environment

Publicly-Accessible Telescope
3:57 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Local Company Uses Crowd Funding To Launch Space Telescope

Local company Planetary Resources successfully completed a campaign to crowd fund a publicly accessible telescope.
Flickr Photo/NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Planetary Resources, a company based in Bellevue, decided to bridge the gap between the planet and the cosmos with the world’s first crowd-funded, publicly-accessible telescope. Their Kickstarter campaign recently raised over $1.5 million from 17,614 people in just 33 days.

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Invasive Species
11:20 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Crayfish Turf Wars Of The Northwest

Red swamp crayfish aren't native to the Northwest but where they've been introduced, they're taking over.
Earthfix Photo/Ashley Ahearn

Gumbo and jambalaya may not be at the top of Northwest menus. But if the invasive red swamp crayfish has its way, that could change.

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Eurasian milfoil
8:38 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Bellevue Closes Beaches To Fight Invasive Species

Signs (and an unseen lifeguard) deter swimmers at Bellevue's Meydenbauer Beach Park until herbicide sprayed nearby has had 24 hours to settle to the bottom of Lake Washington.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

The city of Bellevue, Wash., closed two public beaches to swimming Monday as it sprayed herbicide into Lake Washington’s Meydenbauer Bay. It plans to close a third beach on Wednesday.

Bellevue is fighting an invasive weed known as Eurasian watermilfoil.

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Megaload Hurdles
11:28 am
Thu July 11, 2013

'Megaloads' Opponents Count On Federal Hurdles To Halt Trucks

Imperial Oil

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 5:20 pm

Oil companies still may find a way to move huge, so-called “megaloads” through a scenic corridor in Idaho, once traveled by Lewis and Clark. But for now at least, opponents of the extra-large shipments are hoping government red tape has closed that option.

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Military Base Conservation Efforts
11:27 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Federal Agencies Pool Money To Preserve Buffer Around Military Base

Spc. Reese Von Rogatsz US Army

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:21 pm

Urban development around military bases in the Northwest and across the nation is creating a headache for the U.S. Defense Department. So Wednesday, several federal agencies announced they will pool money to preserve buffer lands, starting with Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma.

Federal and state money will be used to buy conservation easements or buy property outright to prevent development on more than 2,600 acres of farmland and prairie. The land is in Thurston County, Washington near Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

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Climate Change
1:15 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Song For A Warming Planet

McCarty Glacier, Alaska. Left: July 30, 1909. Right: August 11, 2004.
Credit NASA

As a student at University of Minnesota, Daniel Crawford was exposed to the latest science on climate change. He learned that the planet was warming rapidly. Scientists have struggled to communicate the gravity of that discovery with others, and so, as a planet we've failed to make changes that would slow the warming trend.

But Daniel has a tool unavailable to most scientists. He plays the cello. By translating NASA's collection of historic temperature data into notes, he tells the story of Earth's climate change with a song. It's an unpleasant song. But it's also a song whose melody can't be easily forgotten.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 10:

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Washington Train-To-Ship Oil Terminal
11:55 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Port Of Vancouver Reconsiders Proposed Oil Terminal

Washington's Port of Vancouver is reviewing a proposal for an oil terminal fed by the Bakken fields in North Dakota - the same source of oil attached to the train explosion in Quebec last weekend.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT

UPDATE 7/10/13, 4:09 p.m. PT: The Associated Press is reporting that the death toll for the Quebec train crash that rocked a small town over the weekend has reached 50. Canadian officials have declared that the missing people in the explosion are now presumed dead.

The tragedy has given the commissioners of the Port of Vancouver in Washington pause as they consider a proposal for a terminal to move oil from trains onto ships.

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Hanford Cleanup Update
9:26 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Massive Hanford Waste Dump Reaches 15 Million Ton Mark

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 4:52 pm

Managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation say crews have cleaned up 15 million tons of radioactive soil and debris from near the Columbia River. It’s gone to a massive dump at the center of the site.

In central Hanford, a ceremonial load of soil marked 15 million tons of waste disposed of at the 52-football-field-sized dump called ERDF. Dozens of truck horns blared in response.

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Puget Sound Movement
1:24 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Ghost-Net Busters

Credit flickr photo / Jennyvids

Lost and abandoned fishing nets kill untold numbers of sea creatures around the world every year. But there's a growing global movement to remove what are known as "ghost nets" and prevent new ones. And it's starting in the Puget Sound.

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, July 9:

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Oil Transportation
10:31 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Canada's Oil Train Disaster Sparks Northwest Concern

Freight train burning in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, Canada.
Flickr Photo/Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The weekend’s deadly oil-train derailment and explosion in the Canadian province of Quebec has raised concerns in the Pacific Northwest, where there are several proposals to increase the amount of oil transported into to the region by train.

By Monday afternoon the confirmed death toll had reached 13, with 50 people still missing after Saturday’s derailment of more than 70 tanker cars. They were filled with oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota — home of the largest oil boom in recent US history.

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Car Talk
12:04 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Why Don’t Americans Choose Diesel?

Flickr Photo/Jeff Turner

  Only three percent of American cars are diesel, a fraction compared to 50 percent of European cars, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. Gasoline has always been the choice of fuel for Americans. But popular car makers like Audi, Chevrolet and Mazda are offering more diesel options this year. KUOW’s Arwen Nicks talked with Mark Rechtin, West Coast editor for Automotive News to ask why Americans avoid diesel.

Columbia River Treaty
10:39 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Canada Defends Hydropower 'Entitlement' From U.S. Northwest

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 2:50 pm

Here's a little known fact that may affect your power bill: Every year, public utilities in the Northwest give British Columbia several hundred million dollars worth of electricity. That's to compensate Canada for managing the upper Columbia River to minimize flooding and maximize hydropower downstream.

Americans are pushing for a better deal, but the B.C. government is preparing to defend what's now considered an entitlement.

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Blackfeet Indian Reservation
10:38 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Hoof-To-Ground: Bringing Wild Bison Back To The West

Sandy White Shield Inter Tribal Buffalo Council

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 9:37 pm

Northwest Montana’s Blackfeet Indian Reservation stretches across 1.5 million acres. But it turns out that isn’t enough room for the free-roaming bison herd that tribes are attempting to establish. Northwest Native Americans are hoping restored buffalo herds may reopen ancient trade and cultural traditions.

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Irrigation Control
11:25 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Controversy In The Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Plan

 The Yakima Basin Water Plan includes one of the biggest land purchases in Washington state history: 50,000 acres in Upper Kittitas County. But it also includes some projects such as a dam on Bumping Lake that some people are not at all happy about. Ross Reynolds talks with Chris Maycut, president of the organization Friends of Bumping Lake about his issues with the water plan.

Irrigation Control
12:15 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Washington’s $100 Million Land Purchase In Upper Kittitas County

The large land purchase approved by Gov. Jay Inslee is designed to protect water sources.
Flickr Photo/Jay Inslee

Yesterday, Governor Inslee put the final stamp of approval on one of the biggest land purchases Washington state has ever seen. The state budget includes $100 million for 50,000 acres in Upper Kittitas County, at the headwater of the Yakima River Basin. Officials say protecting this land will be a big step towards securing water supplies in the region. Ross Reynolds talks with columnist Joel Connelly about the significance of this land purchase.

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