November 26, 2012

December 4th DVD Release Party and Showing of “The Whale” Movie

Friday Harbor, Wash. – On Tuesday, December 4, The Whale Museum invites you to a special showing of “The Whale” at the Grange Hall at 5 p.m. The showing kicks off with a reception to meet film producers Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit. The movie will start at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person; price include snacks and beverages.

After the film, there will be a DVD Release Party at The Whale Museum (beginning at 7:15 p.m.). Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit will be on-hand to sign copies of “The Whale” DVD. While the DVD will not be released in the U.S. until Dec. 4, The Whale Museum is taking orders for pre-sales; DVDs are $29.95 each. Suzanne and Michael have generously offered this evening with ticket sales & proceeds of DVD sales as a fund raiser for Soundwatch and all of The Whale Museum’s programs. To purchase your movie tickets and/or pre-order “The Whale” DVD, visit The Whale Museum (open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily). For more information, call (360) 378-4710 ext. 30.

The Whale Museum is located in Friday Harbor at 62 First St. N. Founded in 1976, The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research. In addition to providing exhibits, the Museum also provides programs including the Marine Naturalist Training, Orca Adoption Program, SeaSound Acoustics Program, San Juan Islands Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and the Whale Hotline.

Jenny L. Atkinson Executive Director The Whale Museum P. O. Box 945 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 office: (360) 378-4710 ext. 26 fax: (360) 378-5790



November 16, 2012

Birding in the San Juans

Join in the 113th Annual San Juan Islands Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count on December 15th

Friday Harbor, Wash. – This year’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) in the San Juan Islands will take place on December 15th, sponsored by the San Juan Islands Audubon Society. Over 60,000 volunteers across the country will be counting birds from December 14, 2012 to January 5, 2013 to participate in the world’s longest running wildlife census begun in 1900.

Local Count - Each count area is a 15-mile diameter circle - about 177 square miles with the San Juan circle centered at the Friday Harbor Labs. Areas are assigned to teams but you don’t necessarily have to go out with a group – you could count birds on your road with your neighbors or by yourself or with your family in your own yard or on your property. We also want people to send in their feeder reports. You don’t have to be an expert but you do have to have enthusiasm for nature. Even if you don’t count please let us know if you see any of these species three days on each side of the count day or let us know ahead of time if they are in your area so we can look for them: small hawks, mourning doves, owls, hummingbirds, sapsuckers, shrikes, jays, western bluebirds or any out of place or out of season bird. If you live on the shoreline we need your help with shorebirds and marine birds.

National and International Counts - This CBC will be larger than ever, expanding its geographical coverage. Volunteers from all 50 states, every Canadian province, parts of Central and South America, Bermuda, the West Indies, and Pacific Islands, count and record every individual bird and bird species seen in a specified area.

Several changes have been made to entice birdwatchers to participate. The $5 fee will be dropped, the annual published report, American Birds, will go digital in 2013, and the online information will be available in Spanish for the first time. “This is not just about counting birds,” says Gary Langham, Audubon’s chief scientist. “Data from the Audubon Christmas Bird Count are at the heart of hundreds peer-reviewed scientific studies and inform decisions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of the Interior, and the EPA. Because birds are early indicators of environmental threats to habitats we share, this is a vital survey of North America and, increasingly, the Western Hemisphere." CBC revealed the dramatic impact climate change is already having on birds and a disturbing decline in common birds. The many decades of data not only help identify birds in need of conservation action, it also reveals success stories. CBC helped document the comeback of the Bald Eagle and significant increases in waterfowl populations, both the result of conservation efforts.

Last year’s count shattered records with a total of 2,248 counts and 63,227 people tallied over 60 million birds. Counts took place in all 50 states, all Canadian provinces, plus 99 count circles in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands. In Colombia, the Christmas Bird Count is a crucially important monitoring system of biodiversity in the country.

CONTACT: Barbara Jensen (360)378-3068



October 25, 2012

The Whale Museum’s Marine Naturalist ‘Gear Down’ Workshop November 10

Friday Harbor – Attention Naturalists! Please join The Whale Museum on Saturday, November 10th for our annual Marine Naturalist Gear-Down. This one-day workshop will be held at the Grange Hall in Friday Harbor from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration will begin at 9:30 am. The schedule for the day includes but is not limited to Carla Crossman of the University of British Columbia who will discuss her work on the genetics of Harbor/Dall porpoise hybrids; and Dr. Rich Osborne, former Executive Director and Research Curator of The Whale Museum, with a conversation about the history of Southern Resident orca research. Also scheduled for the day is a fun “Mythbusters” workshop. Is L25 really Lolita’s mother? Is there really a photo of Granny that was taken in the 1920s? We’ve probably all heard these statements before but do we know if they’re actually true? Please come prepared with your own ‘fact or myth’ and we’ll have a fun interactive discussion. The day will include a general meeting of the Salish Sea Association of Marine Naturalists (SSAMN), open to all current and future members.

This event is offered as continuing educational training for naturalists already working in the field; graduates of the Marine Naturalist Training Program, Beachwatchers, or equivalent; and members of SSAMN. The registration fee is $20 for Whale Museum members or $25 for non-members. Registration is available now through The Whale Museum website and we encourage pre-registration. Founded in 1979, The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research.

