MSA Protection Strategies

Long recognized as a biological treasure, the San Juan Islands have sites devoted to research, education, recreation and conservation. The unique marine ecosystem draws visitors from all over the world and is key to the islands’ economy and quality of life.  In 2004, the San Juan Board of County Commissioners created the San Juan Marine Stewardship Area (MSA) and asked the MRC to work with scientists and community leaders to create a management plan that would achieve a healthy marine ecosystem in balance with human use and enjoyment.
The County Council adopted the San Juan Marine Stewardship Area plan in 2007.  At community meetings held throughout the Islands, locals chose six protection strategies from the plan they felt were most important. In 2008, the MRC focused federal and state resources, provided coordination and launched programs to build local capacity for implementing these top strategies: 

Reduce Toxins Entering the Food Web

 Foster a Stewardship Ethic in Residents and Visitors

Manage Activities to Reduce Harm to Marine Habitat and Water Quality

Reduce the Risk of Large Oil Spills in Our Waters

Recover Bottomfish Species

Preserve Marine Access and Views