Local News: Water
Below are sustainability-related news items throughout the Western Washington University and Bellingham-area. These items correspond to Water.
Sustainability wall opens in Wilson Library
A collaborative project of Western Libraries, the Office of Sustainability and the AS Environmental Center, this wall provides Western with a central and public location where the campus community can find out about environmental and sustainability events. The wall is located near the north entrance to the Wilson Library between Zoe’s bagels and the Tutoring Center.
Western leads largest-ever Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference
Western was well-represented at the conference, with 30-plus presentations and posters offered by WWU faculty and students. Ben Miner, as associate professor of biology, presented his research on Sea Star Wasting Syndrome and its effects on Sea Star populations along the West Coast of North America. He presented data on the patterns, lab experiments and genetic work that is being done on Sea Star Wasting Syndrome. The experimental work for Miner’s research is being done at Western, with collaborators at Cornell University and University of California, Santa Cruz.
Scientists narrow in on syndrome killing off starfish along Pacific coast
While a definitive answer eludes them, researchers suggest a pathogen -- either bacterial or viral -- is responsible for the death toll.
"We don't have an absolute answer yet," said Lesanna Lahner, a veterinarian at the Seattle Aquarium, after presenting the latest information at the Salish Sea Ecosystem conference in Seattle last week.
U.S., Canadian, tribal leaders discuss Salish Sea's environmental, economic concerns
The environment doesn't stop at the border and neither does the economy. A healthy economy depends on a healthy environment and we must work across the border with our Canadian and tribal/First Nations partners to ensure both.
Rain gardens in the works
Rain gardens sit slightly below street level and use sidewalk curves as gutters to funnel street runoff into planted areas that range in size and shape, said Freeman Anthony, City of Bellingham project engineer.
Scientist: Lake Whatcom's problems persist, but are not getting worse
So says Robin Matthews, lead scientist on the team that conducts an annual study of the lake's water commissioned by the city. Tests of 2013 water samples show that levels of most-watched pollutants have been holding relatively steady for several years.
Bottled water ban officially hits campus
Western will install a ‘hydration station’ outside of Zoe’s Bagels by the end of April, Students for Sustainable Water member Carolyn Bowie said.
Western to end sale of bottled water on campus
Western now is the largest college or university, public or private, in the state of Washington to end the sale of bottled water on its campus.
Related Articles: AP Press Release, The Bellingham Herald, King5, SFGate, Q13 FOX, 790 KGMI (Podcast)
Western will become national leader for bottled water ban
Fairhaven’s Right to Water class and the Students for Sustainable Water club worked together on the demonstration, which took place Monday, March 3, to inform students about the ban.
Western seeks waterfront learning space
The Port and City of Bellingham recently agreed to develop about 11 acres of the waterfront, said Steve Swan, vice president of university relations and community development at Western.
Bottled water sales to continue until April despite student efforts
On the student ballot during spring 2012, the student body voted 73 percent in favor of the proposal. Western Administration planned to begin phasing out disposable water bottles in fall 2013, according to a previous Western Front article.
Local sea star populations dwindling
Miner received a one-year research grant of $25,951 from the National Science Foundation to help map the infected areas along the coast and to conduct experiments on the diseased sea stars.
Damming the Skykomish River: a resurfacing battle
Snohomish Public Utilities District (SnoPUD) is planning the installation of a 7-foot-tall inflatable dam that would stretch across the river above Sunset Falls, a 114-foot-tall waterfall that marks the end of natural fish migration up river, said Rich Bowers, northwest coordinator at Hydropower Reform Coalition.
Western science report: Group studies seal population
Acevedo's lab is interested in how harbor seals interact with their environment and how the seals are impacted by humans, as well as the ecology and conservation of their environment.
Western professor, students provide monitoring data for 70 of Washington's small lakes
"We started this project in 2006 as a way of getting student volunteers some top-notch field research experience," Matthews said. "And it has turned out to not only be just that, but also a very valuable community resource as well."
Huxley's Institute for Watershed Studies renews its agreement to monitor Lake Whatcom
The new contract includes an expanded emphasis on storm event sampling to help the city of Bellingham model phosphorus and sediment loading into Lake Whatcom.
Campus bans sale of disposable water bottles
Beginning this fall, Western is banning the sale of all disposable water bottles from campus markets and vending machines.
Activist speaks about importance of earth elements
Suzuki, internationally recognized environmentalist and activist came to Western May 6 and gave his lecture, "Time is Running Out: Ecology or Economics," to a packed room at the Performing Arts Center. View entire lecture here: http://youtu.be/5wtUMM8SDws
Students in BTC's fisheries program can now seamlessly transfer to WWU
Students will now have the opportunity for a seamless transition by earning BTC's Associated in Applied Science Transfer degree in Fisheries & Aquatic Science and transferring to WWU/Huxley to pursue a bachelor of arts in Environmental Studies or Geography.
Students push for bottled water ban: Pepsi Co. sales on campus decline
Money from cold beverage sales goes into the Cold Beverage Contract, which funds lectures, scholarships and student facilities.
The loss of income, coming amid student-led rallies to end bottled water sales on campus, has made the contract's committee dip into savings, said John Feodorov, a Fairhaven associate professor and member of the 2011-12 committee.
Green fee funds pilot programs
The committee selected the eight proposals based on how well they fit the mission of the Green Energy Fee, said Katie Savinski, chair of the committee and AS vice president for student life.
Ecology Class Works to Remove Dam
Bellingham waterfront cleanup in progress: Crews to start removing mercury contamination from Georgia-Pacific West site
The Georgia-Pacific West site, located near downtown on West Laurel Street, a 64-acre stretch of land, is one of 12 cleanup sites in the Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot project. This project is an effort by federal, tribal, state and local governments to get rid of contamination and restore the bay's natural habitat, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology's website.
