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Help Us Meet our $50,000 Match!

by Friends of the San Juans on December 6, 2017 No comments

A $50,000 matching gift has been provided by generous members for all donations received before December 31, 2017. Please double your impact with a gift today!

Dear Supporter,

Orcas are the icon of the Salish Sea and they are critically endangered. I remember when there were 98 Southern Resident orca whales in 1995. Now the population has dropped to 76.

Friends of the San Juans works to protect the orcas and we need your help. 

Sometimes the whales’ needs are obvious, and easy to act upon, but many times they are below the surface of the water. Our orcas must consume thousands of salmon every year to survive; in turn salmon must eat thousands of forage fish; and forage fish need natural shorelines on which to lay their eggs.

Friends’ programs help citizens and decision makers better understand these connections with the natural world we all share.

Right now critical connections are threatened by unsustainable shoreline development, by marine shipping that decreases orcas’ ability to find food while also increasing the risk of an oil spill, and by pollution from microplastics and stormwater.

Click here to see how your support will help Friends of the San Juans work to protect this elaborate web of connections—our orcas and salmon, and in turn, our island community, economy, and way of life. 

As Friends of the San Juans’ Executive Director, I have the honor of working with people in our local and global communities who are making a difference. This year almost 1,000 citizens took a stand against fossil fuel exports and supported climate change action at our events, 60 waterfront landowners signed up for site visits that will help them better understand how to steward their shorelines to support our important food webs, and 6 landowners partnered with Friends to restore 1,000 feet of shoreline habitat to support our forage fish, salmon, and orca. Help us continue this momentum.

Because you share our vision of a healthy, connected community—one in which humans, forage fish, salmon, and orcas all prosper together—please click here to make a special gift or renew your membership today. Thank you for your continued support!

Sincerely,

Stephanie Buffum

(Photo above by Chris Teren)

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Friends of the San JuansHelp Us Meet our $50,000 Match!

EFSEC Recommends DENIAL to Vancouver Tesoro Oil Terminal

by Katie Fleming on November 30, 2017 No comments
On November 28th, the Energy Council responsible for giving Governor Inslee a recommendation on how to proceed on the Vancouver, WA Tesoro Oil Terminal unanimously voted to disapprove the project.

Why? Because year after year 300,000 citizens have demonstrated by showing up, giving testimony, and being part of this coalition that this project is simply too risky and not in the best interest of the Pacific Northwest, our communities, and our climate.

What is next? The Council’s recommendation now goes to Governor Inslee to make a final decision. Once on his desk, Governor Inslee has 60 days to issue a decision.

We won’t let up until this project is done but for now, let’s celebrate and take a moment to thank all the people who have stepped up in opposition. This list is long – tribal members and leaders, public servants, doctors and other health professionals, community and environmental advocates, first responders, businesses small and large, labor unions, commercial and tribal anglers, families, people of faith and activists from across the region.

See the press release on this win and a short list of the press from yesterday. Let’s keep this up!

Seattle Times: Reject Oil-by-Train Terminal for Vancouver, WA

Portland Tribune: Washington Energy Siting Council Rejects Oil Terminal in Vancouver

The Columbian: EFSEC unanimous in vote against Port of Vancouver terminal

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Katie FlemingEFSEC Recommends DENIAL to Vancouver Tesoro Oil Terminal

Citizen Scientists Needed! Help us Document King Tides

by Friends of the San Juans on November 30, 2017 No comments

Do you have a digital camera or camera phone? If so, help local and regional researchers capture this year’s King Tides!

Join Friends and king tide volunteers from your community and across the globe to document the year’s highest tides by taking photos of your favorite local shorelines. See below for this season’s King Tides (December 4 – January 7). Images with some recognizable feature such as a road, unique rock or tree, a recognizable public place or building are the most effective (like the one of Crescent Bay Road on Orcas Island above). If possible, take a photo from the same vantage point at an average high tide or even a low tide.

A “King Tide” is the highest predicted high tide of the year at a given coastal location. These highest tides occur naturally when the sun and the moon align, increasing the gravitational pull on the Earth’s oceans. This only happens one to two times per year. Click here to learn more about the science of how the high tides happen and what they show us.

Send your pictures to tina@sanjuans.org with information on when and where the picture was taken. By sharing your pictures you will help our community see the future. Visualizing sea level rise can help us understand how to reduce future impacts. Friends will compile and share these pictures as one part of our ongoing efforts to promote habitat friendly sea level rise adaptation projects throughout the islands.

Always remember – your safety is more important than an image, so use caution in high wave or high water events.

2017-18 Winter King Tides:

Date Approximate Time* Predicted High Tide**

 (FT. MLLW)

December 4, 2017 6:30am 8.5
December 5, 2017 7:00 am 9
December 6, 2017 8:00 am 9
December 7, 2017 9:00 am 9
December 8, 2017 10:00 am 9
December 9, 2017 10:30 am 9
December 10, 2017 11:00 am 8.5
December 21, 2017 8:00 am 8.5
December 22, 2017 9:00 am 8.5
December 23, 2017 9:30 am 8.5
January 3, 2018 7:00 am 9
January 4, 2018 8:00 am 9
January 5, 2018 8:30 am 9
January 6, 2018 9:00 am 9
January 7, 2018 10:00 am 9

 

*Note: times are approximate for Friday Harbor station, anytime from 1 hour before to 1 hour after approximate time appropriate for field photographs.

