Environment

Environment

Wildlife refuge renamed for Native American leader

This story originally appeared on KCTS9/EarthFix. Top Northwest officials and a member of President Obama’s cabinet will gather Tuesday for the renaming of a wildlife…

Orchards, wilderness, a mountain town: Who gets the water?

Beyond the water, green in the sunlight, Dragontail Peak rises from the shore of Colchuk Lake, its peak hidden in cloud, dark conifers on its…

How inspectors missed broken bolts that caused an oil train derailment

This story is a production of OPB/ EarthFix. On April 27, Steve Holm and three other inspectors drove right over a set of broken railroad…

New tech could restore some quiet to noisy oceans

Forty feet below the surface of Puget Sound, a marbled murrelet dives for its catch. The water is cold, dark — and incredibly noisy. A…

The orcas are starving

Vancouver photographer Mark Malleson took this photograph of the Southern Resident killer whale known as J-34, or Doublestuf, breaching while he was in the interior…

Can oyster farms make Puget Sound a little more wild?

This is the last of a series of stories about Washington's oyster industry. The series starts here. Oysters were on the menu at the “Clean Oceans…

Explosive claims drive fight over proposed LNG terminal

In April, environmental activists helped cancel construction of the world’s largest methanol refinery, which was proposed for the Port of Tacoma. Now they’ve set their sights…

Ghost shrimp, oyster herpes and global warming’s evil twin

This is the third story in a series about Washington’s oyster industry. The series starts here. Driving down the coast on Highway 1 en route…

How the Columbia River Gorge was saved

Smoke billowed from the wreckage of a Union Pacific oil train only yards from the Columbia River last weekend, emphasizing a nightmare scenario drawn by…

The twisted logic of Ann Coulter and the Oregon ‘patriots’

With the end of the occupation of eastern Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by right-wing extremists, bird watchers are eagerly reclaiming their right to access…

Meet the Northwest’s environmental justice champions

There’s a movement afoot in Seattle. It’s a new breed of environmentalism, one that aims to put people who normally get left out of the…

Judge: Failed salmon restoration has cost billions

It's Groundhog Day. Again. Or maybe not. On May 3, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon trashed the federal government’s plan for managing dams on the…

Climate change threatens coastal archaeological sites

This story is a production of OPB/EarthFix. Photos by Jes Burns.  It’s the kind of foggy day you’d expect at Redwood National Park on the Northern…

Report faults state on groundwater pollution

In a stinging look at the agricultural practices in Washington, a new report places responsibility for degraded water quality and steep declines in Puget Sound…

For West Coast, nuclear Hanford threat dwarfs Fukushima

There is a dangerous radiological threat to the West Coast of the United States that puts the health of millions of Americans at risk. It…

A death blow to coal ports in Washington?

A firmly worded federal ruling Monday has seemingly quashed the hopes of developers of a giant coal-export terminal north of Bellingham. The findings, celebrated by…

Can a millennial mayor save Kurt Cobain’s dying hometown?

This story originally appeared in High Country News. Follow Route 101 through northwest Washington, and you’re sure to see it — the welcome sign outside…

Communities of color should lead on environmental fight

In 1991, delegates from around the country came together in Washington, D.C., with representatives from Puerto Rico, Canada, the Marshall Islands, and Central and South America…

Environmental study leaves Longview coal port bloodied but still alive

From OPB/EarthFix Coal dust, greenhouse gas emissions, noise and traffic congestion are among the environmental impacts from the proposed coal export terminal in Longview, Washington, according…

No room for trees in Seattle’s new parks

Forget what you think you know about green Seattle parks. A new park just south of Seattle University shows us an important aspect of the future…

Rare bipartisan moment in D.C. boosts WA tribes, farmers, fish

This story originally appeared in High Country News. Farmers, fishermen, communities and conservationists in Washington state who have spent years forging a compromise to manage…

Is Washington ready for the next big oil spill?

On a calm, clear afternoon in December 1985, the Arco Anchorage made a routine stop in Port Angeles, Washington. The crew was killing time, waiting…

In Portland, mysterious odors, unresponsive regulators

This story is a production of OPB/EarthFix. Find more about Portland's toxic air problem here. Adam Bartell felt like a crackpot for complaining about air…

City environmental efforts: Got justice?

Communities of color in Seattle could have more reason to celebrate the local environment in years to come. That’s the hope, at least, behind new…

Court orders feds to clean up World War II era nuclear site

The news slipped into the vacuum of Friday happy hour. Late on March 11, a U.S. District judge quietly issued a novella-length ruling, which may reshape the way…