Bellingham, port officials strike back at Pike's waterfront criticisms
Ex-mayor critical of Bellingham waterfront plans
Dan Pike, an alumnus of Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, will give a talk titled "Bellingham's Waterfront: Where We're Going, Where We Should Be Going, and How My Huxley Education Helps Me Understand the Difference," Thursday, Feb. 7, at the university. He promises not to pull any punches.
AS board fights to banish bottles: Western continues selling single-use bottles nearly a year after initiative passes
The initiative said Western students find the selling of bottled water to be an unsuitable practice and urged the University to discontinue the sale of bottled water on campus.
Western pool in need of an upgrade
These pools use ultraviolet light to break apart and destroy the harmful chemicals in a way that standard chlorine cannot, said Western senior Daniel Soloff.
WWU's Shannon Point gets grants to buy new boat, equipment
Shannon Point gets $346K to buy mass spectrometer
WWU works to ban sales of bottled water on campus
Students passed the initiative recommending that university administration ban sales of bottled water on campus with 73 percent approval last April, but there's still no timeline for if and when the ban might go into effect.
City Council debates the mussel problem
Letter to the editor: supporting the Water Bottle Initiative
Bellingham council may close boat launch to stop invasive species into Lake Whatcom
Water Bottle initiative
The Water Bottle initiative is sponsored by Anna Amundson, Carolyn Bowie and Sara Purington. Our questions were answered by Carlolyn.
Asian clams in local lakes threaten water quality, beaches
Invasive Asian clams have been found in Lake Whatcom, including around Lakewood, Western's water sports facility according to the City of Bellingham. Students who do not properly clean their boats could be part of the problem, said Teagan Ward, environmental resource assistant for the Bellingham Public Works Department.
Letter to the Editor: Says to sign petition to ban plastic water bottles
Students should sign these forms because they take a solid stance against bottled water. Bottled water is bad for the environment, human health and nonrenewable resources.
Cool 2011 summer helped Lake Whatcom water quality a bit
So says Robin Matthews, the lead scientist on the annual lake water monitoring effort commissioned by the city. Matthews is director of the Institute for Watershed Studies at Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University.
Lake Whatcom boaters could face inspection to deter mussel invasion
Two species of Eurasian mussel are the main concern. They are known as zebra and quagga mussels and are native to the Black and Caspian seas. They are believed to have been introduced to North America by Russian freighters emptying ballast water in the Great Lakes in the 1980s.
What's in your water?
In Bellingham, drinking water comes from Lake Whatcom. It seems simple enough, but one group of students knows there are a myriad of complications with the body of water, including storm runoff and erosion of the land around the water, causing high-phosphorus levels in the community's drinking water.
That's why the Associated Students Environmental Center is encouraging Whatcom County to request that the State Board of Natural Resources reconveys state-owned lands back into county control, rather than be managed by a state entity.
Green Energy Fee Program completes first project
Created in 2010, the Green Energy Fee Grant Program puts to use student dollars collected in the quarterly Green Energy Fee and designated to the grant program. This year, that's some $300,000, said Kathryn Freeman, Green Energy Fee Grant Program Coordinator.
WWU custodians to begin cleaning with ionized tap water
"Using ionized plain water with no chemical additives or cleaning products significantly reduces chemical or cleaning product residues, related odors, reduces costs, and further aligns ACS and Western as leaders in sustainability," said Bill Managan, assistant director of Operations, Facilities Management. He noted that extensive in-house testing verified this cleaning approach, which sanitizes comparably to the green certified chemicals currently in use.
Bellingham council hears scientist's warnings on Lake Whatcom water
Huxley researchers aid in deconstruction of historic dam
But the construction of two massive dams in the early 20th century drastically cut the size of runs, destroying the tribe's major food source and leaving the habitat altered.
1st new hydro dam in Washington in quarter-century
The $29 million project, south of Sultan, is expected to produce enough electricity on average for about 2,000 homes. The dam, 12 feet tall and 65 feet across, is the first new one in the state in more than a quarter of a century, according to the PUD.
Green fee funds bottle refilling stations
The refilling stations, which will have both a drinking fountain and a small shelf behind it to fill water bottles, will be located at the Wade King Student Recreation Center, on the first floor of Arntzen Hall and on the second floor of Old Main.
The idea for the refilling stations was part of a project by students from an environmental studies class, Campus Sustainability Planning Studio, and was brought to the Green Energy Fee committee as a project proposal called "Think Outside the Bottle." The committee gave the project was $21,000 last spring.
Puget Sound less polluted than expected, study concludes
Under the Sea
Latest EHS Report gives advice on keeping stormwater runoff clean
Shower timers in dorms aim to conserve water
As the coordinator of the Residents' Resource Awareness Program, White is working with Eco Reps to install a shower timer program in Higginson dorm. The program would encourage residents to reduce the amount of time they spend in the shower.
Lake Whatcom water quality still slipping, data shows
RECOGNITION & HONORS |
GREEN ENERGY FEE GRANT PROGRAM
THE OUTBACK FARM | RESRAP PROGRAM
SUSTAINABLE OFFICE CERTIFICATION
SWEATER DAYS | VIKING SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE | ENERGY & CLIMATE
TRANSPORTATION | WASTE
BUILT ENVIRONMENT | FOOD | WATER
CLEANING | GROUNDS | PURCHASING
HUXLEY | URBAN TRANSITIONS STUDIO
CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY PLANNING STUDIO
RESEARCH | SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS