Topic: Environment

Citizen Volunteers Needed

Written on December 7, 2021 at 4:11 am, by

The County Council is searching for volunteers to fill two upcoming vacancies on the San Juan County Land Bank Commission. At large, Position 4 – four-year term expiring December 2025 (Orcas, Crane, Obstruction and Waldron Islands) At large, Position 5 – four-year term expiring December 2025 (San Juan, Brown, Henry and Stuart Islands) If you  Continue Reading

Conservation Land Bank Seeks Public Input on Coffelt Farm Study and Proposed Agricultural Policy

Written on November 30, 2021 at 8:54 am, by

After more than two years of research and community outreach, the San Juan County Conservation Land Bank has entered the final phase in planning future agricultural operations at Coffelt Farm Preserve. The Land Bank invites the public to submit written comments on a new Coffelt Farm study and to attend a Zoom meeting on December  Continue Reading

Beeswax Wrap Workshop

Written on November 29, 2021 at 5:50 am, by

Just in time for Holiday Gift Season, Join Anita Barreca and Tina Fisher in learning how to make Beeswax Wraps.  They’re easy!  Just bring your own 100% cotton fabric cut to the proper sizes and a few bucks to cover the cost of the beeswax.  Space is limited so sign up soon and we will  Continue Reading

Difficult Times: Coping with Eco-Anxiety and Exurban Delusion as the Future Darkens

Written on November 23, 2021 at 5:42 am, by

This morning we find a letter to you in the San Juan Update Mailbag from Steve Ulvi… In the late 1960s, my outdoor adventures grew grittier; in wilder landscapes, greatly expanding on childhood camping trips.  My dominant interests became nature-centered, access under one’s own power.  I felt the thrum of the non-human community of life  Continue Reading

Food Recovery – Why We Need To Care About Composting

Written on November 19, 2021 at 5:53 am, by

The following is submitted by San Juan Island resident Angie Light with the Transition San Juan Waste Reduction Group… My family and I are new to the island, and one of the many characteristics of San Juan that we love is the access to wonderful farms and farmers. Many an evening our family meal is  Continue Reading

Updated Salish Sea Vessel Traffic Projections Released

Written on November 18, 2021 at 5:54 am, by

San Juan County, WA, USA. – The recently updated Salish Sea Vessel Traffic Projections (PDF – Nov. 2021) provided by Friends of the San Juans shows that at least a 25% increase in large, ocean-going commercial vessel traffic could occur if all of the proposed new and expanding terminal and refinery projects are permitted and  Continue Reading

San Juan County Land Bank November 2021 Meeting & Agenda

Written on November 17, 2021 at 11:06 am, by

The San Juan County Land Bank Commission will hold its monthly meeting on November 19, from 8:30am-11:30am via Zoom. The public is invited to attend. Click HERE to download the agenda (includes ZOOM link) and meeting materials, including the Coffelt Farm Lease Rate and Reserve Study. (PDF) To learn more about your Conservation Land Bank,  Continue Reading

Youth For Change: Environmental Leadership Club is Looking for Participants

Written on November 12, 2021 at 9:17 am, by

Calling all high school students on Orcas and San Juan Islands interested in environmental action! Are you passionate about the environment? Do you wish to see positive change in your community? Join the Youth for Change Environmental Leadership Club, a program led by Friends of the San Juans.  Youth for Change provides an opportunity for  Continue Reading

Plastic Film Recycling Pilot Program Launches this Week

Written on October 24, 2021 at 9:33 am, by

The Town of Friday Harbor’s free monthly residential curbside pickup of plastic film for recycling begins Wednesday, October 27th. Customers have been given “Plastic Film Only” recycling bins and asked to participate in a one-year pilot program sponsored by the Town in partnership with SC Johnson, the global manufacturer of Windex® and other household brands.   Continue Reading

SJC Employee Marta Green Recognized by Oil Spill Task Force

Written on October 18, 2021 at 10:52 am, by

The Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force is honoring Marta Green with a 2021 Legacy Award for her committed leadership in developing and advancing the San Juan Islands’ Oil Spill Prevention Strategy. Over the last five years, Marta secured grant funding and managed two projects to advance oil spill prevention measures for the shipping lanes through  Continue Reading

Seasonal Changes Bring Extra Challenges to Resident Killer Whales

Written on October 17, 2021 at 5:50 am, by

FRIDAY HARBOR, WA. – As summer Chinook salmon runs wane in the Salish Sea, Southern Resident Killer Whales typically begin to travel further south in Puget Sound in search of prey. A study compiling 10 years’ worth of data found evidence that the whales’ diets shift from primarily Chinook salmon in the summer months to a  Continue Reading

