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OPB/EarthFix Reporter

Cassandra Profita

Cassandra has been immersed in Columbia River issues since she started reporting for The Daily Astorian newspaper in 2006. She's followed an array of fossil fuel project proposals along the river: Liquefied natural gas imports, then LNG exports, followed by coal exports and crude oil shipping. Meanwhile, she's kept close tabs on salmon recovery efforts, dam management and fisheries. As OPB's Ecotrope blogger, Cassandra added a focus on urban sustainability to her beat with posts on everyday pollutants, bee die-offs, electric cars, urban chickens and even a homeless goat herd.

She grew up in Chicago and earned a degree in journalism at the University of Missouri. She's a fellow with the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources and a recipient of the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environment Reporting Award of Special Merit.

Contact Cassandra Profita

Recent Articles

Fish & Wildlife | Environment

Killing Seabirds To Save Salmon On The Columbia

OPB/EarthFix | Aug. 26, 2015 noon

Using rifles with silencers under the cover of night, government officials have killed 158 cormorants on an island in the Columbia River in a controversial effort to save salmon.

Energy | Environment

Portland's Hydropower In A Pipe Attracts Global Interest

OPB/EarthFix | Aug. 17, 2015 6:45 p.m. | Portland

A renewable energy project in Portland has cities across the globe taking a closer look at their water pipes. It's a hydropower system that draws power from drinking water as it makes its way to the tap.

Fish & Wildlife | Environment

Conservationists Say Feds Ignored Evidence That Killing Cormorants Won't Save Salmon

OPB/EarthFix | Aug. 12, 2015 10:45 a.m.

Conservation groups are accusing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of withholding research showing a federal plan to kill seabirds on the Columbia River would not actually benefit salmon and steelhead.

News | local | Environment

Shell Icebreaker Clears Protest Blockade, Leaves Portland

OPB/EarthFix | July 30, 2015 10:23 a.m. | Portland

The Shell icebreaker, Fennica, has cleared the St. Johns Bridge and has moved past the protestor blockade to continue on the Willamette River.

News | local | Environment

Shell Icebreaker Retreats After Morning Showdown

OPB | July 29, 2015 2:34 p.m. | Portland, Oregon

Environmental activists on St. Johns Bridge have been blocking the icebreaker from heading to the Arctic for a drill operation. 

Climate change | Sustainability | Environment

Where Are Portland's Hottest, Most Polluted Areas?

OPB/EarthFix | July 29, 2015 6 a.m. | Portland

As summers in the Northwest get hotter with climate change, researchers and planners are looking for ways to reduce the health risks in urban hot spots. In Portland, a new map could help.

Climate change | Environment

Gov. Inslee Seeks A Cap On Washington's Carbon

OPB/EarthFix | July 28, 2015 1:45 p.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday directed the state Department of Ecology to put a cap on carbon emissions by stepping up enforcement of existing pollution laws.

Energy | Environment

Key Piece Of Shell's Arctic Drilling Fleet Headed To Portland For Repairs

OPB/EarthFix | July 14, 2015 2:45 p.m.

A damaged icebreaker that's essential to Shell Oil Company's controversial plans to drill in the Arctic this summer is scheduled to be repaired at a shipyard in Portland.

Water | Environment | Communities

Northwest Water Supplies Dropping Amid Drought Conditions

OPB/EarthFix | July 10, 2015 2 p.m. | Portland

The hottest June on record for Oregon and Washington came on the heels an unusually warm winter and spring. Now, Northwest rivers are running at or near all-time lows and cities with water reserves are drawing them down.

Forestry | Environment

Could Urban Trees Become A Source Of Lumber?

OPB/EarthFix | July 2, 2015 2:45 p.m.

Logging trees for lumber happens all the time in Northwest forests. Meanwhile, the trees we cut down in cities are usually chopped up for firewood or mulch. A new movement aims to change that.

Energy | Environment

Supreme Court Air Pollution Ruling Has Little Effect On Northwest Power Plants

OPB/EarthFix | June 30, 2015 11:52 a.m. | Portland

Monday's Supreme Court decision to reject the Environmental Protection Agency's air pollution rules won't have any immediate effect on Northwest power plants, and its long-term effects are still unclear.

Energy | Environment

5 Things To Know About The Push To Repeal Oregon's Clean Fuels Bill

OPB/EarthFix | June 24, 2015 9:45 p.m. | Portland

Oregon lawmakers are considering a $343.5 million transportation package that would repeal the clean fuels requirement signed into law earlier this year. Here are five things to know about this proposal.

Fish & Wildlife | Environment

New Judge To Hear Arguments On Columbia River Dams And Salmon

OPB/EarthFix | June 22, 2015 4:15 p.m. | Portland

The longstanding legal battle over maintaining dams and salmon in the Columbia River is back in court this week. On Tuesday, a new judge will hear arguments on the Obama administration's latest salmon plan.

Fish & Wildlife | Environment

West Coast Fish Species Recovers Decades Ahead Of Schedule

OPB/EarthFix | June 16, 2015 5:45 p.m. | Portland

Fishery managers say two valuable West Coast groundfish have recovered ahead of schedule: canary rockfish and petrale sole. That's good news for the fishing industry.

Land | Environment

Mushrooms Help Clean Up Pollution On Former Landfill Site

OPB/EarthFix | June 12, 2015 4:45 p.m. | Portland

A project in Northeast Portland is using an idea sprouted by mycologists to clean up the water running off a former landfill site.

Fish & Wildlife | Environment

Recovery Plan For Idaho Sockeye Moves Beyond Preventing Extinction

OPB/EarthFix | June 8, 2015 2:30 p.m. | Portland

Endangered Snake River sockeye, nearly wiped out in the 1990s, are inching toward recovery. A new plan aims to reintroduce the fish to two more Idaho mountain lakes.


Fake Orca Flops Instead Of Striking Fear In Astoria's Sea Lions

OPB | June 5, 2015 6:15 a.m. | Astoria, Oregon

The Port of Astoria attempts to scare hundreds of sea lions off its docks using a motorized orca made of fiberglass. But after a series of mishaps, the experiment goes belly up.

Food | Science | Nation | Environment | Flora and Fauna

As Caviar Prices Skyrocket, Sturgeon Poachers Invade Pacific Northwest

EarthFix | June 1, 2015 11:31 a.m.

Global sturgeon populations are collapsing — most notably in Russia, where caviar is known as black gold. That's fueling a market for illegal caviar and driving poachers to the Columbia River.

Fish & Wildlife | Environment

Officials Start Killing Columbia River Cormorants

OPB/EarthFix | May 26, 2015 5 p.m.

Officials started killing cormorants at the mouth of the Columbia River over Memorial Day weekend, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Water | News | Environment

Oregon Businesses Facing Tighter Water Pollution Rules

OPB/EarthFix | May 20, 2015 11:51 a.m.

Hundreds of Oregon industrial facilities are now facing tighter restrictions on their stormwater pollution.