MRC projects are as widely varied as the San Juan County Marine Stewardship Area itself and forward our mission to protect and restore the marine waters, habitats and species of the Salish Sea to achieve ecosystem health and sustainable resource use. Our work most often falls into one of the categories reflected below. 

  • All
  • Marine Species
  • Marine Species & Habitats
  • Education & Outreach
  • Water Quality
  • Nearshore Protection & Restoration


The MRC advises the San Juan County Council on marine resource issues in the San Juan Islands. To develop our comments, we often develop and/or compile scientific research, solicit public opinion from a variety of sources, survey appropriate protection and restoration efforts to understand the status and effects of current practices and regulations. Some of our recent advisory projects include:

  • Participation in transboundary discussions regarding the need for a dedicated Emergency Response Towing Vessel (ERTV) to be placed in inland waters for assistance in the event of a catastrophic oil spill.
  • Advising San Juan County Council on the FV Aleutian Isle oil spill response effort.
  • Providing extensive references and research papers to the County as best available science for the CAO update process.


To both effectively understand the problems facing the marine environment and to accurately measure the effects of our protection and restoration efforts, we must have appropriate scientific monitoring of present conditions. Effective monitoring is meticulous, expensive and targeted to provide useful data. The MRC both directly commissions research and helps support local research with the potential for providing this useful data. Some of our recent science projects include:

  • Participating in monitoring for Ulva spp. at False Bay, effecting the sensitive eelgrass beds and marine life in the UW biological reserves.
  • Funding a countywide creosote assessment of overwater and nearshore structures.
  • Supporting research to determine the efficacy of voluntary reserves for bottom fish recovery


To successfully move forward with the protection and restoration of marine resources, there must be public support. When people possess a stewardship ethic informed by an understanding of problems and potential solutions, they will take direct action to protect the environment and support sensible regulations and programs that benefit marine resources. The MRC continues to nurture that stewardship ethic in our local citizens. Recent outreach projects include:

  • Coordinating efforts for the Plastic Free Salish Sea initiative, focused on decreasing plastic use and dependency, improving responsible disposal methods and practices, and motivating clean-up events and actions.
  • Sharing the message of Be Whale Wise with public boaters throughout the busy season and passing out Whale Warning Flags.
  • Engaging with the public annually at the County Fair to share the message and important work of the MRC.

These projects have been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The contents of this site do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the EPA, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use