blank friends logo
blank blank blank
  • Power Past Coal rally at FRIENDS' 2012 annual meeting
  • MacKaye Harbor Community Beach Day
  • Exploring Spencer Spit on Lopez Island
  • Volunteers welcome canoes at the 2011 Canoe Journey
  • School kids on Shaw Island

FRIENDS of the San Juans

With a growing list of human pressures impacting the islands, the stakes have never been higher for preserving the San Juans. FRIENDS is working towards clean water and healthy shorelines for fish and wildlife, safe shipping and oil spill prevention, and a livable community.

aFRIENDS has a busy year on the horizon providing shoreline property owners with free technical assistance for managing their beaches and bluffs; developing neighborhood shoreline conservation easement tools; conducting research on sea level rise, cumulative impacts and forage fish; designing shoreline restoration projects; monitoring tsunami debris; commenting on the proposed coal terminal in Whatcom County; and participating in the Critical Areas Ordinance and Shoreline Master Program updates.

FRIENDS will continue to provide the community with information about these and other emerging issues. There’s never been a better time to get involved or to make a special donation to protect and preserve the livability of the islands for future generations.

Look for Drift Cards on Local Beaches

Jennifer and Steve from Victoria finding the first drift card on March 25, 2014.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on March 24th,  an international team of conservation groups launched 650 ‘drift cards’ – biodegradable plywood cards, each with a unique serial number – along oil tanker routes that run through the Gulf and San Juan islands (Turn Point/Arachne Reef  in Boundary Pass and Bird Rocks in Rosario Strait).

The event, organized by FRIENDS in the US and Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Georgia Strait Alliance in Canada, is part of a larger study by to map the path an oil spill might take, and inform our understanding of the impacts of a potential spill on the Salish Sea as a whole.

People who find the pink drift cards can report the location where they were found at www.salishseaspillmap.org or call 360-378-2319.

Click here to see a video of the Rosario Strait drift card drop.

Click here to see the press release.

Listen to the the story from Free Speech Radio News.



FRIENDS, DNR and the Tulalip Tribes Remove Toxic Creosote from Barlow Bay

FRIENDS of the San Juans partnered with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Tulalip Tribes to remove creosote pilings and a pier in Barlow Bay off of Lopez Island.  This project improves water quality, eelgrass growing conditions, and upper beach habitat at a documented Pacific sand lance spawning site.

Twenty-six in-water creosote pilings and approximately 1,200 square feet of remaining overwater structure (pier decking) was removed from Barlow Bay.  In addition, 200 square feet of upper beach habitat were unburied by removing rock and fill, as well other debris including concrete, creosote and tires.

Read the press release for more information.


Free Creosote Removal Program

Are you a waterfront landowner in San Juan County? Are your tidelands home to a variety of old, derelict creosote-treated pilings or structures? Would you like to see these relics from the past removed from your property?

If so, you can now get help to remove these toxic structures from your tidelands, thanks to a partnership between FRIENDS and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This program is voluntary and free to property owners
For more information contact Tina Whitman (FRIENDS), 360-378-2319 or Chris Robertson (DNR), 360-854-2808.

Check out DNR's creosote flyer for more information.


Totem Pole Journey Blessing Ceremony Comes to San Juan Island

Totem Poll Blessing and Send Off in Bellingham on August 17, 2014.  Photo by Paul K. Anderson.

On Friday, August 29that 7:00 p.m., FRIENDS is honored to host a public introduction and benefit in support of “Our Shared Responsibility: A Totem Pole Journey” at English Camp on San Juan Island. This is a special opportunity for community leaders, people of faith, and local activists to learn more about this year’s journey and how they can stand with the Lummi community in support of their work to stop the Gateway Pacific coal terminal and fossil fuel exports that threaten sacred tribal sites. 

There will be a free shuttle to the event that departs Friday Harbor ferry landing at 6 p.m. and returns at 8:30 p.m.  Call to RSVP for the shuttle at (360) 378-2319 or email Julie@sanjuans.org.

For more information visit www.totempolejourney.com


It's our 35th Anniversary! Thank you to everyone who has helped us celebrate!

A group of our members joined us for a hike up Turtleback Mountain as part of our 2014 Annual Meeting on August 21st.


Join us for a Work Party on Sucia Island on September 4

Come learn about the geology and nearshore habitats of Sucia Island and help us restore a surf smelt spawning beach. Boats will depart in the morning from Friday for a 3-hour workday. Space is limited! Reserve your spot today.

To sign-up, contact Julie Hanks at 360.378.2319 or julie@sanjuans.org.


FRIENDS Leads Blakely Island Habitat Restoration Effort

FRIENDS recently spearheaded the intertidal restoration of a documented surf smelt spawning beach along Blakely Island’s Thatcher Bay. The project uncovered 5,300 square feet of habitat that had been buried under rock and fill for over 60 years, and then replenished it with a combination of pea gravel and sand. This sandy “fish mix” is where surf smelt spawn along the uppermost portions of the beach. Read the press release for more information.

Before - No longer needed to support forestry operations, this log handling facility and 110 dump truck loads of rock and associated fill was removed.

After - 5,300 square feet of intertidal beach was unburied, which opened up critical shoreline habitat for forage fish at a known surf smelt spawning site.


The Salish Sea: In Danger Infographic

Check out our infographic! Learn about the interconnectivity of the Salish Sea and how increased shipping traffic from fossil fuel export and a major spill could devastate our environment and our economy. And please help us spread the information far and wide! MORE INFO>>







Become a member!

Join us for Our Shared Responsibility: A Totem Poll Journey, August 29, 7 p.m., San Juan National Historical Park's English Camp

Work party on Sucia Island - September 4, 2014

For more information and to RSVP for these events, contact Julie Hanks at 360.378.2319 or julie@sanjuans.org.

Attend a talk from the Climate Action Imperative’s 2014 Speaker Series. Click here for details.

Check out our 2014 newsletter for more information about our programs and how you can get involved.

Sign up for the latest news that effects you and the island!



PO Box 1344, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 Phone: (360) 378-2319, Fax: (360) 378-2324 © 2013