Puget Sound

Orca Calf Missing
7:43 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Newest Endangered Orca Calf Missing, Presumed Dead

A calf born this year to a resident Puget Sound orca has not been seen recently and scientists think it may have died.
Credit EarthFix

Orca enthusiasts rejoiced when a newborn calf was spotted seven weeks ago. But as of this morning the endangered killer whale calf has not been seen.

L120 was the first calf born in the past two years. Over the weekend, the calf’s mother was spotted three times, without her baby. Orca experts believe the calf is dead, though no carcass has been found and it's unclear how it died.

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Ports of Seattle and Tacoma
7:58 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Ports of Seattle and Tacoma Form Alliance

An aerial view of the Port of Tacoma.
Credit Washington State Dept of Transportation / flickr

  The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma are ending decades of rivalry. At a news conference Tuesday commissioners of the ports announced they will form an alliance. The ports are joining so they can fight new competitors together. Tacoma and Seattle squabbled for decades. But new pressures are now bringing them together.

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Puget Sound Tidal Energy
7:23 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Tidal Project In Puget Sound Abandoned By Utility

A crew deploying a "sea spider" in 2011 to collect data from the floor of Puget Sound in Admiralty Inlet. After eight years of testing and permitting processes, the Snohomish County PUD has decided to halt the project.
Credit Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

A long-awaited tidal energy project in Puget Sound has come to halt. The project was set to generate tidal energy and connect it to the grid – the first project of its kind in the world. But it just got too expensive.

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Puget Sound
8:02 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Shellfish Tell Puget Sound's Polluted Tale

Credit Ingrid Taylar / Flickr

Scientists are using shellfish to conduct the broadest study of pollution levels in Puget Sound. Filter-feeders, like mussels, provide a snapshot of the contaminants along the shores of the Sound. And … in some areas, they’re pretty contaminated.

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Washington Ferry Service
5:55 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Capacci Says Ferries Back to Normal Saturday

Washington State Ferries hopes to restore its Puget Sound service to normal by Saturday.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

It's been a rough week for ferry users, but Washington State Ferries hopes to restore its Puget Sound service to normal by Saturday.

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Radiation Testing
7:26 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Donors Pay To Test Seawater For Traces Of Fukushima Radiation

Swimmer Wayne Kinslow prepares to dive into Puget Sound at Alki Beach, a place he personally paid to have tested for traces of Fukushima radiation.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

It's been more than three years since the Fukushima nuclear plant accident resulted in a spill of millions of gallons of radioactive cooling water into the Pacific. Oceanographers projected that it could take until this year for highly diluted traces of that spill in Japan to reach our coast (i.e., the West Coast of North America). Radiation experts don't believe there is cause for alarm on our shores. But some coastal residents are stepping forward to pay for seawater testing just to be sure. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

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Puget Sound Tidal Energy
6:27 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Feds Give OK To Tidal Energy Project In Puget Sound

The waters off of Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound will be home to the future tidal energy project.
Credit Ricardo Martin

Puget Sound tides may soon be generating power.  A proposal for the world’s first tidal energy project that’s connected to the grid received a federal license Thursday.

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Puget Sound Water Quality
7:40 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Puget Sound Still In "Critical Condition"

Puget Sound just got the results back from its annual check up…and they’re not good. A new report from the Puget Sound Partnership labels the Sound as still in “crisis” but says some small progress has been made.

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Puget Sound
4:11 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Puget Sound Gets Troubling Report Card On Sediment Contamination

Samples were collected at sites from Tacoma up to the Southern tip of Whidbey Island.
Credit Iwanafish / Wikimedia Commons

Studying the muck at the bottom of Puget Sound is an excellent way to tell how healthy the Sound is. The Department of Ecology took samples from around Puget Sound back in 1998 and then compared them with samples taken from the same area ten years later. And now the results are in.

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Giant Octopus
6:51 am
Tue April 16, 2013

New Protections Proposed For Giant Pacific Octopus in Puget Sound

A giant Pacific octopus on display at the Seattle Aquarium. The species' population is considered healthy in Puget Sound. Public outcry over legal octopus hunting near Seattle's Alki Beach has prompted possible restrictions.
Credit canopic / Flickr

Host Intro: The harvesting of a giant Pacific octopus near Alki Beach in Seattle last October prompted a public outcry. Now the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering new protections for octopuses. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

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