Contact: Cindy Hansen Education Curator The Whale Museum PO Box 945 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 360 378-4710 ext. 23 [email protected]



October 25, 2012

Day of the Dead Remembrance at The Whale Museum on November 2

Friday Harbor, WA -- Please join The Whale Museum on Friday, November 2nd from 3:30 to 5:00 pm as we honor the lives and commemorate the deaths of departed members of the Southern Resident Community of orcas. At this second annual Day of the Dead celebration we will pay tribute to the whales who were lost this year as well as those who departed years ago. Come and share your photos, stories, and memories of the orcas who are gone but certainly not forgotten. In the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition refreshments will be provided.

We ask for your help as we prepare to honor the departed Southern Resident orcas. If you have any photos or special stories you would like to share, we welcome them! For more information please contact Education Curator Cindy Hansen at (360) 378-4710 ext. 23 or [email protected].

The November 2nd event is free and open to the public, although donations are always appreciated. The Whale Museum is located in Friday Harbor at 62 First St. N. Founded in 1976, The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research. In addition to providing exhibits, the Museum also provides programs including the Marine Naturalist Training, Orca Adoption Program, Soundwatch Boater Education, San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and the Whale Hotline. The Whale Museum can be found online at

Contact: Cindy Hansen Education Curator The Whale Museum PO Box 945 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 360 378-4710 ext. 23 [email protected]



October 25, 2012

Planning Begins for the 1st Annual Friday Harbor Film Festival

"Stories from Around the Pacific Rim" will gather documentary films on island cultures and the marine environment on October 11 - 13, 2013

The Pacific Islands Research Institute (501c3) and Telluride Mountain Film are proud to announce the 1st annual Friday Harbor Film Festival October 11-12-13, 2013

The Friday Harbor Film Festival will present quality and award winning documentaries around the diverse Pacific Rim. The Friday Harbor Film Festival will feature a variety of films about island cultures and the marine environment of one of the largest features on earth; the Pacific Ocean. Directors and Producers of many of the Films will be on hand throughout the event to introduce their films, give workshops on documentary film-making, mingle with film goers and answer questions.

Currently three venues have been reserved; both of the theatres at the SJI Community Theatre and the Grange, for showings and events throughout the weekend. The Friday Harbor Film Festival cumulates Sunday afternoon at the SJI Community Theatre with the announcement of the audience favorite, a wrap party with food and beverages, followed by a final showing of the award winning film.

There will be an opening party on Friday for the Producers, Directors, Sponsors and Captain tickets. There will be three levels of tickets; Deckhand (day pass), Fisherman (all films plus Sunday wrap party), and Captain (all films, Opening Party and Sunday wrap party).

Lynn Danaher is spearheading this event. She was inspired to bring a Film Festival to Friday Harbor after attending Banff Film Festival five times and Telluride Mountain Film Festival last Spring. The films are educational, inspiring and insightful, worthy of sharing with Friday Harbor, residents and visitors alike. The focus of the films on the Pacific Rim seemed so appropriate because we all live on a small island in the Salish Sea and are part of the entire Pacific Rim ecosystem.

The purpose of the Friday Harbor Film Festival is to not only to raise our visitor count on the shoulder season, but to raise awareness of our Pacific Rim neighbors and the world. Plus, it will be an opportunity to have professional film makers educate and inspire our island populace and visitors, both young and old in the art of film making.

Telluride Mountain Festival offers a traveling Film Festival, one that is easy to present, already coordinated with sponsors, filmmakers and has a catalogue of over 500 films.

These are three trailers from the type of documentary films we hope to feature at the Friday Harbor Film Festival , Oct. 11, 12 and 13, 2013, in Friday Harbor, Washington to view please cut and paste the following link:

To date the Friday Harbor Film Festival has received three sponsor commitments for a total of $10,000 in cash and two more commitments of services totaling another $12,000. More donations are needed. The FHFF also seeks board members that want to get involved and two part time staff members to help in the coordination, to generate local sponsorships and a volunteer coordinator. FHFF hopes to include any service clubs that want to be involved in a variety of tasks that will need to be completed. Inquiries of interest in sponsorships, board positions, staff or volunteers are encouraged.

Contact: Lynn Danaher [email protected] FHFF PO Box 2627 Friday Harbor, WA 98250



October 18, 2012

Doe Bay Café to host 3rd Annual Gourmet Prix Fixe Dinner & Wine Tasting to benefit The Funhouse Commons

Bellingham’s Masquerade Wine Company and Doe Bay Café’s new chef Seamus Platt to create a special seafood dinner with local flair

Eastsound, WA – Attention foodies—here’s an event you won’t want to miss. For the fourth year running, Doe Bay Resort is hosting a 4-star dinner and wine event with all proceeds benefiting The Funhouse Commons.

Each autumn, Doe Bay invites one of their favorite Washington vintners to match wines to each course of a prix fixe dinner. Periodically throughout the evening, the vintner talks in detail about each wine and their wine-making methods and philosophy. It makes for an interesting and sumptuous evening.

This year Doe Bay sommelier Shannon Borg has invited Bill and Jennifer Kimmerly of Masquerade Wine Company of Bellingham to host the event. Masquerade Wine Company makes delicious sparkling wine, white wine and red wines from grapes grown in the Yakima Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area). Bill and Jennifer have traveled extensively and their passion for and knowledge of wine will make for a great presentation at the wine dinner, including beautiful image of the vineyards where the wines are grown, and the story behind their “Effervescing Elephant” sparkling wine, which was inspired by an elephant rehabilitation center in Africa. .

Masquerade’s wines will be matched with an incredible menu by Doe Bay Café’s new chef, Seamus Platt, featuring mostly local seafood, including oysters, dungeness crab, geoduck and salmon. You will find the entire menu on the Funhouse Commons website. A vegetarian menu will be available but only if requested in advance.

