Bellamy Pailthorp | KNKX

Bellamy Pailthorp

Environment Reporter

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment beat from the Seattle offices of KNKX Public Radio News, where she has worked since 1999. She also hosts and produces the weekly segment, The Weather With Cliff Mass, which airs every Friday. She holds a Masters in journalism from New York's Columbia University, where she completed the Knight-Bagehot fellowship in business reporting in 2006 mid-career during her stint on KNKX’s Business and Labor Beat from 2000-2012.

From 1989-98 she lived in Berlin, Germany freelancing for NPR and working as a bi-lingual producer for Deutsche Welle TV after receiving a Fulbright scholarship in 1989 for a project on theater studies and communist history. She holds a Bachelors’ degree in German language and literature from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. (Yes, she is fluent in German.)

She strives to tell memorable stories about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Character-driven narratives of exploration and innovation excite her. 

Outside work, she practices and instructs yoga, walks half marathons with friends, backpacks with her husband and extended family, reads and watches fiction with nieces, enjoys tasting new foods and admiring all kinds of animals -- especially her two house cats, who often remind her she should spend more time sitting on the couch with them.

Ways to Connect

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

Bundle up and brace for what could be the coldest weather western Washington has seen in a long while, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass.

A blast of Arctic air is headed our way, creating what will be a major cold wave over the next several days. Mass says it’s going to get really wintry around here.

Elaine Thompson / File / AP Photo

King County Executive Dow Constantine is encouraging people who want to protect Puget Sound to buy British Columbia wines.

It’s the latest volley in a minor trade war between B.C. and its neighboring province of Alberta. Earlier this month, Alberta announced a boycott on British Columbia wines, with premiere Rachel Notley directing regulators to block roughly $50 million a year in wine imports.

Elaine Thompson / File / AP Photo

Members of Congress who represent Puget Sound are pushing back against the Trump administration’s budget for 2019 in part because it would zero out all federal funding for cleanup and recovery of the iconic ecosystem.

Ted S. Warren, File / AP Photo

The Trump administration has proposed its budget for fiscal year 2019.  It would once again gut funding for a multi-million-dollar federal conservation and outdoor recreation program.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

Stormwater runoff is the largest source of toxic chemicals entering Puget Sound. It happens when rain hits pavement and carries pollutants such as oil or brake dust into local waterways, and it turns out bridges are an especially big source of that runoff.

A local developer is piloting a solution that will be featured at a Green Infrastructure Summit taking place at UW Bothell Friday.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Bundle up and get ready for possible lowland snow in places. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says cool air moving in to western Washington will push temperatures below freezing in many lowland areas this weekend, with a chance of snow most likely on Sunday.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Clean air regulations that have been in the works for a decade are proving too tough to implement for thousands of short-haul truckers who call on the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, The Northwest Seaport Alliance extended the deadline for compliance.

Elaine Thompson / File / AP Photo

Unusually heavy rain and flooding are in the weekend forecast, with the worst hitting Sunday as an atypical atmospheric river sets up from due west and aims its warm plume at western Washington.

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says that phenomenon means the rain total by the end of this weekend could be 5-10 inches over the lower slopes of the central Cascade Mountains.

courtesy Washington State Department of Natural Resources

A failure to clean and maintain its nets led to the net pen collapse at Cooke Aquaculture’s Cypress Island facility this summer and the escape of 100,000 more Atlantic salmon than originally reported. That’s the conclusion of an investigation by three state agencies into the August incident.

Many people are familiar with Google Street View, the online map that allows you to take a virtual walk or ride through a neighborhood. Now there’s a similar tool that lets you float down local rivers and waterways. 

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

Batten down the hatches and keep your rain gear handy. A Pacific cyclone is headed toward Vancouver Island, British Columbia. While the highest winds will likely hit north of the Canadian border, KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says people in western Washington will notice it too, especially toward the coast.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Many medium-sized businesses that consume large amounts of electricity may want to shrink their reliance on fossil fuels by committing to using solar or wind power. But their needs are often beyond what their local utility can provide from fully renewable sources.

A Seattle startup has launched a new online marketplace to address these issues and support the growth of clean energy developments, by matching smaller investors with projects that meet their needs.

Michael Probst) / AP Photo

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is in Davos, Switzerland, this week at the World Economic Forum. He is the only U.S. governor attending.

Dallas Glass / Northwest Avalanche Center

Washington state has some of the most beautiful mountains in the world for winter sports – and also the most deadly.

Last year, more people died in avalanche accidents here than in any other state in the nation.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

Feeling out of place takes on whole new dimension when you’re in a foreign country. Perhaps no one understands this more than new immigrants and refugees. And there’s a woman who meets lots of them here in the Seattle area.

Sophorn Sim is an outreach worker for the environmental non-profit, ECOSS, connecting other refugees and new immigrants with resources and ways to live healthier lives.

Ted S. Warren, File / AP Photo

This week, an extraordinary offshore storm produced waves in the Northwest that were 30 feet tall and higher in some places places. One even swept a man out to sea near Lincoln City, Oregon, on Thursday.

But KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says that event is over, and we can expect more run-of-the-mill winter weather in the days to come.

Elaine Thompson / File / AP Photo

Hillsides in Washington shaped by glaciers often provide stunning natural beauty that makes people want to live near them. They also come with a high risk of landslides, especially when logged.

The state Commissioner of Public Lands took to the slopes Thursday near Olympia to urge legislators to help state regulators minimize the hazards.

Rick Bowmer / AP Photo

A public hearing on Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposal to tax fossil fuel emissions takes place Tuesday in Olympia. A coalition of environmental groups is urging people to go and organizing carpools to ensure a strong turnout.

They say the governor’s carbon tax is just one of at least three climate policies they want to see action on this session. And two groups have new polling data to back that up.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

It’s been a wet and blustery week in Western Washington. That’s typical weather for this time of year in the Pacific Northwest, but KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says this weekend will be fairly dry. With lots of fresh snow in the mountains, conditions are good for winter sports enthusiasts, especially on Sunday.

COURTESY WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Washington is the only west coast state in the U.S. that allows Atlantic salmon net pen farming in open water. That may change in the wake of a summer spill of more than 300,000 of the non-native fish into Puget Sound.

Courtesy Washington Department of Ecology via AP Photo

As the state legislative session begins Monday, climate activists are out in full force in Olympia. They’re urging lawmakers to take bold steps to slow global warming.

Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources

Cooke Aquaculture has filed suit against the state Department of Natural Resources. The company wants a court to reverse the state’s termination of its lease for an Atlantic salmon fish farm near Port Angeles.  

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Rain and cloudy skies have returned to much of the Puget Sound region. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says Western Washington can expect more of this showery, gray weather over the next few days. But that’s in contrast to what has actually been a much sunnier winter than usual in the northwest.

Courtesy Long Live the Kings

One of the biggest mysteries among people working on salmon recovery in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea is what happens to juvenile fish once they head for the ocean. Survival rates of Chinook, Coho and Steelhead have all declined since the 1980s, but resource managers don’t know why.

A new grant from Microsoft is using artificial intelligence to greatly improve the computer models used to tackle the question.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

If you’ve ever hiked to the top of a mountain and found yourself shedding layers of clothing because of increasing warmth, you’ve experienced a temperature inversion. They’re strongest in winter and can come with some unpleasant side effects, such as the freezing fog and declining air quality the greater Puget Sound region recently experienced in mid-December. Temperatures in the lowlands were near freezing at the time, but hit 55 degrees at Hurricane Ridge in the Olympics.

Elaine Thompson / File / AP Photo

Despite a very bad summer for local resident orca whales, this winter is shaping up as a premium time to see them from the shore. Orca watchers say the Southern Residents seem to be foraging for chum salmon after finding less Chinook than usual this year.

Ted S. Warren/file / AP Photo

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Keep dreaming, if you’re in western Washington. A couple of feet of snow fell on local ski areas earlier this week, but that’s pretty much over for now. And there’s little prospect of much holiday snow accumulation in the lowlands.

The mountains can be so alluring this time of year, with views of snow-covered peaks all around us. Yet it can be hard to find good conditions for cold-weather fun such as skiing or snowboarding.

Ted S. Warren/file / AP Photo

It’s been five years since Washington first launched a strategy to tackle ocean acidification. A new report from the state says it’s still getting worse, but advances are being made on how to adapt and mitigate the problem.

courtesy Cliff Mass

Precipitation and warmer temperatures have returned to the northwest. Light rain was falling all around the region Friday morning as fresher air moved in after a week in which a substantial ridge of high pressure had dominated and trapped in smoke all the way from the California wildfires.  Also gone were the freezing fog and black ice.  

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says this mild pattern will continue this weekend and into mid-week.

Dave Martin / AP Photo

Legislation is moving through the U.S. House that would weaken how fisheries are managed. That has several groups calling foul, including scientists, seafood producers and chefs, many of them in the Northwest.

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