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Orca census: One death in January, but no births were reported until September

UPDATE, Oct. 6 The newest calf among the Southern Resident killer whales was officially designated J58 after being seen alive and healthy on Sunday. The calf is the offspring of J49, a 15-year-old female named Eclipse who has one surviving calf, J51 or Nova. Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research had been withholding …

Sewer operators worry that toilet paper shortage will lead to more nasty clogs

With a multitude of people scrambling to buy toilet paper, and some going without, sewer utility officials across the country are worried about the possible repercussions of the TP shortage — such as clogged sewer lines. Toilet paper and wipes of all kinds have become the subject of a complex, wide-ranging and controversial debate. The …

Shoreline armoring in Puget Sound gets new scrutiny from the Army Corps of Engineers

Shoreline bulkheads, which can damage beaches and destroy fish habitat, could come under more extensive review and permitting as the result of a revised shoreline policy announced last week by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The revised policy (PDF 163 kb), which resulted from a federal lawsuit, now requires a Corps of Engineers permit …

The Brightwater Treatment Plant in King County. Image courtesy of King County.

PSI in the news: ‘Salmon on Prozac’ and more

PSI’s Andy James is collaborating with scientists at NOAA and Washington State University to understand how wastewater affects juvenile salmon in Puget Sound. The study is led by Jim Meador of NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Sciences Center and focuses on discharge from three major sewage treatment plants in King County. Wastewater will be analyzed at the …

A still from Engineering With Nature. Associate Professor Ed Kolodziej, at right, is interviewed by Katherine Lynch of Seattle Public Utilities.

Kolodziej, Peter Featured in SIFF Documentary on Seattle’s Thornton Creek

A new documentary featuring PSI collaborators Ed Kolodziej and Kathy Peter was selected to premiere at the 2019 Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) on Saturday, June 8. The 70-minute documentary, “Engineering with Nature – An Ode to Water, Wood, and Stone” was directed by environmental filmmaker Shelly Solomon and is distributed through Leaping Frog Films. …

A school of herring.Jacob Bøtter/Flickr

Young herring ‘go with the older fish’ a key finding in Ocean Modeling Forum’s efforts

Puget Sound Institute lead ecosystem ecologist Tessa Francis was quoted in a recent article in UW News. From UWT News Service: “Young herring ‘go with the older fish’ a key finding in Ocean Modeling Forum’s efforts,” by Michelle Ma, UW News, May 29, 2019, http://www.washington.edu/news/2019/05/29/young-herring-go-with-the-older-fish-a-key-finding-in-ocean-modeling-forums-efforts/. Tessa Francis is both the lead ecosystem ecologist at the …

PSI research on opioids in mussels receives international coverage

Our May 9th report on the discovery of opioids in Puget Sound mussels continues to be picked up by many national and international news organizations. The research was conducted by PSI’s Andy James in collaboration with scientists at the Puget Sound Mussel Monitoring Program at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Traces of oxycodone …

PSI study links happiness to interactions with nature

Can nature make you happy? Science weighs in. A recent study by PSI social scientist Kelly Biedenweg found that Puget Sound residents reported being happier when they engaged with the natural environment. “We (in the Pacific Northwest) are pretty much the leaders in trying to understand how happiness and integration with the environment relate to each other,” Biedenweg …