Puget Sound

TJ Guiton

Shell Oil Co. had to postpone its Arctic drilling until 2014 after one of its oil rigs ran aground off the Alaska coast this winter, but Shell’s efforts to open a new frontier of oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean continue in Puget Sound.

The oil giant passed a key test with federal regulators in March in the waters off Anacortes, Wash., north of Seattle.

Behind The Scenes With SPD's Bomb Unit

Apr 18, 2013
Bomb Squad
Flickr Photo/Settsu

Investigators are trying to piece together this week's bombings at the Boston Marathon. What clues are they looking for? How are bombs detected and disarmed? Seattle Police Department explosives experts Randy Curtis and Craig Williamson join us with an inside look. Call with your questions to 206.543.5869.

VIDEO: Watch Dennis the SPD Bomb Dog In Action


Right now it’s legal to hunt octopuses 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.

Ashley Ahearn

There are several hundred derelict and abandoned vessels dotting the waterways of Washington and Oregon. They can block navigation and pollute the environment, and they can also be very expensive to remove.

Ashley Ahearn

President Obama is set to announce the creation of several new national monuments on Monday. One of them will be in Washington’s San Juan Islands.

T.J. Guiton

The Arctic Challenger left Puget Sound's Bellingham Bay Wednesday night and arrived at a deep-water anchorage near Anacortes, Wash., Thursday morning. The barge is part of Shell Oil’s fleet of vessels aimed at exploring the Arctic Ocean for oil.

The Arctic Challenger’s oil-spill containment system failed its first field test off Anacortes in September. Since then, Shell has rebuilt a 20-foot oil-containment dome that was “crushed like a beer can” in the first test.

Damaged oil-spill containment dome
BSEE (via KUOW FOIA request)

A KUOW investigation has led a top congressman to demand answers about Shell Oil's underwater accident this fall in Puget Sound.

As we reported on Friday, an underwater test near Anacortes left Shell's first-of-its-kind oil-spill equipment “crushed like a beer can.”

Damaged oil-spill containment dome
BSEE (via KUOW FOIA request)

UPDATE on Congressional interest in this story here.

Shell Oil has been building and testing equipment designed for the Arctic Ocean here in Puget Sound. In September, a key test of underwater oil-spill equipment was a spectacular failure.

Katie Campbell

Rescuing shellfish from the rising acidity in Puget Sound will require a wide-ranging response: everything from curbing greenhouse gases and controlling water pollution to growing more seaweed and putting restaurant-discarded oyster shells into shallow bays. Those are among the recommendations in a long-awaited report on ocean acidification that was delivered today to Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire by a blue-ribbon panel.

Octopus Killing Fuels Scuba Diver Activism

Nov 5, 2012
A giant Pacific octopus similar to the one that was killed recently at Cove 2 in Alki.
Flickr/California Academy of Sciences

A scuba diving instructor recently encountered a diver who was in the process of killing an octopus at Cove 2, a popular West Seattle diving site. Photos of the incident spread online, prompting the local scuba dive community to seek marine protection status for Cove 2. 

Air pollution from the major shipping ports in Puget Sound has decreased, according to a new report released Tuesday. The 300-page report compared emissions of diesel particulates, greenhouse gases and other air pollutants in five Puget Sound ports from 2005 to 2011. Overall, emissions have gone down.

Diver exploring outfall drain in Puget Sound
OPB Photo/Michael Bendixen

The Clean Water Act took effect 40 years ago Thursday. In 1972, stormwater pollution was nowhere near a top priority. Today, it’s taken the lead as the top water contaminator. How bad is it? Puget Sound diver Laura James takes us where nobody wants to go — inside a stormwater outfall — to get an upclose look.

Read the full story on KUOW's EarthFix