Katie Fleming

Orca Sing 2018 – June 23 at Lime Kiln Point State Park!

by Katie Fleming on June 13, 2018 No comments

Gather for an evening of music at Lime Kiln Point State Park to honor the Southern Resident orcas. This year’s event is the 19th annual and will take place on Saturday, June 23, beginning at 7 p.m.

This year, Fred West and Seattle’s City Cantabile Choir will perform. Washington State Parks and Orca Awareness Month will also be celebrated.  In addition, Odin and Orca Annie from the Vashon Hydrophone Project will offer a Tlingit killer whale welcome. While there is no guarantee, we hope that the orcas will grace us with a pass-by.

Participants are encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy the beauty of Lime Kiln. Tours of the historic lighthouse will be offered before and after the concert by Friends of Lime Kiln Society (F.O.L.K.S.). The event is free and open to the public.

A Discovery Pass is required for parking at the State Park. Carpooling is encouraged as parking is limited. Round-trip transportation from Friday Harbor is also available through San Juan Transit for $10 a person (pick up is at 5:30 at The Whale Museum with an 8:30 departure from Lime Kiln).

This year’s event partners include Lime Kiln Point State Park, F.O.L.K.S., City Cantabile Choir, Friends of the San Juans, Orca Network, and The Whale Museum.

For more information, contact The Whale Museum at 360-378-4710 ext. 30 or Friends at 360-378-2319.

See you there!

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Katie FlemingOrca Sing 2018 – June 23 at Lime Kiln Point State Park!

We’re Hiring a Development Coordinator

by Katie Fleming on May 18, 2018 No comments

Position Summary: Friends of the San Juans seeks a new team member to lead day-to-day membership cultivation and stewardship, including gift solicitation, membership renewals, database management, and major donor communications. The candidate should be organized, flexible, able to work independently, and be an excellent communicator both in person and in writing. At least one year of non-profit fundraising experience is a must. Job is based in Friday Harbor. For more details go to www.sanjuans.org

Please send cover letter, resume, and 3 references (all in one pdf file) to Shannon@sanjuans.org by June 4. Position open until filled.

Compensation:  Position is 50% with opportunity to grow. Friends of the San Juans offers a benefits package that includes 403(b) with employer match. Compensation is dependent on experience.

Job Responsibilities include:

  • Lead day-to-day member stewardship, including gift solicitation and membership renewals, database management (including donor entry and donation deposits), gift acknowledgment, email list updates, and responses to member requests/questions.
  • Lead fundraising mailings and track results.
  • Board development and coordination.
  • Assist with scheduling for the Executive Director.
  • Plan and implement events.
  • Represent FSJ at community events as needed.
  • Assist with administrative duties as needed.
  • Volunteer management.


  • Experience: Associates or Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent work experience) and relevant administrative/operational experience, 1 year of fundraising experience with a non-profit, computer fluency (Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook). Donor database experience.
  • Communication skills: Excellent written and oral communication skills; strong editing and proofreading experience, ability to capture written style/voice of the organization and the person you are representing in communications.
  • Interpersonal skills: Strong interpersonal skills, confidence, gracious, calm under pressure, not easily aggravated, able to interact at all levels of the organization, from the Board of Directors, to staff and members.
  • Organizational skills: Proactive, well-organized, attention to detail and able to meet deadlines, ability to work with minimal supervision and manage multiple tasks, assignments, and priorities.
  • Flexibility: Able to work in a fast-paced, highly productive environment, serve in multiple roles and comfortable with changes in priority and direction (and a willingness to work extra hours if necessary).
  • Dedication: Interest in and commitment to performing essential duties to achieve the mission.
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Katie FlemingWe’re Hiring a Development Coordinator

Mud Bay Event – Hands-on Beach Activities May 26 on Lopez!

by Katie Fleming on May 17, 2018 No comments

Friends of the San Juans, the San Juan Preservation Trust, and Lopez smelt fisherman Randy O’Bryant invite you to spend an afternoon surveying for incubating surf smelt eggs and conducting a shallow water beach seine. Learn more about the fish that share your shoreline and how you can help protect and improve their habitat into the future.

