Research by Topic


The Dirt on Coal in Washington State

Coal Stack

In the Northwest, coal often feels like someone else’s problem. But the truth is coal is big in our region. The two coal-fired power plants in Oregon and Washington are some of the largest polluters in our region, but efforts are underway to transition the region away from this dirty energy source. Read more »

Northwest Wildlife Icons and their Ecosystems Still at Risk

Cascadia Scorecard update finds uneven progress

Wildlife trends for five Northwest species

According to Sightline’s Cascadia Scorecard, several of the region’s wildlife icons are still at risk. Overall, gains for salmon, orcas, and wolves outweighed declines in caribou and sage-grouse, pushing the index to an all-time high. Still, more progress is needed. Read more »

Maps: Current and Historic Wildlife Ranges

Map of gray wolf range in Cascadia

Maps showing current and historical ranges for selected species, including grizzly bear, sage-grouse, caribou, salmon, and gray wolf. Read more »

Wildlife Abundance for Five Indicator Species


Despite recent gains by wolves and Chinook salmon, key wildlife populations are well below their historic abundance. View graphic »

Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf Population


After efforts to reintroduce gray wolves in many states, populations are starting to make a comeback. They remain, however, far below their historical abundance. View graphic »

Southern Resident Killer Whale Population


The population of Southern Resident Killer Whales, an iconic species for the region, have fluctuated in recent years, but remain far below their historic abundance. View graphic »

What Is An Energy Concierge?

Person installing insulation

Home and business owners looking to make energy efficiency upgrades are often confronted with a jungle of red tape; coordinating between banks, auditors, contractors, and utilities is daunting. An energy concierge program simplifies the process, giving building owners a single point of contact to complete their energy retrofits. Read more »

Pollution in Human Bodies

Persistent toxics are present in all Cascadian residents.


Evidence from many sources—including an analysis of Cascadians’ breastmilk—shows that residents of the Pacific Northwest carry a thin soup of synthetic toxic chemicals in their bodies. Many of these compounds simply did not exist, or were present in only the most minute quantities, before the 20th century. But determining whether the concentrations of such chemical “body burdens” are rising or falling would require a comprehensive, long-term system of testing Cascadia’s human residents for the presence of toxic chemicals. At present, no such program exists. Read more »

Happy 15th Birthday, Sightline

9 Big Ideas Over 15 Years

Birthday candles

Sightline’s greatest achievements over 15 years. Read more »

Policy Analysis: Bulk Discounts for Polluters

According to a new analysis by Seattle-based Sightline Institute, one of Washington State‚Äôs few fees designed to discourage toxic pollution is undermined because it gives bulk discounts to the state’s biggest polluters. Read more »