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Our Water Ways

Puget Sound Institute senior writer Christopher Dunagan discusses the challenges of protecting Puget Sound and all things water-related. As the very first environmental reporter for the Kitsap Sun, he has been a respected voice in the region for more than 25 years. He has been covering science-related stories for the Puget Sound Institute since 2015.


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New report describes anticipated climate-change effects in Washington state (2/6/2020) - Early effects of a warming Earth have reached Washington state, as we can see from actual measurements. Annual snowpack is declining in the mountains; ancient glaciers are shrinking; sea levels are rising; and coastal waters are becoming less hospitable to sea life. These are some of the changes outlined in a new easy-to-read briefing report …
Missing orca named ‘Mega’ lived a long, productive life, says Ken Balcomb (1/30/2020) - A 43-year-old male orca named Mega, now missing and presumed dead, was one of the first new calves that researcher Ken Balcomb spotted when he began his extensive census of Southern Resident killer whales back in 1976. Ken didn’t know it at the time, but the baby orca — one of nine born in 1977 …
How air pollution becomes water pollution with long-term effects on Puget Sound (1/29/2020) - When thinking of air pollution, I used to think only of breathing toxic chemicals into our lungs, with uncertain health effects. That’s bad enough, but air pollution — which is everywhere — is also getting into our waterways and penetrating deep into our food webs. Rivers, lakes and Puget Sound, no body of water escapes …
Partnership explores revised measures of Puget Sound health, as 2020 deadline arrives (1/22/2020) - It is the year 2020. You could say that the time has run out for restoring Puget Sound to a healthy condition. But time marches on. When the Legislature created the Puget Sound Partnership in 2007, lawmakers included this sentence in state law: “It is the goal of the state that the health of Puget …
Sharing info, as changes in ocean chemistry affect Northwest waters at alarming pace (1/13/2020) - It was fairly alarming, even to scientists, to hear the latest research regarding ocean acidification — a powerful change in ocean chemistry that results from excess carbon dioxide passing from the atmosphere into the oceans of the world. One of the most alarming reports came from Richard Feely, senior scientist at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental …
Welcome to ‘Our Water Ways,’ a blog about Puget Sound and all things water-related (1/7/2020) - Welcome to “Our Water Ways,” a new blog I’m writing for the Puget Sound Institute with a name that will sound familiar to some. For the past 12 years, I’ve been writing a blog called “Watching Our Water Ways” for the Kitsap Sun. Now, my blogging efforts will have a new home. I’ve outlined the …