolmson

Sheila Malcolmson stands on the shoreline near her home on Gabriola Island, in the Gulf Islands east of Nanaimo.
Liam Moriarty KPLU

There are more than a thousand islands in the Salish Sea. Some of them are home to good-sized towns, others are inhabited only by wildlife. Either way, the island experience is one of the signatures of this region.


This week in our series “Reflections on the Water,” KPLU environment reporter Liam Moriarty takes a ferry to Gabriola Island, in British Columbia, population about 4,000. He talks with Sheila Malcolmson about the joys and challenges of island living.

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