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May 19 is Endangered Species Day – protect what you love!

by Katie Fleming on May 18, 2017 No comments
Endangered Species Day is May 19th. 113 marine species are formally listed as being at risk or vulnerable to extinction here in the Salish Sea. Here are five things you can do to help!
  1. Help preserve our remaining natural shorelines that provide essential habitat for marine species. View our latest video here to learn more.
  2. Purchase sustainably-harvested seafood at your local supermarket or favorite restaurant. Click here to learn more from Seafood Watch.
  3. Use beneficial landscaping techniques such as rain gardens, rain barrels, green roofs and permeable paving to help reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and reduce runoff into ditches and storm drains.
  4. Do your part to dispose of unused medicine and chemicals properly. Never dump into household toilets and sinks or outside where they can get into ditches or storm drains.
  5. Help with the marine plastics issue and speak up for ditching plastic bags in San Juan County. Some of our local stores continue to use thicker plastic bags (considered reusable) after the single-use ordinance went into effect on May 1. It’s important these businesses hear from customers that we’ll happily support their move to stop using plastic bags at checkout. They care about what customers want – call today!
  6. Support Friends of the San Juans’ Endangered Species Advocacy work to make sure these species have their voice heard in decisions that impact their home.
We at Friends of the San Juans work every day to protect the species and places we all love. Thank you for your support!
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Katie FlemingMay 19 is Endangered Species Day – protect what you love!

Comment by August 9: Anchorages in Our Preserves Need Environmental Review

by Friends of the San Juans on May 4, 2017 No comments

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) rulemaking to establish official anchorage areas on the eastern edge of our island archipelago doesn’t include a full environmental review. These anchorages neighbor several federal, state, and locally protected areas that are important to many San Juan Islanders, including the Jack Island and Vendovi Island Preserves, made possible thanks to the San Juan Preservation Trust and all their members.

These anchorage areas are basically parking lots for large and larger ships that are waiting their turn to load or off-load their cargo and, in some cases, being filled up with propulsion fuel (aka “bunkering”).

Because these anchorage areas are already in use, the USCG claims that there will be no changes/impacts as a result of the proposed rulemaking, and that no Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is needed. WE DISAGREE!


  • These proposed anchorage areas are next to protected areas of natural beauty and environmental significance: Vendovi Island Preserve, Jack Island Preserve, San Juan Islands National Monument, San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge, the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Washington State Marine Protected Areas, the San Juan Islands Marine Preserve Area, and the San Juan County Marine Biological Preserve.
  • The Tesoro Refinery is proposing to manufacture and export xylene, a highly toxic petrochemical. More ships with new cargos in these proposed anchorage areas could have significant environmental and human health and safety impacts.
  • Our ports are gearing up for “ultra-large” container ships that will also use these anchorage areas. Ultra-large ships will cause ultra-large noise impacts to our federally listed as endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. The rulemaking states that the “USCG finds that the proposed action would have No Effect on endangered marine mammals or marine mammal critical habitat.” WRONG! Safe Shippers need to speak up for our orca whales and the impacts to their critical habitat.
  • More and/or bigger ships demand more bunkering at the proposed anchorage areas which increases the risk of oil spills.



  • Implement this rulemaking to include a full assessment of all adverse environmental impacts and ensure that all the US anchorage areas in use in the Salish Sea (including Puget Sound) are codified and regulated to include all appropriate accident and oil spill risk mitigation measures and environmental impact mitigation measures.
  • Comply with 49 U.S.C. 303 (c) (1) and (2) POLICY ON LANDS, WILDLIFE AND WATERFOWL REFUGES, AND HISTORIC SITES that says the Secretary of Transportation may approve a transportation project requiring the use of publicly owned land only if:

(1) there is no prudent and feasible alternative to using that land; and (2) the program or project includes all possible planning to minimize harm to the park, recreation area, wildlife and waterfowl refuge, or historic site resulting from the use.

  • Conduct an EIS that addresses all reasonably foreseeable uses of the proposed anchorage areas (vessel numbers, sizes, cargos, and bunkering).
  • Mitigate impacts by prohibiting bunkering at the proposed anchorage areas at the Vendovi and Jack Island Preserves and at William Point on Samish Island.
  • Prohibit deep-draft vessels from anchoring outside of designated and codified anchorage areas.



Online and email comments must be submitted by August 9 @ 10:00pm PST.

Mail must be postmarked by August 9, 2017.

