Puget Sound

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.

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.

Twelve years ago, BP built a second dock at its Cherry Point refinery north of Bellingham, WA. But they didn’t do an assessment of what that added dock capacity would mean for tanker traffic in Washington waters. Now the Army Corps of Engineers has released a long-awaited study that does just that. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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.

Conservationists are in a race against the clock to save a sizable forest on Whidbey Island. The Whidbey Camano Land Trust needs to raise about $2.5 million between now and next Thursday. Land trust director Pat Powell hopes the ugly pictures from the Gulf oil spill motivate donors.

Pat Powell: “People are really thinking about protecting natural heritage. This is a place – Whidbey Island – that is special for everyone. Protecting the forest helps protect the island, Puget Sound and really helps us to pay back our planet.”

John Ryan photo

Washington state auditors say the agency charged with cleaning up Puget Sound should clean up its own act too. A report out Wednesday says the Puget Sound Partnership has misspent public funds and circumvented various state laws. John Ryan has the story.