Please join us at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday May 26th at the end of Mud Bay Dock Rd. Please park near the houses at the end of the road. Please wear shoes (or ideally boots!) that can get muddy and/or wet. Rain or shine.

For more information or to RSVP contact Tina Whitman at Friends at 360-378-2319 or tina@sanjuans.org.

Please spread the word by forwarding this email or sharing the event on Facebook.

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Katie FlemingMud Bay Event – Hands-on Beach Activities May 26 on Lopez!

Stand strong with BC and First Nations against Kinder Morgan

by Katie Fleming on May 5, 2018 No comments

Kinder Morgan Canada announced that it’s suspending “all non-essential activities and related spending” on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, and won’t move forward with the project without “the ability to construct through British Columbia” and “adequate protection” of Kinder Morgan shareholders.*

We want them to suspend this pipeline project for good! Let’s stand with our B.C. and First Nation neighbors fighting against it! 

Please call or send a message to Washington’s Governor Inslee – thank him for opposing this project and ask that he continue to state his strong opposition to the pipeline expansion – including the expansion of the Puget Sound Pipeline in Washington State.


Write: https://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message

Call: 360-902-4111

Talking points:

  • Thank you for your opposition to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion!
  • Please continue to oppose this project and stand with B.C. Premier John Horgan to send a clear message to the world: The Pacific Northwest is united against dirty tar sands oil, and Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tankers have no place here.
  • This pipeline and tanker expansion’s increase in oil spill risk threatens the ecological destruction of our salmon and Southern Resident Killer Whales. Our economy and livelihoods depend on clean water, clean air, and a vibrant Salish Sea.
  • Washington already receives Canadian tar sands crude oil from the Puget Sound Pipeline, the southern spur of the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline. Kinder Morgan plans to more than double the throughput of the Puget Sound Pipeline. This puts Washington squarely in the middle of another fossil fuel expansion fight. I urge you to affirm publicly that our state will not accept such an expansion under your watch.
  • The San Juan Islands are surrounded by this expansion: The Puget Sound Pipeline’s additional 260,000 barrels per day to Washington State’s four northern refineries and the additional 348 tankers per year in Georgia Strait, Boundary Pass, Haro Strait, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
  • This pipeline and tanker expansion project is a direct affront to U.S. Tribal Treaties and First Nations’ sovereignty. I stand with Tribes and First Nations in opposing Kinder Morgan. Please do everything in your power to honor the treaties.
  • As our Governor, I ask that you use your position to represent all Washingtonians and our shared waters, salmon, orcas, and climate in opposition to this project.

And/or you can sign onto these letters:

Sierra Club


Washington Environmental Council

Please act soon! Kinder Morgan plans to make a go/no-go decision by May 31.


*Press release: Kinder Morgan Canada Limited Suspends Non-Essential Spending on Trans Mountain Expansion Project


Gov. Jay Inslee says Washington state is ‘allied’ with B.C. against Trans Mountain pipeline


British Columbia files case, may delay Kinder Morgan pipeline


Chiefs from 133 First Nations join fight against Kinder Morgan pipeline and oilsands expansion


Justin Trudeau’s Two-Faced Climate Game


Kinder Morgan’s Oil Spill Problem


Sierra Club BC Video



Day of Action: The Fight for an Oil-free Salish Sea

Sunday, May 20, 2018. 10:00am. Rally at Occidental Park, march to Seattle Waterfront.


Illustration credit: San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping

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Katie FlemingStand strong with BC and First Nations against Kinder Morgan

Attend a Shoreline Vegetation Workshop in May

by Katie Fleming on April 26, 2018 No comments

Vegetation Workshops for Waterfront Property Owners

The shorelines of San Juan County are part of a beautiful, complex and increasingly fragile marine ecosystem. Healthy coastal trees and shrubs help stabilize banks, provide for views, and support fish and wildlife. Attend a free workshop hosted by Friends of the San Juans to learn about cost effective and natural approaches to protecting waterfront property through the improved management of shoreline vegetation.

