Earth month filled with environmental activities tMany island organizations host earth-friendly meetings

  • Fri Apr 4th, 2008 12:51am
  • News

If every day is Earth Day, how about a month of Earth Day activities to learn about and care for the health of our environment?

April 4-5, San Juan Aquatic Reserve

The San Juan Marine Resources Committee (MRC) and the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites the public to open houses to discuss the proposed San Juan Aquatic Reserve on state aquatic lands that surround the San Juan Islands.

On Saturday, April 5 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Lopez Community Center.

Later that day the MRC and DNR will be on Orcas Island at the Eastsound Fire Station Saturday, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Marine Resources Committee and state Department of Natural Resources staff will present an overview of the state Aquatic Reserve Program and proposal for the Sans Juan site. The public will have an opportunity to ask questions, provide input, and discuss the proposed site and the statewide program.

The proposed San Juan Aquatic Reserve Site is a 163,387-acre area that offers refuge and food for species of concern such as orcas (Southern resident), salmon, and seabirds, and supports the tourism, research, and education industries — all of which rely upon a healthy marine environment. Aquatic reserve status would allow for public access, increased research, habitat restoration, protection and conservation, and environmental education, while encouraging marine-based livelihoods and cultural traditions. More information on the Aquatic Reserve Program is located on DNR’s website:, and select Aquatic Reserves Program.

Marine stewardship

People For Puget Sound kick off Puget Sound Earth Month 2008 with double-header talks on Puget Sound health in Friday Harbor and Eastsound. Executive Director Kathy Fletcher discusses “Marine Stewardship” at the Whale Museum on Friday, April 4. A public reception will take place at 6:30 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. presentation. The event is co-sponsored by The Whale Museum and the San Juan Nature Institute.

Founded in 1979, The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research. In addition to the lecture series, the Museum provides programs including: the Orca Adoption Program, Soundwatch Boater Education, San Juan Islands Marine Mammal Stranding Network, Marine Naturalist Training Program, and the Whale Hotline.

The public is asked to register so that the organizers can prepare for the reception: Britta Eschete, (360) 336-1931,

On April 5, Doug Myers, Science Director of People For Puget Sound, will speak on “Climate Change in the San Juans” at Emmanuel Church, Eastsound. Myers was previously with the Puget Sound Action Team, the precursor of the Puget Sound Partnership.

The talk is preceded by a free open house reception at 6:30 p.m. when community members can meet staff and learn about some of the programs and projects underway by People For Puget Sound in the islands and the straits. There will be a 6:30 p.m. public reception, followed by a 7 p.m. presentation. The public is asked to register so that the organizers can prepare for the reception: Julie Lein, (206) 382-7007,

These programs are presented as part of People For Puget Sound’s “Simple Things You Can Do to Save Our Sound: Earth Month 2008 Campaign,” funded in part by a grant from the Washington Department of Ecology. A complete menu of Earth Month events and simple steps on how to become a Sound Citizen are found at

April 19 -Conservation Summit

The San Juan Islands Conservation Summit and Stewardship Awards will be held at the Lopez Center from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by local members of conservation organizations from around the islands.

David Dicks, Director of the Puget Sound Partnership, will provide the keynote address. Children ages 5 to 12 can be enrolled in a “Kid’s Camp” (an environmental learning opportunity) during the morning speaker session.

A locally grown lunch, provided by Vortex, will be served. In the afternoon, field trips to one of four sites have been set up. The registration fees are: Adults $15; kids 12 and under $5.

The “Good Steward” Award Winners for 2008 will be announced at the meeting. Nominations are still sought to recognize individuals, families, and businesses that have made a significant impact on the conservation, preservation, and protection of the San Juan Archipelago. Contact Kathleen Foley at (360) 378-2461 for nomination information; nomination forms and selection.

The Conservation Summit is presented by the Stewardship Network of the San Juans. Call (360) 378-4402 or visit for more details.

Moran Park Cleanup

The Friends of Moran State Park annually volunteer to rake, burn, broom and pick up winter blow-down so campsites and shelter areas will be ready for the public’s use. The Friends welcome anyone who can turn out Saturday, April 19 starting at 9 a.m. for the Park’s annual cleanup. There will be complimentary coffee and bottled water at the 9 a.m. sign-in at the Shelter near the swimming beach. Park rangers will be on hand to direct volunteers to areas needing work. All volunteers who check back in at the Shelter at 12:30 p.m. will receive free hotdogs and chips.

Projected work hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Volunteers may offer their services for the full day or just a few hours. “In celebration of Earth Day 2008, join your friends and neighbors at Moran State Park, April 19,” says Karen Speck, member of the Friends of the Moran State Park.

Turn Point Lighthouse

The Turn Point Lighthouse Protection Society (TPLPS) has scheduled a work party to clean up, paint and perform grounds maintenance to the lighthouse on Stuart Island on Saturday, April 19.

“Grab your work gloves and come join us on a lovely boat ride to and from Stuart,” says Margaret Jonas of TPLPS. “We have indoor and outdoor activities available.”

TPLPS will provide transportation to Stuart Island, snacks, beverages and lunch to TPLPS members. Membership is available the day of the event for $25 for individuals or $25 for families.

Meet at Eclipse Charters located at Orcas Landing at 10 a.m. The boat will return prior to the 5:15 p.m. ferry departures.

Additional information can be found at or by calling Margaret Jonas at 376-5246 or Denise Wilk at 376-6566.

April 20 – Lopez Public Lands Cleanup

Nick Teague, of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and The Friends of the San Juans will sponsor an Earth Day and Earth Day clean-up of public lands on Lopez Island Sunday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Participants will meet in the parking area of Watmough Preserve, the site of the most recent San Juan Preservation trust acquisition on southwest Lopez Island, at 10 a.m. They will break into small groups to work at Watmough and Iceberg Points as time and the number of participants allow.

“Last year, about 60 people showed up and we gathered hundreds of pounds of trash,” said Teague. “It’s a great opportunity to participate in the stewardship of the public lands in our islands.”

For more information, call Nick Teague at 468-3754.

April 26 – Patos Lighthouse

Keepers of the Patos Light is having an all-day Earth Day/Arbor Day event on Patos Island Saturday, April 26.

Patos Island is the northernmost point of the San Juan Islands. Fifty years after reading “The Light on the Island,” a true story about a lighthouse keeper and his family who lived on the island, Linda Hudson of Lopez Island and Carla Chalker were inspired to found the The Friends of the Patos Light to preserve the lighthouse.

Participants will do beach cleanup, weed removal and trail maintenance. Tours of the lighthouse will be given, but no building maintenance will be performed.

A charter will depart from Orcas Island in the morning and return later in the afternoon. Participation is limited to 12 people. To register, call Linda Hudson at 468-3518 or email

Elections and Global Warming

”Global Warming and Elections 2008; What are the Candidates Telling Us and What Do We Need to Know” is the subject at a meeting sponsored by the League of Women Voters Saturday, April 26.

Economist and international educator Dr. Edwin Dolan is the featured speaker. The session will be held at the Friday Harbor Middle School Commons from 1 to 3 p.m. The event is free, and the public is invited.