The dinner will be on Sunday, October 28th. The cost is $75 per person, which includes food and wine, tax and gratuity extra.

There will only be one seating, at 6 p.m., and there is room for 40-50 people. Call Doe Bay Café at (360) 376-8059 for reservations.

“Doe Bay Resort is committed to being a good neighbor and the Funhouse makes Orcas the coolest neighborhood in the islands,” says resort manager and Funhouse Board Member Jami Mitchell.

“The Funhouse Commons thanks Jami, Shannon, Joe & Maureen Brotherton and the Doe Bay Café staff for putting this incredible event together for us,” says Pete Moe, Funhouse executive director. “Doe Bay is not only a wonderful business, but a huge supporter of the community.”

The Funhouse Commons Founded by generous members of the Orcas Island community in 2000, The Funhouse Commons is a 501(c)3 non- profit community center with hands-on science exhibits, multi-media labs, art studio, recording studio, climbing wall and much more. The Funhouse Commons also provides essential Teen, After School, Education and Mentor programs for the youth of Orcas Island.

Doe Bay Resort and Retreat Doe Bay Resort and Retreat is a unique alternative to the traditional destination resort. Nestled on over thirty-three acres of pristine waterfront property, Doe Bay offers a variety of accommodations in rustic but homey cabins, houses, yurts and tents. Activities at Doe Bay range from yoga classes in our onsite yoga studio, massage, soaking tubs and sauna, to kayaking right from our beach and hiking in nearby Moran State Park or Obstruction Pass State Park. Doe Bay is located about 10 miles southeast of Orcas Island’s main village, Eastsound, and 17 miles from the ferry terminal in Orcas Village, Westsound.

Contact: Shannon Borg Sommelier & Marketing Coordinator (360) 376-8059 [email protected]

Pete Moe Executive Director The Funhouse Commons (360) 376-7177 [email protected]



October 18, 2012

Preservation Trust Expands Turtleback Mountain Preserve

Acquisition Protects Entire Ridgeline, Provides Public Access to Turtlehead

ORCAS ISLAND, WASHINGTON: The San Juan Preservation Trust has acquired a property on Orcas Island that will add more than 140 acres to the Turtleback Mountain Preserve and permanently protect the entire ridgeline of the mountain.

The iconic turtle-shaped profile of Turtleback Mountain is recognizable from throughout the San Juan archipelago. It was widely presumed to have been completely preserved in 2006 when – thanks to an outpouring of public support – 1,578 acres of the mountain were saved from development.

The 30-acre “head” of the turtle, which was donated to the San Juan Preservation Trust in 1990, is separated from Turtleback Mountain Preserve by a privately-held 111-acre property. The owners had begun to prepare this larger property for residential development when they learned of the Preservation Trust’s interest. After many months of negotiation, the parties agreed upon a purchase price of $1.0 million.

The San Juan Preservation Trust quickly identified $600,000 towards the purchase price, including $500,000 from its own investment funds and $100,000 for four lead donors. After a summer fundraising feasibility effort yielded additional gifts and pledges from several other generous individuals, the Preservation Trust’s board of trustees unanimously agreed to proceed with the project. With $990,000 now committed, the Preservation Trust continues to fundraise to meet its total project goal of $1.15 million. The $160,000 outstanding balance includes funds needed for the purchase as well as trail building expenses and a small stewardship endowment to care for the property.

With this acquisition, the Turtleback Mountain Preserve will expand to include both the 111-acre purchased property and the 30-acre turtle’s head, which has stunning 360-degree views of surrounding islands. This addition ensures that the entire Turtleback Mountain ridgeline will remain undeveloped and creates a new day hike to a premier destination that has – until now – been inaccessible to the public.

The Preservation Trust plans to work with the San Juan County Land Bank to merge these three properties into one single preserve, with the same shared ownership arrangement that has already been established on the Turtleback Mountain Preserve. In the meantime, this partnership has already engaged the Washington Trails Association, and over the next several months these three groups will work together to design and build a public trail that will connect the Turtleback Mountain Preserve with the spectacular views provided from the summit of Turtlehead.

To help complete this project, or for more information about the campaign and plans for public access, please visit

Founded in 1979, the San Juan Preservation Trust ( is a nationally accredited private, non-profit and membership-based land trust dedicated to helping people and communities conserve land in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. The Preservation Trust has permanently protected more than 260 properties, 37 miles of shoreline and 15,000 acres on 20 islands, including land now managed as public parks, nature preserves, wildlife habitat, and working farms and forests.

Contact: Tim Seifert Executive Director The San Juan Preservation Trust (360) 468-3202 [email protected]


For Immediate Release

October 11, 2012

The Whale Museum holds 4th Annual "Black & White Night"

Friday Harbor, Wash. - It is almost time for the 4th Annual "Black & White Night" dinner event! The event will be held on Monday, November 5, 2012, at Friday Harbor House on San Juan Island. The unique event will feature Chef Kyle Nicholson, the Chef behind The Bluff Restaurant and Innkeeper of Friday Harbor House, and Chef Aaron Rock, the sous chef at The Bluff.

