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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


Simple Infrastructure Fixes Could Keep Stormwater From Killing Puget Sound Coho

New research shows that stormwater runoff, which flows into waterways when it rains, can kill Coho salmon in as much as forty percent of their local habitat.

Duration: 00:01:57

Return to the Salish Sea: Elwha Tribal Elder and Commercial Fisherman Robert Elofson

For many people in the Northwest, the undamming of the Elwha River on the Olympic Peninsula marked a dramatic turning point. The largest dam removal in the world at the time, it unleashed the lifeblood of a watershed that fronts on the Salish Sea.

Duration: 00:05:52

Lummi Totem Pole Journey Aims To Spotlight Fighting Fossil Fuels In The Salish Sea

A colorful totem pole has hit the road from Bellingham on a 5,000-mile journey, meant to shine a spotlight on threats to the health of the Salish Sea. The Lummi Totem Pole Journey will make stops in Seattle and Tacoma this weekend.

Duration: 00:01:24

Overcast: What's Going On With Salmon In Washington?

Washington's local ecosystems have been through a lot recently. First, there was the release of more than 100,000 non-native Atlantic Salmon this summer into the Salish Sea. Now, scientists are also reporting alarmingly low numbers of young salmon from the Columbia River system out in the Pacific Ocean.

Duration: 00:05:49

Return to the Salish Sea: Olympia Oyster Grower Shina Wysocki

The ocean is becoming more acidic and fossil fuel emissions are making it worse. That can be lethal for oyster larvae because it inhibits their ability to form shells. But there is one variety of oyster that seems to be more able to adapt to that change. A small, family-run growing operation in Olympia has made growing it a priority.

Duration: 00:06:10

What's In A Name? How Washington's Places Get On The Map

As any expectant parent knows, names aren’t something to be taken lightly. That’s definitely the case in the naming of Washington State’s geographic features, like creeks and hills.

Duration: 00:01:31

Kinder Morgan In Court: Appeal Of Permits Could Stop Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

A hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, could determine the future of a controversial pipeline expansion. Kinder Morgan is tripling the capacity of its Trans Mountain Pipeline, which brings Alberta crude to the west coast. Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal begins hearing consolidated challenges to approval of the expansion on Monday.

Duration: 00:01:41

Return to the Salish Sea: Prairie Restoration Expert Robert Pelant

When you think of the Salish Sea, the image that first comes to mind probably doesn’t include grassy plains and meadows. But, in fact, the concept of this shared ecosystem that unites the U.S. and Canada extends to the entire basin of the watershed.

Duration: 00:06:07

Return to the Salish Sea: Spill Map Program Manager Ross Dixon

The prospect of a major oil spill is something that has many people concerned about the future of the Salish Sea, especially now that the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion has been approved by Canada.

Duration: 00:06:03

Return to the Salish Sea: Tsleil-Waututh Councilor Charlene Aleck

One of the biggest concerns about the future of the Salish Sea is the likely expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. It carries tar sands oil from Canada’s eastern provinces to a terminal in Burnaby, British Columbia, just north of Vancouver.

Duration: 00:06:06

Return to the Salish Sea: Salmon Biologist David Troutt

If you’ve ever driven on I-5 north of Olympia, you’ve likely been struck by the unique landscape of the Nisqually River Delta. With Mount Rainier looming in the distance, a huge expanse of marshlands extends on either side of the highway where the fresh water of the river meets the salt water of southern Puget Sound. This is the southern end of the Salish Sea.

Duration: 00:05:52

Smoke And Ash Make This Wildfire Season Seem Worse Than It Is

Wildfire smoke has darkened skies and even scattered ashes in neighborhoods throughout the Puget Sound region. The orange-tinged light has an eerie glow that has many people wondering what on earth is going on? How bad is this year’s fire season and how is it different than previous years?

Duration: 00:04:48

Health Officials Urge Caution As Puget Sound Beaches Close To Shellfish Harvesting

Mild summer weather is nice for enjoying a day at the beach. But the sunny days also create favorable conditions for poisonous bacteria that can cause illness and closures for shellfish harvesting. Numerous beaches in the central Puget Sound area are closed to recreational shellfish harvesting. The presence of Paralytic Shellfish Poison, known as PSP, resulted in a new closure extending from Seattle’s Alki Beach south to the Pierce County line, including Vashon Island. It spread there from...

Duration: 00:01:33

Return To The Salish Sea: Nearshore Biologist Anne Shaffer

Squid eggs and harlequin ducks are the latest signs of renewed life on the beach at the mouth of the Elwha River. They have only recently returned, some three years after the completion of the largest dam removal in the world, here on the shores of the Salish Sea.

Duration: 00:05:58

Return To The Salish Sea: Pacific Pilotage Authority’s Brian Young

A big issue in the Salish Sea right now is concern about increasing oil tanker traffic. Plans by Kinder Morgan to expand its Trans-Mountain pipeline could more than triple the amount of crude oil arriving at the pipeline’s terminus in Vancouver, B.C.

Duration: 00:06:06

Eclipse’s High Tides Blamed For Spill Of Farmed Atlantic Salmon Into Salish Sea

Along with cooling the air and dimming skies in the region, this week’s solar eclipse caused exceptionally high tides. The resulting currents damaged a net pen and released unknown numbers of farmed Atlantic salmon into open waters south of the San Juans. The state is calling on the public to help catch them . Unusually strong tidal exchanges damaged net pens late Saturday at Cypress Island in the San Juans, where Cooke Aquaculture farms Atlantic salmon. Ron Warren with the Washington...

Duration: 00:02:22

Return To The Salish Sea: Songwriter Dana Lyons

Music that connects people to the land and sea has been with us for centuries. Recent singer-songwriters such as Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell have built on that tradition. Here in the Puget Sound region, you can add another name to that list: Dana Lyons.

Duration: 00:06:17

Return To The Salish Sea: Mapmaker Stefan Freelan

One day nearly a decade ago, a Canadian-born colleague came knocking at cartographer Stefan Freelan’s door. Bert Webber , a professor of Geography and Environmental Social Sciences at the time, was trying to spread the word about a newly-named body of water. He asked Freelan to help him by making a map of the Salish Sea.

Duration: 00:06:01

Solar’s Strong Momentum Could Slow Its Future Growth

The success of solar power could mean it becomes less attractive for home users in the future. Utilities are reaching the threshold where, under state law, they can be less generous to solar customers.

Duration: 00:02:08

UW Developing Curriculum To Help Grow Jobs That Use Big Data To Harness Clean Energy

You may have heard that new technologies in the clean energy sector are creating new jobs. But what does that really mean? Researchers at the University of Washington have a $3 million grant to support emerging careers where energy science is combined with big data.

Duration: 00:02:14

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