Mercer Island student honored in national art contest for her painting of Arctic char

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A 16-year-old Mercer Island High School artist, Jingyi “Alana” Yang, received multiple awards this month in the annual Art of Conservation Fish Art Contest, sponsored by the conservation group Wildlife Forever. Her painting showed an Arctic char in its natural cold-water surroundings. Alana said she was inspired to paint the colorful fish during a family trip to Alaska, where a tour guide told her about the unique Arctic char, a migratory fish related to salmon and trout that resides in the northern regions of the world. “I thought it was […]

New video focuses on salmon lifestyles in an ongoing series called “Tales of the Sound”

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For newcomers to the Puget Sound region — or anyone who wishes to learn about salmon — check out the new video by my friend and former colleague Josh Farley of the Kitsap Sun. Like many print journalists who have expanded into multimedia, Josh became recognized for his quick-hit news reports. Especially popular was his weekly video “Bremerton Beat Blast,” in which he counted down the top stories of the week in Kitsap County. Now, with a goal of going much deeper into regional topics, he has launched a new […]

Art contests help to carry the clean-water message to people around Puget Sound

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I’m impressed with artists who combine their passion for nature with a message about protecting the environment and how we all have a role to play. This week, I’d like to share winning artwork from two recent contests. One is a poster competition inspired by the “We are Puget Sound” (Water Ways) book and campaign. The other is a project that involves placing whimsical pictures of sea life on storm drains in Kitsap County. The “We are Puget Sound” poster contest, which received dozens of entries from King County residents, […]

‘Days on the Hill’ will go online this year, widening audience for Puget Sound talks

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Folks who care about salmon, killer whales and the Puget Sound ecosystem will get a chance to participate in the annual discussion known as Puget Sound Day on the Hill. But this year the event will be called “2020 Virtual Puget Sound Days on the Hill,” as the talks go online. Online meetings with Washington’s congressional lawmakers will be held each Friday in June. Putting the meetings online will allow anyone interested to listen to the discussion, which generally focuses on upcoming legislation and funding for Puget Sound. Loved by […]

Young artists show creativity in a plea to reduce harmful trash in the ocean

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Student artists from across the country are calling attention to the hazards of human trash that washes into the ocean, killing sea creatures large and small. Each year, hundreds of young artists submit colorful drawings and paintings in the annual Marine Debris Art Contest, sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program. I’ve selected a few of my favorite pictures for this page, including one from a young Seattle artist, but you can see all 13 winning entries on the Art Contest Winners page. To enlarge, click […]

Voices Unbound podcast series

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What do people really mean when they talk about the environment? A new podcast from the University of Washington Tacoma asks regular citizens a simple, but charged question: “What are the environmental challenges that are most important to you?” The answers to that question drive this engaging podcast in sometimes unexpected directions, from the environmental impacts of being homeless, to air quality, to wide-ranging discussions about environmental justice. Voices Unbound is a unique blend of community researchers from the University of Washington Tacoma: A community nurse, an urban ecologist, an […]

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

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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. It describes a four-year effort by Seattle Public Utilities to restore Thornton Creek, Seattle’s largest and most urbanized stream with 18 miles of waterway and a 12-square-mile watershed. The once-polluted and neglected creek is becoming […]

Story map details efforts to stop green crabs in Puget Sound

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Researchers have been on high alert since the 2016 discovery of the invasive European green crab in Puget Sound. So far, monitoring teams have found relatively few crabs, but experts worry that a population could grow rapidly and damage the native ecosystem. Now a collaboration of volunteers, agencies and tribes is working to stop the crab’s spread. They say intensive, early action could make the difference. A new story map from the Puget Sound Institute and the Washington Sea Grant Crab Team documents the effort. View the story map on […]

‘Inside Radiolab’ will interview PSI Director and other Puget Sound area panelists

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Our Director Joel Baker is part of a panel of four environmental leaders in Puget Sound who will be interviewed onstage at the Inside Radiolab show next week in Tacoma. Radiolab’s Robert Krulwich will host the January 22nd event at the Pantages Theater where he will interview panelists about Northwest water issues. In addition to Baker, other panelists include Jennifer Chang of the Puyallup Watershed Initiative, Ryan Mello, Executive Director of Pierce Conservation District and Sheida Sahandy, Executive Director of the Puget Sound Partnership. Radiolab’s quirky take on science has […]

Auklet recordings featured on Living on Earth

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The Puget Sound region is home to one of the largest nesting colonies of rhinoceros auklets in the world. Each summer tens of thousands of these puffin-like birds raise their chicks on Protection Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. You can listen to the sounds of this summer ritual on PRI’s Living on Earth this week. The recording was made in collaboration with the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Visit Living on Earth‘s website to view the full feature.

The watershed: winter bat recordings

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Bats are thought of as warm weather creatures, but recent studies have shown that they can be active throughout the winter. Here in the Puget Sound region, bat echolocations have been recorded in temperatures in the low teens, and are commonly heard during more mild conditions.

Shoreline armoring forum now available on video

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More than 125 planners and scientists gathered for a May 20th forum focusing on the latest scientific studies of shoreline armoring in Puget Sound. A video of forum presentations is now available online (below). “Armoring” refers to hardened structures designed to protect shorelines against natural processes like erosion and storm surge, and it is common throughout the region. Almost 30% of the Puget Sound shoreline—about 700 miles total—is now classified as armored, and the figure grows by a mile or more per year. Scientists have been wondering for some time how this trend is affecting the ecology […]