For Immediate Release
Date: December 7, 2016

Registration Open for 2017 Spring Marine Naturalist Training Program

Friday Harbor, Wash. – Registration for The Whale Museum’s 2017 Spring Marine Naturalist Training Program is now open. The 6-session program will run on the following dates: April 29, 30, and May 6, 7, 13, and 14. The object of this program is to provide a learning experience that assists adult graduates in becoming qualified regionally as professional or volunteer naturalists. (Registration is also open for the Summer Program.)

The main focus of the training is the ecology, current status and conservation of Southern Resident Killer Whales and other local marine species as well as discussions about the environments they live in. The course includes presentations on cetaceans, pinnipeds, otters, intertidal invertebrates, seabirds, and a variety of other topics such as geology and marine conservation. Faculty includes Whale Museum staff, professional naturalists, marine scientists, and environmental educators active in the region. Students will also participate in a variety of field trips relating to the topics of study.

Tuition is $475 for non-museum members (includes an orca adoption and a Whale Museum membership) and $425 for museum members/orca adopters. There are no prerequisites other than high school graduation and a sincere interest to learn.

Please refer all questions to Tracie Merrill, Education Curator by email at [email protected] or by phone at (360) 378-4710 ext.23. Registration material, when available, can be downloaded from the Whale Museum website at

Contact: Tracie Merrill
(360) 378-4710 ext. 23


For Immediate Release
November 29, 2016

Committed to Conservation: Local Whale Watch & Wildlife Tour Companies Donate $24,000 to Orca and Salmon Conservation

Juan Island Outfitters for their whale watch and sea kayak tour experience, guests contribute to the conservation effort. For every tour ticket sold, $1 was donated to orca and salmon conservation. All donations were collected as a Conservation Fee per each ticket sold. Since the inception of the Conservation Fund in 2015, San Juan Safaris and San Juan Island Outfitters have donated over $24,000 to three organizations: The Center for Whale Research, Save Our Wild Salmon, and Long Live the Kings as well as smaller local to The Whale MuseumSan Juan County Land BankSan Juan Preservation Trust, and the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

The Center for Whale Research is a non-profit that monitors the Southern Resident Community of Killer Whales (SRKWs) through photo identification and observations, which are listed as endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Save Our Wild Salmon is a nationwide coalition of organizations working to restore healthy populations of wild salmon, the SRKWs’ main food source, to river systems on the Pacific Northwest through dam removal and restoration, with their main efforts focused on the Columbia and Snake River Basins. Long Live the Kings is a non-profit organization working towards restoring wild steelhead and salmon populations through education and outreach, and by creating effective wild habitat management programs.

Brian Goodremont, business owner of San Juan Safaris and San Juan Island Outfitters, says that “after careful research and consultation with government and non-governmental organizations, we have determined that these three recipients of the Conservation Fund would have the greatest ability to make the largest positive impact on the overall health of the Southern Resident Killer Whales and their recovery through research and salmon restoration.”

About San Juan Safaris and San Juan Island Outfitters

San Juan Safaris is a whale watch and wildlife tour company based in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA. Founded in 1996, San Juan Safaris provides tours focusing on respectful wildlife viewing, education, and conservation efforts. San Juan Safaris offers whale watch and wildlife tours by motorized vessel February through November. Their sister company, San Juan Island Outfitters, offers three- and five-hour professionally guided sea kayak tours, as well as overnight kayak-camping excursions, and recreational water craft rentals.

Both San Juan Safaris and San Juan Island Outfitters are owned and operated by Brian and Rachel Goodremont. The Goodremont family has called San Juan Island home since 2002, and live and work on San Juan Island full time, raising their two children while running their small family farm.

For more information, visit and Staff can be reached at 800.450.6858.

Brian Goodremont
San Juan Safaris
San Juan Island Outfitters
Phone: 800.450.6858
Email [email protected]


For Immediate Release
November 28, 2016

Rosario Resort to host 6th annual Festival of Trees
Orcas Island resort sponsors annual fundraiser for local non-profits

Eastsound, Wash. ...Christmas trees return to light up the Moran Mansion at Rosario Resort and Spa during the month of December, decorated by seven local non-profit organizations. Sponsored by the resort, the Festival of Trees is designed to be a fundraiser during this holiday season for participating organizations, including Orcas Island Farm to Cafeteria Program, Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Orcas Montessori School, Orcas Animal Protection Society, The FunHouse Commons, Friends of Moran State Park and Orcas Island Historical Museum.

The public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite tree by purchasing votes at $1 per ticket throughout the entire month of December. All voter tickets will also be entered into a raffle to win prizes, including two round-trip tickets from Orcas Island to Seattle on Kenmore Air with a two-night hotel stay, dinner for two at The Mansion Restaurant, and a two-month Rosario spa pass. All organizations will also receive an additional donation from Rosario Resort.

"These organizations not only create a beautiful display in our lobby each year, but they add such value to our community," states General Manager Christopher Peacock. "I hope everyone comes out to see the trees and leaves a thank-you donation to support each of these groups."

