“San Juan MRC and partners gathered at the San Juan vessel turn-in event.” Photo: Katie Johnson

San Juan’s free vessel turn-in event: “a smashing success”

The San Juan vessel turn-in recycling event held at the Port of Friday Harbor in April piloted a newer approach to derelict vessel prevention by offering a free vessel turn in opportunity targeting local communities. Vessel owners had a unique opportunity to do the right thing by recycling materials from their vessels, keeping them out of landfills or in our waterways. The event was made possible by a team of partners including San Juan MRC, San Juan County’s Department of Environmental Stewardship, the Port of Friday Harbor, Washington Department of Natural Resources Derelict Vessel Removal Program, and the Northwest Straits Commission.

The free vessel turn-in event was a smashing success – literally! Thanks to the strong partnerships at least 14 vessels have been removed and deconstructed from county waters. Watching long-time, dilapidated boats make the transition from potential marine debris to safely surrendered and dismantled makes all the difference for local marine waters! – Sam Whitridge, San Juan Island MRC

Vessels slated for removal varied between 12’ skiffs and over 30’ sailboats. Many were known to the San Juan County and MRC prevention program including a few on their vessel of concern database. The successful recycling of these vessels within a short timeframe was made possible by the incredible work and collaboration across partners. Their efforts and dedication greatly contributed to enhancing the health of the Salish Sea!

The Northwest Straits Commission is a regional coordinating body comprised of people who care about the marine areas where they live, and who work together to protect and restore marine resources.

The Northwest Straits Commission carries out regional conservation projects and supports the work of seven Marine Resources Committees through funding, technical support, training and regional coordination.

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May 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

May 31

Camano Island Library - 848 N Sunrise Blvd Camano Island, WA 98282-8770

  • Member Spotlight: Phil Green

  • Welcome Anne Beaudreau to the Science Advisory Committee

    Anne Beaudreau and her team conduct research to understand how fisheries systems (fish + people) respond and adapt to environmental, regulatory, and social change. Anne integrates approaches and perspectives from multiple fields, including fisheries science, ecology, anthropology, geography, and policy science. Her work is largely place-based, with a focus on coastal communities and ecosystems along the North Pacific. Anne began her career at the New England Fishery Management Council, where she saw firsthand that the necessary ingredients for good decision-making are not only the ‘best available science,’ but also relationship-building, communication, and trust. Anne went on to earn a Ph.D. in aquatic and fishery sciences from the University of Washington (UW) and held a faculty position at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Juneau, AK, from 2012 to 2020. She has been an associate professor at University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs since 2021.

    In the summer of 2009, Anne completed her Ph.D. in fisheries at the University of Washington. She had spent the previous five years conducting field research on the foraging ecology of lingcod—a bold, toothy predator in kelp forest ecosystems. Along with the data, Anne racked up a bounty of fishing stories. Her hours spent on the water also introduced her to a vibrant community of fishers and divers who generously shared a depth of knowledge with her. Their stories of a rapidly changing Puget Sound inspired new research, which documented ecosystem changes over 70 years through interviews Anne conducted with more than 100 harvesters and other knowledge holders. Through this work, Anne became increasingly committed to inclusive science that centers on relationship-building and community knowledge, addressing important issues for local people.

    Anne's career journey took her to the University of Alaska in Juneau for nearly a decade, where she grew an interdisciplinary research program on the human dimensions and ecology of coastal fisheries. In 2020, Anne and her family returned to the Pacific Northwest, where she assumed the role of associate professor in marine and environmental affairs at UW.

    Reflecting on her experiences, Anne said, "It has been a joy to introduce my 9-year-old son to the beautiful places that I first came to know so many years ago. The leadership and stewardship of communities throughout the Salish Sea region are inspiring and motivating. I am honored to join the Science Advisory Committee and look forward to supporting the important work of the Northwest Straits Commission."

  • Ediz Hook native plant restoration

    Ediz Hook native plant restoration
    Clallam MRC is partnering on restoration efforts at Ediz Hook with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe representing a significant commitment to revitalizing the shoreline ecosystem of Ediz Hook. Historically, much of this area underwent industrial development starting in the 1900s, leading to substantial alteration and loss of natural habitat.

    Recent restoration activities focused on replanting native vegetation on a 3-acre section of the restored area. In late March the Clallam MRC and the Tribe held an event with the Clallam Conservation District.

    Over the two-day event 59 volunteers planted 3,000 plants and sowed 5 pounds of seed! They hope to see the new vegetation become a healthy self-sustaining plant community that will benefit birds, fish, wildlife, and pollinators.

    Learn more about native plant restoration at Ediz Hook.

  • Kelp monitoring in Skagit County

    Skagit MRC’s kelp monitoring program will conduct kelp bed surveys at three sites during the summer growing season from June to September: Biz Point, Coffin Rocks, and Shannon Point. The MRC is focused on locating new kelp beds to monitor to increase the understanding of kelp in Skagit County, including one bed near Lone Tree Point, which has been noted to persist throughout the year. Collaborating with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community (SITC), the MRC is evaluating how to include this site into their kelp monitoring program.

    The MRC is also investigating another kelp bed near Swinomish clam gardens and Kiket Island, with support from Swinomish staff and a local property owner providing access for launching.

    Learn more about Bull kelp kayak surveys.

Member Spotlight: Phil Green

San Juan MRC

Phil Green joined the San Juan MRC in August, 2013 though he has been attending MRC meetings regularly for many years. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Phil made his way to Washington State in 1973 for a job with the National Park Service.

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Upcoming Events

  • May


    May 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

    May 31
    10 AM-3 PM

    Camano Island Library - 848 N Sunrise Blvd Camano Island, WA 98282-8770

  • Jun


    June 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

    June 21
    10 AM-12 PM

    Virtual on Zoom

  • Jul


    July 2024 NW Straits Commission Meeting

    July 26
    10 AM-3 PM

    In person meeting, location TBD.