KYUK AM

Environment

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

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.


Shutdown Cripples, But Doesn't Sink Ocean Science

Feb 3, 2019

The federal shutdown made waves last week at a major conference on Alaska’s marine research that may have repercussions for the coming research season. While the conference took place after the government workers were back on the job, it was too late for them to get authorization to attend the Alaska Marine Science Symposium. This meant that some of the most senior scientists in arctic marine research were absent.

There were a lot of empty chairs as the Alaska Marine Science Symposium, which began in Anchorage last week.  

The Native Village of Napaimute's 35 year old plow truck named Tumlista, the One Who Makes a Trail.
Mark Leary / Native Village of Napaimute

This week a crew has plowed 135 miles of an ice road from Bethel to Aniak. Mark Leary, with the Native Village of Napaimute, leads the crew and reports that there are wet, rough ice stretches from Akiak to Aniak, with the roughest ice sitting just below Aniak.

High Ocean Acidification Found Where Salmon Eat

Jan 30, 2019

One of the species of plankton that fish depend on is already being threatened by ocean acidification. That’s from data presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage this week.

The Native Village of Napaimute ice road crew towing the ice radar to assess ice conditions on the Kuskokwim River.Credit Mark LearyEdit | Remove

In most places, the Kuskokwim River measures 18 to 24 inches of ice. Some areas of the main channel have just over a foot of ice.

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