This progressive dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception in The Bluff Restaurant followed by dinner served in the San Juan Room. The evening will conclude with a Dessert Celebration in The Whale Museum's Gallery. The gourmet menu features: hors d'oeuvres (Harissa Potato Croquettes with Apricot Chutney; Walnut Pesto Palmiers and Ricotta & Wild Blackberry Eclairs); dinner starting with soup and salad. Entree choices include Lentil Crepes with Tofu & Roasted Root Vegetable with romesco, fried Brussels sprouts in herb oil or Cider Braised Pork with sweet potato & fennel gratin and apple slaw. Dessert will be included offerings of Spruce-tip Panna Cotta with Port Reduction and Hazelnut Chocolate Tart with Salish Sea Salt & Drunken Cherries.

Autographed memento recipe booklets will be given to each attendee. As for attire, to celebrate the orcas, attendees are encouraged to wear black and/or white! Sponsors of the event include: Islander Bank, Islanders Insurance. The cost is $80 per person or $150 per couple which includes the reception with cash bar, sit down dinner with wine, and a dessert celebration. Seating is limited. Reservations can be made in The Whale Museum's store or by calling (360) 378-4710 ext. 30. This year-end celebration is a fundraiser for the Museum's education and research programs.

Note: Photos from prior event available.

Contact: Jenny L. Atkinson The Whale Museum (360)378-4710 ext. 26


For Immediate Release

October 5, 2012

Book Signing and Halloween Pod Nod at The Whale Museum

Friday Harbor, WA – The Whale Museum is offering two special events for kids on Saturday, October 27th. First, at 3:00 p.m. please join us in welcoming author Dr. Sally Hodson and illustrator Ann Jones of the new children’s book Granny’s Clan, about our local pods of orcas. Based on actual orca research, this book combines science with the real story of how family, friendship, and a grandmother's love are helping this magnificent but endangered orca clan to survive. Copies of Granny’s Clan are available for purchase at The Whale Museum. At 3:30 there will be a fun interactive presentation entitled ‘If you were an orca in Granny’s clan’ followed by a book signing. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Then, from 6:00 p.m. overnight to 8:30 a.m., we will be offering a special Halloween Pod Nod. This popular “pajama party” sleepover in the Museum for children ages 6 - 10 will be led by a Museum Educator with assistance from other adult professionals. Youth participants will learn to value whales and the marine environment through art projects, science labs, games, and the traditional flashlight tour of the Exhibit Hall. The theme for this special Pod Nod is ‘Nature’s Costumes.’ We encourage participants to come dressed in their Halloween costumes and learn how animals sometimes use costumes to help them survive in the wild. A bedtime snack and breakfast are included. We promise a high adult/child ratio and a whale of a good time! The cost for the Halloween Pod Nod is $39 for children/grandchildren of Whale Museum members or $49 for non-members. Scholarships are available for those who need them. For more information, or to register a child in the Pod Nod, please call The Whale Museum at (360) 378-4710 extension 23 or email [email protected]. Pre-registration is required to ensure a great experience for the Pod Nodders as well as a high adult to child ratio.

Contact: Cindy Hansen The Whale Museum [email protected] (360) 378-4710 ext. 23


For Immediate Release

September 20, 2012

Artstock - A Fall Festival of Art

Discover the unique art of the islands at this 6th Annual festival

The 6th annual Artstock - "A Fall Festival of Art," celebrating the diverse artistic culture of the islands, is coming to San Juan Island on October 6th and 7th. Two days of open art studios, art galleries, museum and other events will take place to delight your senses and feed your soul.

Savor this unique self-guided art tour showcasing local artists in their creative environment throughout San Juan Island, plus museum and gallery receptions and events into the evening in Friday Harbor.

Enjoy lodging and dining specials to complete the experience.

The museum and galleries will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Participating museums and galleries are Arctic Raven Gallery - Native American art; Gallery San Juan – unique local art; San Juan Islands Museum of Art – local and regional art; Island Studios – original local artwork; and Waterworks Gallery – contemporary artwork.

The open studio tour runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. Participating studios include Spaulding Studios, Lewis and Nancy Spaulding – photography and oil pastels; San Juan Glassworks, artist Yvonne Buijs-Mancuso – art glass and encaustics; Paula West Pottery – pottery; Rikki Swin, photography and more.

Artstock sponsors include the Town of Friday Harbor, the Port of Friday Harbor, Earthbox Motel and Spa and other local businesses. Brochures with a map of studio locations and gallery information can be picked up at the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce, Gallery San Juan, Arctic Raven Gallery, Waterworks Gallery, and Island Studios, all located in Friday Harbor.

Contact: Claudia Fullerton Island Studios (360) 378-6550


For Immediate Release

September 20, 2012

Pedego Electric Bikes Comes to Friday Harbor San Juan Island says, “Hello, fun!” as visitors and locals welcome popular electric bicycle

Pedego Friday Harbor has opened its doors for sales of electric bikes. “Though it’s too late in the season to offer rentals or tours, we plan to expand next spring, welcoming visitors who want to leave their cars on the mainland or prefer seeing the island by bicycle," says owner Lynn Danaher. "Meanwhile, bikes are available for purchase. Plus, we have instituted a Pilot Rental program at Island Inn at 123 West in Friday Harbor, to date the guests have been raving about the genuine fun they are having exploring our island on a Pedego Electric bike!”

