Mar 25, 2019 /

Whale, Whale, Whale, What Have We Here?

By Priscilla Rivas
Orcas are some of the most recognizable marine creatures, and people who live in the Puget Sound region are often lucky enough to catch glimpses of them in the wild. Orcas are such an important part of Pacific Northwest culture that Governor Inslee has made a commitment to fund recovery efforts for the Southern Resident population. Southern Resident orcas are just one of the many different ecotypes of killer whales. 

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Mar 18, 2019 /

The Dirty Truth About Clean Beauty

By Brittany Hoedemaker
We talk all the time about what we put into our bodies, but it always astounds me how little time we spend talking about what we put on our bodies. Given that our skin is our largest organ, you would think we’d give it a little more airtime.
Unlike the food we eat, the products we use on our skin are wildly under-regulated. 

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Mar 11, 2019 /

It’s not all via-doom and gloom: things are looking up for Seattle’s waterfront

By Katy Dalton
The Alaskan Way Viaduct is no more. The last car passed through on the evening of Friday, January 11th, 2019 leaving the downtown Seattle waterfront eerily quiet. The silence didn’t last long, as the demolition crew began tearing the structure down, a process that will take until June to complete. The long-term tradeoff, however, promises to be worth it. 

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Mar 4, 2019 /

Alaska’s CDQ Program

By Ian Stanfield
Here are some words that you’ve probably heard: economic opportunity. The ability to take part in the global market is considered a benefit. We want job growth, we want opportunities to make money and better our living conditions. In this day and age, money makes the world go ‘round. So, what do you do if you’re locked out of the economic opportunities that most of us take for granted? 

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Feb 28, 2019 /

Women in STEM Part 4: Celebrating the In(di)visible Women of Climate Change

By Alex Stote and Zoë van Duivenbode
Google “Women and Climate Change” and what do you get? Mostly a slew of reports describing how women will be disproportionately affected by climate change because, among various other reasons, they are more likely to live below the poverty line than men, and they have far fewer  economic, political, and legal resources available to aid them in adaptation. 

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Feb 25, 2019 /

Whale Meat is Back on the Menu—But What Does That Mean?

By TJ Kennedy
Back in December, Japan decided to resume commercial whaling. It was an extremely controversial decision, at least in terms of environmental protection and conservation. The International Whaling Commission (IWC), of which Japan was a member, has banned commercial whaling since 1986. But Japan has also withdrawn from the IWC, and is thus no longer bound by their requirements, at least when operating in Japanese waters. 

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Feb 22, 2019 /

Women in Stem Part 3: Women for the Environment! American Women in the Fight for Conservation

By Spencer Showalter
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been making headlines with her rollout of the proposed Green New Deal there’s a record number of female candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 addressing climate, and the Pentagon has announced that climate change is a national security issue. The convergence of these themes in the national dialogue is reflective not only of the progression of politics, but also of the history of our country: women have been strong voices for conservationism and environmental justice long before they could vote, never mind hold national public office. 

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Feb 18, 2019 /

Presidents and Protected Land: They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To

By Lou Forristall
If you’re reading this blog, chances are you will spend part of this Presidents’ Day weekend enjoying our public lands. If you did not get out this weekend, you were probably making fresh tracks recently, or will be hitting the trails once the snow melts. If any of that applies to you, I am also going to assume that I don’t need to convince you of the importance and benefits of protecting public lands. 

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Feb 14, 2019 /

Women in Stem Part 2: Bringing Visibility to Women in Fisheries

By Angela Cruz
When you hear “fisherman,” what do you picture? I would expect you see an image of a burly man in a yellow raincoat, struggling on a hazardous sea. Men have been the face of the marine resource industry and discourse for decades, with the assumption that it is a strictly male sphere. Previously, reports stated that the global fishing industry was overwhelmingly dominated by men. 

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Feb 11, 2019 /

Weather, Climate, and Global Warming: Does Terminology Really Matter?

By Brittany Hoedemaker
Wildfire ash raining down from the sky. Bats falling out of trees. Hair-freezing temperatures. No, these aren’t just scenes from my nightmares. They’re real events being seen around the globe, with climate change projected to unleash even more frequent and more intense extreme weather events. But what’s the difference between weather and climate change, anyway?
Here’s the deal: weather is the atmospheric conditions at a moment in time, while climate is the atmospheric conditions averaged over a long period of time (usually over 30 years). 

