Shore Friendly Living

Safeguard your shoreline for future generations.

Are you a waterfront property owner looking to better understand the unique features of your coastal landscape? Your shoreline property is part of a beautiful, complex, dynamic and increasingly fragile marine ecosystem that supports salmon, rockfish, seabirds, whales, and humans. Stewardship and resilient communities start with empowered residents like you—protect and restore your investment into the future!

Friends of the San Juans is here to help you become a confident steward of your shoreline property.

We offer free technical assistance through the Shore Friendly program. Site visits with technical experts are available for any interested waterfront landowner in San Juan County.

We help you understand your unique site and plan cost-effective and natural approaches to manage the health of your waterfront, including: 

  • Coastal erosion and flood management techniques that protect and maintain healthy habitats. 
  • Vegetation management, including native plant options that attract desired wildlife, stabilize shorelines, and enhance property value. 
  • Drainage solutions to reduce risk to people and nature. 
  • Site visits typically take 45-60 minutes on your property.
  • You, a coastal geologist, and a shoreline biologist will explore the unique features of your waterfront property.
  • Together, we’ll review the site’s conditions and answer any questions you may have.
  • Following the visit, you will receive an email summary of current conditions and any recommendations discussed.
  • If you are interested, additional resources may be available to help you implement improvements.  

In the San Juan Islands, over 90% of waterfront tax parcels are in private, residential ownership. Protecting habitats is the most efficient and effective way to support the marine environment. 

Explore your Shore Friendly options.

Schedule your free consultation today with highly qualified experts. Together, we can ensure a vibrant and healthy future for the San Juans, people, and nature.

“Thank you so very much! The information provided allows us to better assess our options going forward. We appreciate your time and professionalism.”

Julia Wrapp, Orcas Island

“Thanks for all your expertise in creating a plan and for handling all the county shoreline permitting needed for our project. It was great to have a crew arrive and get the project completed so quickly. We never would have attempted this without your help.”

Cyndi Smith, Davis Head Homeowner’s Association, Lopez Island

“Thanks for your expertise about what is happening to our property. Apparently, the future has arrived!”

Bill Cook, Waldron Island

“A huge thank you for working with us on our project! As average homeowners, there was no way that we could have completed the work successfully without your guidance and expertise. They were an extraordinary partner throughout the entire restoration process.”

Kris and Susan Kline, Orcas Island

“Thank you, the memorandum is very helpful and clearly lays out our situation and recommendations. We would like to proceed with implementing the recommendations and would be grateful for advice on what next steps to take.”

Kenneth and Laurel Wrye, Orcas Island

More Local and Regional Resources:

  • Visit ShoreFriendly.org, a public information website for waterfront homeowners who care about the health of Puget Sound.
  • Northwest Straits Foundation has many resources for waterfront property owners, including trees, native vegetation, and drainage.
  • View the Native Land Map to learn about treaties, tribal territories, and languages specific to your area.
  • View Historical Maps to explore the evolution of settlers in the San Juan Islands. Zoom in to find the map nearest you to see what the area looked like around 1900. 
  • Explore aerial images of shorelines via the WA State Department of Ecology’s Shoreline Photo Viewer tool.
  • Visit San Juan County‘s website for local shoreline development and permitting information.
  • Shore Friendly Living Video Series with Northwest Straits Foundation.

Hear what folks are saying about their shorelines!

“I always wondered what can I, as one small person, do to help all of the animals that live in the water. It turns out that the orca feed on salmon, and salmon feed on the tiny little fish that spawn on my beach. For this reason we will do all we can to keep our shoreline natural.”

Mariluz Villa and Tom Reynolds, Brown Island

“When we were looking at our options for redeveloping our property, one the of the big things we took into account was sea level rise. We wanted to get rid of the big seawall and make sure both the house and beach would be around in 100 years. By moving the house back, we were able to restore the beach for now and the future.”

John and Maia Vechy, Orcas Island

“We both strongly support strengthening shoreline protections. Why? We believe that our property is more valuable if we and our neighbors protect the shoreline. Orcas need salmon. Salmon need forage fish. Salmon and forage fish need the protection of eelgrass and kelp. Eelgrass and kelp need clean water. Shoreline protections are good for ecosystems and for the long-term economy of these lovely islands.”

Val and Leslie Veirs, San Juan Island

“To our surprise, excitement, and amazement, all of the effort involved with our restoration project came to fruition as we watched surf smelt spawn on our beach. We also observed two salmon foraging on the surf smelt, which is all part of this marine environment life cycle! We have such a feeling of fulfillment.”

Gary and Patty Bergren, Lopez Island

Email [email protected] to learn more and stay up to date on workshops, restoration projects, site visits, beach walks, and more!


Recent Shoreline News

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

member, Brown Island