Ecology

D. Kvamme PacifiCorp

More dams are being removed from rivers as they get older and no longer produce hydropower. Researchers have found after these dams come down, rivers return to their natural state surprisingly fast.

Over the years lots of sediment backs up behind dams. Ecologists have worried the release of that sediment would harm habitat and cause flooding.

But a study from Oregon State University found that didn’t happen. Researchers studied two rivers in Oregon before and after dams were removed.

A spill cleanup crew remains on the scene Thursday near Longview where an old wooden boat sunk in a side channel of the Columbia River.

Two Oregon conservation groups have a new idea for cooling down streams. Their plan is similar to the credits used to offset carbon emissions. And today, the federal government is backing the plan with a grant. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix explains.

State Changes Course On Water Regulation

Aug 22, 2012

The Department of Ecology recently decided not to change the fish consumption rate in Washington. The rate is important because it drives regulatory standards for water quality. In other words how much seafood we eat determines how clean our water is.Indian tribes and environmentalists say the current rate is dangerously low. Lesley McClurg explains.

Jim Peters has been a longtime fisherman.

Photo by Joe Mabel / Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

This fall marks the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act – a piece of legislation that changed the way waterbodies in this country are regulated and protected.

Pollution was supposed to be curtailed so that fish from all the waters in America would be safe for people to eat. 40 years later, though, many waterways still bear fish too tainted to consume safely.

One of the most polluted waterways in the Northwest is Seattle’s Duwamish River. We’re taking a look at the Duwamish as part of EarthFix’s series “Clean Water: The Next Act.”

A giant piece of Japanese tsunami debris on the Oregon coast is now scraped free of what marine biologists worried were invasive species. The floating dock landed on the beach near Newport this week. Park rangers and volunteers worked quickly [today] Thursday to remove seaweed, mussels and barnacles, some of which are found only in Japanese waters. Meanwhile, the massive hulk has attracted hundreds of onlookers. Correspondent Tom Banse spoke with O.J Cortez of Reedsport.

Photo courtesy Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.

Park rangers and volunteers worked quickly Thursday to defuse an invasive species time bomb that washed up near Newport, Oregon. They scraped off and sterilized a huge boat dock that was set adrift by last year’s terrible tsunami in Japan. Correspondent Tom Banse reports from the Oregon Coast.

Scientists working more than a mile underwater off the Washington coast have learned that the bottom of the ocean is surprisingly vulnerable to human disturbance. Even from scientists. KUOW's John Ryan reports from Seattle.