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KNKX: Environment Stories


Features and news about environmental issues affecting the Puget Sound region and the Pacific Northwest.

Features and news about environmental issues affecting the Puget Sound region and the Pacific Northwest.
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Tacoma, WA


Features and news about environmental issues affecting the Puget Sound region and the Pacific Northwest.






12180 Park Ave S. Tacoma, WA 98447 253-535-7758


Walking In The Wilderness, Leaving No Trace

People who love nature love to be in the wilderness. The problem is if too many nature-lovers visit one location, it's no longer wild. This conundrum is more likely to happen in the areas around a major population center like Seattle.


State's Long-Term Conservation Plan For Marbled Murrelet Open For Public Comment

The conservation strategy for an enigmatic sea bird could chart the future of our state-owned forests. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Washington Department of Natural Resources are taking comments on the latest set of management options. All aim to balance logging revenue with steps to save the marbled murrelet.


How Washington's Last Coal Plant Could Become State's Largest Solar Project

There's one coal-fired power plant left in Washington state. But it won't be burning coal for much longer: It's scheduled to shut down or to switch to natural gas by 2025.


Advocates Chart Washington’s Path To 100% Fossil Free Electric Grid By 2045

California made headlines this week as Governor Jerry Brown signed a pledge to get all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2045. Clean energy advocates in Washington State say we can do it here too. The non-profit Climate Solutions released a white paper outlining Washington’s path to 100% renewable electricity by 2045. The abundance of hydro-electric power here provides a head start. The rest would come through adding wind, solar and renewable gas, as well as storage and improved...


NOAA Fisheries And Partners Readying Plans To Rescue Sick Orca

Experts say they’re preparing a plan to capture and treat a sick, critically endangered orca if there is no way to save it in the wild. They're preparing to rescue the animal known as J-50 if she separates from her family or gets stranded while alive.


Capitol Lake Hangs In The Balance As State Evaluates Future Management Options

There’s a push to restore tidelands and wetlands all over the country. It’s widely acknowledged that these more natural landscapes provide big benefits to water quality and wildlife. But, what if following this trend would mean eliminating a manmade feature that’s become integral to a community -- and is a signature feature of the state capitol? That’s the debate heating up in Olympia, where the fate of Capitol Lake hangs in the balance. A $4-million dollar process to study the options for...


New USDA Strategy To Manage Extended Wildfire Seasons: Collaborate With States

Wildfires know no boundaries. They jump from public to private land, from national forests to state parks. And local communities are often the best experts on which forested areas should be managed first to tame the risk of their spread. That’s the word from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has announced a new, collaborative approach for managing wildfire risk.


Indigenous Stewardship Of The Salish Sea In the Spotlight At Seattle Public Library

Beyond the Frame – To Be Native is the name of a series of exhibits around the region, honoring the 150 th birthday of Seattle photographer Edward S. Curtis. Curtis is a controversial figure. He sought to document Native American cultures, based on the belief that they would soon vanish.


Ailing Orca Gets Emergency Shot of Antibiotics From International Team

An international team of whale researchers has administered an emergency shot of antibiotics to an endangered, wild killer whale. The highly unusual move took place near San Juan Island on Thursday during an observation session that lasted about six hours.


Glenn Nelson On Race And Inclusion In The Outdoors: 'We Need More Stories Like This'

Encouraging more inclusiveness so that people of color can better enjoy public lands is a topic that’s been in the news a lot in recent years. One person behind that message is local journalist and photographer Glenn Nelson. He’s a former writer for The Seattle Times and the founder of a nonprofit advocacy web site called The Trail Posse .


After Days Of Orca Trouble, Here's What You Can Do To Help

Two orca stories have been prominent in news in recent days: An endangered orca is still clinging to her dead calf more than two weeks after it died. And scientists are considering intervening to help a different young orca, known as J-50, which they fear is sick and near death.


A Game of Watch, Wait And Hope As Preparations Are Made To Tend To Ailing Orca

Federal scientists and tribal fishermen have been preparing to take unprecedented action to help an ailing orca whale – if they ever see her again.


Scientists Working On Orca Recovery Not Surprised By Recent Tragedies

A multitude of factors are harming Puget Sound’s local population of endangered orcas: water pollution, noise, loss of habitat. But topping that list right now for many scientists is recovery of their primary food source: Chinook salmon.


As Seattle Works Toward New Rules For Tree Cutting, Neighborhood Activists Push For More Protections

Seattle is working on changes to its tree protection ordinance. Trees provide shade and clean the air. They’re acknowledged by the City of Seattle for the ecosystem services they provide, which are increasingly called for as the climate warms. An interim law is failing to preserve or increase the canopy. A city council committee is discussing the first draft of a new ordinance Wednesday . Meanwhile, neighborhood groups and other advocates are urging the city to make sure the new rules...


New Coastal Resilience Report Can Help Washington Prepare For Sea Level Rise

As the climate warms, oceans expand and polar ice caps melt. This means sea level rise is a reality that land owners and local governments must prepare for. It brings with it associated risks, such as flooding and erosion which can impact everything from sewage treatment plants to roads and bridges. A new report from Washington’s "Coastal Resilience Project" homes in on exactly how high the tides could rise in 171 different sites and communities based on the latest science.


Report Algal Blooms And State Can Identify, Warn Of Toxicity

Lakes close because of toxic algae every year, especially as temperatures climb in summer. Pierce County’s Lake Tapps is the latest example . Authorities warned people not to swim in the northeast part of the lake last week. In King County, caution signs remain up at Mallard Lake in White Center, where a sample showed toxicity at levels higher than the state’s guidelines advise on July 10 .


Canadian Bailout Moves Forward After Trans Mountain Pipeline Sale Deadline Passes

The Canadian government has taken another step towards buying the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline. This is the latest move in a deal that would lead to a massive increase in oil tanker traffic through Puget Sound and the Salish Sea, made possible by the Canadian government.


Teens, Tweens And Their Supporters Gearing Up For 'The Zero Hour' Youth Climate March

Youth activists concerned about climate change are gearing up for protest marches worldwide this weekend. On Saturday, for the second year running, they’ll take part in an event called The Zero Hour that was conceived by a young woman from Seattle. Jaime Margonlin, a student at Seattle’s Holy Names Academy, was inspired by the women’s marches around the country and wanted to do something similar for climate. She’s in D.C. for the main march this year. But the movement she started is growing.


Wildfire Hits San Juan Island National Historical Park

Hot, dry weather is partly to blame for a wildfire in an unexpected place. At San Juan Island National Historical Park, hot metal debris from a historic weapons demonstration on Sunday caused a blaze that quickly spread across parched grassland prairie.


Have Fun In Local Lakes, But Look Out For Swimmer's Itch

It’s the height of summer and the forecast is looking very sunny, providing great conditions for water sports on local lakes. That also means a higher risk of swimmer's itch, which is linked to another feature of summer that many people enjoy: the presence of waterfowl.