State Asking for Public Comments on Recreation

Written on October 15, 2021 at 5:45 am, by

OLYMPIA–Washington State’s Recreation and Conservation Office is asking people to help determine how funding should be spent by taking a survey about what kind of outdoor recreation they do. The State is updating its statewide recreation and conservation plan, which includes a state trails plan, to unlock grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  Continue Reading

San Juan County Land Bank October 2021 Meeting & Agenda

Written on October 14, 2021 at 8:35 pm, by

The San Juan County Land Bank Commission will hold its monthly meeting on October 15, from 8:30am-11:30am via Zoom. The public is invited to attend. Click HERE to download the agenda (includes ZOOM link) and meeting materials. To learn more about your Conservation Land Bank, visit If you’re interested in volunteering and/or joining our  Continue Reading

Construction for Wastewater Sewer Plant Outfall Project

Written on October 13, 2021 at 10:21 am, by

The Town of Friday Harbor has contracted with Redside Construction to replace its existing submarine sewer outfall line with new 18-inch diameter HDPE pipe via directional drilling and placement on sea bed. Then connect the line upland to existing sewer utilities from the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Two aerial views are provided to help understand the  Continue Reading

Fall 2021 Great Islands Clean-up a Success!

Written on October 9, 2021 at 5:45 am, by

Our islands became much cleaner during the Great islands Clean-up on September 25 thanks to dedicated volunteers on Orcas, San Juan, Shaw, and Lopez Islands. Over 100 Islanders participated! Total garbage picked up was 2,318 pounds (plus 11 garbage cans and 1 dumpster). It really does take a village to care for our home! Thank  Continue Reading

Washington’s Plastic Bag Ban Goes Into Effect October 1st

Written on October 1, 2021 at 5:41 am, by

Following a delay due to Covid-19, the Washington Plastic Bag Ban (RCW 70A.530) will go into effect statewide on October 1, 2021. This means that retailers and restaurants throughout the state will be prohibited from providing single-use plastic carryout bags. As Washington prepares for the statewide plastic bag ban to take effect, San Juan County  Continue Reading

New Plastic Recycling Coming Soon

Written on September 28, 2021 at 10:36 am, by

Friday Harbor announces pilot program for residential curbside plastic film recycling FRIDAY HARBOR – The Town of Friday Harbor, in partnership with SC Johnson, a manufacturer of household consumer brands, is kicking off a pilot program to offer curbside collection and recycling of plastic film to its residents, the second program to launch in Washington.  Continue Reading

A Carbon-Free Adventure!

Written on September 24, 2021 at 5:51 am, by

Follow OPALCO’s EV Road Trip in October: Starting October 6th, an exclusive team from OPALCO (Communication Specialist Krista Bouchey and the “Switch it up pup” Pepper) will be driving the Co-op’s Kia Niro 100% electric vehicle (EV) to Eastern Washington and back, making stops to visit wind and hydro projects, innovative public power projects and  Continue Reading

State Board Awards $21 Million in Grants to Aid Salmon Recovery

Written on September 24, 2021 at 5:45 am, by

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board today announced the award of $21 million in grants across the state to aid in salmon recovery. The grants, given annually, went to 105 projects in 29 of the state’s 39 counties. The grants will pay for work to restore salmon habitat, including repairing degraded habitat in rivers,  Continue Reading

EDC to offer free Tree Worker Basics Course on Orcas Island

Written on September 22, 2021 at 10:10 am, by

People who want to make a living working with trees or forests are invited to a free, hands-on, outdoor course offered by the Economic Development Council of San Juan County (EDC).  The course will be taught by Carson Sprenger, proprietor of Rain Shadow Consulting at their Orcas Island facilities, Saturdays Oct. 30th – Nov. 20th,  Continue Reading

Forage Fish Habitat Restoration

Written on September 20, 2021 at 5:50 am, by

Local shoreline habitat restoration actions support marine food webs It was an exciting week for local forage fish and out-migrating juvenile salmon as Friends of the San Juans and the Salmon Point Community have successfully restored priority shoreline habitat along their local beach. At the south end of Lopez Island, two areas of failed rock  Continue Reading

Madrona Institute Awards Stewardship Grants

Written on September 18, 2021 at 9:56 am, by

The Madrona Institute has awarded $22,500 in grants to local nonprofit organizations in its first year of grant making based on revenues received from sales of the San Juan Islands Special License Plate. This year’s grantees include: San Juan Islands Conservation District for their San Juan Islands Youth Conservation Corps ($6,000), Friends of the San  Continue Reading