Why Pedego? Chalk it up to Danaher’s long history with electric bicycles. For 15 years, Danaher tried other brands of electric bikes, and she was disappointed by the companies’ lack of customer care. Then, she discovered Pedego Electric Bikes, which Danaher says, “lives up to its reputation for quality electric bikes.” She was finally convinced to open Pedego Friday Harbor when she saw how Pedego takes care of their customers. “They work hard to get the orders right, and they’re very eager to please customers. Visitors and locals are thrilled about the new possibilities of enjoying the island without the hassles of traffic, parking and most importantly the non-existent carbon footprint.” Gas prices are no longer a concern with an electric bike. Lynn, who has been riding her bike exclusively since May, has reported that she’s saved over $500 in gas. “These bikes make errands fun, you can get all the exercise you want and need but when it’s one hill too many, press a button and the hills are fun! Pedego bikes make the world flat," Danaher related.

Pedego Friday Harbor is located in Surina Business Park at 50 Malcolm Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, the shop is conveniently situated near a 20-mile scenic loop bike trail. Call 360-317-6668 or 378-4555 to arrange a free test ride. Watch for this shop’s news in Spring 2013, when they will amp up the fun with Pedego electric bike rentals and guided tours. Like us at our facebook page:

About Pedego® Electric Bikes Pedego®, built its reputation by creating electric bicycles outfitted with the latest in electric bike technology. With their chic, stylish designs complemented by a built-in electric hub motor, Pedego® offers a cost-effective and green alternative for transportation, exercise, recreation and fun! Pedego® electric bicycles are perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy the fun of cycling and experiencing the outdoors without worrying about hills. Hailing from Orange County, California, Pedego Electric Bikes is one of the fastest growing electric bicycle companies in the world. For more information, please visit

Pedego Electric Bikes are available for test rides and purchase at Surina Business Park, 50 Malcolm, Friday Harbor.

Contact: Lynn Danaher (360) 378-6692 [email protected]


For Immediate Release

September 12, 2012

Three Orca Calves Receive Names

Friday Harbor, Wash. – After several weeks of public voting with more than 5,000 votes counted, three Southern Resident Community Orca calves have new names! The newly named babies are: Ripple (K-44), Keta (L-117), and Jade (L-118).

Receiving a name is an important event. It acknowledges the whale has survived their first winter, making their chances for long term survival much greater. These active, young whales have returned with their pod and have been seen throughout the summer. They have now been entered into the Orca Adoption Program.

The Orca Adoption Program was started in the spring of 1984. The rationale behind the creation of the adoption program was that if each orca were given a name and history, people would understand its unique personality and complex social relationships, and form a connection to the whales. At the time the Orca Adoption program was created, a Congressional bill to ban live captures of killer whales was pending; it subsequently passed. Today, thousands of people know Granny (J-2), Oreo (J-22) and other Southern Resident orcas through the Orca Adoption Program.

An Orca Adoption is a wonderful way to connect with these magnificent orcas. Symbolically adopting a whale in the Southern Resident Community also supports the mission of The Whale Museum which, since 1979, has been promoting stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea eco-system through education and research. In addition to providing exhibits and the Orca Adoption Program, the Museum provides programs including: the Soundwatch Boater Education, Marine Naturalist Training, San Juan Islands Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and the Whale Hotline. The Whale Museum can be found on-line at

Orca Adoptions make wonderful gifts for family and friends. For more information, contact the Orca Adoption team at (360) 378-4710 ext. 24.

# #

Note: Pictures available.

For more information: Connie Domenech Orca Adoption Program Membership Department Coordinator Phone: (360) 378-4710 ext. 24 [email protected]


For Immediate Release

September 10, 2012

The Great Island Grown Festival October 1-31, 2012

CELEBRATE THE HARVEST! Join us in October for The Great Island Grown Festival. This month-long celebration offers a rare glimpse inside the unique world of food and farming in the San Juan Islands. Come together with farmers, restaurants, the island community, and visitors to celebrate a vibrant farming community, pastoral landscapes, food, and the island way of life. Enjoy a variety of events, classes and workshops. From a farm tour and talk on the wizardry of permaculture to scarecrow making; to old island historic barn tours and farm-to-table feasts; sheep dog demonstrations and how to farm with horses, vineyard harvests, a barn dance, pig-roast and more – it’s bound to be a deliciously good time on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands.

Some highlights include: The Fall Farm Parade (Saturday, October 6th) - Tractors, Old Farm Trucks, and Horses, Oh My! This old-fashioned parade has it all! If this funky, homegrown production of island produce and producers doesn’t turn your head, what will?

Harvest Meal on the Village Green (Sunday, October 7th): Farm to Table is alive and well on Orcas Island! On the day following the last outdoor Orcas Island Farmer’s Market, long, linen-draped tables will be set on the Village Green in the middle of Eastsound. A host of well-known Orcas Island chefs, led by premier chef and author Christina Orchid, will be serving a meal of the Island’s finest dishes made with local ingredients to guests wishing to experience incredible community-based agriculture.

Shellfish Farm Tour and Lunch (Saturday, October 13th): Visit the Sweetwater Shellfish Farm on Lopez to see how oysters, mussels, and clams, are raised and then taste them—there’s nothing fresher than this!

There will also be a garden tour at Mossy Knoll Garden (Sunday, October 14 and Sunday, October 21). Guided walks through all the formal gardens; questions and answers; fresh veggies/flowers/garlic braids/herbs will be available for purchase, and some bedding plants (culinary herbs). Tours run from 11am to 4 pm.

“The enthusiastic response this year to participate has been overwhelming,” Boyd Pratt, organizer for the ARC commented.

Here’s what a few of the many participants are saying. At Westcott Bay Ciderworks and San Juan Distillery, tours and tastings of cider and distilled spirits as well as an apple picking party will be held on select weekends in October. “We're using locally foraged ingredients to make a high-quality natural product for islanders, and if that makes us a tourist attraction too, that's awesome,” said Suzy Pingree, partner, San Juan Island Distillery.

