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San Juan County launches Climate Resilience Planning with Community Survey

SAN JUAN COUNTY, WA. May 7, 2024 – Recognizing the pressing need to address climate change and its far-reaching impacts on the community, San Juan County is developing a dedicated Climate Element as part of the County’s Comprehensive Plan update and an accompanying Climate Action Plan (CAP).

The Climate Element and CAP will provide a long-term vision, climate policies, and an implementation strategy for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and preparing our community for current and future climate impacts. By fostering a comprehensive approach to climate-related challenges, the County aims to pave the way for a resilient and sustainable future, ensuring the well-being of its residents and the preservation of its natural resources for generations to come.

What is the Climate Element of the Comprehensive Plan Update?

The Climate Element will identify goals and policies to address climate change and increase resiliency to climate impacts within the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Including this element is now required by the Growth Management Act (Chapter 36.70A RCW) which was amended in 2023 under Washington House Bill 1181 to direct cities and counties to integrate climate mitigation and/or resilience policies into their periodic comprehensive plan updates.

What is the Climate Action Plan (CAP)?   

The CAP will provide implementation strategies and actions to carry out the goals and policies established in the Climate Element.  The CAP will provide a consistent, clear, and actionable framework to guide mitigation and resilience actions that serve as the foundation for ongoing community education and dialogue about climate action.

How to get involved 

This planning effort seeks to identify effective and equitable climate actions that will guide the County in making thoughtful investments in alignment with our community’s goals. You can help determine how resources are used and what projects we undertake to enhance the well-being of the entire community.

Community outreach and participation is embedded throughout this project. San Juan County residents are invited to get involved with our first phase of engagement opportunities:

  • Climate Survey 1

The first of two community-wide climate surveys is open now through June 16. San Juan County residents are invited to take this survey to help us better understand the community’s vision, what Islanders value, and your concerns for climate change impacts. The second climate survey, which will run later in the summer, will focus on prioritized strategies. The survey is available on the Engage San Juan County website.

  • Community Conversations

Watch for “Climate Collaborators” at events and group gatherings. These citizen volunteers will be chatting with Islanders to hear about their experiences and sharing information about how you can get involved with the climate planning process.

Your input is critical to this process, and we appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback!

More Information 

For more information about the Climate and Sustainability Advisory Committee and the County’s climate action work, please visit the Engage San Juan County Climate Action page at: https://engage.sanjuancountywa.gov/climate-action   

 Contact: Angela Broderick, Climate and Sustainability Coordinator, angelab@sanjuancountywa.gov, 360-370-0537

 About San Juan County’s Department of Environmental Stewardship   

San Juan County’s Department of Environmental Stewardship is responsible for solid waste, marine resources, clean water, cultural resources, and climate and sustainability work.  The department offices are located at 1609 Beaverton Valley Road, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. For more information about San Juan County’s Department of Environmental Stewardship, visit www.sanjuancountywa.gov/839/Environmental-Stewardship.





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