Environmental stories in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Bjørn Olson / Ground Truth Trekking

  The Red Devil Mine is located on the Kuskokwim near the Red Devil Creek between Crooked Creek and Sleetmute.  Mining started in the 1930's, picked up steam in the 50's and 60's but has not operated since the 1970's. The problem is that there's mercury, arsenic, and antimony in the soils left behind by the mining, and the contamination is being released by erosion.

Katie Basile / KYUK

This fall Kongiganak is set to install a lithium ion battery in its utility system that could replace more than half the village’s electric and heating needs with wind energy. For more than four years, about a third of the village’s energy has come from this renewable resource.

Emperor Goose in Gibson Cove
Lisa Hupp / U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Eighty percent of the world’s Emperor Goose population breeds on a 10-mile-wide strip that runs from Kongiganak, up the coast of the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta, to Hooper Bay.  This year, for the first time in 30 years, federal managers have opened a subsistence hunt for the birds. The geese haven’t migrated to the Delta yet, and the feds are trying to encourage conservative hunting of the vulnerable species before they arrive.

Courtesy of Jenny Lanning

There are no reported injuries from a house fire that destroyed a home in Napaskiak on Wednesday.

Mark Leary / Native Village of Napaimute

A normal breakup is expected to return to the Kuskokwim and Lower Yukon Rivers this year with the usual cracking, jamming, and possible minor flooding.

Mark Leary / Native Village of Napaimute

While the Kuskokwim ice around Bethel is decaying, the ice in the middle part of the river is more stable, according to Mark Leary, Director of Development and Operations for the Native Village of Napaimute. Leary also works as a citizen observer, reporting ice conditions to the National Weather Service.

Mike Riley / Bethel Search and Rescue

Conditions are deteriorating rapidly on the ice road, and Bethel Search and Rescue is asking residents to be careful and exercise sound judgment when traveling. BSAR President Mike Riley reports that, as of Tuesday evening, from the Bethel sandpit to Nick O Nick's fish camp, standing water lines the sides of the river, slushy snow covers the ice, and at some points, water sits beneath the snow. Across the island in front of Bethel, on the main river channel, deep water is covering the ice, and where there’s snow, water lies beneath.

Dean Swope / KYUK

The melting Kuskokwim ice road is becoming increasingly hazardous to drive on, and conditions are changing rapidly.

Dean Swope / KYUK

The Kuskokwim ice road's days are numbered. Though the ice is thick, the snow is melting fast.  

April Is The Crucial Month For Breakup

Mar 21, 2017
Bethel Search and Rescue

Deep snow and thick ice could mean a dramatic break-up on the rivers this year.