environment

Ship Cleanup
5:54 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Dealing With Derelict Vessels

Melissa Ferris heads the Derelict Vessel Program in Washington. She's standing on the "deck" of a cabin cruiser that was dredged from the bottom of an inlet near Olympia.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

COLUMBIA RIVER, Wash. -- There are hundreds of abandoned or sunken ships in Northwest waters. These vessels can threaten navigation, human safety and the environment. But state agencies in the region are only equipped to handle part of the problem. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Read more
Hanford Delays
6:33 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Wash. Officials Shocked By Energy Secretary’s Hanford Remark

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
Photo credit: C-SPAN Image courtesy of C-SPAN

PASCO, Wash. – Washington state officials are reacting negatively to the possibility that there might be a delay to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s massive waste treatment plant. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu raised that prospect in comments last week.

Read more
Columbia River Care
8:02 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Davy Crockett Oil Spill and Cleanup Was Preventable

The 433-foot flat deck barge Davy Crockett continues disassembly on the Columbia River, Wash., Ore., border on May 20, 2011. Metal is cut away from the floating stern section, and transferred to barges to be hauled away.
Photo by: Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler U.S. Coast Guard

COUMBIA RIVER, Wash. -- The U.S. Coast Guard and its contractors spent 10 months and $22 million last year removing the Davy Crockett from the Columbia River. The barge had broken apart during a botched salvage job, spilling oil and PCBs into the river.

Workers removed more than 38,000 gallons of oil from the ship. The cleanup was declared a success. But an EarthFix investigation has found that government officials could have prevented the oil spill and the need for a multi-million dollar cleanup.

Bonnie Stewart has the story.

Read more
Non-Native Fish
7:43 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Slowing the Northern Pike Population Expansion

Large northern pike captured in Box Canyon Reservoir in 2008.
Photo source: Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Non-nativSPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – The northern pike population has exploded in eastern Washington’s Box Canyon Reservoir. These non-native fish have gone from a few hundred to around 10-thousand over the past five years. As correspondent Courtney Flatt reports, the increasing numbers can damage native fish populations, like salmon and steelhead.

Throw your line out in Box Canyon Reservoir, and you’ll likely find a northern pike on the other end. Over the past several years, the northern pike population has increased so rapidly that it’s hard to catch anything else.

Read more
Nereus Project
6:31 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Ocean's Future: “Goodbye Big Fish, Hello Small Fish”

A Nereus Program computer graphic compares it to an ancient Greek Oracle.
Photo courtesy Nereus Program.

VANCOUVER, B.C. – In Greek mythology, the original god of the sea was named Nereus. Among other powers, he could prophesy the future. That’s why researchers at the University of British Columbia thought to name a project to predict future ocean conditions after Nereus. Now, the initial computer simulations are out. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Read more
Washington Wind Farm
6:14 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Conservation Group: ‘Take Permit’ Needs More Data

A Texas wind farm.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia user Leaflet Wikimedia Commons

RICHLAND, Wash. – A national bird conservation group is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to collect more information before it issues a permit for wind farms to kill golden eagles. Correspondent Courtney Flatt has more.

Read more
Wildlife
6:36 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Ringing The Dinner Bell For Wintering Elk

An elk herd seen in late autumn.
Photo credit Wikimedia User Anayst Wikimedia Commons

WildWilTHORP, Wash. – As snow blankets the mountains around Ellensburg, Washington, elk herds traditionally make their way to the valley below. Now that farmers have planted their roots near the Yakima River, elk are not able to graze there during winter months.

Read more
Silver Valley Cleanup
6:30 am
Thu February 16, 2012

EPA Scales Back North Idaho Clean-Up

SILVER VALLEY, Idaho -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to scale back plans for cleaning up Idaho’s Silver Valley. The region has been the site of a Superfund clean-up of mining waste since the 1980s. Steve Jackson has more on the story.

Read more
Volcano Research
7:09 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Why Mt. Hood Never Erupts With A Bang

Mt. Hood erupts less explosively than other Cascade mountains.
Photo credit Wikimedia Commons

MT. HOOD, Ore. -- Researchers at Oregon State University think they have figured out why Mt. Hood doesn’t erupt with the same bang and violence as other Cascade volcanoes. Amelia Templeton reports.

Read more
Sunset Falls Hydropower
6:43 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Sun Setting On Sunset Falls?

Jeff Smith and his wife at Sunset Falls.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

SKYKOMISH RIVER, Wash. -- The Skykomish is one of the only major rivers in Washington that has not been dammed for hydropower. The river runs from the Cascade Mountains and empties into Northern Puget Sound. It’s a hot spot for wildlife and outdoor recreation. It could also be a hotspot for hydropower. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Read more

Pages