Kick-Starting the New Year with Good News!

We walked into 2020 with some great accomplishments. Thank you for joining with us to protect and restore the San Juan Islands and Salish Sea in 2019! Here’s what we achieved together recently:

Forage fish spawn on 3 new restored beaches on Shaw Island! Three recently completed beach restoration efforts with private landowners along Blind Bay attracted forage fish to lay their eggs! These small forage or “prey” fish help feed Chinook salmon that sustain Southern Resident orcas.

Citizen scientisits engaged in the great egg hunt for forage fish in San Juan County. As part of our ongoing work to identify, protect, and restore forage fish spawning beaches, 36 community members from 6 islands and students from Waldron, Decatur and Spring Street Schools were trained how to conduct forage fish spawn surveys. In 2019, ten previously undocumented beach spawning forage fish sites were discovered in the San Juan Islands – this is fantastic news because these little fish play a big role in the marine food web.

Anacortes Xylene Proposal Stopped! Friends of the San Juans and five other environmental organizations are thrilled to announce that we’ve reached an agreement with Marathon Petroleum Corporation – a subsidiary of  Andeavor, formerly known as Tesoro. The Anacortes refinery agreed to withdraw plans to manufacture and export 15,000 barrels per day of mixed xylenes (petrochemicals used to make plastics). Thank you to everyone who has been speaking out against this project with us since 2016! Click here for more info.

Southern Resident orcas safeguarded from another refinery expansion. We appealed conditions of a permit, which would have allowed the Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery to expand without taking into account potential impacts to the Southern Resident orcas from new vessel traffic. The Whatcom County Hearing Examiner concluded that our appeal brought forward valid and reasonable concerns…which resulted in revised conditions to ensure that the expansion would not have significant adverse impacts to the Southern Residents and the Salish Sea ecosystem! Thank you to everyone who joined us in commenting on this project! Click here for more info.

400 members celebrated 40 years of protecting the San Juans at our fall anniversary events! 40 years of education, science and law has been shaped by the efforts of 182 board members and staff, and 2,000 members dedicated to protecting and restoring the San Juans Islands for people and nature. Click here to see our special 40th anniversary video. 

Here’s to a new year full of more victories and accomplishments! Your continued support gives us the endurance to protect what you love.

Picture above courtesy of San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping.

We live in such a pivotal time. Future generations are depending on us to protect and restore what will be their environment. We support the Friends because they tackle the issues that really make a big difference in our local environment, while also squeezing maximum value out of every dollar in their budget.

Ken and Mariann Carrasco

members, Orcas Island