skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, June 14, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

WA Bill Supports Orcas' Need for More Space from Boaters

play audio
Play

Wednesday, February 8, 2023   

Whales are disturbed by vessel noise, but a measure in Olympia would provide a greater buffer for the endangered orcas in Puget Sound.

The legislation increases the distance that recreational boaters must maintain from Southern Resident killer whales, from 400 yards to a thousand yards. That puts the distance in line with whale-watching vehicles.

Joe Gaydos, science director of the SeaDoc Society at the University of Califonia Davis, signed a letter of support for the bill - along with other scientists and organizations. He said making distances the same for all boats would be beneficial.

"People see those big whale-watch boats, they see the name on the side," said Gaydos. "'Okay, I cannot get any closer than that boat.' Those whale-watch boats are providing a guideline for the public, who is not as educated as the whale watchers."

Opponents to some of the bill's language have expressed concern that navigating some parts of Puget Sound could be difficult if Southern Resident orcas need a thousand-yard distance.

The measure is scheduled for an executive session on Thursday in the state Senate.

Lovel Pratt, marine protection and policy director for the Friends of the San Juans, said a recent study showed orcas need a healthy distance in order to forage for food.

"The female orcas, when they're pregnant or when they're nursing their young, they have to consume even more food to do that adequately," said Pratt. "And they were particularly impacted by the vessels when they conducted these studies - even more so than the male Southern Residents."

Julie Watson, killer whale policy lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, noted that there are only 73 whales left in the Southern Resident population.

"These whales have a lot of pressure on them and their numbers have just dwindled," said Watson. "So, we're trying to save this iconic species that's really core to the people of the Pacific Northwest, and the people of Washington."

She added that people can keep up-to-date online on current laws for viewing whales, at 'BeWhaleWise.org.'




get more stories like this via email
more stories
The wells providing water on Santee Tribal lands had manganese levels more than 50 times greater than what is considered safe for adults. Excessively high manganese can cause problems with memory, attention and motor skills. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Members of the Nebraska Santee Sioux Tribe hope a solution to their five-year water ordeal may be on the way. Their tap water has been unusable for …


play sound

Hurricane season is here, and conservationists are shining a light on the role salt marshes play in protecting coastal North Carolina communities…

Social Issues

play sound

This weekend, Father's Day will be tough for children with a dad in jail or prison. More than 200,000 kids in Michigan have had an incarcerated …


Social Issues

play sound

Local election administrators have new guidance from Wisconsin's highest court on alternative early voting sites. A political expert says the timing …

Between 2017 and 2022, Minnesota saw a more than 30% increase in farm acres planted with cover crops. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

When Minnesota farmers watch their crops grow this summer, some will monitor land that has better soil health. It's because of a fairly popular …

Environment

play sound

West Virginia will receive $140 million to clean up legacy pollution in regions decimated by decades of coal mining. The money is part of $725 …

Environment

play sound

Close to 200 events are planned now through Sunday at California state parks for the third annual State Parks Week. The events advance Gov. Gavin …

 

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