The Moran Mansion is open daily from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the Front Desk of Rosario before touring the tree display.

A special Holiday Open House will be held on Friday, Dec. 9 through Sunday, Dec. 11 (12 noon-8 p.m. each day) with complimentary hot apple cider and cookies available.

Each organization will receive the voting dollars, with the all the organizations receiving additional donations from Rosario Resort.

Media Contact:            
Holly Southern, Marketing
DirectorRosario Resort & Spa
360-376-2152 ext. 339
[email protected]


For Immediate Release
October 27, 2016

Small-town Celebrations Add Sparkle to Holiday Getaways
Tree lightings, artisan fairs and a new Island Nutcracker brings good cheer to the San Juan Holiday Season

Friday Harbor, WA … In the San Juans, the holidays are a perfect time to get away from crowded parking lots and cookie-cutter chain stores. Enjoy a winter event or take a walk on a stormy beach, cozy up to glass of local wine by the fire, or get a rejuvenating massage.

Here, Santa arrives by ship and shopping is small, not mall. Find the perfect island-made gift at an island artisans’ fair, boutique, or independent bookstore. As a Mecca for artists, local galleries on San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez Islands present an array of island-made jewelry, pottery, paintings, prints and sculpture.

From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, a celebratory lineup of Holiday Events and Specials offer plenty of ways to keep friends and families busy, from holiday plays and concerts to wine tastings and dinners, special restaurant and lodging packages and more. A new Nutcracker Ballet Tea-Party will feature original ballet choreography that celebrates San Juan Island and its local culture while remaining true to The Nutcracker’s classical roots.

Three tree lighting ceremonies in Eastsound Village Green, Lopez Village and Friday Harbor will brighten up the holiday season, with carolers, cookies, hot cider and holiday cheer. Escape the mainland’s rush and discover island time this holiday season.

Friday Harbor/San Juan Island Events:
November 25 - 26San Juan Island Artisans' Holiday Marketplace
December 2, Island Lights Festival
December 3 - 4, Brickworks Old-Fashioned Christmas Market
December 17 & 18, Nutcracker Ballet Tea-Party
December 17, Santa Ship and Lighted Boats

Lopez Island Events:
November 25, Lopez Village Holiday Lighting & Gathering

Orcas Island Events:
November 25 - 26, Orcas Center - The Olga Symphony, More or Less
December 2, Eastsound Holiday Celebration & Tree Lighting
December 10 - 11, Orcas Center - Orcas Choral Society

Additional holiday events and specials, as they are added, maybe found at: . Find more suggestions for a Cozy Island Holiday on our San Juan Island Experiences section at

Holiday photos may be found in Dropbox:

Media Contact:
Barbara Marrett
barbara[email protected]
360-378-6822 ext 6


For Immediate Release
November 14, 2016

First Annual Thanks”Living” Celebration at Island Haven Animal Sanctuary

Friday Harbor, Wash. ... Island Haven Animal Sanctuary invites you to join them on Sunday, November 20th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to honor their rescued turkeys and other retired farm animals.  Enjoy plant-based appetizers and learn more about Island Haven and amazing facts about turkeys.  Take a guided tour of the sanctuary and toast their animal friends with a holiday beverage or wine.  Best of all, feed the turkeys their favorite treats.  Donations are encouraged, all proceeds go towards the feeding and care of sanctuary animals.  To RSVP email [email protected] or call 360-472-1040.


Julie Duke
Mobile: 360-472-1040
Email: [email protected]

Island Haven Animal Sanctuary
PO Box 428
Friday Harbor, WA 98250


For Immediate Release
October 26, 2016

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

Friday Harbor, Wash. -- Please join us on Wednesday, November 2nd at 3:00 p.m. as we honor the lives and commemorate the deaths of passed Southern Resident orcas. At this annual Day of the Dead celebration we will pay tribute to Sooke (L-112), Samish (J-14), and Nigel (L-95). Come and share your memories of departed whales who are gone but certainly not forgotten. The Whale Museum will help keep the legacies of these whales alive through our ‘Storykeeper Series’ – commemorative packets available in the Museum store, designed to remember those orcas who have gone before. In the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition, refreshments will be provided.

We ask for your help as we prepare to honor the departed members of the Southern Resident Community. If you have any photos of past whales or special stories you would like to share, we welcome them. For more information please contact us at 360 378-4710, ext. 30.

The November 2nd event is free and open to the public, although donations are appreciated. The Whale Museum is located in Friday Harbor at 62 First St. N. Founded in 1979, 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 on-line at

Tracie Merrill
(360) 378-4710 ext. 23


For Immediate Release
October 20, 2016

Fall Film Season in the San Juan Islands

San Juan Islands, WA …  Fall film festivals serve as powerful enticements to get away to the San Juan Islands, during Savor the San Juans: A Celebration of Food, Farms & Film. Picture a day’s worth of thought-provoking films while rubbing elbows with the filmmakers. Follow with a meal of locally harvested seafood and glass of crisp island wine, spirits or cider.

