Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt has been a national radio producer focusing on education for American Public Media since 2017. She has reported from the Arctic to the Antarctic for national and international media, and from Minnesota and Oregon for The Washington Post.

Microplastics, about the size of a grain of rice, have been found in Oregon waterways, and have been shown to cause damage to human and animal cells. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Oregon attorney general joins Democratic peers calling for strategy to curb new plastic production

By: - August 21, 2023

A plan from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to curb the nation’s plastic pollution is drawing criticism from Democratic and Republican attorneys general, including Oregon’s Ellen Rosenblum.  Currently in draft form, the National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution sets out steps for ending plastic waste in oceans and U.S. waterways by 2040. Microplastics, about the […]

U.S. Department of Transportation invests in Oregon fish

By: - August 18, 2023

The U.S. Department of Transportation is backing 26 projects to boost fish transit in Oregon that’s been stymied by poor road and dam infrastructure. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, six counties and the Coquille Indian Tribe will receive more than $19 million to get rid of barriers that have made it difficult for […]

Some of the most powerful and consistent winds in the world are located off the southwest Oregon coast, according to the Oregon Department of Energy.

Feds ask for public comment on two Oregon Coast sites slated for floating offshore wind farms

By: - August 15, 2023

Two sites off the southern Oregon coast could soon be home to the state’s first floating offshore wind farms. But first, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will meet with residents and stakeholders in coastal towns, some of whom are concerned about impact to the fishing industry and marine ecosystems.  Officials from the ocean […]

Charlene Williams is the director of the Oregon Department of Education.

Oregon’s new education leader wants more, diverse teachers to get students caught up from COVID

By: - August 15, 2023

Charlene Williams is about a month into the monumental job of leading a state education department in the wake of COVID. She’s recently moved into the same office as her predecessor, Colt Gill, whose tenure as director of the Oregon Department of Education was defined by the public health threat of a lifetime and the […]

In solar grazing farms, sheep and other livestock are able to eat weeds, grasses and plants on the same land that's used to host solar panels for clean energy generation. (Oregon State University)

Proposal for Oregon’s first large-scale solar park and farm meets opposition

By: - August 10, 2023

A first-of-its kind proposal for a solar park and sheep ranch near Brownsville in the Willamette Valley is drawing both enthusiasm and ire from area residents and farmers.  If the Muddy Creek Solar Facility is approved, it could provide emissions-free electricity to more than 30,000 homes while allowing land zoned for agriculture to be used […]

Willamette Falls is located within the ancestral homelands of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. The tribe has some site-specific rights to fish at the falls.

Last of western Oregon tribes reach agreement to hunt, fish on ancestral lands without state permit

By: - August 8, 2023

Members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde can now hunt and fish on a larger swath of their ancestral homelands without state permits.  The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-3 to enter into agreement Friday with the tribe that restores tribal members’ ability to hunt and fish for ceremony and subsistence in […]

A gas ring on a domestic stove powered by natural gas.

Natural gas utility agrees to lower rate hike, curb new hookups after groups intervene

By: - August 7, 2023

Customers of Oregon’s second largest natural gas utility are likely to be spared a potential 8% rate increase after environmental groups and the watchdog Oregon Citizens’ Utilities Board intervened.  Groups including the Sierra Club, Climate Solutions and Earthjustice fought for months a request submitted by Avista to the state’s Public Utilities Commission to raise customer […]

Orchard View Farms produces cherries and pears in The Dalles in the Columbia River Gorge. (Oregon Department of Agriculture)

Oregon cherry growers ask governor for disaster declaration after third bad season in a row

By: - August 4, 2023

Oregon cherry growers are asking state leaders to help them with financial relief after a third bad season spurred by climate change.  On July 31, Oregon House Rep. Jeff Helfrich, R-Hood River, asked Gov. Tina Kotek to declare a disaster for the growers. “In light of current circumstances and to provide the necessary support to […]


Billions spent on hatcheries, habitat fails to help native Columbia River salmon, study finds

By: - August 4, 2023

Decades of data show that despite billions in taxpayer investment, salmon and steelhead hatchery programs and restoration projects in the Columbia River Basin have failed to support or boost native fish populations and in fact are contributing to their decline. Oregon State University economics professor William Jaeger and Mark Scheuerell, a biologist with the U.S. […]

Gov. Tina Kotek was signed by members of the Oregon Pacific Islander Coalition when she signed House Bill 3144 on Aug. 2. The bill directs $2 million to creating a student success plan for the state’s more than 12,000 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students.

Gov. Kotek signs into law measures to increase funding for schools

By: - August 2, 2023

Oregon’s 197 school districts will have record funding this year to improve literacy and to pay for school operations. Gov. Tina Kotek on Wednesday signed into law seven new education initiatives, including the largest state school fund budget ever allocated, $140 million to improve student reading and writing and a host of other bills aimed […]

Governor signs new law regulating industrial animal farms

By: - July 31, 2023

Updated at 10:34 p.m., July 31, 2023 with a response from Oregon Farm Bureau. Farmers planning to create or expand large confined animal farms will face new regulations in Oregon. Senate Bill 85 passed its final hurdle Monday with Gov. Tina Kotek signing it into law. It stems from years of advocacy by environmental and […]

Cherry harvest in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.

No compliance issues with farmworker overtime law yet, but reporting could be delayed

By: - July 31, 2023

HOOD RIVER – Guillermina Salguero and her husband have processed and packed cherries and pears in the Columbia River Gorge each of the last eight summers, taking jobs in both Washington and Oregon and sometimes putting in 70 hours a week. “Ten hours a day, seven days a week for about two months with no […]