EarthFix

News Fixed on the Environment.

EarthFix is a public media partnership of KLCC, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Idaho Public Television, KCTS9 Seattle, KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio, Northwest Public Radio and Television, Jefferson Public Radio, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Millions of tubular sea creatures called pyrosomes have taken over the Pacific Ocean in an unprecedented bloom that has scientists baffled.

These bumpy, translucent organisms look like sea cucumbers that range in size from six inches to more than two feet long. But they’re actually made up of hundreds of tiny animals knit together with tissue into a filter-feeding cylinder.

Wildfire Smoke Pollution Is Worse Than We Thought

Jun 16, 2017

All that black smoke you see floating up from a wildfire — it’s full of small particles that are bad for your lungs and heart.

It turns out, the small particles are a lot worse than researchers previously thought. A new study found there are three times as much pollution in wildfire smoke plumes than predicted from earlier estimates.

In two weeks, thousands of peace-loving, free-spirited campers will descend on Oregon for the 2017 Rainbow Gathering in the Malheur National Forest.

The annual summer event attracts hippie types and wanderers from across the nation.

Rainbow members announced Thursday on social media that the July 1–7 gathering will be in a large field at Flagtail Creek, about 20 miles northwest of the tiny town of Seneca, Oregon, off Highway 395.

Seabirds Disappear In The Midst Of Plans To Shoot Them

Jun 15, 2017

For the second year in a row, thousands of cormorants have vacated their nesting grounds at the mouth of the Columbia River, derailing a plan to shoot and kill the seabirds to protect fish.

East Sand Island is usually packed with around 15,000 nesting cormorants this time of year; but right now there are none – just a handful of abandoned nests and broken eggs.

It’s rush hour in Wallingford, and commuters are stepping off a bus, closing up their laptops and heading into the evening sun. It’s not public transit. It’s a Microsoft Connector bus.

The buses eliminate nearly 12 million miles of driving a year, saving stress and exhaust. The fleet of white and green buses is one of Microsoft’s more visible efforts to lower its impact on the global climate.

This is the latest episode of terrestrial, KUOW’s new podcast exploring the choices we make in a world we have changed. Subscribe to the show. And join our Facebook group.

It’s a radical idea — that protest as we know it is broken. And a lot of people disagreed with Micah White when he first started talking about it, but he believes it’s time for activists to try something else.

The Columbia River Gorge Commission hears an appeal Tuesday from Union Pacific Railroad on a proposed track expansion near Mosier, Oregon.

The proposed five-mile stretch would pass through the site of last year’s oil train derailment that spilled 40,000 gallons of crude oil and contaminated the town’s groundwater.

The city of Portland is joining a national effort to post climate change data that was removed from the website of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Visit the EPA’s current website, and you can find pages for topics including lead, pesticides and even bedbugs. But the main climate change page was taken down in April.

Washington's Largest Solar Project Coming To Tri-Cities

Jun 12, 2017

The Tri-Cities could soon be home to the largest utility-scale solar power project in Washington. A French company will develop the project on land that used to be part of the Hanford nuclear reservation.

The company, Neoen, is hoping to build a 20-megawatt solar project in the desert just north of Richland.

Oregon utility regulators are considering a request by Portland General Electric to sell nine oil storage tanks on the Columbia River near Clatskanie.

The sale has raised concerns that the fuel distribution company Global Partners LP is buying the storage tanks so it can operate an oil-by-rail terminal.

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