**Note: tidal elevations are NOAA predicted (not observed) tides.  Additional factors such as low barometric pressure, wind waves, and/or the shape of a beach can increase tidal elevations above predicted levels.

Additional Resources:

Friends of the San Juans Sea Level Rise Resources

Washington Sea Grant King Tides Site

The WA Dept. of Ecology and WA Sea Grant photo sharing website

Tides, King Tides & Storm Events Article by Jefferson County WSU Extension

International King Tides Site

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Friends of the San JuansCitizen Scientists Needed! Help us Document King Tides

“Rocks Off the Beach” Project Completed on Shaw Island!

by Friends of the San Juans on October 25, 2017 No comments

Spawning habitat for the surf smelt, a small fish important in marine food webs, just got a whole lot better at a local beach thanks to the hard, and often muddy, work of public service organizations, contractors, landowners, community members and school kids. Over the past few weeks 600 linear feet of shoreline has been improved along Shaw Island’s Blind Bay, a priority forage fish spawning region in the county. The surf smelt that spawn year round on the beaches of Blind Bay require small gravel and sand to successfully incubate their tiny eggs. Friends of the San Juans led efforts to remove large angular rock that over the decades had fallen from armoring structures and covered large portions of the natural beach.

Work occurred at two locations along the bay, with different restoration methods. At one site, which hosted large volumes of rock slated for removal, Friends of the San Juans contracted with Shaner Excavating and Tree Service of Orcas Island to mobilize large equipment and mechanically remove about 120 cubic yards of large rock. A combination of sand and small gravel nourishment material, also known as ‘fish mix,’ was then brought in to restore suitable spawning substrate to the impacted beach.

At a second smaller site, with a much thinner layer of angular rock, Friends worked with a Washington Conservation Corps crew, Shaw School students, and community volunteers to enhance the spawning site. Over 6 cubic yards of rock were removed from the beach surface, unburying the naturally smaller grained beach below. The cleared rock was placed into large bags and will be picked up for upland disposal by Hardy Schmidt Excavation of Shaw Island.

“Participants from the Shaw School and the WA Conservation Corps were so inspiring- they were enthusiastic, really got the connection between beaches and species further up the food chain such as salmon, seabirds and whales, and worked incredibly hard to remove a lot of rock despite a wide range of weather conditions” noted Friends Science Director Tina Whitman.

Friends of the San Juans will continue its work with local students to monitor the site and document potential changes in the distribution, density or success of incubating surf smelt eggs.  Special thanks to all the work crews, project designers at Coastal Geologic Services, and the multiple private landowners who participated in the project.

Funding for the project was provided by the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Friends members.

 

Before

After

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Friends of the San Juans“Rocks Off the Beach” Project Completed on Shaw Island!

Watch: Stuart Island Youth Exploration

by Friends of the San Juans on August 22, 2017 No comments

We had a great time on Stuart Island with local youth in July – check out the video:

We’re always looking for young people to get involved with us! In fact, this video was created by our summer social media intern who is a 12th grader at Spring Street. Get in touch if you’d like to join us (katie@sanjuans.org)!

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Friends of the San JuansWatch: Stuart Island Youth Exploration

Read about The Tar Sands Threat to Northwest Waters

by Katie Fleming on May 25, 2017 No comments

Sightline’s new article, The Tar Sands Threat to Northwest Waters, by Friends board member Michael Riordan, explains how the Kinder Morgan Pipeline threatens all of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea.

“Every week another barge or tanker traverses the narrow straits through the San Juan Islands north of Seattle, bearing a cargo of tar-sands crude or other heavy oils from Canada, headed for refineries in Washington and California. But the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project approved in late 2016 by the government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threatens to make such transits daily occurrences, thus increasing many-fold the chances of a major oil spill in the Salish Sea and other Pacific Northwest waters.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety: http://www.sightline.org/2017/05/22/the-tar-sands-threat-to-northwest-waters/

Image above shows the results of computer simulations depicting how a major oil spill at the BC Ferry crossing would have spread in the summer of 2012. Adapted by Shaun Hubbard from Kinder Morgan report.
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Katie FlemingRead about The Tar Sands Threat to Northwest Waters

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!

Check out our “Living with the Shoreline” Guide

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

Click here to view the new “Living with the Shoreline” guide.

Waterfront properties in the San Juan Islands are part of a beautiful, complex, and increasingly fragile marine ecosystem that supports salmon, rockfish, seabirds, whales and human communities. Decisions made by owners of shoreline property can influence more than just their land. As one property owner noted “I wondered what can I, as one small person, do to help all of the animals that live in the water? It turns out that the orca feed on salmon, and salmon feed on the tiny little fish that spawn on my beach. For this reason, I will do all I can to keep our shoreline natural.”

To help provide information about cost effective and natural approaches to protecting waterfront property, Friends of the San Juans recently completed a new “Living with the Shoreline Stewardship Guide.” The colorful and accessible guide provides extensive technical information and resources on key topics of interest including vegetation management, coastal erosion and flooding, and the protection and restoration of habitat. Local landowners and properties are also highlighted throughout.

The shoreline guide will be mailed to all waterfront property owners in February. Everyone, not just waterfront landowners, can learn something new about our island community. Click here to download the guide, or pick up a copy at the Friends of the San Juans office 650 Mullis St. Suite 201 in Friday Harbor.

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Friends of the San JuansCheck out our “Living with the Shoreline” Guide