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KNKX: Environment Stories

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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


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

Return To The Salish Sea: Visionary Bert Webber

Bert Webber is the man who coined the phrase "Salish Sea." He is a professor emeritus from Huxley College at Western Washington University in Bellingham. Webber says while it may be easy to see the Salish Sea as separate waterways, those waterways actually make up one ecosystem that goes beyond political borders.

Duration: 00:05:53

Tune In: KNKX Launching Special Interview Series 'Return To The Salish Sea'

Residents of Western Washington and British Columbia likely recognize bodies of water like Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of Georgia. However, many people don’t realize that what were once perceived as individual waterways are now widely considered one ecosystem. That body of water is called the Salish Sea.

Duration: 00:05:41

Seattle Hosts Disaster Preparedness Drills Saturday At Emergency Communications Hubs

A major earthquake-preparedness drill takes place this Saturday in Seattle. It’s called “Hubs and Spokes” and this time, the emphasis is on emergency communications.

Duration: 00:01:26

Lack Of Capital Budget Leaves Big Wildfire Risk For Wash. State Forests

The failure of the legislature to pass a capital budget leaves Washington’s state forests with an increasing risk of catastrophic wildfires. The state department of Natural Resources says a recent survey showed it has about 2.7 million acres of forests in Washington that are in poor health.

Duration: 00:01:15

Independent Consultant Says West Point Waste Treatment Plant ‘On The Ragged Edge’

King County’s largest wastewater treatment facility has been operating on the edge of disaster for years and it’s ill-equipped to deal with the growing population in the region. That’s one of the conclusions from the independent review of February’s catastrophic failure at the West Point sewage treatment plant in Seattle’s Discovery Park.

Duration: 00:01:36

Seattle’s Pension Fund Won’t Be Divesting From Fossil Fuels

Despite a lot of pressure from activists, Seattle will not be divesting from fossil fuel investments in its $2.5 billion pension fund. The board that oversees the pension fund for city employees met Thursday morning and faced a room full of protestors holding signs urging the city to take its money out of energy investments that pollute the air.

Duration: 00:01:31

Edmonds Again Takes Environmental Lead With Clean Energy Pledge

Edmonds is well-known as the first city in the state to ban disposable plastic bags . Now it’s taking concrete steps to more aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Duration: 00:01:56

Wash. Budget Has Pros And Cons For Environmental Policies

Washingtonians are parsing the state budget passed last week by a divided legislature. It adds $1.8 billion for basic education over the next two years. A big chunk of that comes from the closure of a so-called “extractive fuel” loophole, which is one of several new policies that many environmentally progressive groups like.

Duration: 00:01:31

Salish Sea Walkers Will Rally All Weekend Long To Protect Shared Ecosystem With Canada

Imagine walking for three days to make a statement about a cause you care for deeply. That’s what people joining the "Walk to Protect & Restore our Salish Sea" will do this weekend.

Duration: 00:02:28

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