Natural Shorelines

Technical Assistance

Friends provides technical assistance to property owners and land managers to help them make land management decisions.

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.

Photo by Mark Gardner

“It all started when I saw a newsletter from Friends of the San Juans on armoring and how it can degrade the beach, which was a huge shock to me. That’s when we decided to see what we could do to improve our beach.”

Mariluz Villa, participating property owner
friendsTechnical Assistance