ALL COMMENTS MUST INCLUDE: Docket number USCG-2016-0916

Online (see top right of webpage):


Mail: Commander, USCG Sector Puget Sound, Attn: Waterways Management / USCG-2016-0916,

1519 Alaskan Way S, Seattle, WA 98134

For more information: Mr. Laird Hail, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound; telephone 206-217-6051; email



The Proposed Rule Document

About Vendovi Island Preserve

The Campaign to Save Vendovi Island

About Jack Island Preserve

Map of NOAA-designated Critical Habitat for SRKW

Thank you to San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping for compiling all of these awesome resources!

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Friends of the San JuansComment by August 9: Anchorages in Our Preserves Need Environmental Review

Thank you for Giving BIG to Friends of the San Juans!

by Friends of the San Juans on May 2, 2017 No comments

From all of us at Friends of the San Juans, thank you for making a donation through the Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIGevent on May 10! Every dollar makes a huge difference to the work we do protecting and restoring the San Juan Islands and Salish Sea for people and nature. Thank you for helping to make our work possible.

GiveBIG resulted in an amazing upwelling of giving in this region – $19,000,000 was raised for regional nonprofits! We know you had a lot of great nonprofits to choose from, so we especially appreciate your support of Friends. We love our community!
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Friends of the San JuansThank you for Giving BIG to Friends of the San Juans!

Commenting Open House – Xylene & Anchorages – 5/4!

by Friends of the San Juans on May 1, 2017 No comments

Xylene in our Salish Sea? Ships parked in our island preserves? We resist!

Come to the Commenting Open House to hear about two new project proposals harmful to islanders and orcas and learn how to say, “NO!” to these threats.

Thursday, May 4th 2017, San Juan Island Grange Hall, 152 First Street, Friday Harbor, Drop in anytime from 2:30 to 6:00pm

The Project Proposals:

  1. Tesoro wants to ship hazardous materials to its Anacortes refinery in order to manufacture xylene, a highly volatile hazardous and noxious substance that they’ll then ship to Asia— all this in our Salish Sea and along our shorelines. We resist! Click here for a detailed handout about commenting. 
  2. The U.S. Coast Guard wants to codify anchorage areas, right next to Vendovi Island Preserve and Jack Island Preserve and also near our National Monument, National Wildlife Refuge, and National Estuarine Research Reserve — all in our Salish Sea and all without a full environmental review. We resist! Click here for a detailed handout about commenting.

At the commenting open house, you’ll learn about these two projects and how to get your concerns addressed in the public commenting process. To make it easy to have your say right there on the spot, writing materials will be provided or you can bring your own laptops and/or smart phones. Tesoro xylene comments are due May 8 and the Coast Guard anchorage comments are due May 11.

This is our opportunity to resist what’s not in the best interest of islanders, orcas and our Salish Sea. 

For more info: Katie Fleming (360) 378-2319

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Friends of the San JuansCommenting Open House – Xylene & Anchorages – 5/4!

The San Juan Island Climate March was Awesome!

by Friends of the San Juans on May 1, 2017 No comments

Our community and the world made it clear on Saturday, April 29th that the people who stand for climate action, justice, and jobs are a force too great to ignore!

300 participants joined us in Friday Harbor, more than 200,000 people showed up in the streets of DC, and there were over 100,000 participants at sister marches like ours across the country and the world.

The climate action movement showed up in a big way and we’re just getting started! Thank you to everyone in our community who helped make our climate march awesome!

Click here to see a video of Friday Harbor’s march.

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Friends of the San JuansThe San Juan Island Climate March was Awesome!

Kids and Canoes: Build-Paddle-Share

by Friends of the San Juans on April 8, 2017 No comments

Kick-off and Open House, April 21, 6 p.m., Friday Harbor High School STEM Building

Community organizations on San Juan Island have developed a pilot project with Lummi Nation member and Master Canoe builder, Dean Washington, to build Coast Salish style cedar strip canoes in the San Juan Islands with students in grades 5-12.

Students will work with a master builder and complete two 6 Seat -21 foot canoes and paddles while learning canoe history and use in the islands. In the summer, Island Rec will feature a new Voyager canoe program which participants will paddle throughout the islands while teaching navigational skills and paddle technique.

The purpose of this pilot program is to introduce island youth to Native American culture through hands-on canoe building with one of the world’s top canoe builders from Lummi Nation.

Join us at the public Coast Salish Canoe building kick-off event on April 21! Students will start canoe building process on Saturday April 22-28 and share their final projects on Friday, April 28 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the STEM Building.