Chef Christina Orchid, who will be offering a series of four cooking classes in October related, “Sustainable agriculture is actually working in the San Juans; come and see it for yourselves!”

For the full calendar of events, and to check for updates on “The Great Island Grown” events and times at

The Great Island Grown Festival is part of “Savor the San Juans: A Medley of Food, Art & Culture,” this month-long movable feast for the senses includes tempting lodging and restaurant specials and harvest activities, visit as more specials are added daily.

For more information: Agricultural Resources Committee Media Contact: Boyd Pratt, Coordinator, The Great Island Grown Festival Phone: (360) 378-7172 Email: [email protected] or [email protected] Website:


For Immediate Release

September 6, 2012

Tractors, Old Farm Trucks and Horses, Oh My! 2012 Fall Farm Parade - Join Us!

Saturday, October 6th at 2:30 p.m.

The Fall Farm Parade has it all! If this funky, homegrown production of island produce and producers doesn't turn your head, we don't know what will!

The Grand Marshall of the parade is Al Sundstrom. This year's parade is in memory of Lynette Guard who passed away last spring. The Sundstroms and Guards are long-time island farm families.

The parade will begin at the Fairgrounds, travel down Argyle, turn right on Spring Street, First Street and again on Nichols.

There will be a street party at the Brickworks afterwards with a chili cook-off by local chefs, music, local history and more. Sunshine Alley will be closed to traffic and parking during the event.

The San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild is sponsoring the parade and after-party as part of the Great Island Grown Festival October 1-31, 2012. Festival events are taking place on San Juan, Orcas and Lopez Islands. The public is invited to participate in these great events.

For information: Candace Jagel [email protected]


For Immediate Release

September 6, 2012

Savor the San Juans: A Medley of Food, Art & Culture October 1 – 31

Please join us this October for our fifth annual, month-long movable feast for the senses in the San Juan Islands. “Savor the San Juans” is the theme for autumn festivals and specials. Artstock the first weekend and The Great Island Grown Festival, featuring agricultural events all month, are major draws. Local food and winemaker’s dinners, dining out specials of “3 Courses/$30 or $35,” Saturday Farmers’ Markets, a Friday Harbor Farm Parade, farm tours, cooking classes, community dinners and demos are a few of the culinary components. Art gallery events, theater performances and presentations are happening all month; for kids, scarecrow making, pumpkin carving, a sleepover at The Whale Museum, hayrides and Halloween storytelling, will keep them entertained.

In addition to a cornucopia of culinary and cultural choices on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands, lodging and moorage specials and packages make it easy to “Savor the San Juans,” specials can be browsed online. Check out the “Savor” page of the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau website at ( for links to participating restaurants, B&Bs, inns and hotels plus additions to the calendar and details on all events. The online calendar ( is being updated almost daily as events and specials are added.

A sampling of Savor the San Juans October events:

TBD Vineyard Harvest Fests, dates influenced by weather (Lopez & San Juan Islands) 1-31 The Great Island Grown Festival, Celebrating Farms & Food in the San Juans 4 Lopez Locavore Dinner, Savor Island Bounty & Celebrate Local Farmers, Lopez Island Schools 5-6 Shellfish Farm Hatchery Open House and Tour, Sweetwater Shellfish Farm, Lopez Island 6 Fall Farm Parade, Scarecrow-making Contest, Harvest Chili Cook-off, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island 6 Orcas Horns, Orcas Center, Orcas Island 6 San Juan Island Oktoberfest, County Fairgrounds, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island 6-7 Artstock, A Fall Festival of Art, Friday Harbor Galleries and San Juan Island Artists’ Studios 7 Harvest Meal on the Green, Prepared by premier Island chefs, Eastsound, Orcas Island 9 Cooking Class: Tricks of the Trade for Fabulous Entertaining, Orcas Island 10 Food for Thought Community Dinner, Student Chef Program, Friday Harbor HS, San Juan Island 11 Enchanted Forest Mystery Cabaret, Orcas Center 11-15 Chiaroscuro Circus Mixed Media Art Retreat, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island 13 Barn Dance with Squares and Contras, West Sound Community Hall, Orcas Island 13 Shellfish Farm Tour and Lunch, Sweetwater Shellfish Farm, Lopez Island 13 Farm-to-Cafeteria, School’s Sustainable Garden Tour & Lunch, Orcas Island 13 Ciderworks & Distillery Tour and Tasting, Westcott Bay Cider and SJI Distillery, San Juan Island 13-14 Orcas Island Triple Ripple Trail Running Festival, Moran State Park, Orcas Island 13-14 Tour of Historic Barns, Orcas Island 14 Film: “Deconstructing Supper: Is Your Food Safe?” Port Stanley School, Lopez Island 16 Cooking Class: Canning and Preserving Summer’s Bounty, Orcas Island 17 Farm History Walk, Various Farms, Lopez Island 20 Salmon Hatchery Tour & Picnic Lunch, Glenwood Springs Hatchery, Orcas Island 20 Ciderworks & Distillery Tour and Tasting, Westcott Bay Cider and SJI Distillery, San Juan Island 21 Farm History Walk, Jones Family Farms Tour, Lopez Island 23 Class: Sweets for the New Age, Orcas Island 27 Harvest Dinner Potluck Event, Keynote Speaker - Author Vicki Robin, Lopez Community Center 27 Great Pumpkin Saturday, Pumpkin Carving Contest, Hayrides, Spooky Stories, Orcas Island 27-28 Halloween Pod Nod Sleepover, The Whale Museum, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island 28 Thornbush Farm Tour, Permaculture Orchard, Innovative Cultivation and More, San Juan Island 30 Cooking Class: Seafood Primer – All local salmon, shellfish and more, Orcas Island 31 Halloween Trick or Treat for children, Eastsound Shops, Orcas Island

Plus, every Saturday there will be Historic Friday Harbor Guided Walking Tours and Farmers’ Markets on Orcas Island and San Juan Island.

