Celebrate Friends of the San Juans

  • Tue Sep 3rd, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by Friends of the San Juans

Friends of the San Juans cordially invites you to a spirited celebration of our collective work on Orcas and throughout the ecosystem of the Salish Sea!

On Sept. 22, from 4-6 p.m. at Odd Fellows, in Eastsound, we will gather to connect, learn and celebrate 40 years of people coming together to make change and protect what you love about this incredible place that we’re all lucky enough to call home. Tickets can be purchased at sanjuans.org/40th.

Special guest includes Lummi Indian Nation Tribal Secretary Lawrence Solomon. Secretary Solomon will be speaking about the importance of protecting what is sacred.

For the past four decades, Friends has worked to protect the San Juan Islands for people and nature. Founded in 1979 by a group of islanders who were frustrated by unregulated development and inspired to protect our most special places, Friends spearheaded the County’s first Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Forty years later we are working on the third revision of the Comprehensive Plan, plus impacts of sound pollution and an oil spill on Southern resident killer whales.

Our courageous founders shared a vision for a healthy economy and environment, renewable energy, abundant resource lands, culture and recreation, and good governance. These issues remain touchstones for us today.

Thanks to the dedication of our members, we have come a long way from our roots in growth management and expanded our work to include research on marine shorelines and sea-level rise; restoration actions for forage fish and juvenile salmon; and advocacy for oil spill prevention and recovery of the Southern Resident orca population.

At the Friends inception in 1979, many of the challenges currently faced by the islands didn’t exist. Now, we are confronted by fire, drought, and sea-level rise from a warming climate; the listing of Chinook salmon and Southern Resident orcas as endangered; vast growth in commercial vessel traffic increasing oil spill risks and underwater noise; and internet-based vacation rentals altering our residential housing stock.

Friends has met these challenges to protect what we all love about the San Juan Islands with the generous support from our over 2,000 members, including many of you here on Orcas.

A hearty dose of gratitude to all who have helped Friends accomplish so much so far! We would love to see you at our 40th Anniversary Celebration later this month.