environment

Flotsam And Jetsam
5:15 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Bath Toys, Nikes Wash Ashore; Oceanographer Worries Radiation Will Too

Retired oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer poses with rubber duckies spilled from a cargo container in 1992.
flotsametrics.com photo

In 1990, a cargo container dropped 80,000 Nike sneakers overboard. The shoes washed ashore for the next decade.

Two years later, in 1992, another container in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean accidentally released 29,000 bathtub toys. They continue to float to land.

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Strange Nature
11:49 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Salty Tanzania Lake Turns Birds Into Stone-Like Statues

Calcified Flamingo, Lake Natron, 2012
Courtesy of Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NY/Nick Brandt 2013

Correction 10/9/2013: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Lake Natron was 402 miles wide. The lake is 402 square miles.

A lake in Tanzania has come into the spotlight recently thanks to a series of eerie photographs released by photographer Nick Brandt. In his book, “Across the Ravaged Land,” Brandt shows the world what happens to some wildlife when it’s submerged Lake Natron, and it’s not pretty.

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Fishing Ban
10:15 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Octopuses' Gardens: State Designates 7 No-Hunt Spots

KUOW Photo/Meghan Walker

When a 19-year-old man lured a giant Pacific octopus from its lair off Alki Beach in West Seattle last year – legally, it turned out – a small group of activists were aghast that the charismatic cephalopod wasn’t protected.

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Water Rights
10:10 am
Fri October 4, 2013

High Court: Protect Skagit Salmon Over Landowners

Earthfix Photo/Michael Werner

A Western Washington tribe Thursday won a legal victory that will ensure more water stays in the Skagit River to help salmon and steelhead.

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Environmental Solutions
9:00 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Sustainability With Erik Assadourian And Annie Leonard

Erik Assadourian and Annie Leonard's book "State of the World 2013."

The buzzword “sustainable” has been around for years — so long that it’s nearly begun to lose its meaning. In order to chart a true sustainable future, we need to make changes to our lifestyles that are more drastic than simply composting or bringing reusable bags to the grocery store.

Erik Assadourian and Annie Leonard are co-authors of the book “State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible?” They spoke on September 16 at Town Hall. The talk was moderated by Grist founder Chip Giller.

Climate Change
9:29 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Hotter Summers Mean More Health Risks In Urban Heat Islands

HelenRuth Stephens has asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She says hot weather drains her energy and makes it hard to breathe.
Cassandra Profita Earthfix

PORTLAND – On hot summer days, 74-year-old HelenRuth Stephens doesn't dare leave her apartment. Not to get the mail or take out the trash.

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Teanaway Land Purchase
12:28 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

State Buys 38,000 Football Fields Of Land In Teanaway

Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Natural Resources

 

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and Forterra announced yesterday the purchase of more than 50,000 acres in the headwaters of the Yakima Basin watershed.

It will be designated as the Teanaway Community Forest. That’s big. How big? Think 38,000 football fields. It’s the state’s largest land acquisition in 45 years. Ross Reynolds spoke to Washington State Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark as he headed from Olympia to Teanaway and asked him about the future of this now state-run land.  

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Shellfish Poisoning
7:50 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Algal Blooms Becoming More Toxic With Warming Waters

The Williford family is all smiles today. But they weren't so happy when Jessica (far right) was the first person in the US with a documented case of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning. Climate change could make such illnesses more common.
Katie Campbell Earthfix

SAMMAMISH, Wash. — A photograph displayed in Jacki and John Williford’s home commemorates a camping trip that would go down in family history.

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Water Quality
11:33 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Boat Sewage In The Puget Sound? The Department Of Ecology Says No More

Flickr Photo/JPChamberland

It's not something you want to think about: excrement floating in our lovely oceans. Some boaters release their sewage into the water, but Washington's Department of Ecology is trying to change that. They are drafting a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency to classify the Puget Sound as a "no discharge zone." If approved, it would prohibit boaters from releasing any sewage — treated or untreated — in the Sound. Ross Reynolds talks with Department of Ecology supervisor Mark Henley.

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Sound
9:40 am
Fri September 27, 2013

What Listening To Nature Teaches Us About Changing Habitats

"In habitats that are pretty much untouched, the sound is organized and structured in such a way so that each critter establishes its own bandwidth" — Bernie Kraus
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 11:25 am

Part 3 in the TED Radio Hour episode "Everything Is Connected."

About Bernie Krause's TEDTalk

Bernie Krause has been recording the wild — the wind in the trees, the chirping of birds — for 45 years. He has seen many environments radically altered by humans, sometimes even by practices thought to be environmentally safe.

About Bernie Krause

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Maple Wood Theft
9:42 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Critic: Guitar Makers Slow To Respond To Thefts Of Rare Wood

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 5:10 pm

U.S. guitar makers are under scrutiny these days because of the rare woods they sometimes use. One of those prized woods is found only in the Pacific Northwest.

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Nuclear Waste
9:36 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Feds Propose Plan For Hanford's Tank Waste Challenges

US Department of Energy

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 8:49 am

There’s a new plan for cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The federal government is looking for ways to process certain types of radioactive waste more quickly, while managers there figure out how to solve major technical challenges at its massive Waste Treatment Plant.

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Job Training And Creation
9:30 am
Tue September 24, 2013

"Green Jobs" A Loosely Defined Category In Job Creation Grants

Mike Mitzel, maintenance mechanic for UW's consolidated laundry facility.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

In 2009 President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. It provided $500 million for research and green-jobs training. Here in Washington, $16 million in federal funds went to green jobs training.

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Food Safety
9:23 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Warning: Some Columbia River Fish Not Safe To Eat

US Army Corps of Engineers

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 3:50 pm

New advisories from health officials in Washington and Oregon warn that some fish in the Columbia River aren’t safe to eat.

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Volcanic Activity
11:51 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Colombians Urge Pacific Northwesterners To Appreciate Lahar Danger

RJ Landa USGS

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 10:50 am

Name the volcano that geologists consider the most dangerous in the Northwest.

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