Open Doors Program to start at Griffin Bay School this fall

San Juan Island School District announces the opening of the “Open Doors Program”. This student re-engagement program will begin on Tuesday September 9, 2019. The “Open Doors Program” is a student re-engagement system that provides education and services to older youth, ages 16-21, who have dropped out of school or are not expected to graduate from high school by the age of 21.

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Deadline to apply to be on Coffelt Farm Advisory Committee extended to August 23

The San Juan County Land Bank has requested the formation of an advisory committee to evaluate and make recommendations for the future of the Land Bank owned Coffelt Farm on Orcas Island. The Conservation Agriculture Resource Team – Coffelt Farm (CART-Coffelt Farm) is currently forming to take this on. The group will be comprised of up to eight stakeholders from Ag-related agencies who have a strong interest in supporting agriculture on public conservation lands. In addition there will be a minimum of three volunteer participants representing the local farming community, selections will be based on farm experience and related skills to help achieve the CART’s tasks and goals. The deadline has been extended to Friday, August 23, 2019.

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Local initiative to increase distance between boats and whales loses in court

A group of folks from Lopez Island concerned about the effect whale-watching boats have on the Southern Resident Killer Whale population gathered signatures to place an orca protection zone initiative on the ballot. While they had the number of signatures needed, the initiative won't be on the ballot. The Pacific Whale Watch Association filed suit against the initiative. There was a summary judgment hearing last week in Skagit County Superior Court. 

NOAA photo

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State Recruiting Members to Serve on the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board

OLYMPIA–The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is recruiting for two new members for its Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, which awards grants to improve parks, trails, boating amenities and access to shorelines. It also awards grants to conserve working lands, such as farms and forests, and to protect pristine wildlife and natural areas.

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Lawsuit calls for ‘Whale Protection Zone’ as more Southern Residents orca die

PRESS RELEASE: SEATTLE— Conservation groups sued the Trump administration today Monday, August 19, 2019 for ignoring a legal petition to protect critically endangered Southern Resident killer whales in the heart of their Salish Sea habitat. Today’s lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington by the Center for Biological Diversity and Orca Citizens Relief Alliance (ORCA), follows news that three more of these starving orcas are presumed dead, dropping their population to just 73.

NOAA photo

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County Council discusses Annual Docket, land capacity analysis and more August 19 and 20

San Juan County Council meets on Monday and Tuesday, August 19 and 20 in the Legislative building at 55 Second Street in Friday Harbor. The items to be discussed include the Annual Docket of proposed changes to the county code and Comprehensive Plan, the draft Economic Development Element, the Land Capacity Analysis, Employee Housing, and more.

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