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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

Water | Environment | News

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.

local | News | Unprepared: Will We Be Ready For The Megaquake?

Woman With Disabilities Adapts To Challenges Of Living On Emergency Supplies

OPB | May 19, 2015 5 p.m.

Before living off her emergency supplies for a weekend, Brook Gowin knew she faced some challenges when it came to surviving an earthquake. She gets by on very little income and has physical limitations from sports injuries.

Family | local | News | Unprepared: Will We Be Ready For The Megaquake?

Have A Plan To Meet Loved Ones After A Disaster

OPB | May 17, 2015 9:43 a.m.

A person should have a family meet up plan in place for anywhere they spend time, such as work, school, faith organizations, sporting events or commuting.

Fish & Wildlife | Environment | News | Wildlife Detectives: A Special Report

World's Appetite For Caviar Sends Poachers After Columbia River Sturgeon

OPB/EarthFix | May 16, 2015 10:45 a.m. | CASCADE LOCKS, Ore.

Wildlife cops say the high value of black market caviar is driving poachers to target giant sturgeon in the Columbia River, putting the whole population of these fish at risk.

local | News | Unprepared: Will We Be Ready For The Megaquake?

Living Off Your Quake Kit: Woman With Disabilities Plans To Help Neighbors After Disaster

OPB | May 13, 2015 8:30 a.m. | Troutdale, Oregon

Brook Gowin may live with nagging pains from old sports injuries, but she says that is no reason she cannot be prepared for life after a major earthquake.

local | Environment | News

Portland Mayor Withdraws Support For Propane Export Terminal

OPB | May 7, 2015 10:15 a.m. | Portland

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is asking the developer of a controversial propane export terminal to withdraw its proposal because it doesn't meet the city's environmental standards.

Water | Environment

Less Water In Northwest Rivers Will Mean Less Hydropower

OPB | May 5, 2015 6:30 p.m.

Water supply forecasts are looking bleak for many Northwest rivers this year. Managers say that means the region will generate less hydropower.

Energy | Environment | News

Rivers Recover Rapidly Once Dams Are Gone, Study Finds

OPB | April 30, 2015 11 a.m.

A new study sums up what scientists now know about the environmental effects of removing dams from rivers. It concludes that rivers and fish respond quickly after a dam is removed, and the results are mostly positive.

Fish & Wildlife | Environment

Love 'em Or Hate 'em, Sea Lions Raise Concerns On The Columbia

OPB | April 26, 2015 9 p.m. | Portland

A record number of sea lions in the Columbia River this spring has revived debate over the best way to manage these hulking pinnipeds.


Sewer Water Beer Wins Oregon Regulators' Approval

OPB | April 15, 2015 6 p.m.

State environmental regulators allow a wastewater treatment utility to give its recycled sewer water to a group of home brewers so they can turn it into beer.

local | Energy | Environment | News

Portland Planning Board Approves Propane Terminal But Adds Climate Fee

OPB | April 7, 2015 11:15 p.m. | Portland

The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission voted 6-4 Tuesday to recommend a zone change and a carbon fee for a controversial propane export terminal.

Pacific Ocean | Environment

Managers Likely To Cancel West Coast Sardine Fishery

OPB | April 6, 2015 5:30 p.m.

Population counts indicate there aren't enough fish to open the West Coast sardine fishery this year.

Energy | Environment | Climate change

The Northwest Struggles With Coal-Generated Power From Out Of State

OPB | April 2, 2015 6:45 p.m. | Carbon County, Utah

Northwest utilities are fighting pressure end to all use of coal-fired power -- even when it's generated in places like Utah and Montana.

Pacific Ocean | Environment

Hungry Sea Lions Pile Into The Columbia River

OPB | March 26, 2015 5:15 p.m.

As starving sea lions wash ashore in California, biologists are counting a record number of California sea lions in the Columbia River. Coincidence? Probably not.

Pacific Ocean | Environment

Action Taken To Protect Fish At Bottom Of Ocean Food Chain

OPB | March 10, 2015 10:45 a.m. | Vancouver, Washington

West Coast fishery managers adopted a new rule Tuesday that protects many species of forage fish at the bottom of the ocean food chain.

Energy | Environment

Oregon House Sends Clean Fuels Bill To Governor

OPB | March 4, 2015 5 p.m. | Portland

The Oregon House narrowly approves a controversial bill  extending a state effort to reduce carbon emissions from transportation fuels. It now goes to Gov. Kate Brown.

Energy | Environment

Northwest Officials Unite Against Coal And Oil Trains

OPB | March 3, 2015 6:02 p.m. | Portland

More than 150 elected officials from across the Northwest have teamed up to speak out against coal and oil trains. Their new group held its third meeting in Portland Tuesday.

Forestry | Environment

Satellites Give Scientists A Better View Of Forest Insect Outbreaks

OPB | March 2, 2015 3:15 p.m. | Portland

You might call it the forester's version of Google Earth: new satellite mapping that's giving scientists a clearer view of insect outbreaks in Northwest forests.

Pacific Ocean | Environment

Northwest Faces Greater Risks From Acidifying Waters

OPB | Feb. 23, 2015 5 p.m.

The Pacific Northwest faces a higher risk of economic harm from ocean acidification than other parts of the country, according to a new study.


Oregon Senate Votes To Extend Low-Carbon Fuels Program Despite Link To Ethics Scandal

OPB | Feb. 17, 2015 4:15 p.m.

The Oregon Senate votes to extend the state's low-carbon fuel program despite objections from Republicans that the plan is tainted by the ethics scandal embroiling Gov. John Kitzhaber and first lady Cylvia Hayes.