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.
FRIENDS 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.
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 Lisa Kaufman (DNR), 360-854-2808.
Check out the press release and DNR's creosote flyer for more information.
FRIENDS Signs the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred
Stephanie Buffum signs the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred with Chief Phil Lane of the Ihanktonwan Dakota and Chicksaw Nations. Photo by Paul Anderson.
In March, 2013 FRIENDS coordinated a conference that brought together thirty-five participants from First Nations tribes, U.S. tribes, Canadian and American NGOs to discuss current and proposed vessel traffic that would ship tar sands and coal through the Salish Sea, and the associated increased risk of an oil spill. The purpose of this gathering was to build a coalition of Canadian and U.S. partners for the protection of the Salish Sea.
Attendees took direct action and signed the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects. Signing the proclamation represented solidarity with the Treaty Council members, traditional leaders, societies, and their allies.
Click here to see a moving video about the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred.
Attend a Sound Shoreline Science Forum
Learn about wildlife, shoreline geology and other fascinating aspects of the Salish Sea, and get an update on the County's Shoreline Master Program process.
FRIENDS and Futurewise are hosting forums on Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Islands. The forums will include presentations by leading scientists on topics related to our beaches, bluffs, wildlife, cultural resources and water quality with a Q & A panel session.
Lopez - Friday, May 10, 1:00 - 3:30 p.m., Lopez Center. Register for Lopez.
San Juan - Friday, May 17, 1:00 - 4:30 p.m., San Juan Grange. Optional lunch available at 12 p.m. for $10 (please register for lunch). Register for San Juan.
Orcas - June 4, 1:00 - 3:30 p.m., Eastsound Fire Hall. Register for Orcas.
Check out the press release and poster for more information.
Shoreline Master Program Update
The Shoreline Master Program (SMP) is a comprehensive shoreline land-use plan ratified by the state Shoreline Management Act in 1972. To regulate shoreline development, the state law requires local governments and the Department of Ecology to mutually regulate shoreline development, use, and protection. MORE INFO>>
The first public hearing on the SMP update with the Planning Commission is scheduled on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 8:45 a.m. in the County Council Chambers (55 Second Street, Friday Harbor). Attend this hearing and speak up for a shoreline program that honors stewardship and helps homeowners build smart.
Click here to read FRIENDS' Spring 2013 SMP Primer.
Help us locate forage fish in San Juan County
Did you know that two species of forage fish (the surf smelt and Pacific sand lance) use San Juan County’s sand and gravel beaches to incubate their eggs? A decade ago, FRIENDS partnered with the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee, Friday Harbor Labs and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to survey and map spawning sites. To date, forage fish spawning has been documented on 10 miles of shoreline in San Juan County.
With support from the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, additional field surveys are planned for 2013 and 2014, focusing on priority regions and sites that have not yet been surveyed.
Volunteers are needed to assist with the boat-based field surveys beginning this summer. A volunteer training with regional and local forage fish experts Dan Penttila (retired Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) and Tina Whitman and Lety Hopper (FRIENDS) will be held in Friday Harbor on May 11 from 11:30 to 2:00. Pre-registration is required – contact Tina Whitman at FRIENDS at 360-378-2319.
Check out the press release for more information.