November 4-6 -- The fourth annual Friday Harbor Film Festival (FHFF) – Stories from the Pacific Rim & Beyond (, features over 50 award-winning documentaries and docu-dramas, sharing compelling stories about daring explorations and humanitarian, environmental and social issues. Several premiers, a filmmakers forum, and a screening of films by young filmmakers from across the globe will take place within easy walking distance of the ferry terminal, airport and docks. Visitors may discover Friday Harbor’s waterfront galleries, museums and shops—all without a car. Kenmore Air is offering discounted fares as further incentive to leave the car at home.

Television host and film producer Scott Capestany will MC the event. The FHFF is distinguished by the many international filmmakers who come to attend and interact with attendees. Among this year’s honorees is academy award-winning film editor and producer Richard Chew (Star Wars), who will be on hand for Friday’s opening gala. Pete Freeland (The Last Man on the Moon), an actor, test pilot and astronaut is among other special guests on hand to participate in Q &A after their films are screened. 

November 12 ­— The 4th annual one-day Wild and Scenic Film Festival at Orcas Center features short films made by change makers who are rethinking how we inhabit our planet. This year’s short documentary films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling with the festival theme “A Change of Course,” which embodies timely world-wide issues surrounding water. Hosted by Orcas Center and the San Juan Preservation Trust.

The 3rd annual Orcas Island Film Festival - Off the Edge (OIFF) ( took place the second weekend in October.

Webpage combining information for all festivals:

Check out other signature events, lodging and dining specials unfolding this fall during Savor the San Juans: A Celebration of Food, Farms & Film.

Take advantage of Lower Fall Fares between Seattle & the San Juans on Kenmore Air, October 15 – November 7, 2016. As the Official Airline of the Friday Harbor Film Festival, Kenmore Air clients receive 10% off all film festival ticket purchases and get a free stainless-steel reusable water bottle (a $20 value) Details here:

Dropbox with high resolution Film Festival & Savor the San Juans photos: 

Spread the word about the film festivals and Savor the San Juans via social media: Follow us and share one of our recent Facebook posts or tweets. Shortened festivals link: Shortened

Like us on Facebook and we’ll do the same:

#FHFilmFest #visitsanjuans #sanjuanislands #filmfestivals

Individual Film Festival Media Contacts:

Friday Harbor Film Festival
Lynn Danaher, Director
[email protected], 360-472-1050 

Karen Palmer, Producer
[email protected], 360-298-2240

Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Craig Canine
Communications Manager
San Juan Preservation Trust
[email protected] 360-317-1423

Islands Media Contact:

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


For Immediate Release
October 5, 2016

Big Weekend Planned by The Whale Museum:

“Gear Down” Workshop for Marine Naturalists on October 29, 2016

And TWM Research Symposium on October 30, 2016

Friday Harbor, WA – You are invited to join The Whale Museum for two special programs in October: the “Gear Down” Workshop for marine naturalists on October 29 followed by The Whale Museum’s (TWM) Research Symposium on October 30.  Both programs will be held at the San Juan Island Grange Hall in Friday Harbor.   On Saturday, October 29, the “Gear Down” Workshop will focus on research and recovery efforts by our neighbors to the north; doors open at 9:30 a.m.  Invited presenters include: Jared Towers (Fisheries & Oceans Canada or DFO) on Transients or Bigg’s Killer Whales; Brianna Wright (DFO) on Kin Directed Prey Sharing in Northern Residents; Paul Cottrell (DFO) on DFO’s Research and Recovery Efforts; and Chrys Neville (DFO) on Out-Migrating Juvenile Fraser River Salmon.  The registration fee is $35 for non-members; $25 for TWM or SSAMN members.   A no-host reception will follow the session on Saturday evening at Mike’s Café & Wine Bar.

On Sunday, October 30, the 1st Annual TWM Research Symposium will be held.  Also at the Grange Hall, doors open at 9 a.m.  This first Research Symposium will focus on TWM’s research efforts over the past 40 years. Facilitated by TWM Research Curator Dr. Shawn Larson, the agenda includes presentations by Jennifer Olson, Dr. Rich Osborne, Elizabeth Seely, and Dr. Jason Wood.  Topics will cover the history of TWM’s Research, the Whale Hotline & Sightings Database, OrcaMaster, Soundwatch, Vessel Trends, Strandings, Acoustics, Assessing Developments, and New Projects & Collaborations.  The registration fee is $35 for non-members; $25 for TWM or SSAMN members. 

Lunch can be pre-ordered for an additional $10 per day. Our thanks to program sponsors: The Earthbox Inn & Spa, Friday Harbor Grand B & B, and The Island Inn at 123 West.

For more information or to register, please visit this web page: or call (360) 378-4710 ext. 30.


Jenny L. Atkinson
Executive Director
The Whale Museum
P. O. Box 945 (62 1st St., N.)
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Phone: (360) 378-4710 ext. 26


Mission: to promote stewardship of whales and the Salish Sea ecosystem through education and research.


