Environment | KNKX

Environment

Stories about the environment focused on the Pacific Northwest, with many from KNKX's Environment reporter, Bellamy Pailthorp.

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If you've been stuck in traffic jams on I-5 near Joint Base Lewis-McChord recently, you're not alone. The back-ups are an almost daily occurrence since thousands of soldiers returned from deployments. The race is on to come up with some long-term solutions, not only to the transportation troubles but to education and social service demands. That's because military analysts predict an additional 14,000 more soldiers and their families will arrive by 2015.

Tom Banse

Tom Banse: "I'm standing at the lip of Elwha Dam. That's the sound of the Elwha River in the background gushing out of a spillway and then crashing down 105 feet into an emerald, green pool at the base of dam. Because the sun is hitting just right now, I can see salmon. Actually, quite a few salmon...circling aimlessly here at the foot of the dam...still looking after all these years for some way over. It's been 100 years since Elwha Dam was constructed. It was built without fish ladders. Because of that...and those frustrated salmon below...this dam's days are numbered."

Andrew Reding / Flickr

In some ways, the Puget Sound's orca whales  are very familiar. We've even given them individual names.  But there's still a lot we don't know, like where the whales go and what they eat.

Now that they're listed as endangered, those have become important questions. KPLU environment reporter Liam Moriarty accompanied a research crew trying to get answers.

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