This project is a community partnership with Spring Street International School, San Juan Island School District, and Friends. To make a donation to this project, please call Friends of the San Juans at 360-378-2319 or visit

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Friends of the San JuansKids and Canoes: Build-Paddle-Share

2017 Great Islands Clean-up this EARTH DAY!

by Friends of the San Juans on April 8, 2017 No comments

Saturday – April 22, 2017 from 9AM to 12PM

Help make the San Juan Islands “Litter Free by the Sea” by joining this county-wide greening event where volunteers will collect litter from public beaches and roadways. Connect with your business, school, non-profit or service groups, families and friends, and turn out for Earth Day!

Contact your island’s organizers directly from the list below or click here to find details on Facebook:

On San Juan Island:

For roadside clean-ups, contact Lori Stokes (360-378-4643 or

For beach clean-ups, contact Jana Marks (378-2319 or

On Orcas Island:

For roads or beaches, contact Pete Moe at Orcas Recycling Services (376-4089 or

On Lopez Island:

For roadside clean-ups, contact Nikyta Palmisani (468-2555 or )

For beach clean-ups, contact Nick Teague (468-3754 or

On Shaw Island:

For roads or beaches, contact Stephanie Buffum (472-0404 or )

Or just drop in at SJI National Historic Parks’ South Beach to help Friends and park staff clean our longest beach for people and wildlife. Access to South Beach is from Pickett’s Lane off of Cattle Point Rd. on San Juan Island. Past year’s cleanups have removed 100’s of pounds of marine debris and litter from this beach. All volunteers at the South Beach clean-up will receive a canvas shopping bag in appreciation and celebration of the county’s plastic bag ban that is scheduled to be implemented on May 1, 2017.

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Friends of the San Juans2017 Great Islands Clean-up this EARTH DAY!

Watch our new video – Planning for the Future: Benefits of Beach Restoration

by Friends of the San Juans on April 4, 2017 No comments

Sea level rise and climate change: they’re what coastal communities around the globe are increasingly talking about and feeling the impacts of. Forward-thinking individuals and governments are taking steps to prepare. Our new video describes how healthy shorelines can adjust to rising seas and highlights the approach one family took to redeveloping their property that considered sea level rise, beach habitat for people and fish, and protecting their investment into the future.

Click here to see the video!

Click here to see our maps and reports page for more for information about sea level rise in San Juan County.

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Friends of the San JuansWatch our new video – Planning for the Future: Benefits of Beach Restoration

Attend the Salish Sea Stands for Climate Action March!

by Katie Fleming on March 30, 2017 No comments

Join us for a rally and march on April 29th in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island in solidarity with the People’s Climate Movement Marches throughout the world. Plus the march will end at an electric vehicle and renewable energy fair!

The People’s Climate Movement and Mobilization is part of a larger strategy to push back on Trump’s agenda of climate denial and fossil fuel expansion, and show we support real climate solutions here in the San Juan Islands.

We need your energy, creativity, and leadership — to promote clean energy solutions in our islands and resist fossil fuel infrastructure projects. That’s our best chance of continuing to keep playing offense, even as we defend everything this administration wants to take away. Let’s mobilize!

We hope you’ll be part of it with us — and with the many partners and allies who are helping to make it all happen.

If we want to build the future we need, it will require us joining together to make change. See you on the 29th!

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Katie FlemingAttend the Salish Sea Stands for Climate Action March!

Pull Together Against Kinder Morgan @ Upcoming Benefit Concerts!

by Friends of the San Juans on March 10, 2017 No comments

Pull Together: First Nations Standing Against Kinder Morgan Benefit Concerts and Talks – Coming to an Island Near You!

Mar. 30, San Juan Island , Brickworks

Mar. 31, Orcas, Westsound Community Center

Apr. 1, Lopez, Woodmen Hall

Apr. 2, Anacortes, Seafarers Memorial Park Bldg.

(all events are from 7-8:30 p.m.)

Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker project poses unacceptable risks to our oceans and waterways, our climate, economies, and communities. It must never be built. Canadian First Nations have vowed to stop it in the courts. To support their legal funds, people, businesses, and community groups are hosting community events to raise funds and build community. Join us at one of these benefit concerts in the San Juans as we pull together to save our waters!

Share and RSVP on Facebook at the links below:

San Juan (3/30):

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Friends of the San JuansPull Together Against Kinder Morgan @ Upcoming Benefit Concerts!