Alaska’s secret Cold War export? Shellfish toxin for the CIA.
In May 1960, Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union during a high-altitude reconnaissance mission. In his pocket was a modified silver dollar containing a hidden needle loaded with a lethal dose of shellfish toxin.
Pacific heatwave had lasting impacts on Gulf of Alaska marine species
NOAA’s study charted the impacts of the heat wave — also known as “the blob” — on gulf marine species over time, through 2019 and found some species like sockeye salmon and Pacific cod had lower populations for years.
Hilcorp gas pipeline springs another leak in Cook Inlet
Oil company Hilcorp is reporting another undersea natural gas leak near one of its platforms in Cook Inlet, about six miles offshore from Nikiski.
New construction at Gustavus airport digs up old concerns about toxic chemicals
Contractors plan to break ground on a multimillion dollar airport project in Gustavus this month. But newly discovered toxic chemicals at the site make the state-run project more complicated, and some residents don’t think the environmental oversight goes far enough to keep them safe.
Big sockeye runs, struggling kings creates complicated balancing act for Bristol Bay managers
Faced with another huge sockeye run this summer, managers in the Nushagak District say they will try to allow fishermen to harvest the above-average sockeye run that's predicted and also conserve chinook.
Alaska cruise cancellations pile up even as lines plan return to North America this summer
Though large cruise lines will resume sailing in other jurisdictions, it appears unlikely they will in Alaska.
In Alaska, interest in kelp farming is on the rise, but bureaucracy’s still catching up
Before kelp farmers can put lines in the water, kelp farmers have to apply for state and federal permits, which include opportunities for public comment. The whole process can take up to two years, and a lot of money, time and expertise
Ambler Metals will get back some of its $35M investment on access road, if project gets built
Last month, the state of Alaska’s investment authority agreed to put $35 million towards pre-development work on the Ambler Road project.
Fish & Game raffling off Alaska big game permits to boost budget
Tickets are already on sale for what’s called “Alaska’s Super Seven Big Game Raffle.” If it sounds kind of like buying a lottery ticket for musk ox — or another one of the seven most sought after species in the state, like a brown bear or a caribou — it is.
As Alaska prepares for first ranked-choice election, experts say now is the time to educate and test
The passage of Ballot Measure 2 in the 2020 election means Alaskans will rank their top candidates in the next election. Experts from states where that's been implemented say it's important to educate citizens about how the new election system works.
Kaktovik tribe says Biden didn’t reach out before agreement with Canada on Arctic refuge caribou
The Native Village of Kaktovik says the tribe wasn’t consulted about an agreement President Biden made with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau regarding protections of the Porcupine caribou herd in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
If cruise ships aren’t behind Ketchikan’s beach bacteria problem, what is?
For the fourth year in a row, weekly summer water quality tests show that most Ketchikan beaches have elevated levels of bacteria that could...
Kaktovik Iñupiat Corp. misses key deadline for seismic work in Arctic refuge this winter
Before it could get approval for what’s known as a seismic survey, the Kaktovik Iñupiat Corporation had to make three flights to search for polar bear dens in part of the refuge. The Interior Department says the corporation did not complete the work.
Study links Alaska seals’ waning health to warming Arctic
A new study has found evidence connecting the rapid warming of the region with a physical decline in three species of Alaska seals.
More Indigenous knowledge needed to navigate ‘new Arctic,’ scientists say
A letter signed by over 200 scientists asks for more Indigenous input on the National Science Foundation's flagship initiative on Arctic warming.
Hilcorp eyes gas exploration near Anchor Point
The Texas-based company has requested approval from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources to build an oil-gas combination well and gas-only well in Whiskey Gulch, three miles northeast of Anchor Point.
As planet warms, researchers project more ‘extreme’ rainfall in Southeast and Western Alaska
Rising temperatures are also forcing researchers to reconsider just how much rain a storm can drop.
Kenai natural gas plant unlikely to harm endangered belugas, report says
The upgrades to the Kenai LNG plant are mostly on land and won't affect vessel traffic, according to a letter from the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Federal judge will weigh request to block oil leasing in Arctic refuge
U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason will hear oral arguments at 1 p.m. Monday, just two days before the federal government plans to hold its lease sale.
Solar project in Northwest Arctic villages set to break ground next spring
Construction is set to start next spring on a solar battery project in the Northwest Arctic villages of Shungnak and Kobuk. It’s the latest renewable project for a region routinely struck by high energy costs.