For Immediate Release
September 9, 2016

10th Annual Celebration of the Orca Greeting Ceremony

Friday Harbor, Wash. – The Whale Museum invites everyone to our 10th Annual Celebration of the “Orca Greeting Ceremony.” This Fundraising Dinner and Auction will be held on Friday, September 23 at Brickworks in Friday Harbor.

The evening will begin in the courtyard with a happy hour & silent auction at 5:30 p.m.; the no-host bar will feature Northwest Totem Cellars wine from Mike’s Café & Wine Bar. Cellist Sasha von Dassow will provide the music. Market Chef is preparing the dinner beginning with appetizers of crostini and antipasti. The dinner will be a served buffet, including an entrée choice of prosciutto & artichoke stuffed chicken breast with white wine cream sauce or wild mushroom, parmesan & fresh herb risotto cake; entrees will be served with mashed Yukon gold potatoes, roasted veggies, and homemade rolls with butter. San Juan Roasters is brewing the coffee.

After dinner, Farhad Ghatan will emcee the entertaining portion of the evening -- the live auction & raise the paddle followed by a dessert auction. That’s right, dessert after dinner is available in this delicious auction. Bid on delectable treats like the original “Chocolate Shot Cake,” Apple-Pear Pie, Cheesecake, Dessert Pizza, the Danish National Dessert (Rød Grød med Fløde), Red Wine Velvet Cake, and many more.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Islanders Insurance, Islanders Bank, Mike’s Café & Wine Bar, Northwest Totem Cellars, John & Marcy Aschoff, Coldwell Banker-San Juan Islands, Windermere, Friday Harbor Pet Supply, and Ace Hardware.

The evening is a special treat at $35.00 per person (price includes dinner; wine & beer sold separately). Reservations can be made at The Whale Museum or online at RSVPs are strongly encouraged as seating is limited. (If a group would like to attend, tables for eight can be reserved.) Proceeds raised through this event will directly support the education and research programs of The Whale Museum. To reserve your seats, stop by the Museum or call (360) 378-4710 ext. 30.

Contact: Jenny Atkinson
(360) 378-4710 ext. 26


For Immediate Release
August 30, 2016

At the Intersection of Art, Poetry, and Nature
Open: September 17 – November 28, 2016

Friday Harbor, WA –  The San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA) is proud to present Hydrographs and For All We Know, concurrently running exhibitions by two innovative artists and printmakers, Nicole Pietrantoni and Dianne Kornberg. The exhibitions will open to the public on September 17, 2016 and will end on November 28, 2016.

Art as a Voice Events:

Nicole PietrantoniFractured Landscapes, Fraught Aesthetics

San Juan Island – SJIMA, September 17 at 10am.

Gallery Talk and book signing to follow.

 Dianne Kornberg –  Crossing Borders

San Juan Island -  SJIMA, October 13 at 7pm. Gallery Talk and book signing to follow.

Lopez – Lopez Library, October 7 at 7pm. Book signing to follow.

Orcas – Episcopal Parish Hall, 242 Main Street, Eastsound, October 14 at 7pm. Book signing to follow.

Both women utilize printmaking to question what most take for granted, adding an artistic voice to forms otherwise expressed in purely scientific terms. In the words of Nicole Pietrantoni: “I am interested in our active role in constructing and idealizing landscape, questioning both the historical and contemporary complexities of representation.” She passionately explores the complex relationship between humans and nature through the medium of printmaking, creating works that are both powerfully cerebral and stunningly aesthetic.

Diane Kornberg uses printmaking and other creative media to create photo-based, archival pigment prints that both honor and question limits to the creation of knowledge through the scientific methods. She juxtaposes poetry by her collaborator, Elizabeth Frost, alongside scientific language and conventions applied to specimen conservation and preservation. Their work serves to create alternate ways of understanding the “evidence” around us. The artist and the poet shift their focus in the “What is Left” series, as they explore the charged and disorienting experience of grief.    

Nicole Pietrantoni is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, where she teaches printmaking and book arts. With degrees in Human and Organizational Development and Art History from Vanderbilt University, an MFA and MA in Printmaking from the University of Iowa, her accolades include: a Fulbright award for research in Iceland, an Artist Trust Fellowship, a Larry Sommers Printmaking Fellowship, the Manifest Prize, and a Leifur Eiríksson Foundation Grant. She is President of SGC International, the largest professional organization dedicated to printmaking, book arts, and papermaking in North America. Her work has been featured in over 80 national and international exhibitions and collections around the world.

Dianne Kornberg has been exhibiting her artwork nationally and internationally for three decades. Museum collections include the Portland Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, and more.  Her work is featured in multiple book publications including Contemporary Art in the Northwest, 100 Artists of the West Coast, and Selected Work of the Portland Art Museum. She is a professor emerita at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, and resides on an island in the San Juans. Elisabeth Frost is the author of All of Us: Poems (White Pine Press), amongst others. Frost is Professor of English and Women's Studies at Fordham University, and has received grants from the Fulbright Foundation, The Rockefeller-Bellagio Foundation, and more.

