Ashley Ahearn

Pages

Puget Sound Acidification
7:28 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Algae and Puget Sound Acidification Linked

Christopher Krembs, an oceanographer with the Washington Department of Ecology, photographs algae in Puget Sound.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

The ocean absorbs a large portion of the CO2 that we release into the atmosphere from our power plants and tail pipes. But when it gets there that CO2 makes the water more acidic and less hospitable for some creatures, like shellfish. In Puget Sound some shellfish hatcheries have already lost millions of oyster larvae because of exposure to acidic water.

Ocean acidification has scientists and policymakers in the Northwest concerned. Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has convened a panel on Ocean Acidification, which met this week. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Read more
Animals
2:00 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

What Killed Orca Victoria? Some Point To Naval Tests

Orca L112, also known as Victoria, was 3 years old when she washed up on the Washington coast. An investigation into her death has been inconclusive.
Center for Whale Research

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 4:34 pm

Few people know the orcas of Puget Sound as well as Ken Balcomb.

A researcher with the Center for Whale Research on Washington state's San Juan Island, Balcomb has been studying the whales for more than 30 years.

It takes Balcomb only a few seconds of listening to the squeaks and whistles of underwater whale recordings to recognize the different pods of orcas.

In one recording, Balcomb identifies the group known as the L Pod — the family many people in the area are talking about right now.

Read more
Cause Of Orca Death Unknown
5:21 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Report Inconclusive On What Killed Orca L112

Orca L112 was necropsied near Long Beach, Washington.
Cascadia Research

Scientists are still trying to pinpoint the cause of death for a young female orca that washed up near Long Beach, Washington in February.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report today with details from the whale’s necropsy.

Right now scientists still aren’t sure what caused the death of orca L112, also known as “Victoria”.

Read more
Algae Bloom
6:02 am
Tue May 15, 2012

Algae Booming in Puget Sound

The white foamy line marks a bloom of algae in South Puget Sound.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

All this warm weather is making for a lot of shiny happy people in Western Washington. Turns out the algae in the waters of Puget Sound are feeling the same way. Ashley Ahearn reports that algal blooms are making one scientist take note.

Read more
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.

Read more
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?

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages