Latest News

Action Alert: Recent Salish Sea Salmon Spill

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

You may already have heard that up to 305,000 Atlantic salmon escaped into the Salish Sea last week when a Cooke Aquaculture fish farm near Cypress Island broke apart. We’re writing to let you know what you can do to prevent this sort of thing in the future and avoid the spread of diseases and parasites to our wild salmon.

Another concern is how this will impact regional fisheries. The Lummi Nation is in a state of emergency following this accident. Lummi Fisheries have been catching thousands of Atlantic salmon alongside wild Pacific salmon, but officials still believe many of the invasive fish are already on their way to spawn in local streams and rivers. As of August 28, tribal fishermen have hauled in at least 200,000 pounds of invasive Atlantic salmon since the emergency declaration.

Click here to read more about the accident from Indian Country Today.

So, what to do?

Ask Washington State to protect our shared waters and resources from risky fish farming! First, thank Governor Inslee for directing the Washington Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) to adopt a moratorium on new permits for net pens. You can find an email portal at: http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message. This positive step will give time to determine whether Atlantic salmon net pens can be operated safely in our open, public waters.

Second, contact Governor Inslee and Ecology to let them know that no new net pens should be permitted unless they can be scientifically-guaranteed not to spill non-native species into our waters, spread diseases, parasites or pollution, or otherwise harm our wild Pacific Northwest salmon. Ecology and partner agencies are currently preparing for expanded fish farming in our public waters. At the end of 2016, they began developing recommendations for permitting, siting, monitoring, and regulating net pens in Washington waters. So if you are concerned about future impacts from farmed Atlantic salmon, then write to the Department of Ecology, c/o Cedar Bouta (CEBO461@ecy.wa.gov), and let them know your opinion.

Learn more:

Click here to learn more about net pen issues and other ways to take action from Our Sound, Our Salmon.

Thank you for your voice and support!

Photo above from Vimeo/Wild Fish Conservancy. Still from video showing the broken pens from the fish farm off Cypress Island in the Salish Sea.

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Friends of the San JuansAction Alert: Recent Salish Sea Salmon Spill

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

Action Alert: Comment on the Oil Transportation Safety Bill!

by Friends of the San Juans on January 29, 2017 No comments

The 2017 Legislative Session is now in full swing and oil transportation is a hot issue. Despite the critical gains around public disclosure and preparedness measures, significant gaps remain that put our communities and waterways at risk of an oil spill or other such disaster.

In response, Representative Farrell (46th) and Senator Carlyle (36th) introduced the Oil Transportation Safety bill (HB 1611 / SB 5462). Highlights of the bill include:

  • Ensuring the oil industry pays in the case of a spill or other disaster;
  • Updating the funding for prevention, preparedness and response;
  • Protecting Puget Sound and the Salish Sea from increased oil barges and other vessels from the Kinder Morgan Pipeline;
  • Protecting against refineries turning into transshipment terminals; and
  • Strengthening oversight of pipeline safety.

This is a great time to engage and show your support!

Two hearings have been scheduled on the bill – Thursday, February 2nd at 10 a.m. in the Senate and the following Monday, February 6th at 1:30 p.m. in the House.

You can also call the committee members (at the numbers below) and tell them that this is a key piece of legislation they should support. Click here to send an email to your legislators as well.

The Oil Transportation Safety Bill is a key step to holding the oil industry accountable and ensures that Washingtonians are put first.

Given the Trump Administration’s support of the oil industry, it is now more important than ever to make sure that we here in Washington are holding the line against fossil fuels. We can do this!

We will also be talking about the oil transportation safety bill in person at the Salish Sea Stands on Capitol Hill Day on February 13 – join us there too! There will be a shuttle bus for islanders from Anacortes. Click here for more details about the 13th.

