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

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.

Jim Culp / Courtesy Washington State Department of Transportation.

A new state initiative called Maritime Blue is pushing for more sustainability in the sector. A 20-member advisory council appointed by Governor Jay Inslee is developing innovation strategies, with the help of consultants from Norway. 

That has the head of the Washington State Ferries system dreaming big about how to electrify the fleet.

courtesy State Dept of Natural Resources

Conservation groups are up in arms over a possible new net pen for Atlantic salmon in open waters off the Olympic Peninsula. A public hearing Tuesday in Port Angeles will touch on the issue.  

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

A strong ridge of high pressure has brought a string of sunny days to the Puget Sound, as well as patches of morning fog that is often accompanied by black ice. KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says he expects that pattern to stick around for quite a while.  

courtesy Washington Department of Natural Resources

Two state lawmakers have introduced legislation that aims to immediately ban all farming of Atlantic salmon in net pens in Washington waters. If passed, the ban would take effect as soon as it is signed by Gov. Jay Inslee.  

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Nearly a decade after the SuperSonics left Seattle because of lack of funding for a new arena, the city has a deal it hopes will eventually bring the NBA back.

Wonderlane / flickr via Compfight

Community leaders in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood have a two-year environmental justice grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to address health issues from air and noise pollution. They’re holding a meeting Saturday at the Centilia Cultural Center on the campus of  El Centro de la Raza.  

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Hang in there if the dreary weather in western Washington has been getting you down. It will be wet and cool again this weekend. But then a system of high pressure sets up and KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass expects a major shift in the weather for a least a week.

Ted S. Warren/file / AP Photo

New regulations under the Clean Water Act mean 81 cities and counties around Puget Sound have to update their development codes to reduce storm water runoff. A scorecard from two environmental groups shows fewer than half are in compliance.  

courtesy Stand.earth

A group of protestors is camping outside of Starbucks headquarters in Seattle, demanding a fully recyclable paper cup for its coffee beverages. They plan to be there all week.

Bellingham-based Stand.earth started camping out Monday. 

Courtesy of Ratha Frimes / Flickr photo "Rainy Sunday at Redondo Beach" by Ratha Frimes is liecensed under cc by 2.0

Have the wet weather and dark days got you down? You’re not alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is extremely common in the Pacific Northwest. Recent rains and abundant cloudy skies seem to have exacerbated some people’s experience of the lack of light this time of year, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass.

Richard Drew / AP Photo

The average American household tosses out at least a quarter of its food   – and that increases over the  holidays. In the wake of Thanksgiving, King County wants to remind people why it’s not just better for their pocketbooks to waste less food.  

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

The public comment period  ends next month on a federal proposal to nearly triple visitor fees to the nation’s most popular national parks. Those include Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks where visitors would pay $70 in peak months (up from $25) starting this May.

Courtesy Karla Salp, Wash. State Dept of Agriculture

Gypsy moths are back in Washington State – with a vengeance. Officials at the Washington State Department of Agriculture say they’re evaluating options after the agency’s annual trapping program caught 117 of the invasive species this summer – the highest number in more than 20 years.

It’s normal for Agriculture technicians to find one or two gypsy moths in those triangular cardboard traps you sometimes see on trees.

Ted S. Warren/file / AP Photo

Washington’s Department of Ecology has a plan to spend nearly $113 million on cleaner transportation technologies.

The money is part of the state’s settlement with Volkswagen after the German car manufacturer was caught installing illegal software on many of its diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Another weekend dominated by mostly showery weather lies ahead, with the driest conditions on Saturday.

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says that would be a great day to head for the passes and enjoy some wintery fun. Stormy weather earlier this week dumped several feet of snow in the Cascades, allowing all the big ski areas to open.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Over the past three months, KNKX has hosted a series of weekly interviews about the iconic waterway that includes Puget Sound and extends into British Columbia. Return to the Salish Sea took listeners to locations all around the shores of this shared ecosystem to hear from people who are deeply connected to it and concerned about its future.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The federal government’s latest special report on climate change directly contradicts the Trump administration’s policies. Hundreds of pages long, the report outlines the latest science and states that humans are the main cause of planetary warming.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

A local wild-salmon advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against Cooke Aquaculture in U.S. District Court in Seattle. The Wild Fish Conservancy says the Canadian company must be held responsible for the collapse of its net pen in Deepwater Bay off Cyprus Island this summer.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is in Bonn, Germany, this week for the United Nations latest conference on climate change. He’s part of a panel of local leaders talking about sub-national strategies for meeting commitments made in the Paris agreement, even after the U.S. withdrawal.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KNKX

The Salish Sea is home to more than three thousand species. Among them are 253 fish, 172 birds, 38 mammals and two reptiles.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Keep your rain gear handy. A mostly sunny start to the weekend on Friday provided a brief respite from the cold, wet and dark skies that are typical for mid-November in the Northwest, but KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass says don’t be fooled. 

Don Ryan,File / AP Photo

Environmental groups are declaring victory in two key races after initial ballot returns. The Washington Conservation Voters say their record spending is paying off, as the community came together to counteract the influence of spending by big oil interests.

Samish Indian Nation tribal chairman Tom Wooten.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The culture  of the Samish Indian Nation aligns closely with the Salish Sea. Its headquarters are on Fidalgo Island, near Anacortes, and its people are scattered throughout the area, on both sides of the border between the U.S. and Canada.

Historically, they lived on five islands in the central Salish Sea:  Fidalgo, Guemes, Lopez, San Juan, and Samish.

Stacey Goodman and Abe Beeson / KNKX

Wet snow was on the ground Friday morning in many places around Puget Sound, as cold air surged in from British Columbia.

“Particularly if you were away from the water or at 500 feet or above,” said KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass.

Channi Anand / AP Photo

It may sound like science fiction, but researchers are getting closer to making it possible to geoengineer the climate.

A symposium at the University of Washington Thursday and Friday is exploring the ethics of this possible future.  One team is developing a way to cool the atmosphere by brightening clouds.  

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

The state agency charged with leading the restoration of Puget Sound says it cannot meet its inaugural goal of recovering the ecosystem by 2020.

That’s one of the takeaways from the Puget Sound Partnership’s 2017 “State of the Sound” report, which comes out Wednesday. The reports are issued every two years.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

A proposal to spray a neurotoxic pesticide on oyster beds in Southwest Washington is back on the table. Growers in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor are looking for ways to address an infestation of burrowing shrimp.

The state is taking comments on the controversial plan through Wednesday.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The Salish Sea is a complex web of waterways that includes Puget Sound and the straits of Juan de Fuca and Georgia. It also has inflows from 64 rivers and 99 wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. and Canada.

Tim Durkan / Tim Durkan Photography

“Perfect fall weather,” is in store through the end of the month in the greater Puget Sound region, says KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass.

Halloween should offer ideal conditions for trick or treaters. Expect dry skies and warmer than normal temperatures, with some low clouds and morning fog this weekend. After that, a dramatic shift is in store, so enjoy it while you can.

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