  • Wednesday May 9th 5:00 to 7:00 pm Roche Harbor Pavilion, San Juan Island
  • Thursday May 10th 5:00 to 7:00 pm Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Orcas Island
  • Friday May 11th 1:30 to 3:30 pm Grace Church Hall, Lopez

Local and regional experts will share information about local shoreline habitats and marine food webs as well as practical information on managing shoreline vegetation in the San Juans, including: species and sources for native plants, planning for bank stabilization and views, weed control, rules and regulations, resources and cost share programs for landowners, and more.

Workshops are free and open to all.  For more information please contact Tina at Friends at 360-378-2319 or tina@sanjuans.org.

Funding for the workshop, as well as site assessments and re-vegetation projects, generously provided by the WA State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, the Wheeler Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Katie FlemingAttend a Shoreline Vegetation Workshop in May

Be Inspired & Entertained with Musician Luke Wallace

by Katie Fleming on April 26, 2018 No comments

We’re so excited to welcome Luke Wallace back to the San Juans!

Luke, a Canadian Folk Musician and coastal water protector, is partnering with Friends of the San Juans for benefit concerts to celebrate and protect the Salish Sea. The concerts will raise funds for Friends’ Marine Protection Program, which safeguards our region from the risk of oil transport and works to stop new oil infrastructure. 

You’ll also get an update about the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and how you can get involved with the latest round of opposition from Friends’ staff and Luke.

The concerts will take place on April 30 at Westsound Community Hall on Orcas Island and May 1 at Brickworks in Friday Harbor. Both shows start at 7 pm. Admission is by donation. The events are open to people of all ages.

Luke is on a 3 month tour of the west coast of North America where he is teaming up with dozens of grassroots organizations, community initiatives and frontline groups for benefit concerts and action days. He is using his new album, “Us,” as a fundraising tool to drive money and energy toward projects that empower people and communities in the protection of the systems that sustain them.

Learn more about Luke: http://www.lukewallacemusic.com/

Please help us spread the word by forwarding this email or sharing the events on Facebook (Orcas show link & San Juan show link). Thank you!

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Katie FlemingBe Inspired & Entertained with Musician Luke Wallace

Join the 2018 Great Islands Clean-up on 4/22!

by Katie Fleming on April 5, 2018 No comments

It’s time for the Great Islands Clean-up on Earth Day – Sunday, April 22 from 10 am – 2 pm.

Join us for this county-wide greening event where volunteers will collect litter from public beaches and roadways and help make the San Juan Islands “Litter Free by the Sea”!

Drop in cleanup is scheduled for South Beach, San Juan Island from 10-2 Sunday. Stop by and help community members, Friends of the San Juans and park staff clean our county’s longest beach for people and wildlife. Access to South Beach is from Pickett’s Lane off of Cattle Point Road on San Juan Island. Past year’s cleanups have removed 100’s of pounds of marine debris and litter from this beach. Dress for the weather and bring your picnic!

New this year: San Juan Island picker-uppers are asked to join the recycling diversion challenge. We are seeing how much of the collected litter can be diverted to recycling. Please sort any clean recycled material from your roadside or beach litter and deposit in the recycling container that will be located at Bonnie’s Crafts at 635 Spring Street in Friday Harbor by 2 pm day of clean-up.

After party on San Juan: The Stewardship Network of the San Juans and San Juan Island Brewing Company are co-sponsoring an after party for clean-up participants at the brewery (410 A St.) in Friday Harbor from 3-5 p.m. Bring a picture of you participating in the clean-up and, as a thank you, you will get one pint of beer for a dollar between 3 and 5 p.m. There will also be a raffle for people of all ages including prizes from the Stewardship Network members.

