Field technicians with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe catch steelhead in a murky side channel near the mouth of the Elwha and prepare them to be transferred into pristine habitat above the former site of the lower dam.
From where Mike McHenry stands he can see several gray, torpedo-shaped bodies moving slowly through the brown water of this side channel of the Elwha River, not too far from the site of the largest dam removal project in US history.
One of the two dams on the Elwha River has been completely removed and there are about 50 feet of the remaining Glines Canyon dam left. Already so much sediment has been released that it's clogged up and shut down one of the water treatment plants in nearby Port Angeles, temporarily halting the largest dam removal project in US history.
Jeff Cram, a mechanical engineer at University of Washington's Applied Physics Laboratory, oversees the engineering of a set of 12 devices like this one, which will gather information from the bottom of the Pacific off the Northwest coast.
Want to see a volcano explode hundreds of meters below the surface of the Pacific Ocean? How about in real-time streaming video, online, from the comfort of your own iPad? Well, there’s a massive scientific project underway that could help you with that and more.
A giant Pacific octopus on display at the Seattle Aquarium. The species' population is considered healthy in Puget Sound. Public outcry over legal octopus hunting near Seattle's Alki Beach has prompted possible restrictions.
Right now it’s legal to hunt octopi in Puget Sound – unless you’re in a marine preserve or conservation area. In fact, if you have a state fishing license you can harvest one every day.
But the killing of a giant Pacific octopus off Alki Beach in Seattle last October prompted a public outcry. Hundreds of scuba divers and members of the public submitted petitions to the state of Washington asking for better protection for the giant Pacific octopus in Puget Sound.
Macaque monkeys are the distant relatives of an ancient species that roamed the lush rainforests of the Northwest during the early Paleocene – about 60 million years ago. Climate change models project a possible return to Paleocene conditions in the near future. One local scientist says it’s time to bring back the macaque – and the Cascade Mountains are the perfect place to do it.
The debate over exporting Wyoming and Montana coal through terminals on the Northwest coast has been heating up in recent months. Those who support exporting coal say the terminals will create thousands of jobs and tax revenue for the state. Opponents have raised concerns about the potential environmental and health impacts of coal. Now, some of them are taking matters into their own hands.