Research & Maps

Friends’ scientific 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.

Friend’s Nearshore Habitat Assessment

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 Documented Forage Fish Spawn Sites (2021 Update)

San Juan County Forage Fish Spawning Habitat Assessment Report (2004)

Forage Fish Habitat Map book

San Juan County surf smelt and pacific sand lance spawning habitats (You need the Google Earth program to view file – contact Tina at [email protected] if you would like an alternative version.)

San Juan County known and reported Pacific herring spawning sites (You need the Google Earth program to view the file – contact Tina at [email protected] if you would like an alternative version.)

Exploratory Herring Spawn Surveys Report

Watch Surf Smelt Spawning in Blind Bay on Shaw Island – Video produced by Tessa and Tina Wyllie-Echeverria

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

San Juan County Eelgrass Habitat
(deep water edge
) (You need the Google Earth program to the view file – contact Tina at [email protected] if you would like an alternative version.)

Annual Eelgrass Monitoring Maps:

Blind Bay

Fisherman Bay

– Westcott Bay

Restoration Assessment of Eelgrass Decline Report

Bull Kelp Distribution

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

Bull Kelp Distribution (You need the Google Earth program to view the file – contact Tina at [email protected] if you would like an alternative version.)

WDNR Kelp Mapping Protocol Report

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.

Cumulative Effects of Shoreline Armoring on Forage Fish Spawning Beach Habitat Report

Inventory of Shoreline Modifications for San Juan County, Washington. Contact FSJ for ArcGIS files and project photos.

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.

San Juan County Sea Level Rise Inundation Maps 

Lopez Island

Orcas Island 

San Juan Island

Shaw Island

Sea Level Rise for San Juan County Additional Resources

Healthy Beaches for Fish and People Project Reports

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.Friday Harbor, 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. Friday Harbor, Washington.`

Restoration and Protection Planning

Strategic Salmon Recovery Planning – Restoration and Protection Project Prioritization – Final Report (2017)

Restoration Map – Armor

Restoration Map – Roads

Restoration Map – Groins

Restoration Map – Tidal Barriers

Protection Map

Pulling It All Together for Salmon Recovery Final Report (2012)

Appendix A – Project Teams

Appendix B – Marine Riparian Inventory and Maps

Appendix C – Pocket Beach Mapping Report

Appendix D – Sea Level Rise Risk and Resiliency Assessment

Appendix E – Process Degradation Matrix

Mapbook 1 – Fish Use Priority Areas

Mapbook 2 – Process Degradation

Mapbook 3 – Integrated Protection Priorities

Mapbook 4 – Integrated Restoration Priorities

Mapbook 5 – Long Term Protectin SLR

Mapbook 6 – Long Term Restoration SLR

Analysis of Shoreline Permit Activity 1972-2005

Spatially explicit report on shoreline permit activities and trends for San Juan County.

San Juan County Nearshore Impact Assessment

This report summarizes the Countys direct impacts to nearshore marine species and habitats through ownership and management of shoreline infrastructure.

Soft Shore Restoration Blueprint and Appendix

Restoration prioritization for modified beaches in documented and potential forage fish spawning habitat in San Juan County.  In partnership with Coastal Geologic Services.

MacKaye Harbor Communty Nearshore Restoration Feasibility Report

Restoration prioritization and community engagement for impacted intertidal and coastal wetland habitats in the MacKaye Harbor region of Lopez Island. In partnership with Coastal Geologic Services.

San Juan County Habitat Protection Blueprint Project

Identification of most important shoreline habitat sites for long term protection using existing conservation strategies such as acquisition, easement or tax incentive program.  Geographic Systems modeling effort that incorporates biological, land use, landscape and landowner willingness information into the analysis.

Other Reports

Puget Sound Basin – Biodiversity Assessment

Published by the Center for Biological Diversity, with assistance from Friends of the San Juans

Marine Mammals and Acoustic Pollution

By: Rebecca J. Bressan, Washington State University Sponsored by, Samish Indian Nation and The Friends of the San Juans

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