Scientific research and habitat assessments from Friends and its partners help inform our regional 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 Documented Forage Fish Spawn Sites (2020 Update)
- San Juan County Forage Fish Spawning Habitat Assessment Report (2004)
- Forage Fish Habitat Map book
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 t[email protected] if you would like an alternative version.)
- Annual Eelgrass Monitoring Maps:
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 t[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
In 2009, 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. Friends completed a new shoreline survey in 2019 and conducted a change analysis for hard armor modifications. With significantly more armor going in than coming out, and much of it unpermitted, our shorelines are in need of improved protection.
- Shoreline Armor 2009-2019 Change Analysis Fact Sheet
- Changes in Shoreline Armoring in San Juan County, Washington, 2009–2019: Mapping, Analysis, and Regulatory Review
- Cumulative Effects of Shoreline Armoring on Forage Fish Spawning Beach Habitat Report , 2012
- Inventory of Shoreline Modifications for San Juan County, Washington 2010 (note, contact Friends for ArcGIS files and project photos)
- San Juan County Shoreline Modification Inventory Restoration Opportunities Report, 2010
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
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
- Restoration Map – Armor
- Restoration Map – Roads
- Restoration Map – Groins
- Restoration Map – Tidal Barriers
- Protection Map
- 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.
vessel traffic and fossil fuel export in the Salish Sea
- Salish Sea Spill Map Project (A multi-year research project to better understand the path an oil spill might take, and how far the oil could travel.)
- Friends of the San Juans. 2014. A Global Solution to the Risk of International Shipping in Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas: A Feasibility Study for the Salish Sea. Friday Harbor, Washington.
- Dorp J. and J. Merrick. 2014. Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment 2010 Final Report: Preventing Oil Spills from Large Ships and Barges in Northern Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca. Prepared for Washington State Puget Sound Partnership. Washington, DC.
- The San Juan Alliance. 2013. The Salish Sea Imperiled: A Community Response to Increased Coal Transport Around the San Juan Islands. San Juan Islands, Washington.
- Vessel Traffic Projects Fall 2016