Ashley Ahearn

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Salmon Hatcheries
6:11 am
Mon May 14, 2012

New Research: Hatchery Salmon Posing Problems For Wild Stocks

In the early part of the 20th century, when many Northwestern rivers were dammed, fish hatcheries provided a way to keep salmon in rivers. But now an estimated 5 billion hatchery fish are released into the Pacific every year. A collection of research released Monday highlights possible concerns about how all those hatchery fish might be impacting wild stocks. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Northwest Beekeeping
6:40 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Care To Borrow A Bee?

From her individual cage the queen bee emits pheromones to convert worker bees into her loyal subjects so they don't kill her when she's released into the hive.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

Honeybees have run into some trouble. Diseases, funguses and pesticides are just some of the factors scientists believe may be contributing to the decline of these insects nation-wide. But honeybees play a critical role in pollinating everything from the Washington apple crop to the flowers in your back yard. Ashley Ahearn reports on one booming business that’s bringing bees back to the urban environment. Care to borrow a bee?

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Puget Sound Tankers
6:37 am
Mon April 30, 2012

New Report Details Tanker Risk In Puget Sound

Twelve years ago, BP built a second dock at its Cherry Point refinery north of Bellingham, WA. But they didn’t do an assessment of what that added dock capacity would mean for tanker traffic in Washington waters. Now the Army Corps of Engineers has released a long-awaited study that does just that. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Puget Sound Waste Regulations
5:48 am
Wed April 25, 2012

New Restrictions On Cruise Ship Waste Discharge For The Port Of Seattle

As the weather warms up, cruise ships will begin arriving at the Port of Seattle. More than 200 ships are scheduled to visit the port this year, bringing millions of dollars in tourist revenue. In the past those ships have also brought wastewater into Puget Sound. But this year, the regulations are a little bit stricter. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Jellyfish Populations
5:53 am
Mon April 23, 2012

New Report: Jellyfish Populations Increasing Globally

Jellyfish populations are on the rise, globally. That’s according to a new study from the University of British Columbia. But, as Ashley Ahearn reports, it’s too soon to say if that’s the case in the Northwest.

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B.C. Pipeline Expansion
6:22 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Washington Not Ready For Implications Of B.C. Pipeline Expansion

In a typical crude oil spill floating boom is used to corral the oil, which collects in a sheen on the surface. But what happens if the oil sinks?
Photo credit: Ashley Ahearn KUOW

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Canadian pipeline operators are considering expanding the line that brings oil from the Alberta Oil Sands to western British Columbia. Environmentalists and others say that raises the potential for oil spills in Northwest waters and, it involves a different type of oil.

Right now the Trans Mountain pipeline moves 300,000 barrels of oil per day to an export terminal near Vancouver, B.C. If the Canadian government approves the expansion that amount could almost triple. More oil in the pipeline means more oil loaded onto large tanker ships. Those ships will eventually head out the Strait of Juan De Fuca to the Pacific.

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Orca Death Investigation
4:31 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Investigation Launched Into February Orca Death

There is an investigation into an orca that washed onto a Washington beach..
Photo credit: Wikimedia user Kalev Kevad Wikimedia Commons

Officials have launched an investigation into the death of a young female orca from a pod of the endangered marine mammals in Puget Sound. The orca washed up near Washington’s Long Beach in February. The cause of her death is controversial.

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Northwest News
10:02 am
Mon April 2, 2012

On The Ground In Grays Harbor

Tom O'Connor, a member of the Longshoreman's Union in Grays Harbor, standing at the site of the proposed new terminal.
Ashley Ahearn N3

Six ports in the Northwest are now considering building export terminals to bring American coal to Asian markets. One of those ports is Grays Harbor – west of Olympia. 5 million tons of coal could move through that port each year. If that coal is burned in places like China that would be the same as putting about two and a half million new cars on the road. But the new terminal represents much-needed jobs in this county – and that has people talking.

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San Juan Conservation
5:20 am
Thu March 29, 2012

One Thousand Acres Up For Conservation In The San Juan Islands

More than 70,000 people visit the San Juan Islands every year.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA -- Washington Senator Maria Cantwell has introduced a bill to get one thousand acres of the San Juan Islands declared a National Conservation Area. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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The Salt
2:06 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Battling 'Red Tide,' Scientists Map Toxic Algae To Prevent Shellfish Poisoning

An oyster shucker on Samish Island, Wash. on Puget Sound. The state is frequently forced to close beaches to oyster gatherers because of the risks of harmful algae blooms.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 11:14 am

Public health officials have their hands full keeping your clam chowder and raw oysters safe. That's due, in part, to red tides.

Red tides happen nearly every year as coastal waters warm, killing fish and poisoning shellfish along U.S. coasts. They're not actually tides; they're huge blooms of naturally occurring toxic algae.

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