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Stories about the environment focused on the Pacific Northwest, with many from KNKX's Environment reporter, Bellamy Pailthorp.
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last modified
2019-11-15 15:03
last episode published
2019-11-13 23:03
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3.37 days
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Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Makah tribe heads to court — with NOAA support — in effort to resume whale hunt

The Makah whale hunt is back in court. The tribe wants to resume a limited hunt of gray whales off the Washington coast. An administrative judge in Seattle will hear arguments for and against over several days, starting Thursday at 1 p.m.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Conservation plea to private landowners: skip red tape and help the island marble butterfly

Wildlife officials are appealing to landowners on San Juan and Lopez islands. They’re asking them to set aside patches of habitat for the rare island marble butterfly, before it gets official protection under federal law.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Long-awaited King County study recommends waste-to-energy site to replace landfill

King County is grappling with how to handle its trash as the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill reaches capacity. The Maple Valley facility, which first accepted waste in the mid-1960s, is expected to fill up in less than 20 years. Expansion efforts have st...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks to thousands in Vancouver, B.C.

Less than a week after the Canadian general election, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday to speak. The 16-year-old attracted thousands of fellow climate activists, many fellow teenagers and their parents, to t...
Craig McCulloch author

Oyster growers in Southwest Washington drop appeal for use of controversial pesticide

Oyster growers in Southwest Washington have given up on their push to use a controversial neurotoxin to control burrowing shrimp. The shrimp can turn oyster beds into quicksand that suffocates the shellfish. The growers have dropped an appeal before th...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Federal shellfish permit doesn't protect environment, judge rules

A U.S. judge has thrown out a federal permit for the Washington state shellfish industry that failed to comply with environmental regulations.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Cooke Aquaculture partners with Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe to farm native fish in the Salish Sea

It’s been more than two years since Cooke Aquaculture’s net pens collapsed at Cypress Island near Anacortes. The fallout led the state Legislature to ban net-pen farming of non-native fish in Washington waters. Now, Cooke is back with plans to farm two...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Audubon warns climate change could put more than half of Washington bird species at risk

More than half of the birds in our state are at risk of extinction because of climate change. That's according to a new national report from the Audubon Society, which gives detailed analysis of climate impacts on about 600 species of North American bi...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Orca task force adds 13 recommendations at final meeting as 'biological extinction' looms

Their goal is clear: to prevent Puget Sound’s iconic Southern Resident killer whales from going extinct. Solving that problem is anything but simple. The task force convened by Gov. Jay Inslee to save the orcas added 13 new recommendations this week, a...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

‘I’m always optimistic, I have to be.’ Author recalls early orca research amid book tour

Two pods of the scarcely seen Southern Resident orca population showed up in the waters off Seattle within just a few hours of author Erich Hoyt’s return to the Pacific Northwest for his book tour. Hoyt knew next to nothing about the iconic whales when...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Alaska Airlines campaign #fillbeforeyoufly urges passengers to reduce plastic waste

Of all the things people do every year, flying causes more greenhouse gas pollution than almost anything. Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is working to shrink that carbon footprint. Its latest move is a campaign to reduce plastic waste on flights.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Health of Commencement Bay has come a long way, but Tacoma still has more work to do

David Bean remembers when his family didn’t have enough room for all the salmon in their boat. “We caught so much fish that we had to call folks to bring their skiffs over,” said Bean, chairman of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. “I remember one, we over...

Washington state officially launches first new construction in effort to electrify ferries

Washington’s ferry system runs on diesel fuel that causes more air pollution than anything else the state transportation department operates. That’s changing as the state Department of Transportation works to convert two of its Jumbo Mark 2 ferries to ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Could a seal cull in Canada help Salish salmon and Southern Resident orcas?

One of the biggest issues facing Puget Sound’s endangered Southern Resident killer whales is a lack of Chinook salmon, their preferred food. A Seattle chef and the PCC Community Markets chain have stopped selling local Chinook, in an effort to help pro...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Canadian court approves appeal of Trans Mountain Pipeline, on an accelerated schedule

An appeal of the Canadian government’s approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline has been allowed to proceed. The legal procedure from opponents is being allowed, but on an accelerated schedule. In the written decision , the Canadian Federal Court of App...
Craig McCulloch author

Lummi Nation mourns lost Southern Resident orcas, renames those remaining

Earlier this summer, the Lummi Nation came to Seattle and launched a campaign to protect and revitalize the Salish Sea. The tribe is based near Bellingham, at the heart of that body of water, which extends from Puget Sound to Desolation Sound in Canada...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Trails, roads close as 'flying' goat season continues on Olympic Peninsula

