Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Nashville mourns six dead in the latest mass shooting, the EPA takes public input on a proposal to clean up Pennsylvania's drinking water, and find ways to get more Zzz's during Sleep Awareness Month.


A shooting leaves six dead at a school in Nashville, the White House commends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to pause judicial reform, and mayors question the reach of state and federal authorities over local decisions.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Ships Slow Down for Puget 'Quiet Sound' Program to Aid Orcas


Monday, December 12, 2022   

Ships are getting on board with a program to make Puget Sound quieter for the region's endangered orca population.

Sixty-one percent of vessels participated in a voluntary slowdown in the first four weeks, according to numbers released by Quiet Sound, the program of Washington Maritime Blue.

Program Director Rachel Aronson said sound is an essential sense for orcas, but propeller noise interferes with that.

"The propellor spins, it creates little air bubbles that explode and collapse," said Aronson. "That process is called 'cavitation,' and it turns out that cavitation makes a lot of noise at exactly the sound frequencies that the whales need to hunt and communicate."

The Quiet Sound program started in 2021 with funding from Washington state, federal partners and ports. In phase one, it helped develop a real-time whale alert system.

The voluntary slowdown began at the end of October. It's estimated only 73 Southern Resident killer whales remain.

The Quiet Sound program has partnered with the shipping industry on this effort.

Vice President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association Mike Moore said the industry has experience with a similar Canadian slowdown program, and is excited to do its part to help the endangered whales.

"Three knots has been equated to about 50% reduction in noise," said Moore. "So, just a little bit of change can have a big impact."

Patrick Gallagher is the executive director of the Marine Exchange of Puget Sound, which provides ship location data for the Quiet Sound program.

Gallagher said the program has been transparent about its efforts since its inception, and the shipping industry appreciates this. He said people are thinking about what kind of environmental legacy they want to leave.

"We want to think about what type of ancestors we'd want to be," said Gallagher. "And we're trying to prove that industry can basically run alongside doing what's right for wildlife."

In the next phase of the project, the program is creating an underwater noise map of Puget Sound.

get more stories like this via email
Black Americans are the most likely to suffer from insufficient sleep. (ChadBridwell/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

March is Sleep Awareness Month and health experts say Americans are not getting enough of it. United Health Foundation data found more than 32% of …


Environmental groups are seeking greater input as California puts the finishing touches on its application to become a hub for hydrogen fuel productio…

Social Issues

This month marks 160 years since the first Medal of Honor was awarded by President Abraham Lincoln. More than a dozen of the 65 recipients alive …

According to The Medal of Honor Museum and Foundation, 3,514 men and one woman have won the Medal of Honor in service of their country from the Civil War to the present day. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

160 years ago, Civil War soldiers were awarded the first Medals of Honor. Now, a Medal of Honor Monument will soon be built on the National Mall in …

Social Issues

The meat processing industry continues to face scrutiny over labor practices in states like Minnesota. Proposed legislation would update a 2007 law…

A report published in late February says children of mothers who are abused or neglected were more likely to demonstrate symptoms and behaviors linked to depression, along with other health issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

New findings suggest health effects stemming from child maltreatment can be passed on to the next generation. In South Dakota, leaders in early-…

Social Issues

Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle will pay workers at its former location in Augusta, Maine as part of a settlement over labor law violations…


One Arizona mayor is among the more than 2,800 elected city officials in Washington, D.C., this week for The National League of Cities' Congressional …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021