The exhibitions will open on September 17, 2016, concurrent with the ongoing installation in the Atrium Gallery, A River of Migration by Gu Xiong.

For more information go to

Hours: Friday – Monday 11 am to 5 pm, September 6 to November 28, 2016

Social Media:

SJIMA can be found on: @_SJIMA

San Juan Islands Museum of Art
540 Spring Street, P.O. Box 339, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
360-370-5050  •  [email protected]   •

Press Images: Available on request


For Immediate Release
August 22, 2016 

Bigger and better, the  9th Annual
Savor the San Juans: A Month-long Medley of Food, Farms & Films

Taste the food & farm culture of Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands this fall

Sample the Bounty of the San Juan Islands this Fall

Bigger and better, the 9th Annual Savor the San Juans invites visitors to taste the food, farm and film culture of Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands

San Juan Islands, WA … This year, Savor the San Juans is nine years old, and has grown to encompass three film festivals, art exhibits, a new sustainable seafood Salish Sea Festival, a farm parade, two vineyard harvest festivals, harvest dinners and more. Taste island grown foods and wine, beer, cider and spirits, during a selection of farm-to-table dinners by local chefs. All events and specials to date can be found at   

Take advantage of lodging, dining and transportation specials to affordably savor farm tours, demonstrations and workshops on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands during harvest season. Press cider, learn about fermentation and permaculture. More farmers than ever are offering visitors the chance to open the barn door to see behind the scenes at some of the islands’ most beautiful farms, creameries, wineries, flower gardens, shellfish farms and more. Special hyper-local meals and snacks may be added before, during and after the farm tours, see tour specifics for each island.

Fall Film Events
If you come to the San Juan Islands for Savor the San Juans, don’t forget the fall film festivals on Orcas and San Juan Islands.

·         Orcas Island Film Festival (October 7 – 10) – Orcas Island

·         Friday Harbor Film Festival (November 6 – 8) – San Juan Island

·         Wild & Scenic Film Festival (November 12) – Orcas Island

Island art galleries and the San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA) will also exhibit special fall shows of Northwest artists’ works and Native American works. Check out these Savor the San Juans events and all other events, with updates at Savor photos:


Help spread the word about Savor via social media:

Look for Facebook & Twitter posts in September and throughout October. Don’t forget to follow us and we’ll follow you back!

Tweet: Savor the San Juans - A fall medley of Food, Farms & Films. Start planning! @visitSJIslands

Like us on Facebook:

Connect with us through our Instagram feed @visitsanjuans hashtag #visitsanjuans

Instagram feed @visitsanjuans hashtag #visitsanjuans

Media Contact:

Barbara Marrett
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
(360) 378-6822, ext. 6
[email protected]


For Immediate Release

August 15, 2016

Black Fish Bistro & Martini Bar Opens in Friday Harbor

Friday Harbor, WA­ ... Black Fish Bistro & Martini Bar officially opens Wednesday, August 17, and will feature farm-to-fork and tide-to-table Pacific Northwest cuisine with a rustic French flair.

The Bistro seats approximately 40 customers upstairs and downstairs, will be open from 5:00-11:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, and is located in the alley off First Street, opposite The Bean. There are plans to open for lunch as soon as more staff are hired.

Menu items include local seafood (oysters, clams, mussels, crab, shrimp, salmon, etc.), warm and cold bistro salads, gourmet sandwiches, steak pomme frites, a dessert selection, and more. Local, featured farms include Blue Moon Produce, Jones Family Farms, Mama Bird Farm, Imagine Organics Farm, and others in the future.

The upstairs craft cocktail bar will serve martinis ranging from classic to sweet, as well as old and new world wines, and local and regional beer, cider and spirits.

The restaurant and culinary “starting team” includes owner Hobbes Buchanan, General Manager Anna Lisa Lindstrum, Executive Chef Joran Bouwman, Chef Alphonsine Haslet-Phillips, Sous Chef Desi Melendez, and Bartender Inness Davis.

“My dream has finally become reality,” said Buchanan who was involved in the restaurant industry in San Francisco before moving to the San Juans in 2001. “I’ve been wanting to open a restaurant in the Islands for many years, to continue to help put Friday Harbor on the map as a foodie destination. My chef and restaurant inspirations have been Patricia Unterman and Jacquelyn (J.J.) Buchanan, Hayes Street Grill, San Francisco; Alice Waters, Chez Panisse, Berkley; Cindy Pawlcyn, Mustards Grill, Napa; The Long Melford Swan in Suffolk, England; and locals John and Joni Trumbull of Roses Bakery Cafe in Eastsound. Our new culinary team looks forward to serving our Islanders and guests  delicious food and drinks!”

Find more info at

Hobbes Buchanan
(360) 298-0012


For Immediate Release

August 8, 2016

Hike with Bigfoot and Leave No Trace!