More than 200 mountain goats so far have been captured and transported from in and around Olympic National Park. Wildlife managers are working to relocate the entire population to native habitat in the North Cascades.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

'Hot Water Reports' use government's own data to highlight unsafe conditions for fish

When salmon and steelhead don't get the cold water they need, it costs them more energy to survive. Their reproductive success can be diminished and they become more vulnerable to disease.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Seattle City Council to discuss mayor’s proposed tax on oil-powered home heat

Seattle is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050. Mayor Jenny Durkan has proposed a new tax on oil-powered residential heat to encourage a switch to cleaner electric sources. The city council takes up that proposal in committee Friday.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Revised federal rules could affect 10 species awaiting endangered status — and likely more

Trump administration changes to the Endangered Species Act could significantly impair future efforts to protect vulnerable species and their habitats in the state. That’s according to wildlife officials who have been poring over hundreds of pages that ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Canoe Journey 2019 marked by 'hope, healing, happiness and hospitality'

Five days of inter-tribal festivities wrapped up over the weekend as the 2019 Paddle to Lummi came to an end. This year, nearly 100 canoes made their way to the shores of the Lummi Nation’s Stommish Grounds near Bellingham, for a celebration of unity a...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Lummi Nation announces suit to 'repatriate' captive orca from Miami Seaquarium

Native American tribes and first nations from around the region are celebrating their annual canoe journey this weekend. Along with songs, stories and dancing, their five-day gathering at the Lummi Nation, near Bellingham, will include the Lummi announ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State accepting public comment on central waterfront cleanup plan in Bellingham

It’s been more than a dozen years since the Georgia Pacific pulp mill on Bellingham’s waterfront shut down and the local port district took ownership of 137 heavily polluted acres. Residents recently got a chance to tour the central waterfront parcel a...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Washington AG Bob Ferguson sues U.S. Navy over Growler noise

A citizens’ fight against jet noise from the U.S. Navy’s expanding fleet of Growler jets on Whidbey Island is getting help from the state’s top lawyer. Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed suit against the Navy , calling its environmental impact sta...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Northwest seismologists see lessons learned from California quakes

Seismologists in the Pacific Northwest have been getting a lot of calls in recent days after a major earthquake rattled remote Southern California over the Fourth of July weekend. No one was killed, but the event raised many questions.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Southern resident orcas seen off Washington coast after unprecedented absence since May

Whale scientists have spotted several southern resident orcas off the west side of San Juan Island, in Haro Strait. The sighting comes after an unprecedented absence that had many worried.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Mine proposal near U.S.-Canadian border raises concerns on both sides

A proposed exploratory mine near the U.S.-Canadian border is raising concerns in both countries. The development involves a major salmon producing river for Puget Sound.
Craig McCulloch author

Climate change will cost Washington $24 billion in ‘high tide tax,’ report says

A new study from a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group takes a look at the near-term costs of projected sea level rise due to climate change. Washington faces the highest cost on the West Coast for impacts to shorelines.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Canadian government re-approves controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

VANCOUVER, B.C.— As expected, the Canadian government has approved — again — the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. If built, it could see a sevenfold increase in tanker traffic through the Salish Sea.
Craig McCulloch author

King County deploys ‘Connect’ app in costly fight against noxious weeds

King County has a new mobile app that aims to make it easier for residents to reach local government services. As officials unveil the app this week, they’re highlighting its use in the fight against noxious weeds , for which it has so far been most fu...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Local nonprofit encourages less carbon pollution, more trees for cities and towns

Carbon credits that protect forests have been around for more than 20 years. Companies that want or need to reduce their carbon footprint can purchase offsets, and that money is invested to preserve or plant trees. Trees inhale carbon dioxide, so they ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

'Deceptive solution' or bridge fuel? Fight over half-built LNG project continues in Tacoma.

Puget Sound Energy CEO Kimberly Harris wasn’t surprised to receive a call from Gov. Jay Inslee the afternoon of May 8. But she was surprised to hear what he had to say.

Seattle director's passion for saving Bristol Bay from mining inspires his film, 'The Wild'

Bristol Bay, Alaska, provides more than half of the world’s sockeye salmon. And every summer, hundreds of commercial fishermen from the Puget Sound region join Alaskan locals to reap the benefits of its pristine salmon habitat.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Washington's 100% clean electricity law touted as nation’s strongest — but how will it work?

