technical assistance

helping property owners and land managers make sound decisions that benefit people and nature

retaining the rural character of the region

The development boom in the San Juan Islands raises questions about how best to retain the rural character of the region, safeguard property investments, and wisely plan for growth. Property owners, land use professionals, and government representatives need access to current, high quality information to make sound decisions that benefit people and nature.

property owners 

Friends shares information with property owners about land management options. Understanding the options and how to implement them makes environmentally minded choices easier. Through site-specific technical assistance, Friends helps interested property owners achieve property protection, and maintain important ecological services such as water quality and wildlife habitat.

land use professionals 

Friends develops educational workshops and trainings about conservation and stewardship practices for land use professionals. These professionals, who range from realtors to construction contractors, find that having this knowledge allows them to give clients important conservation and stewardship information.

local, state, Federal, and Tribal agencies 

Friends collaborates with agencies, including San Juan County, to provide information on shoreline species and their documented habitat, protection and restoration opportunities, and best management practices.

our work


  • participates in major planning processes to ensure that the best available information on priority habitats and species is applied to decision making.
  • reviews permit applications for land use and shoreline development in San Juan County
  • comments and testifies against proposed permits that have the potential to harm San Juan County’s agricultural lands, water resources, or shorelines, when necessary.
  • monitors land use violations and pursues effective enforcement of local, state and federal regulations.

related news

Help us see the future during this year’s king tides!

January 8, 2020

Do you have a digital camera or camera phone? If so, you can help local and regional researchers capture this year’s king tides! Join Friends and King Tide volunteers from your community and across the globe to document the year’s highest tides by taking photos of your favorite local shorelines. A “king tide” is the highest predicted high tide of the year … read more

It wasn’t until 1979 that San Juan County got a comprehensive growth plan and that was largely due to the Friends of the San Juan’s being there to advocate for the shoreline and the ecosystem. Since then, there have been constant waves of pressure by developers. Friends have risen each time, fighting to protect this fragile and precious place.

Liza Michaelson

member, San Juan Island