Our Work

The San Juan Islands: Precious. Finite. Worth protecting.

Friends of the San Juans protects and restores the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea for people and nature — since 1979. We restore habitat, protect water, forest, farmland and endangered species, while building thriving communities in the San Juan Islands through education, science, advocacy, and citizen engagement.





Thriving on

the Land

Friends of the San Juans respectfully acknowledges and honors the fact that this beautiful place we call home is comprised of the ancestral lands, waters, and natural resources of the Coast Salish peoples. The Coast Salish peoples have cared for and stewarded the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea since time immemorial — and continue to do so — and we honor their inherent, aboriginal, and treaty rights that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Our Impact


hours were spent by trained citizen scientists to survey local beaches for forage fish eggs in 2018-19.

Together with Friends staff, nearly 500 samples were collected from 175 beaches on 9 islands; documenting 11 new Pacific sand lance spawning beaches and 4 new surf smelt spawning sites. That’s good news for the local food chain!


linear feet of beach was restored on Shaw Island by removing rock, concrete, and creosote wood debris in 2019.

Forage fish are already spawning eggs on these newly restored beaches!


additional tanker and barge transits per year, which would have transported petrochemicals through the Salish Sea, if Friends had not legally intervened.

Friends and five co-appellants reached an agreement with an Anacortes refinery in 2019 that cancelled plans to manufacture and export xylene.

The Latest

Check out this video about the Plastic Free Salish Sea initiative we're proud to be a part of along with San Juan County Marine Resources Committee, San Juan County, WA, and other community partners. Businesses and individuals can join us in our plastic reduction efforts this #PlasticFreeJuly and beyond! Learn more: plasticfreesalishsea.org. #PlasticFreeSalishSea #sjcplasticfreejuly #protectwhatyoulove #adoptabeach ... See MoreSee Less
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“I want the beach to be able to be here for my grandchildren… for my nieces, nephews, and godchildren. That’s when we made the decision to contact Friends of the San Juans.”

Mariluz Villa, participating shoreline restoration project property owner

Photos by: Mark Gardner (SRKW Action Center), Mark Gardner (Thriving on the Land)

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