A few of the dinner specials include: Friday Harbor - “3 courses $30/$35” at Vinny’s Ristorante and “3 courses /$35” at Coho; Lopez - “3 courses /$35” at The Bay Café, Lopez Islander 4 courses for $30. F

riday Harbor’s Coho Restaurant will offer two winemaker dinners: October 12 - Cana’s Feast, Tuscan-inspired Northwest wines, paired with an autumnal Mediterranean-style dinner; October 26 - San Juan Vineyards’ wine will pair with a fall harvest-inspired menu. Dinners are six courses, $45 p/p + optional 5 wine pairing $25 p/p, tax and gratuity excluded.

Lodging specials so far include: Lopez Island - MacKaye Harbor Inn, complimentary bottle of wine or the inn’s cookbook; Bay House and Garden Cottages, half off a 2 night booking; Lopez Islander $99 queen or $129 king rate.

Orcas Island – Old Trout Inn, dinner and 2 night special rates; Blue Heron B&B, Chess Tournament and room discount; Swannies Inn $75 per night, 2 night minimum.

San Juan Island – Inn to the Woods, stay two nights and get the third night free; Earthbox Inn & Spa, $99 Savor rate; Tucker House / Coho Restaurant, attend a winemakers dinner on October 12 or 26, enjoy a $99 room rate including a 3 course breakfast; Island Inn 25% off best available room rate; Best Western $139.99 per night for a 2 night booking.

Port of Friday Harbor Moorage Special – spend $100 on San Juan Island, in one day, and get a free night’s moorage, (alcohol and cigarettes excluded).

Please continue to check out ( as tempting dinner specials at fine restaurants, lodging specials in cozy cabins and elegant inns, and fun fall festivals are being added regularly.

For more information: San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau [email protected] (360) 378-6822 ext. 1

Media Contact: Barbara Marrett Communications Manager San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau (360) 378-6822 ext. 6 [email protected]


For Immediate Release

July 12, 2012

San Juan Islands Move Up to #3 in Travel + Leisure’s Top Islands Rankings

Travel + Leisure has announced its 2012 World’s Best Awards, ranking the San Juan Islands #3 on its list of Top Islands in the Continental U.S. and Canada. The Islands also received the distinction of being added to their newly created Hall of Fame for those on the “Top List” for ten or more consecutive years.

The rankings (in order) are: Vancouver Island, British Columbia; Mount Desert Island, Maine; San Juan Islands, Washington State; Florida Keys, and Kiawah Island, South Carolina. The San Juan Islands’ 2012 ranking as #3 out of five is the highest achieved so far; the magazine’s readers ranked the Islands #4 in 2011 and 2010.

Three of these top five islands are on the East Coast of North America; the two Salish Sea neighbors, Vancouver Island and the San Juan Islands, are on the West Coast. A narrow international waterway, Haro Strait, with a width of just six miles in places, separates these two lovely destinations. In addition, the city of Vancouver, Canada was named to the 2012 Top Cities list for the U.S. and Canada and is just a short flight or scenic ferry ride and drive from the San Juan Islands.

World’s Best rankings are the outcome of Travel + Leisure’s 17th annual survey of readers’ favorites and described as “an essential index of the places you want to go.” The magazine’s website presents the methodology for the annual survey online at: The World’s Best Awards list is the cover story of the magazine’s August issue, available on newsstands, July 20.

Criteria for judging islands included natural attractions, activities/sights, restaurants/food, people, and value. To see what the San Juan Islands offer in these categories and to get helpful travel tips and special deals on lodging and activities from the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, go online at The San Juan Islands and their surrounding waterways comprise Washington’s newest Scenic Byway, a byway which traces Native canoe routes now cruised by Washington State ferries. The byway also includes rural roads on Orcas Island and San Juan Island. To see the Islands car-free, a scenic byway shuttle bus travels this route; a free companion pass on the byway shuttle bus is offered this summer online:

Travel + Leisure has the world’s largest audience of any travel magazine. Its annual survey is a chance to see what resonates with readers as authentic, quality, long-lasting experiences. Many of this year’s choices reflect readers’ desire for adventure and the outdoors. The survey tracks the places, ideas, and trends of interest to the discerning traveler.

The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau is a non-profit, economic development agency contracted for responsible tourism management and competitive marketing of the San Juan Islands as a year-round travel destination. Visitor spending directly benefits businesses and residents on Lopez, Orcas, Shaw and San Juan Islands.

Media Contact: Barbara Marrett Communications Manager San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau (360) 378-6822 ext. 6 [email protected]


For Immediate Release

July 12, 2012

Do you have the “Island Friendly Spirit”?

The Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Island Chambers of Commerce along with the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, San Juan County Economic Development Council, Northwest Workforce Development Council and Scenic Byways have jointly developed and embraced a concept called the “Island Friendly Spirit”.

