Puget Sound

NOAA Fisheries

Whale researchers who track the small endangered population of Puget Sound orcas say three whales are believed dead or missing since this summer. The Center for Whale Research says, as of Friday, there are only 80 animals. Two females and a 10-month old calf are believed gone.

New Federal Action Plan For Puget Sound Restoration

Oct 18, 2016
Associated Press / AP Images

Puget Sound is a national treasure and deserves protections on par with Cheaspeake Bay and the Great Lakes. That was the message as officials announced a new memorandum of understanding that will direct restoration activities from the federal level. 

Associated Press / AP Images

Wind and heavy rain could make this weekend tough for Northwest residents. The storm could be rough for the Puget Sound's underwater residents as well. Big storms mean big water pollution.

Researchers from the University of Washington and NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center found the opposite of what they expected when they used a new scientific method to sample the waters of Puget Sound.

D Coetzee / Flickr

Walls are going up around Puget Sound, and the sound is paying for it. In King County, property owners have walled off most of the shoreline with concrete bulkheads and other heavy infrastructure. A new study suggests the practice known as shoreline armoring is more harmful to Puget Sound than previously thought.

John Ryan / KUOW

A Skagit County oil refinery wants to ship a raw material for plastic overseas, and some environmental groups say that's a bad idea.

Ingrid Taylar

A wild collection of sail and paddle-powered boats has assembled in Port Townsend, Washington for the inaugural Race to Alaska. The 750-mile adventure race from Puget Sound to Ketchikan begins at dawn Thursday. Among the 33 teams entered is a 6-person outrigger canoe. Mackenzie Punter is with that Victoria-based crew, named Team Soggy Beavers.

There's money in a state highway budget that passed the Washington House Thursday to study a one-of-a-kind possible toll bridge fashioned out of retired Navy aircraft carriers.

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.

Ports of Seattle and Tacoma Form Alliance

Oct 8, 2014
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.

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.

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.

Capacci Says Ferries Back to Normal Saturday

Jul 31, 2014
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.

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.

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.

Puget Sound Still In "Critical Condition"

Nov 1, 2013

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.

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.

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.

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.

Seal Sitters Ask Beach-Goers To Share The Shore

Jan 9, 2013
Photo by Katie Campbell / EarthFix

It's common for people strolling the beaches of Puget Sound to encounter a gray lump that turns out to be a seal pup. It's also common for well-meaning people to want to shoo them back into the water -- but this can do more to harass than help. A band of volunteers is making sure that doesn’t happen. Reporting for EarthFix, Katie Campbell explains.

Oil Trains On The Rise In The Northwest

Dec 5, 2012
Photo Credit: Carl Chapman/Wikimedia Commons

Regulators in the region are weighing the potential impacts of trains full of coal moving along the Columbia River and the shores of Puget Sound. Meanwhile, trains full of Oil are quietly on the rise.

Photo Credit: Peter Gugerell/Wikimedia Commons

Governor Chris Gregoire has just released a long awaited report on ocean acidification.

Puget Sound Ports Curb Emissions

Oct 31, 2012
Photo Credit: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons

Air pollution from the major shipping ports in Puget Sound has decreased, according to a new report released Tuesday.

Photo Credit: U.S. Government/Wikimedia Commons

In the presidential race, we hear a lot about the electoral map and the math to winning the presidency. It’s all about swing states like Ohio and Florida. At the state level, there’s no electoral college. The candidate with the most votes wins. But there’s still a formula for victory.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A fire that burned roughly 250 acres in Mason County two weeks ago has been put out. Now biologists are concerned about the potential impacts on local salmon runs.

Photo by John Ryan / Northwest News Network

Problems in Puget Sound have led Shell Oil to cancel its plans for drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean this year. KUOW's John Ryan reports from the Bellingham waterfront.

The Arctic Challenger is Shell's oil-spill containment barge. It's here behind me at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal. It's supposed to be in place in the Arctic to help mop up any oil spills. It's been under construction here at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal for months.

Photo Credit: John Ryan

One of Washington's largest environmental groups is shutting down. People for Puget Sound announced it will close its doors at the end of the month.

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.

New Director Aims to Shore Up Puget Sound Agency

Jul 20, 2012
Photo by John Ryan / KUOW

Governor Chris Gregoire created the Puget Sound Partnership five years ago to revive the stalled cleanup of Puget Sound. Now, with six months left in her term as governor, she's replaced the agency head in hopes he can accelerate progress on the sound. He'll be the Partnership's third director in five years. KUOW's John Ryan has the story.

Sean A. Lotz / Wikimedia Commons

Seasonal blooms of toxic marine algae are causing shellfish bed closures in Washington. But this isn’t your usual “red tide” algae.

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