All islands info below:

On Orcas Island: Come to the Eastsound Village Green on Sunday, April 22nd at 10 am to sign in. You will be given cleaning and safety supplies and be assigned an area of the island to cover. If you want to be a team leader or register a crew in advance, please email duff@exchangeorcas.org. See the Exchange website for more info www.exchangeorcas.org.

On Lopez Island: Meet outside Blossom Grocery at starting at 10 am on April 22nd to get your assignment. For more information contact Mike Moore (360-468-3362 or eroom@rockisland.com) or Kirm Taylor (360-468-2474 or kirmant@gmail.com).

On San Juan Island: For roadside clean-ups, contact Catherine Kenney (360-378-3658 or ckenney@islandersbank.com). For beach clean-ups, contact Jana Marks (378-2319 or jana@sanjuans.org)

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Katie FlemingJoin the 2018 Great Islands Clean-up on 4/22!

Friends Appeals the Tesoro/Andeavor Xylene Project

by Katie Fleming on April 5, 2018 No comments

On April 4, seven local and regional environmental organizations appealed Skagit County’s approval of a project that would ship hundreds of millions of gallons of toxic chemicals through the Salish Sea every year, much of it destined for Asia. The groups maintain that the approval for the Tesoro (recently renamed Andeavor) Anacortes Refinery petrochemical expansion project did not receive a proper review and that the environmental impact statement ignored threats to a healthy Salish Sea and livable climate. The coalition including Stand.earth, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Friends of the San Juans, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and Evergreen Islands filed the appeal with the state Shorelines Hearings Board, challenging a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit that the Skagit County Board of Commissioners upheld on March 6. Nearly 7,500 public commenters had pressed Skagit County for a careful review, and nearly 200 citizens attended a February 27 hearing on the issue.

The coalition requests that the State Shorelines Hearings Board vacate the permit and require additional environmental review. That review, performed by Skagit County staff, failed to adequately consider the impacts from increased vessel traffic in the Salish Sea, increased risk of petrochemical and oil spills, increased emissions of greenhouse gases, increased impacts to air and water quality and increased threats to public health and safety. It also overlooked increased impacts to fish and wildlife resources — including the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. Governor Inslee recently signed an Executive Order instructing state agencies to take aggressive action to recover Southern Resident killer whales because they are “an iconic and treasured species in Washington and throughout the Pacific Northwest.”

The groups are also appealing the decision to only require a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit, instead of a stronger Shoreline Conditional Use Permit. The more rigorous permit is required when older facilities propose new uses in the shoreline area, and when large bulk transfer operations are involved. Because of the unique risks associated with these types of projects, the State Department of Ecology is responsible for approving shoreline conditional uses.

The groups’ appeal can be read online here.

Following the announcement, environmental organizations issued the following statements:

“This project’s potential for doing irreparable environmental harm to our Salish Sea is why our environmental coalition came together in a steadfast effort to hold governments and industry to the highest standards. Skagit County has failed to properly regulate new industrial activity and its impacts. This project will transform the existing wharf into a petrochemical export terminal, a new use that was never before been considered or approved. We are acting today to protect not only the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Reserve and the Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve – both with shorelines designated Shoreline of Statewide Significance – but also Fidalgo, Guemes, and Samish Islands,” said Tom Glade, President of Evergreen Islands.

“This project would increase air pollution, and that needs to be properly factored into the decision. Last year, the Shorelines Hearings Board ruled that Cowlitz County had improperly estimated the greenhouse gas emissions and impacts of a project in the same ways that Skagit County has now. We are confident that in this case too, the work will have to be redone.” – Eddy Ury, Clean Energy Program Manager for RE Sources for Sustainable Communities.