Friday Harbor, Wash. … How do we keep the San Juan Islands stunning? By leaving only footprints. National Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers will show us how September 8-10. LNT Traveling Trainers will be visiting Orcas, San Juan, and Lopez Islands for three days of Leave No Trace training for hiking, camping, and star gazing. Join us as we raise awareness about minimizing our impact on wild places.

Individuals, business owners and their staffs with a professional connection to the islands' waters and public lands, are invited to participate in these free Leave No Trace workshops—

9/8 – Orcas Island: Bigfoot’s been sighted in Moran State Park!  Hike with the Traveling Trainers and learn about LNT and tips for low impact hiking in Moran State Park and Turtleback Mountain Preserve. Time TBA.

9/8 -- San Juan Island: Join the Traveling Trainers at 5:00 PM in the San Juan County Park day use area for an evening workshop focused on LNT in Sea Kayaking and Camping.

9/9 – San Juan Island:  Take a Hike with the Traveling LNT Trainers. Learn about LNT and tips for low impact hiking. Time and place TBA. The Traveling Trainers will join the National Park Service Star Gazing Extravaganza in celebration of the San Juan Island National Historical Park’s 50th Anniversary at 6:00 pm for a presentation in American Camp.

9/10 Lopez Island: Youth activities and workshops including Lummi Nation youth groups and Lopez Island Conservation Corps. Time and place TBA.

The Traveling Trainers will also be available for short demonstrations on the Washington State Ferries as they travel between Anacortes and the Islands.

These events are key components of the ‘Leave No Trace in Every Park’ initiative, raising community awareness and bringing solutions to the threat of harm to trails, parks and open space in areas facing heavy recreational use.  The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers are experts who provide a fun and interactive way to effectively educate all ages on how to ‘Leave No Trace.’

In 2014, The San Juan County Council adopted a resolution that became known as the San Juan Islands Seven – an adaptation of the Leave No Trace principles to fit the unique ecosystem here in the San Juans. This was a result of the local Terrestrial Managers Working Group, a coalition of conservation-oriented governmental and non-governmental land managers, reaching out to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in Boulder, CO for help with trainings to instill Leave No Trace principles in locals and visitors. Based on that resolution, San Juan is the first county in the U.S. to be designated as a voluntary “Leave No Trace” Area. The San Juan Islands National Monument site on Lopez Island was also chosen as an LNT Demonstration site – one of 10 in the country that exemplify the guiding principles through management, programming, outreach, and integrated messaging into signage and other materials. Now, with a standard in place, the Traveling Trainers can help take LNT in the islands to the next level.

Local Media Contact: Amy Nesler, San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, [email protected], (360)378-6822 ext. 6

National Media Contact for LNT:  Kate Lessman, Kathleen Lessman Communications/ Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, [email protected], 970-333-3395


For Immediate Release

August 9, 2016

Coast Salish Dedications during National Park Service Founder’s Day Event

Friday Harbor, Wash. ... San Juan Island National Historical Park will host Washington Coast Salish Tribes and First Nations Thursday, August 25, 2016 during the National Park Service Founder’s Day celebration. Members of Lummi and Saanich nations will dedicate two canoes, two Salmon Story Boards and a Reef Net Captain Totem Pole to the National Park to commemorate the National Park Service Centennial. Washington State Senator, Kevin Ranker will be speaking to the value of public lands and how the next generation is critical to continuing the important conservation work into the next century. The Park is honored to be celebrating the next century of stewardship and collaboration of public lands.

A public ceremony dedication will be held at 2 pm near a Coast Salish village site at English Camp. A birthday cake will be cut in honor of the celebration at 3:30 and family-friendly activities such as canoe paddling, native dancing, artwork, and information about the San Juan Islands will be available until 6 pm.  A special talk with master canoe builder Dean Washington and canoe navigator Matt Wickey on canoe culture in the Islands, past and present will be held at 3:45 pm with instruction on canoe paddling.  

“Coast Salish families traveled and worked these waters, prairies, and forests for thousands of years before European arrival and the islands hold their stories,” said Superintendent Elexis Fredy, “These gifts will allow the park to share the deep meaning and reverence the Salish people have for their sacred home, the San Juan Islands.”

Master canoe builder and Lummi Nation member, Dean Washington, will dedicate two Coast Salish canoes, master carver Jewell Praying Wolf James will dedicate two Salmon Story Boards, and master carver Charles Elliott, a member of the T'sartlip First Nation on Vancouver Island, will dedicate his Reef Net Captain Pole.

Free shuttle bus to/from Friday Harbor ferry landing at 2 pm returning from park at 5 pm.

