HIGHWATER MARKS
news & updates
January 2022| Issue 11
Friends Research Highlights Issues with Shoreline Enforcement and Permitting
by Maddie Feaster and Tina Whitman
As you know, Friends of the San Juans protects and restores natural shorelines to support forage fish, salmon, and the Southern Resident orca. In addition, Friends also conducts research on these shoreline habitats. We recently completed a Shoreline Armor Mapping, Change Analysis, and Regulatory Review project that provides an accurate snapshot of how much shoreline armor (bulkheads, seawalls, and rip rap) has been built or removed in the past decade. Importantly, this original research also includes a detailed assessment of permits for new armor that was installed during that time. The results are astounding! By identifying how many shoreline projects were (or were not) fully permitted, we have provided county and state managers with detailed information that can help them improve the effectiveness of regulatory protections.
Photo by Mark Gardner
Environmental Protections, Climate Action, and More at the State Legislature
by Lovel Pratt
The 2022 Washington State Legislative Session began on January 10th and runs for 60 days. This is the second year of the biennial session, which usually results in only small changes to the budget. However, the positive revenue forecast plus the passage of the federal bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides an unprecedented opportunity to increase funding for salmon recovery, reduce fossil-fuel pollution, and implement climate mitigation policies.
Kas Guillozet Joins the Friends Board
Friends is proud to welcome Kas Guillozet to its Board of Directors! Kas serves as Watershed Program Senior Director at the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, where she helps lead a public-private partnership called "Floodplains by Design." This program supports diverse partners in advancing integrated floodplain management throughout Washington. At the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Kas also supports projects relating to climate adaptation, native plants, and coastal resilience. Kas holds a PhD in Forest Resources and Social Science from Oregon State University's College of Forestry. “I have a passion for collaborative conservation,” says Kas, “and I appreciate that Friends works on so many critical issues that are central to the quality of life in the San Juans.”
Passing the Presidential Torch
Friends welcomes Ken Carrasco as its new Board President, as of January 1st. Ken takes over for Janet Alderton, who served as Board President for three years, from January 2019 through December 2021. From Covid-19 to an Executive Director transition to strategic planning, Janet’s tenure was anything but boring! Friends thanks Janet deeply for her energetic, supportive, and dedicated leadership during that time. For more information about the current membership and officers of Friends’ Board of Directors, see the Board page of our website here.
Sharing Stories and Values

Protecting and caring for an island means sharing stories: We want to hear your stories, connections and experiences in the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea. They underscore your passion and illustrate what inspires you...
Photo by Captain Carli Whale Watch Tours
Voices of the Next Generation:
3,000 Days
by Kaia Olson

In February 2021 I wrote about how we could learn from the pandemic to address the climate crisis. A year later, every day still brings us closer to the 2030 planetary tipping point for irreversible ecological change. As the new year begins in 2022, 2030 seems a long way away. But we have just 96 months to change the course of the climate -- just under 3,000 days to ensure that future generations, human and non-human, will inherit a livable planet. When we break it down, we do not have long at all. But by expanding our view into a long-term window while keeping this “point of no return” in mind, we can act quickly and meaningfully. 
Friends of Friends -
Jon & Joan Christoffersen

Joan and Jon have been members of Friends of the San Juans for over 25 years. Jon is a previous Board member of Friends, and currently serves on the Board’s Finance Advisory Committee. We are grateful for his expertise and for Jon and Joan’s long-term support!

"Joan and I love this tiny corner of paradise and know that Mother Nature needs all the help she can get. We are solidly friends of the Friends..."
Take Action! Free Expert Site Visits for Waterfront Landowners

With winter’s extreme high “king” tides coming on the heels of heavy rain, you may have noticed how dynamic our islands are. If you are a waterfront property owner, you may also have questions that Friends can help with. Our free expert site visit program has helped hundreds of landowners learn more about their shoreline’s geology, coastal hazards such as erosion and flooding, vegetation, habitat and more. If you are interested in a free expert site visit, contact Tina Whitman at tina@sanjuans.org or 360-298-7616.
Origin Stories:
November 1984 Newsletter
Here is your chance to take go back in time and read about how the County managed road projects and learn about the Shoreline Hearings Board review of the application to build the Front Street Inn in Friday Harbor, and DNR Land decisions for the islands.
What We're Watching
Update on the court case, Phillips 66 Company vs Whatcom County Washington and Friends of the San Juans: Friends is continuing to defend the permit condition that would help ensure that the construction of a new 300,000-barrel storage tank for crude oil and an 80,000-barrel storage tank for fuel oil will not likely result in significant adverse impacts to Southern Resident killer whales.

On January 12, 2022, oral arguments were heard in the Court of Appeals, Division I: A decision will likely take 3 – 12 months, or longer.

Photo by Jess Newley
“The Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, based in the North Cascades’ community of Darrington, has filed its third lawsuit against the city of Seattle over the operations of City Light’s hydroelectric dams on the Skagit River. The latest legal action is based on laws of nature, the tribal and indigenous peoples’ centuries-old belief system and “customary law” rooted in the concept that nature can’t be owned and has rights of its own. In this case, the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe asserts the city’s dams harm salmon by cutting off access to miles of habitat.”
What We're Reading
ISLAND FISHING: History and Seascape of Marine Harvesting in the San Juan Islands amid the Salish Sea
by Boyd C. Pratt
The San Juan Islands, located in the heart of the Salish Sea, have been a place for fishers from time immemorial. Beginning with Coast Salish reef netting and tideland harvesting to the era of fish traps, purse seining, and gill netting, this book follows the many communities of fishers and their efforts to preserve and market their catch, which have so significantly contributed to the present-day seascape of the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea. Penned by the partner of our own Lovel Pratt, it's available at local bookstores (Darvill’s Bookstore, Griffin Bay Bookstore, and Lopez Bookshop) and museums (Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan) for $24.95 + tax, or directly from Boyd for $25 cash or check: contact him at mulnocove@gmail.com.
Friends of the San Juans respectfully honors the fact that this beautiful place we strive to protect and restore with our mission-centered work is comprised of the ancestral lands, waters, and natural resources of the Coast Salish peoples. These Tribes have cared for and stewarded the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea since time immemorial — and continue to do so — and we honor their inherent, aboriginal, and treaty rights that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Or text the word "Friends" to 360-317-2610 to donate.