“The Salish Sea is irreplaceable and this project unnecessarily puts it at risk. The Environmental Impact Statement was deeply flawed, failed to account for the acoustic impacts on Southern Resident Killer Whales and failed to account for the real risk of a worst-case spill. This project would mean 60 new petrochemical vessels coming to Anacortes every year. Many of these would be the under-regulated articulated tug barges (ATBs); in November 2016 an ATB ran aground, sank, and spilled over 100,000 liters of diesel near Bella Bella. Just one year later an ATB’s “emergency situation” came close to causing another spill in the same location in British Columbia. A spill from this project’s vessels could cause far greater environmental and economic impacts.” -Stephanie Buffum, Executive Director with Friends of the San Juans.

“We are going to keep pushing to get this right. Tesoro’s plan is to ship massive quantities of petrochemicals through the community. The environmental study downplays the the risk of a major spill and the impact from climate pollution” said Chris Winter, co-director of Crag Law Center (crag.org), which is representing the appealing organizations. “We can’t trust the oil industry to keep our communities and environment safe. This case is about holding industry accountable and protecting the public from yet another plan to export fossil fuels to foreign countries.”


Xylenes are toxic, flammable petrochemicals used to make plastic and synthetics. The Andeavor Anacortes Refinery petrochemical expansion project would add capacity and allow the refinery to begin producing and exporting 15,000 barrels (630,000 gallons) of xylenes per day for export to Asia. It would increase Salish Sea tanker traffic by an additional five tankers per month.

More than 7,500 people submitted comments on the project’s draft environmental impact statement (EIS), the majority of which asked Skagit County to address concerns over worker safety standards, petrochemical spills in the Salish Sea, risks to endangered orcas, massive increases in the pollution that causes global warming, and use of the new facility for crude oil export. Commenters also asked the county to separately review the xylene export and clean products upgrade components of the project, while properly accounting for greenhouse gas pollution.

In July 2017, Skagit County Planning and Development Services issued the project’s final environmental impact statement, just two months after the public comment period on the draft EIS. The final EIS did not adequately address concerns in many areas.

In November 2017, more than 100 people attended a public hearing on the project’s Shoreline Substantial Development Permit. The overwhelming majority of them were there to continue to highlight flaws in the project’s final EIS, and to call on the Skagit County Hearing Examiner to deny the crucial shoreline permit for the project.

On February 27, the Skagit County Board of Commissioners held a two hour hearing with presentations by attorneys for the appellants, and Tesoro and comments by parties of record. The hearing was attended by more than 100 people.  The Board announced their decision to uphold the Hearing Examiner’s decision on March 9.

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Katie FlemingFriends Appeals the Tesoro/Andeavor Xylene Project

Kyle Says Goodbye & We’re Hiring for a Staff Attorney

by Katie Fleming on February 8, 2018 No comments

After ten years of public service as Friends of the San Juans’ staff attorney, Kyle Loring will be leaving the organization in June to pursue other endeavors.

Starting this month, Friends will conduct a search for a talented environmental attorney to serve the people and wildlife of the San Juans. Since Friends hired Kyle in 2007, when he was an attorney at K&L Gates in Seattle, he has represented Friends in many of its efforts to conserve natural shorelines, protect healthy seas, and support a thriving community. Click here to see the job description.

Stephanie Buffum, Friends’ Executive Director, appreciates Kyle’s commitment to the organization and its members. “Kyle devoted himself to our community as soon as he landed here. With his help, we have preserved community treasures like fish spawning beaches, wetlands, and forest and farm lands. He has also contributed countless hours in his spare time to local endeavors like Leadership San Juan Islands, the Trails Committee, FANS, the mentoring program, and the Conservation District. We will miss his thoughtful and inquisitive nature, his sense of humor, and his willingness to play any role needed for our team.”

“It has been an honor to be able to dedicate myself to conserving the San Juans,” said Kyle, reflecting on his time with Friends. “I’m grateful that Friends chose me 10 years ago, allowing me to follow my passion and serve the people and the environment of this ecological jewel.” “While I plan to continue working for ecological preservation, I don’t yet know what form that will take. In the meantime, I think I’ll take a bike ride this summer. Anyone want to join me up and over the Rockies?”

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Katie FlemingKyle Says Goodbye & We’re Hiring for a Staff Attorney