Environmental stories that take place in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

A four-wheeler broke through the ice on a popular Bethel trail Wednesday night. Bethel resident William McCarr says that the four-wheeler is still stuck in the trail that runs behind Bethel Regional High School towards Hangar Lake. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

NovaGold is one of two international mining companies that have partnered to develop the proposed Donlin gold mine, located in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. In its latest quarterly report, NovaGold says that it recently sold a big mining project, which will free up some cash to spend on Donlin. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

More than 130 Calista shareholders signed a letter sent to the Calista Native Corporation protesting the proposed Donlin gold mine, and they are all women. Calista owns the subsurface rights to the mine, and is the regional corporation for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. 

Kings Swim In A Dangerous Ocean

Feb 12, 2019
Kuskokwim king salmon.
Katie Basile / KYUK

King salmon have been returning younger and in lower numbers than predicted in much of the state, which has biologists wondering what is happening to kings in the ocean. KYUK reports on research that seems to indicate that a predator may be involved.

Dean Swope / KYUK

A tailings dam collapsed last month in Brazil, killing more than 150 people. That accident raised fears among some residents in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta about the safety of the tailings facility and dam that Donlin Gold plans to construct for its large gold mine. Donlin says its design is much safer than the one that collapsed in Brazil. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

Thirteen tribes are appealing two key state permits for the proposed Donlin gold mine. Environmental group Earthjustice filed the appeal on their behalf. 

Wind Change Pulls Curtain Back On A Future Bering Sea

Feb 7, 2019
Katie Basile

For those who wonder what the Bering Sea will be like decades from now, last year was a glimpse of the future. It brought something many did not expect: the disappearance of the undersea “cold pool,” which is the nursery for Alaska’s pollock fishery. KYUK looks at how it happened.

Finding A New Link In The Food Chain

Feb 7, 2019

The line between plant and animal is not a firm one when it comes to plankton, the tiny organisms at the base of the food chain in Alaska’s oceans. It is their complexity that may help explain why our seas support so many fish and marine mammals. KYUK’s Johanna Eurich takes a look at research on mixotrophes in the Gulf of Alaska.

Alaska Division U.S Fish & Wildlife Service

Ducks nesting on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta may be the latest species at risk on the front lines of climate change. KYUK reported from last week’s Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage that in a laboratory test, spectacled and Steller’s eiders, already listed as threatened, almost died when exposed to saline water at levels already found where they nest. 

So Far, Seals Are Adapting To Shrinking Sea Ice

Feb 4, 2019
USFWS permit MA220876-1 ADF&G

Ice seals thought to be most affected by the disappearance of arctic sea ice seem to be doing well, according to data presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium last week. KYUK looks at evidence showing that some marine mammals are adjusting.