Washington state now has the strongest clean electricity law in the nation. That's how many environmentalists describe new regulations that force utilities to get off coal by 2025 and to be 100 percent free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Orca recovery bills signed by Gov. Inslee bring big wins for salmon habitat, environment

“For as the orca go, so go we.” Those were words from Gov. Jay Inslee as he signed five bills that aim to help keep endangered Southern Resident killer whales from going extinct. All are based on recommendations from the orca recovery task force he con...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

National parks group sues U.S. Navy in pursuit of information on Growler jet training

A national parks organization filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Navy last week, related to jet training at Air Station Whidbey Island. The nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association sued the Navy to get more information about the exercises, which...

Forterra invests $1 million to help Hamilton residents relocate flood-plagued town

A town on the Skagit River that’s plagued with chronic flooding is one step closer to moving out of the flood plain. That’s thanks to a $1 million investment from the conservation group, Forterra.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Empty, clean and dry: Top 10 tips for recycling and what it might cost (or not)

Recycling the right way is a point of pride around here. “Obsessive Compulsive Recycler, you’re one of us,” local insurance company Pemco says in one of its cheeky Northwest Profiles. But getting it right has become more difficult, after China stopped ...

Businesses for Bristol Bay issue a plea from Seattle: suspend permitting on Pebble Mine

More than 200 businesses — including many in Washington state — are calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to suspend permitting for the controversial Pebble Mine project. The proposed mine would be located in the headwaters of the world’s largest...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

‘State of the Air' report gives failing grades to Washington for sooty particulate pollution

Warmer weather and wildfire smoke are causing more air pollution in Washington. Three metropolitan areas in the state have the worst air pollution in the nation. They made the top-15 list for particle pollution in this year’s “ State of the Air ” repor...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Community solar comes to Snohomish County

Solar power can feel out of reach. Upfront costs are usually considerable and you need a sunny roof or open space where you can put the panels. Community solar projects make it more accessible, by allowing ratepayers to buy shares in an installation th...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State House passes HEAL Act for environmental justice, a first for Washington

A bill that would address environmental justice is still alive in the state Legislature. The so-called Healthy Environment for All, or HEAL, Act passed the House in the nick of time, getting a last-minute bipartisan vote of 88-10 just after 5 p.m. Wedn...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State suspends summer fishing for Chinook on Columbia River, limits Puget Sound seasons

Low numbers of Chinook salmon expected to return to the Columbia River this summer have led state and tribal officials to close that fishery until Aug. 1. They’ve also announced new restrictions on Puget Sound Chinook.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Whale watching by land and by boat sparks 'sheer joy,' inspiring lifelong orca advocates

Experts and enthusiasts agree, whether on water or on land: it’s difficult to describe the feeling people get in the presence of orcas. “I wish you could bottle what happens when people see whales,” said Donna Sandstrom, while passing out binoculars to...

Western Washington welcomes back wolves as endangered population continues to rise

Endangered gray wolves are back in Western Washington. That’s according to the latest census of the endangered population from state wildlife officials. It’s the first time the count has included a pack living west of the Cascades.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Orca advocates urge Legislature to pass emergency package for Puget Sound orcas

Members of Gov. Jay Inslee’s orca recovery task force and environmental groups supporting its work say they have four critical bills that are still in play this legislative session. They’re calling on state lawmakers to keep moving the bills forward.
Bellamy Pailthorp author

State public lands commissioner seeks unprecedented $55M increase to wildfire budget

Based on legislative budgets released so far, a major increase in state funding for wildfire fighting and prevention looks likely. Washington's Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz, has requested an unprecedented $55 million dollars to fight and ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Washington getting closer to mandate for 100% clean energy

One of the biggest priorities among environmental groups working in Olympia this year is passage of a law to transition the electrical grid to 100 percent clean energy by 2045 . It’s also a cornerstone of Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest policies to address cl...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

Northwest fishing fleet renews fight against proposed mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay

Thousands of people in the Pacific Northwest — commercial fishermen, their crews, sport fishermen, seafood processors, even many boat builders — depend on wild salmon caught every summer in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The Trump administration has re-started ...
Bellamy Pailthorp author

1.5 million acres of greenway along I-90 earns National Heritage Area recognition

A sweeping public lands package was signed into law Tuesday by President Donald Trump, containing numerous benefits for Washington state. It includes a National Heritage Area designation for the Mountains to Sound Greenway , which covers 1.5 million ac...
Bellamy Pailthorp author