To volunteer for this event, please call (360) 378 - 2240 ext. 2223. For more information visit the park website,, or Facebook page,


Elexis Fredy, Park Superintendent
360-378-2240 x2223,
[email protected]


For Immediate Release

August 5, 2016

Pod Nods in August at The Whale Museum, August 12 and 26

Friday Harbor, WA ... Pod Nod overnight marine adventures return to The Whale Museum this summer! The first of the popular “pajama party” sleepovers for children ages 6 to 10 will be held on August 12th. Pod Nods are led by Museum Educators with assistance from other adult professionals. Youth participants will learn to value whales and their environment through art projects, science labs, games, the traditional flashlight tour of the Exhibit Hall, and a bedtime movie. We promise a high adult/child ratio and a whale of a good time!

Two Pod Nods are scheduled this summer: Friday, August 12 and Friday. August 26. Participants will engage in crafts, activities, story-telling and museum exploration as they learn about our Marine Mammal Neighbors living in the Salish Sea. Each Pod Nod will begin at 6:30 p.m. with pick-up the next morning at 8:30 a.m. A bedtime snack and breakfast are included.

The cost for each Pod Nod is $44 for children/grandchildren of Whale Museum members. The cost for non-members is $49 per Pod Nod. A limited number of scholarships are available. Pre-registration is required to ensure a great experience for the Pod Nodders as well as a high adult to child ratio.

Please call The Whale Museum at (360) 378-4710 extension 30 or email [email protected] for more information. Registration materials are available at


For Immediate Release

July 20, 2016

Friday Harbor Film Festival, November 4-6, 2016

Friday Harbor, Wash. ... This popular event features three full days of quality documentaries and docu-dramas, highlighting compelling stories about humanitarian efforts, environmental issues, social concerns and daring explorations.  Each film will be followed by lively discussion with the filmmaker or a local expert. 

The Friday Harbor Film Festival celebrates documentary filmmakers who use their talents to create awareness, serving as a force for positive change.   The Festival’s Opening Night Gala on Friday, November 4, is held in their honor.  Other highlights of the Festival include a Filmmakers Forum on Sunday morning, November 6, in which the audience can learn about the challenges of documentary filmmaking and engage the filmmakers with their questions; and a special presentation on Saturday, November 5, of a selection of films by local students and young filmmakers (from as far away as France!), sponsored by the Young Filmmakers Project.

The grand finale of the Festival occurs on Sunday evening, November 6, at the Awards Night, during which we honor not only those whose films were considered exceptional by audience choice, but also those who have made a major contribution to our community and the art of storytelling through film. Plus, we plan to have a very special surprise guest!

During the Festival’s past three years, over half of the filmmakers whose documentaries were screened came to Friday Harbor from across the globe.  Our celebration of the filmmakers, as well as our focus on the conversations that their films evoke, distinguish our Festival.  We provide not only an opportunity to experience great stories that are told well, but also to engage with others in meaningful discussions at the conclusion of each film.  In this way, we are successful in connecting the audience directly with both the stories and the Festival’s core mission, which is to:

  • Entertain audiences through the art of compelling storytelling;
  • Inspire audience members, as well as filmmakers, to be a force for positive change;
  • Enlighten all participants by conveying relevant information, creating awareness and expanding appreciation of our fragile planet, diverse cultures and those daring to explore new frontiers; 
  • Encourage students to participate in the Young Filmmakers Project to learn the art of storytelling through film.

Please check out the Festival’s website for this year’s exciting line-up of films:  And for information on how to get to San Juan Island or where to stay, go to

If you want more information about the Festival or have any questions, contact the Festival’s Director, Lynn Danaher, at [email protected] or 360-472-1050.


For Immediate Release

July 13, 2016

A RIVER OF MIGRATION: An Installation by Vancouver BC Artist GU XIONG

Friday Harbor, Wash. ... Comparing his own journey from China to Canada with that of the of the migration of the salmon, Canadian multi-media artist Gu Xiong will install “A River of Migration” in the San Juan Islands Museum of Art’s (SJIMA) Atrium Gallery.


Installation: August 1 to August 5. The community is invited to observe

Art as a Voice: August 3, 7:30PM at the San Juan Community Theatre

Exhibition: August 6 and closes November 28, 2016


In celebration of SJIMA’s ongoing relationship with the artistic community of British Columbia and shared concerns about the marine environment, as well as the human cost of migration, SJIMA has invited Gu Xiong to present his installation “A River of Migration”. A Chinese immigrant to Canada, Gu Xiong is now a professor in the Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory at the University of British Columbia.

In his artist statement, Gu Xiong writes about his own and the salmon’s migration:

“My mixed-media installation ‘The River of Migration’ focuses on the rich symbolism embodied in socks and salmon, expressing my spiritual rebirth.

When I saw the salmon spawning in the river and streams in the Fraser Valley, I was really moved by their life. I feel a deep connection between their experience and my own. I dreamt I was in a red space, swimming through the Yangzi River, into the Pacific Ocean, and finally arriving at the Fraser River. I felt like I was being carried by the current, not knowing where it would take me.

I swam in the red river, my white socks laid out, forming a winding path on the bottom of the river. I felt like I was sinking, and then resurfacing……

During this long swim, I saw the silver fish turn red, then white. The river changed from yellow to blue, then red. The fish and the river are intermeshed of two different cultural geologies, carving out an interstitial space. It is full of energy and gives birth to a hybrid culture.

