Oregonian Wins International Environmental Prize

Mar 25, 2015
Michael Lloyd / Associated Press

An Oregon State University professor has received one of the world’s most prestigious environmental prizes.

Jane Lubchenco was named Tuesday as one of two recipients of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. The international award is given for leadership in conservation and sustainability.

One of the most enviable aspects of Geoff Dyer's intellect is how nomadic it is. With dazzling authority and acuity, he has roamed over subjects as varied and dense as jazz (But Beautiful), photography (The Ongoing Moment), D.H. Lawrence (Out of Sheer Rage), and the perfect doughnut (the title essay of Otherwise Known as the Human Condition). Dyer himself is just as peripatetic, and his appetite for new experiences is the perfect reason to procrastinate on writing about them.

Ghost Fishing Nets Being Vanquished In Puget Sound

May 21, 2013

Fishing nets are designed to ensnare fish. But when those nets are lost or abandoned at sea, they don’t stop catching fish. Instead, they become ghost nets – floating death traps for the marine life that continue to get trapped in their mesh.

Here on the western coast of the U.S., we have a special connection to Japan. The ocean between us keeps bringing remnants from the massive tsunami there. It left more than 16,000 people dead. The debris is expensive to remove and can carry invasive species with it.

Scientists are in the final weeks of preparation for the launch of the world’s largest underwater observatory.

It’s a 239 million dollar project that was funded by the National Science Foundation to better understand and monitor the depths of the Pacific Ocean – from volcanic eruptions to deep-sea earthquakes that could lead to tsunamis.

EarthFix’s Ashley Ahearn visited with the team and has this update.

A proposal to generate power from Puget Sound tides moved one step closer to approval with the release of a new government review. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

Oregon Adds Wave And Offshore Wind Zones To Its Sea Plan

Jan 28, 2013

Oregon adopted new zoning rules for its territorial sea yesterday. The rules set aside about 2 percent of the Oregon coast for wave and offshore wind energy. Amelia Templeton from our EarthFix team reports the decision was not welcomed by some Dungeness crab fisherman.

Not Easy To Find Room For Ocean Energy

Dec 13, 2012
Photo courtesy OPT

It goes without saying that the Pacific Ocean is vast. So it may come as a surprise to hear the sea described as "crowded." Perhaps even too crowded to make room for the nascent industry of wave and tidal energy. Taxpayers and investors have pumped tens of millions of dollars into finding ways to turn the ocean's power into electricity. Correspondent Tom Banse reports high stakes negotiations to identify wave energy sites on the Oregon Coast are finally getting somewhere.

Pessimist / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Chris Gregoire has just released a long awaited report on ocean acidification. At a public ceremony today she announced major funding for the execution of some of the report’s recommendations.

Photo by Dcoetzee / Wikimedia Commons

A new report released Thursday brings together the best data on the environmental health of Puget Sound. Ashley Ahearn reports.

The Washington coast is home to some of the strongest tidal currents in the country. Some want to harness those tides for power. Ashley Ahearn reports a proposed tidal power facility in Puget Sound is running into some trouble.

Delays In Bellingham Curtail Arctic Oil Drilling

Jul 30, 2012
Photo by John Ryan / KUOW

Shell Oil is scaling back its plans for drilling in the Arctic Ocean this year. Icy conditions in the far North and construction problems in Bellingham have delayed the company's efforts. KUOW's John Ryan reports from Seattle.

Tsunami Dock Species Under The Microscope

Jun 27, 2012
Oregon State Parks

The Japanese dock that washed ashore in Oregon carried more than a few invasive species. Scientists have found enough living cargo to keep them busy for decades.

No Decision Yet On The Fate of Tsunami Debris

Jun 11, 2012

Oregon Parks officials are still weighing their options for the giant piece of tsunami debris that washed up on the Oregon coast this week. The Japanese dock continues to draw onlookers to the beach near Newport.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.