Environment

Marianne Edain, seen with her dog Takilna, is a longtime activist and, with her husband Steve Erickson, founded the Whidbey Environmental Action Network (WEAN). They are restoration ecologists by trade. Shot at home on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 in Clinton, Washington. Edain, 73, has been fighting local environmental battles since 1977. “Back then, we thought (about climate change) in terms of generations,” she said. “Ten to 15 years ago, we were thinking in terms of decades. Now it’s in our face.”
 (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Climate change fears motivate scientist, longtime activist

They are well into their 70s and are speaking up for environmental protection in Island County.

Marianne Edain, seen with her dog Takilna, is a longtime activist and, with her husband Steve Erickson, founded the Whidbey Environmental Action Network (WEAN). They are restoration ecologists by trade. Shot at home on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 in Clinton, Washington. Edain, 73, has been fighting local environmental battles since 1977. “Back then, we thought (about climate change) in terms of generations,” she said. “Ten to 15 years ago, we were thinking in terms of decades. Now it’s in our face.”
 (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Morgan Zehrung, owner of Forecast Solar, takes measurements for solar panel on the home of Brian Aikins Friday morning in Everett on January 29, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Pandemic slows growth of the clean-tech sector — for now

With economic uncertainty, homeowners and businesses have put the brakes on alternative energy plans.

Morgan Zehrung, owner of Forecast Solar, takes measurements for solar panel on the home of Brian Aikins Friday morning in Everett on January 29, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
A man walks past a parking lot roof made up of solar panels at Hopeworks Station on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020 in Everett, Washington. HopeWorks Station has been awarded a Platinum LEED certificate for its environmentally-friendly design and features.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

A green Everett architecture firm teams up with Housing Hope

Dykeman Architects has designed sustainable buildings for more than a quarter-century.

A man walks past a parking lot roof made up of solar panels at Hopeworks Station on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020 in Everett, Washington. HopeWorks Station has been awarded a Platinum LEED certificate for its environmentally-friendly design and features.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Opponents appeal gravel mine expansion near Anacortes

The permit allows Lake Erie Gravel Pit to expand its operations from 17.7 acres to 53.5 acres.

The PAWS bald eagle is circled by a crow while he sits on a tree limb after being released at the Harbour Point Golf Club on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2020 in Mukilteo, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

After 2 weeks of rehab, an eagle flies down the golf fairway

It’s a regular occurrence: A rescued bird was released back into the wild after convalescing.

The PAWS bald eagle is circled by a crow while he sits on a tree limb after being released at the Harbour Point Golf Club on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2020 in Mukilteo, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

New county office covers parks, tourism, water, energy, farms

Four departments will merge into one beginning in February. The largest focuses on county parks.

An access road leads into plot of land located in north Darrington that could potentially be used to build a 30-acre Wood Innovation Center, which will house CLT manufacturing and modular building companies on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Darrington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Timber innovation center a chance to reinvigorate rural town

A center to produce innovative wood products could stabilize Darrington’s drained timber economy.

An access road leads into plot of land located in north Darrington that could potentially be used to build a 30-acre Wood Innovation Center, which will house CLT manufacturing and modular building companies on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Darrington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A large flock of ducks fly above the recently restored wetland area of Smith Island along Union Slough on Thursday, April 11, 2019 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Hunting season, new trail access open on island near Everett

New parking on Smith Island is now available, along with an annual waterfowl hunting season.

A large flock of ducks fly above the recently restored wetland area of Smith Island along Union Slough on Thursday, April 11, 2019 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
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.