It all started with an online survey last year with over 160 responses from organizations and residents around the county asking what would be the most important attributes the San Juan Islands could improve upon to make this a better place for our businesses, residents and visitors. The clear answers were to communicate Island values, inspire island businesses and organizations, and ultimately strengthen our Island’s reputation for providing outstanding customer experiences for each other and visitors in our archipelago called the San Juan Islands! The key themes are: 1)We put people first , 2) We keep our word, 3) We exceed expectations, 4) We are Island stewards, 5) We are Island ambassadors.

Embracing the “Island Friendly Spirit” will help our islands develop an even better reputation for great experiences where visitors and locals alike enjoy the beauty of our islands as well as every interaction with islanders. If “Island Friendly Spirit” is our way of life our community will continue to thrive and prosper!

Contact your local Chamber of Commerce if you want to be part of the “Island Friendly Spirit” !

For information: Steve Hushebeck: 360-378-1076, [email protected] Jim Hooper: 360-317-5286, [email protected] Orcas Chamber of Commerce: Lance Evans, 360-376-2273, [email protected] San Juan Chamber of Commerce: Tom Kirschner, 360-378-5240, [email protected] Lopez Chamber of Commerce: Lia Noreen or Becky Smith, 360-468-4664, [email protected]


For Immediate Release

March 20, 2012

Taylor Named Superintendent of San Juan Island National Historical Park

Lee Taylor, a 30-year career employe of the National Park Service (NPS), has been named superintendent at San Juan Island National Historical Park. Taylor is currently the Chief of Interpretation and Education at Mount Rainier National Park. She replaces former superintendent Peter Dederich who recently transferred to the NPS’s Pacific West Regional Office in Seattle.

“Lee has a great deal of energy, creativity and passion, and excels at engaging communities,” said Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz. “She has a collaborative approach that will lend itself well to working with the community to prepare the park for its next century of stewardship and engagement.”

For the past three years, Taylor has managed the Information and Education Program at Mount Rainier National Park, which included the development of a number of exhibits, publications and the park website. Taylor and her staff operated all the park visitor centers, developed and presented educational programs for park visitors, school groups and area communities, and managed a volunteer program comprised of 1,800 volunteers each year. In her previous position, Taylor served as District Interpreter at Mount Rainier, supervising visitor information and interpretive services in the park’s busy Paradise area. In addition, Taylor has provided visitor services in other national parks including Fort Vancouver National Historic Preserve, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area and Craters of the Moon National Monument, among others.

“I am looking forward to working with the park staff and partners to maximize the value of the park to visitors and the community,” said Taylor upon hearing of her selection. “It is a fascinating park in a beautiful location and I am honored to serve as superintendent.”

Taylor intends to explore her new home by riding her bike on the island’s scenic roads, walking the trails and learning to kayak. Taylor will assume her new duties April 22, 2012.

San Juan Island National Historical Park is located off the northwest corner of Washington State, at the juncture of the straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca. The park was established by Congress in 1966 for the purpose of “...interpreting and preserving the sites of the American and English camps on the island, and of commemorating the historic events that occurred from 1853 to 1871 on the island in connection with the final settlement of the Oregon Territory boundary dispute, including the so-called Pig War of 1859.” In addition to the American and English camps, in 2010 the NPS acquired the Mitchell Hill unit from the Washington Department of Natural Resources which contains part of the original historic military road spur and potentially other artifacts dating to the encampment period.

For Information: National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior Pacific West Region
333 Bush St
Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94104 Phone: 415-623-2103
Fax: 415-623-2380
Release Date: 03/20/12


For Immediate Release

April 20, 2012

San Juan Cruises Connects Bellingham to the Islands

San Juan Cruises will kick off its 2012 season with their popular San Juan Adventure day cruise. This 8-hour tour, which replaced their Victoria service last year, includes a narrated tour through the scenic San Juan Islands, whale watching and wildlife viewing, a complimentary BBQ chicken lunch, and a 2-hour shore visit in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. The tour is perfect for families, group gatherings, out-of-town guests, or for anyone that just wants to get away for the day.

The San Juan Adventure cruise runs May 5 through September 30th, 2012. The adult price will be $99.00, with youth (ages 6-17) $49.50 and children (under 6) free. San Juan Cruises offers this and other tours that highlight the best of what makes this corner of Washington State so special and unique – the rugged coastlines of the San Juan Islands and Chuckanut Bay, wildlife such as Orca Whales, Bald Eagles, Harbor Seals and Stellar Sea Lions, and Northwest cuisine, including Wild Alaskan Salmon and Dungeness Crab.

Other tours offered include their Chuckanut Bay Cracked Crab Dinner Cruise, as well as their brand new "unWINEd On The Bay" wine tasting cruises and San Juan Islands Bike Adventure series.

In addition to all of the Northwest wines and beers offered on-board, they have also partnered with several local companies for their food and beverage products this season, including Bornstein Seafoods, Avenue Bread and Blue Heron Coffee Company.

For information: Drew Schmidt
[email protected]
San Juan Cruises
355 Harris Avenue #104 Bellingham, WA 98225

Orcas Island Gardens on Homestead Tour June 22

Best Luxury Hotel in the Northwest Award Goes to Island Inn at 123 West

Friday Harbor Fly-In & Open House – July 21

New Water Taxi Links Bellingham to San Juan Island

6th Annual Celebration of the Orca Greeting Ceremony

Wildwood Manor Named One of the Top Bed & Breakfasts in the World

Washington Birding Trail Expands to Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands

Roche Harbor Receives 2012 The Knot Best of Wedding Award

Friday Harbor Art Market

Byway Explorer Free Pass