Environment

The Riverfront Development sits just south of the remains of the Everett landfill. New development will soon cover nearly all the 70-acre former landfill. Photo taken on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Fans blow landfill’s methane away from Everett development

The rate of gas being released has slowed substantially and will continue to diminish over time.

The Riverfront Development sits just south of the remains of the Everett landfill. New development will soon cover nearly all the 70-acre former landfill. Photo taken on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Phil North is climate adaptation coordinator and conservation scientist working with the Tulalip Tribes. The tribes formed a Climate Adaptation Team in 2016. Two Natural Resources Department staff members, North and Aaron Jones, devote full time to climate issues.
Photographed on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020 in Bellingham, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

For tribes, climate change fight is about saving culture

The Tulalips are expanding efforts to protect land and water that are integral to their identity.

Phil North is climate adaptation coordinator and conservation scientist working with the Tulalip Tribes. The tribes formed a Climate Adaptation Team in 2016. Two Natural Resources Department staff members, North and Aaron Jones, devote full time to climate issues.
Photographed on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020 in Bellingham, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Dave Somers

County executive vetoes fee break to save environmental work

The move overrode a County Council vote nixing an annual fee increase that funds conservation.

Dave Somers
From the Mukilteo lighthouse, Michelle Wainstein watches for marine mammals before pile driving work begins on the new Mukilteo Ferry Terminal on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Mukilteo, Washington. Manson Construction, the marine contractor on the ferry terminal project, is required to have monitors stand watch for marine mammals while crews do pile driving, typically several days a month. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

The mystery ‘lady in the lighthouse’ isn’t spying on you

She and other watch for sea creatures during noisy pile driving that can ruin their appetite.

From the Mukilteo lighthouse, Michelle Wainstein watches for marine mammals before pile driving work begins on the new Mukilteo Ferry Terminal on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Mukilteo, Washington. Manson Construction, the marine contractor on the ferry terminal project, is required to have monitors stand watch for marine mammals while crews do pile driving, typically several days a month. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Front loaders push trash forward into one of the compactors at the Airport Road Recycling & Transfer Station on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

How has the pandemic changed life? Look in your garbage

Snohomish County trash and recycling collectors say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected what we throw away.

Front loaders push trash forward into one of the compactors at the Airport Road Recycling & Transfer Station on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The anaerobic digester's flare, where excess gas is combusted, casts a shadow over the top of the digester on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 in Monroe, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

From poop to power: Manure from 2,300 cows may run 600 homes

A farm in Monroe turns waste into electricity. A new partnership will double the anaerobic digester’s output.

The anaerobic digester's flare, where excess gas is combusted, casts a shadow over the top of the digester on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 in Monroe, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Break on surface water fee means less money for environment

The Snohomish County Council voted to nix an annual fee increase that funds preservation work.

A small bridge crosses over creek in the proposed Middle May sale on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 in Gold Bar, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

‘There’s going to be some tears’ over 160-acre timber harvest

Despite local resistance, the Middle May tract next to Wallace Falls State Park was sold Monday.

A small bridge crosses over creek in the proposed Middle May sale on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 in Gold Bar, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The new Washington State Ferries terminal at Mukilteo on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20201127

You’ll be 2 feet higher when boarding the Mukilteo ferry

Sea level rise is factored into the design of the new ferry terminal and a marine research center.

The new Washington State Ferries terminal at Mukilteo on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20201127
A boat drives out of the Port of Everett Marina in front of Boxcar Park, which is one of the sites set to be elevated in preparation for rising sea levels on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

How the Port of Everett is preparing for a rising sea level

Big and little changes are in the works along the north Everett shore, though they are easy to overlook.

A boat drives out of the Port of Everett Marina in front of Boxcar Park, which is one of the sites set to be elevated in preparation for rising sea levels on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
View of trees at 5th Avenue S and Main Street in Edmonds. (City of Edmonds)

Edmonds council: Home developers, put down those chainsaws!

A new moratorium halts the subdivision of land that has more than eight trees per 10,000 square feet.

View of trees at 5th Avenue S and Main Street in Edmonds. (City of Edmonds)

Companies illegally dumped debris into Skykomish River for three years

The dumping impacted almost three acres of wetlands and over 2,000 linear feet of streams.

An old sailboat stuck in the Snohomish River, set to be removed next week. (Snohomish County Surface Water Management)

Crews remove three more junk boats from the Snohomish River

One more is slated for removal. Meanwhile, a new report evaluates the river’s 15,000 old wood pilings.

An old sailboat stuck in the Snohomish River, set to be removed next week. (Snohomish County Surface Water Management)
The Pilchuck River flows freely through the pervious site of the Pilchuck River Dam on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 in Granite Falls, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Development has made the Pilchuck River warmer, harming fish

The river is 5.4 degrees above its historic temperature, says the State Department of Ecology.

The Pilchuck River flows freely through the pervious site of the Pilchuck River Dam on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 in Granite Falls, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
FILE - In this July 31, 2015 file photo, an orca leaps out of the water near a whale watching boat in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands, Wash. Habitat protections for an endangered population of orcas would be greatly expanded under a proposal to be advanced by NOAA Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Millions have been spent on orca recovery: Is it working?

Restoring destroyed salmon habitat is the key to regaining Southern Resident killer whale numbers.

FILE - In this July 31, 2015 file photo, an orca leaps out of the water near a whale watching boat in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands, Wash. Habitat protections for an endangered population of orcas would be greatly expanded under a proposal to be advanced by NOAA Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond. (University of Washington)

UW climate expert: We are moving into uncharted territory

State climatologist says the declining snowpack threatens water supplies as population grows.

Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond. (University of Washington)
Caption: South Whidbey High School students Annie Philp, left, and Maggie Nattress lead a climate change demonstration in Freeland on Nov. 29, 2019. The two friends are founders of United Student Leaders. (Linda LaMar)

From worriers to warriors, they’re fighting climate change

Local environmental groups are forming, growing and attracting new members, young and old.

Caption: South Whidbey High School students Annie Philp, left, and Maggie Nattress lead a climate change demonstration in Freeland on Nov. 29, 2019. The two friends are founders of United Student Leaders. (Linda LaMar)
A female beaver makes her way out of the temporary constructed den for herself and another relocated male beaver on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019 near Sultan, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Beavers: Good environmental stewards, but lousy neighbors

Tulalip Tribes biologists are relocating nuisance beavers to forest areas where they can thrive.

A female beaver makes her way out of the temporary constructed den for herself and another relocated male beaver on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019 near Sultan, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Changes coming for coastal train tracks that endanger salmon

Changes coming for coastal train tracks that endanger salmon

A huge concentration of stream crossings essential to baby chinook salmon are in Snohomish County.

Changes coming for coastal train tracks that endanger salmon
Chronicling the last years of a dying North Cascades glacier

Chronicling the last years of a dying North Cascades glacier

For almost four decades, scientist Mauri Pelto has journeyed to measure the melting Columbia Glacier.

Chronicling the last years of a dying North Cascades glacier
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