Natural Shorelines

Shoreline Research

Friends’ research gives decision makers the information to make sound choices about San Juan County’s growth management.

Shoreline Inventory

Friends and its partners’ scientific research and habitat assessments help inform the region’s decision-makers and government agencies so their growth management decisions can be based on current science. 

Forage Fish Spawning Habitat Survey 

Friends leads efforts in San Juan County to map beach spawning forage fish, including surf smelt and Pacific sand lance, and assists with exploratory surveys for pacific herring spawning areas.

San Juan County Forage Fish Spawning Habitat Assessment Report

Exploratory Herring Spawn Surveys Report

Forage Fish Habitat Map book

Eelgrass Health 

Friends and agency partners completed the first countywide mapping of eelgrass. Current projects monitor eelgrass beds in priority bays to assess their location, condition, and impacts from other environmental factors.

San Juan County Eelgrass Report and Maps

Bull Kelp Distribution 

Friends and agency partners completed the first countywide assessment and mapping of bull kelp distribution.

Friends of the San Juans Kelp Habitat White Paper

Feeder Bluff Mapping

Friends partnered with Coastal Geologic Services to complete a countywide feeder bluff mapping effort and works to protect our valuable feeder bluffs by making them a conservation and restoration priority.

Current and Historic Coastal Geomorphic (Feeder Bluff) Mapping of San Juan County, Washington

Feeder Bluff Mapping Project Maps

Shoreline Modification

Friends surveyed all 400+ miles of the county’s marine shorelines, cataloging and mapping over 3,500 individual shoreline modifications such as hard bulkheads, docks, and buoys. Used with habitat inventory results, this data helps identify and prioritize shoreline restoration opportunities. With roughly 40% of all shoreline parcels having been modified in some way, our shorelines are in need of protection.

Inventory of Shoreline Modifications for San Juan County, Washington.

San Juan County Shoreline Modification Inventory Restoration Opportunities Report

Sea Level Rise Vulnerability 

Friends partnered with coastal scientists to develop a countywide evaluation and mapping  of the infrastructure, developments, and habitats that are vulnerable to increased erosion and flooding from rising sea levels. Results are being used by public and private property owners and communities to increase resiliency.

Friends of the San Juans. 2014. Healthy Beaches for People and Fish: Protecting shorelines from the impacts of armoring today and rising seas tomorrow. Final Report to WDFW and the U.S. EPA. Friday Harbor, Washington.

Loring, K. 2013. Addressing Sea Level Rise and Cumulative Ecological Impacts in San Juan County Washington – Through Improved Implementation and Effective Amendment of Local, State, and Federal Laws. Friends of the San Juans.FridayHarbor, Washington.

MacLennan, A., J. Waggoner and J. Johannessen. 2013. Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment for San Juan County, Washington. Prepared by Coastal Geologic Services for Friends of the San Juans.

Whitman, T., D. Penttila, K. Krueger, P. Dionne, K. Pierce, Jr. and T. Quinn. 2014. Tidal elevation of surf smelt spawn habitat study for San Juan County Washington. Friends of the San Juans, Salish Sea Biological and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Whitman, T. and S. Hawkins. 2013. The impacts of shoreline armoring on beach spawning forage fish habitat in San Juan County, Washington. Friends of the San Juans. FridayHarbor, Washington.

friendsShoreline Research