Senate Energy, Environment, Telecommunications Committee (for SB5 5462):

Senator Ericksen; (42), 360-786-7682doug.ericksen@leg.wa.gov

Senator Sheldon: (35), 360-786-7668tim.sheldon@leg.wa.gov

Senator Carlyle; (36), 360-786 – 7670Reuven.carlyle@leg.wa.gov

Senator Brown; (8), 360-786-7614sharon.brown@leg.wa.gov

Senator Hobbs; (44), 360-786-7686steve.hobbs@leg.wa.gov

Senator Honeyford; (15) 360-786 – 7684, jim.honeyford@leg.wa.gov

Senator Ranker; (40) 360-786- 7678, kevin.ranker@leg.wa.gov

Senator Wellman; (41) 360-786- 7641, lisa.wellman@leg.wa.gov

 

House Environment Committee (for HB 1611):

Rep. Fitzgibbon (34), (360) 786-7952joe.fitzgibbon@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Peterson (21), (360) 786-7950strom.peterson@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Shea (4), (360) 786-7984matt.shea@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Short (7), (360) 786-7908shelly.short@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Dye (9), (360) 786-7942mary.dye@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Fey (27), (360) 786-7974Jake.fey@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Kagi (32), (360) 786-7910ruth.kagi@leg.wa.gov

Rep. McBride (48), (360) 786-7848joan.mcbride@leg.wa.gov

Rep. Taylor (15), (360) 786-7874david.taylor@leg.wa.gov

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Friends of the San JuansAction Alert: Comment on the Oil Transportation Safety Bill!

Canada Approved the Kinder Morgan Project – What’s next?

by Friends of the San Juans on December 2, 2016 No comments

Concerned by the national election results and now the Canadian government’s approval of the Kinder Morgan Transmountain Pipeline expansion? We are too.

It is clear that our work at Friends is more difficult and more necessary than ever. With both threats and opportunities before us, let’s stand together to protect this place and the communities we love!  Here’s how you can help us defend our waters.

1. Join in on an upcoming community conversation with Friends’ board and staff. Please join us for a discussion about how together we can use local actions in the San Juan Islands to create positive change in 2017 and beyond. There is a lot we can do by using our collective power to create innovative, lasting solutions for our climate, energy, housing, food, wildlife, and communities. We’d love to hear from you and get your ideas as well.

San Juan: Mon., Dec. 12, 10:30 am -12 pm, Friends of San Juans office, 640 Mullis Street

Orcas: Wed., Dec. 14, 12:30-2 pm, 376 Conference room, 596 Main Street

Shaw: Wed., Dec. 14, 4-5 pm, Shaw Community Center

Lopez: Thu., Dec. 15, 10:30-12:00 pm, Lopez Library, 2225 Fisherman Bay Road

If you are unable to join us, feel free to call so we can talk. Or, host a similar conversation of your own and let us know if we can help.

2. Call on Washington’s Governor and federal delegation to communicate our opposition to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to the Canadian Federal decision makers and B.C. Provincial officials – click here to keep telling Canada no on the Kinder Morgan Pipeline! Canadian officials have made a decision that threatens the environment and economy of Washington. The massive Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline threatens our shared waters, shared economies, shared climate, and the Southern Resident orcas. The pipeline would result in a nearly seven-fold increase in dangerous tar sands oil tanker traffic through the Salish Sea. We need to keep telling Canada that we will not accept the 800% increase in the risk of a 20,000 barrel or larger oil spill over the next ten years in Haro Strait/Boundary Pass. It’s not over yet, and Friends remains steadfastly engaged with the issue with the many organizations and tribes who oppose the project. We will keep you posted on all opportunities that need your involvement and voice.

3. Support Friends’ Safe Shipping program. Sadly, the Kinder Morgan approval wasn’t a surprise. While Friends is dedicated to preventing fossil fuel export from degrading the Salish Sea, we also need to be prepared for increased shipping so we can be proactive about protecting our San Juan Island waterways and Salish Sea from vessel traffic risks. We are currently working to press for oil spill prevention and advocate for a clean energy future; achieve legal protections; improve habitat management; and reduce threats to vulnerable species. Click here to make a gift to the Safe Shipping program and our annual fund—all dollars received before the end of the year will be matched, up to $25,000.

Thank you for your support and your voice! Together, our voices make a difference!

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Friends of the San JuansCanada Approved the Kinder Morgan Project – What’s next?

Plastic Bag Ban Passes in San Juan County!

by Friends of the San Juans on October 26, 2016 No comments

On October 25th, the San Juan County Council passed an ordinance that will ban single use plastic bags in the county as of May 1, 2017! Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen – Friday Harbor and Spring Street International middle schoolers who testified at the hearing (and pictured above), Friends supporters who signed our petition, all three councilmen who voted yes, Mark Herrenkohl (Solid Waste Program Administrator), the Solid Waste Advisory Committee and the many other community members who rallied around this important ordinance that will help protect our marine environment!

Click here to learn more about the ordinance.

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Friends of the San JuansPlastic Bag Ban Passes in San Juan County!