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.
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.
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.
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.
What is the future of food? How can it sustain us? Vandana Shiva is an environmental and anti-globalization activist. Throughout her career, she’s fought for changes in agriculture practices, among other causes. Her latest book is called “Making Peace with the Earth.” She spoke at Town Hall on September 12, 2013, in a talk sponsored by YES! Magazine.
Rising levels of carbon dioxide are corroding the world's seas. It’s called ocean acidification, and it’s already threatening Northwest oyster beds.
Scientists think the impact of ocean acidification is happening much more rapidly than previously thought.
The Seattle Times has published a major print and online series on its impacts called "Sea Change: The Pacific’s Perilous Turn" by reporter Craig Welch and photographer Steve Ringman. Craig Welch talks with Ross Reynolds.
China plans to cut coal consumption in major northern cities including Beijing and Shanghai by 2017 to curb pollution. Could this impact demand for Wyoming coal and proposed (and controversial) coal export terminals in Washington state? Marcie Sillman talks it over with David Roberts who writes for the Seattle-based environmental magazine, Grist.
Proposals to make the Northwest a major coal exporting region have made for a familiar debate over the potential impacts on people and the environment. Will it help the economy? What will coal dust do to the air we breathe? Will our rivers and marine waters be threatened?
Here’s another question: Will coal trains harm the wetlands of the Pacific Northwest?
So far, wetlands have not been a central part of the public debate over coal exports. But concern over these ecologically sensitive areas are familiar to the federal regulators who will decide whether to permit coal export terminals.
In fact, according to government documents obtained by EarthFix, the Army Corps of Engineers has already studied the issue. And in at least one instance, it’s reached a conclusion:
David Hyde went to visit the Vashon-Maury Island Basin steward for King County, Greg Rabourn, who helps restore Puget Sound shorelines one beach at a time. Rabourn led Hyde on a tour of the Dockton shoreline, where he and his team have been removing creosote pilings, bulkheads and decades of fill.
The site was originally a salt marsh. Then, a sawmill came in, and covered the marsh with log ends. Later came fill dirt, bricks from a nearby factory, and boulders. Now, all that stuff has been scraped away revealing spongy peat -- a gift from that long-buried marsh. Rabourn says he suspects there are dormant seeds hiding in that peat that could now sprout after seeing sunlight for the first time in a century.
Rabourn is a native plant expert and has been a frequent guest of KUOW as part of the Greendays panel.
This January, changes in federal law made it illegal to unlock cell phones. This was great news for phone companies that like people to be locked into one carrier but bad news for the environment. Ross Reynolds talked with Kiera Butler, senior editor at Mother Jones, about locked phones and e-waste.