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Feb 7, 2019 /

Women In STEM Part 1: Starting the Conversation

By Kelly Martin
A little over a year ago, I went to a job interview that I was confident I was qualified for: my resume matched up almost perfectly with the “desired qualifications” listed in the job posting. However, right before I walked in to the interview, I had a moment of self-doubt and quickly pulled my long, blonde hair back into low bun. 

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Feb 4, 2019 /

Why is it so tough to cut meat?

By Tressa Arbow
When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C in late 2018, the message was clear that we need urgent changes to whole societal systems if we hope to avoid potentially irreversible warming. Scientists and decision-makers are working against the clock to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) with initiatives that range from restoring mangroves to decarbonizing transportation. 

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Jan 28, 2019 /

Our Future IsLand

By Sallie Lau
If someone asked you to draw the ocean, what would you draw?
“Probably a horizontal line,” says Valerie Portefaix, an artist who looks at physical and imaginary territories and how humans subvert and appropriate them. “I don’t think people see the ocean as a 3D space. They just see it as a 2D blue surface that creates distance.”
In our conversation, Portefaix mentions distance to explain how people think of the ocean as a spatial barrier between a point A and some point B. 

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Jan 21, 2019 /

The Ability for Sustainability

by Celeste Barnes-Crouse
Allow me to preface this article with this: I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of promoting the “sustainable lifestyle” (refusing single-use plastics, buying organic foods, driving less often, etc.) as trendy and achievable. While this comes from a genuine desire to make better choices for the planet, it is flawed. Writing this piece is a way to acknowledge my privilege to engage in sustainable living and discuss where the movement could improve. 

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Jan 14, 2019 /

Generating hope: Washington State Ferries plans to decarbonize their fleet by switching to electric power

By Alexandra Stote
Of all major takeaways from December’s COP24 climate summit, two messages rang loud and clear: our world leaders are not doing enough to slow climate change, and nations are not meeting the carbon emissions targets they pledged to reach under the Paris Climate Agreement. As the window to avoid devastating, irreversible climate damages narrows with each passing day, young and old voices alike called on prominent political figures to act in the interest of the planet’s people and its future generations to avoid a runaway climate disaster. 

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Jan 7, 2019 /

Coastal Resilience Spotlight: Getting Ready for Rising Water with Westport

By Charlotte Dohrn
Perched at the end of a narrow, low-lying peninsula on the Washington coast, the city of Westport is no stranger to exposure. The sleepy fishing town gets about twice as much rain as Seattle, and in the winter it’s often pummeled by fierce gales, king tides, and swells that easily exceed 10 feet.
These routine coastal hazards pale in comparison to what Westport could experience when the next “big one” hits. 

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Dec 17, 2018 /

From Fishing Net to Fork – A Glance at Seafood Sustainability

By Henry Bell
Do you know where your favorite seafood comes from? I grew up in Minnesota, and aside from the occasional walleye or perch that came from a nearby lake, I certainly didn’t. Perhaps the grocery store label would tell me if my fish was farmed or wild-caught, but what about the fishery it came from? How about where it was processed or who imported it? 

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Dec 10, 2018 /

Has the Puget Sound Lost its Green-Eyed Sharks?

By Brittany Hoedemaker
As Washington—and the rest of the world—buzzes about the declining Southern Resident Killer Whale population, I find myself thinking ever more about another predator in our waters: the sixgill shark.
The bluntnose sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus), with its fluorescent green eyes and six (as opposed to the common five) gills can be found in temperate and tropical waters globally. 

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Dec 4, 2018 /

I-1631 Failed. What’s Next?

By Lou Forristall
I-1631, the second attempt to put a price on carbon emissions in Washington state via ballot initiative, was rejected by voters this November. 1631 sought to place a fee on carbon emissions and use the revenue to fund programs and projects related to the environment. The oil and gas industry spent $31 million to defeat it, annihilating the record in Washington for spending on a ballot initiative. 

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Nov 30, 2018 /

Nature’s beauty pageants mean life or death when it comes to conservation

By Jessica Knoth
Tigers, elephants, gorillas, dolphins, sharks…you can picture each one, right? That’s because they are charismatic megafauna, or, in other words, species that are compelling because they are viewed as beautiful, impressive, or cute. Ironically, many of these species also happen to be endangered. A 2001 study by Anna Gunnthorsdottir found that there are stronger efforts to conserve some endangered species over others, simply because the animal is perceived to be physically attractive. 

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