Update: County awaits funding for infrastructure resiliency work on Lopez Island

Submitted by San Juan County

San Juan County continues to wait for updates regarding its grant application to engage in sea level rise adaptation and infrastructure resiliency work on Lopez Island.

San Juan County and its partners in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Resilience Regional Challenge grant application originally expected to receive notification whether or not our grant proposal was successful in mid-May. NOAA has since conveyed that award notifications will be delayed and that applicants can expect to receive notifications sometime in the summer of 2024. San Juan County will provide updates as they are received and will notify the public of any awards from NOAA.


The south end of Lopez Island’s vulnerable coastlines and roads have been studied since 2002. The County conducted a MacKaye Harbor Road Relocation Feasibility Study in 2017 (available at this link) and is working to collect best available science for long-term planning and infrastructure sustainability.

The County is pursuing funding for infrastructure and climate resiliency projects including:Shoreline Protection and Enhancement Project that combines engineering and nature-based solutions to protect the critical shoreline infrastructure of MacKaye Harbor Road along Outer Bay.

Inland Road Relocation Project for the potential relocation of MacKaye Harbor Road along Barlow and Outer Bays to an elevation above the future anticipated floodplain.

Both potential projects seek to protect access to public, private, and tribal lands, while mitigating the impacts to forage fish spawning habitat from coastal erosion and sea level rise.

Community Meeting

On Thursday, April 25, 2024, the County’s Public Works and Environmental Stewardship Departments invited MacKaye Harbor area property owners and Lopez Island community members to a meeting about sea level rise adaptation and infrastructure resiliency work. The meeting was held at the Lopez Island Grange and was attended in-person by 50+ people and roughly 35 people online via Zoom. A recording of the meeting can be found on the project’s Engage website and linked directly here: https://engage.sanjuancountywa.gov/sea-level-rise-adaptation-outer-bay-and-agate-beach-areas-lopez-island/widgets/81955/videos/5255

Find all other project materials on the project’s Engage website: https://engage.sanjuancountywa.gov/sea-level-rise-adaptation-outer-bay-and-agate-beach-areas-lopez-island

The project team is reviewing public feedback, awaiting news of funding, and planning to release updates as they are available.

Questions? Contact: Grant Carlton, grantc@sanjuancountywa.gov