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  • 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.


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.


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>>



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.


Look for Drift Cards on Local Beaches

LUSH Seattle employees volunteered with FRIENDS on August 27 to do the latest drift card drop.

Wooden drift cards stamped with “this could be oil” were released during the week of August 25 in an experiment to simulate the dispersion of an oil spill from Kinder Morgan’s planned $5.4 billion pipeline expansion project that would increase tanker traffic from 5 ships a day to 35 ships per day through the San Juan Islands.

Information will help researchers calculate where oil from a spill might end up over what length of time and along what route. The results of the study will help communities allocate resources most efficiently to prepare for a spill.

The latest drops complement the drops that were carried out by FRIENDS and our Canadian partners (Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Georgia Strait Alliance) over the past year. The recovery rate for FRIENDS’ spring study is about 57%.

Although past cards have shown Victoria to be especially vulnerable to a spill along the Kinder Morgan tanker route, some have travelled widely along the coast, including as far South to Bainbridge Island and as far north as Cape Scott off northern Vancouver Island and farther northwest to Haida Gwaii.

For more information, to see study results, or to report a drift card, please visit www.salishseaspillmap.org. And if you find a card, take a selfie and share it with us!

Click here to see a video of the Rosario Strait drift card drop from March 2014.

Listen to the a story from Free Speech Radio News.



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.








Become a member!

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