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.
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>>
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.
Events in San Juan County Recognize the 25th Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
Beach cleaners work along the shores near Valdez after the Exxon Valdez spilled about 11 million gallons of oil. Seattle Times Photo
ATTEND A LECTURE
Our Islands at Risk: Increased Vessel Traffic and Increased Risk of a Major Oil Spill
Learn about what would happen in the event of a major oil spill. Gary Shigenaka, a marine biologist for NOAA, who specializes in marine life studies during oil spills, will talk about how various cargo and propulsion oils would likely behave if spilled in our marine environment. Julie Knight, Executive Director of Islands Oil Spill Association (IOSA), will talk about local spill response preparedness.
- Lopez Island: Friday, March 14, 7:00-8:30 pm at Lopez Center
- Orcas Island: Saturday, March 15, 12:30-2:30 pm at Orcas Episcopal Church
- San Juan Island: Sunday, March 16, 12:30-2:30 pm at the San Juan Island Grange
WATCH A MOVIE
Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez
Screenings of this award-winning documentary about the Exxon Valdez oil spill:
- San Juan Island: Friday Harbor Film Festival’s screening is on Tuesday, March 18, 7:00 pm at the San Juan Island Grange. Admission is by donation.
- Orcas Island: San Juans Alliance is sponsoring a free screening on Sunday, March 23, 3:00 pm at the Orcas Senior Center.
- Lopez Island: San Juans Alliance and Lopez Library is co-sponsoring a free screening on Monday, March 24, 7:00 pm at the Lopez Library.
LOOK FOR DRIFT CARDS
On March 24th, the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, a drift card drop will simulate what would happen if a spill occurred in Turn Point/Arachne Reef in Boundary Pass and, Bird Rocks in Rosario Strait. People who find drift cards can report the location where they were found at www.salishseaspillmap.org or call 360-378-2319.
Drift card drops co-sponsored by FRIENDS of the San Juans, Georgia Strait Alliance and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
Click here to see the events poster.
For background information about the Exxon Valdez spill, click here.
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.
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.