The beautiful San Juan Islands

Stormwater emptying into harbor

Photo – Brian Rader, Pollution Prevention Specialist

Canoe Journey

Photo – Swinomish Tribal Archive

Historical Lime Kiln

Orca with tanker

Photo – Chris Teren

Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii)

Current Projects

Work done to complete Near Term Actions of past local Action Agendas from the San Juan Local Integrating Organization has led to the creation of funding opportunities for some of the ongoing projects that are now underway.  The current 2014 Action Agenda will function in the same manner, setting new or continued locally effective projects in motion.  In all cases, we work create actions that will protect and restore the San Juan County waters of the Puget Sound (and Salish Sea), and expect that integration of efforts on the local, state and federal levels will lead to increased positive impact on this ecosystem.  A few of the projects are highlighted on this page with 2014 Action Agenda identification numbers in brackets, and the corresponding regional sub-strategy numbers.

Vessel Traffic and Oil Spill Prevention

hauled out The volunteer Islands Oil Spill Association (IOSA) continues to maintain oil spill readiness and response in the San Juan Islands. It receives financial support for response equipment to contain or remove oil spills to the greatest extent possible, and to rescue and rehabilitate affected wildlife. (2014 Action Agenda ID #SJI1; Regional Sub-strategy C8.2.)

The County Derelict Vessel Removal & Prevention Program identifies boats that are likely to sink or otherwise cause water pollution. The program seeks to find and help vessel owners to maintain their boats or remove them from the water. This ongoing action resulted in funding being awarded to SJC to continue this work in 2014. In addition, focused attention from inclusion in the Action Agenda resulted in this San Juan County program being designated a Model Stewardship Program by the Puget Sound Partnership. Funding has been awarded and to develop other prevention programs in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Jefferson and Mason Counties. (Action Agenda ID #SJI4; Regional Sub-strategy C8.1.)



Shoreline Armoring

The SJC Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 2 Lead Entity for Salmon Recovery identifies priority habitats for acquisition, conservation, protection, and restoration efforts that benefit salmon such as Puget Sound Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) currently listed under the Endangered Species Act. Shoreline property owners willing to restore areas impacted by armoring will be identified, engaged, and assisted through at least four shoreline restoration projects. (Action Agenda ID# SJI10; Regional Sub-strategy A6.1)

The SJC Department of Community Development is partnering with Green Shores for Homes to develop a voluntary program to provide alternatives and incentives for Best Management Practices that avoid hard armoring and maintain native vegetation near marine shorelines. Landowners, contractors, realty agents, and the public will be engaged through workshops, trainings, and social media. (Action Agenda ID# SJI11; Regional Sub-strategy B2.3)

Since prevention of shoreline armoring is often more effective and less expensive than restoration, the SJC Department of Community Development will provide ongoing technical assistance through pre-application site visits to shoreline permit applicants through its Landowner Incentives to Reduce Puget Sound Shoreline Armory project. (Action Agenda ID# SJI9; Regional Sub-strategy B1.3)

Stormwater and Runoff from the Built Environment

San Juan County (SJC) Department of Community Development and the Town of Friday Harbor are reviewing their permitting processes to better control and mitigate stormwater runoff. In addition, the Town of Friday Harbor will construct a waterfront stormwater vault with DOE-approved cartridge filters. (Action Agenda ID # SJI5; Regional Sub-strategy C2.2.)
The SJC Health Department is also planning to fully implement the Onsite Sewage System Operation and Maintenance Program Plan, requiring county-wide compliance in 100% of sensitive areas, 75% of alternative systems, and 60% of gravity-fed sewer systems over the next two-years. (Action Agenda ID# SJI6; Regional Sub-strategy C5.1)
SJC Public Works and San Juan Islands Conservation District initiated a three-year monitoring program to identify sources of water pollution within three drainage basins. See results of the first two years of monitoring, here. A final year of monitoring is currently underway with plans to implement an annual monitoring plan. (Action Agenda ID#SJI8; Regional Sub-strategy D4.2)

Freshwater Restoration




Implementation Committee Meeting:

Bimonthly first Thursdays, 11:00 am -1:00 pm, 7/1, 9/2, 11/4
See San Juan County website Agenda Center for agendas and meeting links

Accountability Oversight Committee Meetings:

Schedule pending

Padilla Bay National Estuarine Reserve, 10441 Bayview Edison Road, Mount Vernon



San Juan County Oil Spill Risk Consequences Assessment and Emergency Response Towing Vessel Cost Evaluation, March 2019