environment

Cracked Dam
8:42 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Bones Exposed By Wanapum Dam Drawdown On Columbia River

Newly exposed riverbank sprawls out upstream on the Columbia River from Wanapum Dam. Human bones have been found in an area called Crescent Bar.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 8:20 am

In Central Washington, human bones have been found along the newly exposed shore above Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River.

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EarthFix Reports
7:57 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Port Of Portland: We’ll Pass On Crude Oil By Rail—For Now

The Port of Portland says it might consider an oil train project one day – but not until safety concerns have been addressed.
Flickr Photo/Russ Allison Loar (CC BY-NC-ND)

Have you been wondering about the Port of Portland’s position on oil by rail? If so, you’re not alone.

As more and more oil by rail developments crop up around the Pacific Northwest, the port has received “numerous inquiries” about whether it, too, would be willing and able to receive shipments of crude from the Bakken oil fields.

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EarthFix Reports
7:45 am
Wed March 5, 2014

With Or Without Terminal, Oil Trains Through Vancouver On The Rise

An oil by rail terminal has been proposed at the Port of Vancouver USA, but regardless of its future the city will likely see significant increases of oil by rail traffic
Port of Vancouver USA

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 9:18 pm

Opponents of a planned oil-by-rail terminal urged Port of Vancouver USA commissioners at their meeting Tuesday to cancel its lease with terminal companies Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies, raising several arguments against what would be the largest oil-to-marine terminal in the Northwest. But that terminal might not be the biggest factor affecting oil train traffic through the city.

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Fish And Wildlife
2:58 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Salmon Forecast Predicts 'Historical Run' For Chinook And Coho

Flickr Photo/Eva Funderburgh (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with Ryan Lothrop, recreational fishery manager at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, about forecasting salmon runs for the 2014-15 fishing season.

Lothrop said about 283,000 Chinook and 870,000 coho salmon are expected to return to Puget Sound this year.

Cracked Dam
8:44 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Columbia River Drawdown Continues To Take Pressure Off Wanapum Dam

The crack is at the bottom of the fourth spillway pier from the left in this photo.
Grant County PUD

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 5:54 pm

Water behind the Wanapum Dam near Vantage, Wash., is being drawn down 26 feet to relieve pressure on the big crack in the structure.

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EarthFix Reports
8:39 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Wave Energy Developer Pulls Plug On Oregon Project

One of the massive wave buoys developed by Ocean Power Technologies. The New Jersey Company has withdrawn its plans to develop the first big-scale wave energy project off the Southern Oregon coast.
Ocean Power Technologies

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 5:18 pm

Developers have scrapped their plans to build the nation's first large-scale wave energy project off the Oregon Coast, saying the costs were too high to make it work.

The much-anticipated project would have placed a flotilla of 100 energy-producing buoys, each the size of a school bus, in the waves off the coast of Reedsport, Ore.

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Infrastructure
3:23 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

What's Next For Columbia River's Cracked Wanapum Dam?

Wanapum Dam
Flickr Photo/Daniel Liu (CC BY-NC-ND)

Steve Scher talks with Northwest News Network reporter Anna King about what lies ahead for the Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River. On Friday, inspectors discovered a 65-foot underwater crack in the dam.

Climate Change
8:45 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Inslee Prepares To Make Moral Case For Carbon Reduction

File photo of Washington Governor Jay Inslee
GovInslee Flickr

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 10:23 am

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is preparing to take action on an issue that could secure his legacy -- or complicate his re-election chances.

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Radioactive Waste Cleanup
8:41 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Hanford Tanks: How Much Do We Know?

Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 10:38 am

When it comes to the many underground tanks at Hanford filled with radioactive sludge, just how much do we know? U.S. Senator Ron Wyden says not enough.

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Environment
8:40 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Columbia River's Wanapum Dam Cracked, Officials Mull Options

File photo of Wanapum Dam
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 2:26 pm

Dam operators are struggling to find a solution for a major underwater crack in the Wanapum Dam. It spans the Columbia River in central Washington near Vantage.

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Global Trade
4:05 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Coffee Roasters, Drinkers Brace For Price Hike

Flickr Photo/Brian (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with Craig Holt, founder of Atlas Coffee Importers, about the drought in Brazil and how it could affect coffee prices around the world.

EarthFix Reports
9:10 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Who Finds You When You Wander Off The Hiking Trail?

Kia is a 2-year-old German shepherd who is training to be a search and rescue dog with the Yakima County K-9 team. The team is made up of volunteers who search for missing hikers, hunters, children, and senior citizens.
EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

If you’re out one day hunting or wander off a hiking trail, a select group of volunteers may come to look for you. K-9 search and rescue teams spend countless hours training for just such an emergency.

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Fossil Find
10:24 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Holy Mammoth! Tusk Arrives At The Burke Museum

Construction workers discovered this fossilized tusk (wrapped in plaster) on February 12, 2014. They contacted paleontologists at the Burke Museum who confirmed the find. The tusk has since been transferred to the Burke for preservation and research. The smaller tusk above was found in Alaska.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Scientists are hoping to learn more about a fossilized mammoth tusk that was uncovered two weeks ago at a construction site in Seattle’s South Lake Union area. The tusk has since been transferred to the Burke Museum for preservation and research.

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EarthFix Reports
8:46 am
Wed February 26, 2014

2014 Fall Chinook Returns Could Be Biggest On Record

A chinook salmon photographed in the Snake River in 2013. That year's run set records, but 2014 returns are on track to outnumber last year's in the Columbia and Snake rivers.
Aaron Kunz

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 6:00 pm

The future is looking bright for fall chinook salmon in the Columbia and Snake rivers. Predictions are in that this could be another record-breaking year for the fish.

Officials are predicting the largest return on record since 1938. That’s 1.6 million Columbia River fall chinook. Nearly 1 million of those fish will come from salmon near Hanford Reach. These are known as upriver brights, said Stuart Ellis, fisheries biologist with the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission.

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EarthFix Reports
8:52 am
Tue February 25, 2014

How One Dam Increased Fish Survival By Managing Its Water

Ryan Harnish led a study showing the effects of Central Washington's Priest Rapid Dam operations on young salmon downstream. In the background is Locke Island, one of the best spawning habitats for salmon in the Columbia River.
Courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 12:02 am

RICHLAND, Wash. -- For better salmon survival: be sure to keep salmon eggs and newly hatched fish under the water. Those are the key findings of a new study that says large numbers of fish survived when a Central Washington dam carefully controlled its water releases.

The study looked at an area of the Columbia River known as Hanford Reach, a 50-mile stretch in Central Washington along the Hanford site. It's one of the longest free-flowing areas of the river.

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