When the water comes, there will be a river. When the salmon returns, the river flows red.

A spiritual river. A river of migration.”

Gu Xiong’s practice centers on the creation of a hybrid identity arising from the integration of different cultural origins. Through the critical angle of visual art, his work encompasses sociology, geography, economics, politics, and literature, as well as the dynamics of globalization, local culture and identity politics, through which he constitutes an amalgamation of multiple cultural histories and seeks to create an entirely new identity. The construction of a new level of being is Gu Xiong’s primary interest.

Observe the emergence of two rivers and two cultures – a spiritual river and a river of migration.

Gu Xiong has exhibited nationally and internationally, including in more than forty solo exhibitions on four continents. He has received numerous public art commissions, including The Crowd,” a mural at Safeco Field, as well as A Place Called Home,” an installation at the Seattle Public Library, Columbia City Branch, both in Seattle, Washington.

He has participated in over one hundred prominent national and international group exhibitions including the 55 Venice Biennale Parallel Exhibition “Voice of the Unseen, Chinese Independent Art 1979-today” (Venice, 2013); Border Zones: New Art Across Cultures, (Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, 2010); Post Avant-grade Chinese Contemporary Art - Four Directions of the New Era (Hong Kong, 2007); the Shanghai Biennale (2004), Multiple City (Panama, 2003); the Montréal Biennale (2000), the Kwangju Biennale (Korea, 1995); and the ground-breaking exhibition “China Avant-Garde” at the China National Museum of Fine Arts (Beijing, 1989). He has repeatedly been awarded Canada's Arts Award.

Gu Xiong has published two books and over ten solo exhibitions catalogues. His artwork has received significant critical recognition, including reviews in international art magazines: Art in America, The New York Times, and Flash Art.

The installation opens August 6, 2016, along with the ongoing exhibition Fragile Waters: Ansel Adams, Ernest H. Brooks II and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly.

For more information go to


Thursday – Monday, 11am – 6 pm, August 6, to September 5, 2016

Friday – Monday 11 am to 5 pm, September 6 to November 28, 2016

Social Media:

SJIMA can be found on: @_SJIMA

San Juan Islands Museum of Art

540 Spring Street, P.O. Box 339, Friday Harbor, WA 98250

360-370-5050  •  [email protected]   •


Barbara Cox

[email protected]


Press Images: Available on request


For Immediate Release
July 6, 2016

The San Juan Islands Honored by Travel + Leisure Magazine

Friday Harbor, Wash. ... Travel + Leisure magazine has announced its 2016 World’s Best Awards, ranking the San Juan Islands #5 on its list of The Best Islands in the Continental U.S. The ranking complements Travel + Leisure’s endorsement earlier in the year voting the San Juan Islands as #2 of “World’s Friendliest Islands.”

Here’s what Travel + Leisure had to say in its announcement: “In the Salish Sea, just a short ferry ride from the Washington State mainland, travelers have discovered the San Juan Islands, a counterculture stronghold. Creative designers and sculptors, foragers who double as innkeepers and chefs, and nature enthusiasts have made the tight-knit communities scattered across 172 islands welcoming and exciting destinations.”

The rankings for the first five of the Best Continental U.S. Islands (in order) are: Hilton Head, South Carolina; Kiawah Island, South Carolina; Mount Desert Island, Maine; Nantucket, Massachusetts; San Juan Islands, Washington State. The San Juan Islands have consistently been honored as one of top 5 islands for 15 out of the last 16 years.

The rankings for the first five of the Top Overall World Islands (in order) are: Palawan, Philippines: Boracay, Philippines: Ishia, Italy: Waiheke Island, New Zealand and Santorini, Greece.

World’s Best rankings are the outcome of Travel + Leisure’s 21st World’s Best survey of readers’ favorites and described as “an essential index of the places you want to go.” The World’s Best Awards list is also the cover story of the magazine’s August issue, available on newsstands later this month.

Criteria for judging islands included natural attractions, beaches, activities/sights, restaurants/food, people/friendliness, and overall value (survey Methodology). To see what the San Juan Islands offer in these categories and to get helpful travel tips and find out about specials on lodging and activities go to the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau:

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.

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 6, 2016

Savor the Date!
Make plans now to enjoy a delicious October in the San Juan Islands

Bigger and better, the 9th Annual
Savor the San Juans: A Month-long Medley of Food, Farms & Art
invites visitors to taste the food & farm culture of Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands

San Juan Islands, WA … Unique and fun farm tours are really taking off in the islands! More farmers than ever are offering visitors the chance to open the barn door to see behind the scenes at some of the islands’ most beautiful farms, creameries, wineries, flower gardens, shellfish farms and more during the month of October during Savor the San Juans (  

Savor is a great way to ease into a slower time of year, while basking in the food, art, music and natural beauty of Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Islands. Taste Island Grown foods and wine, beer, cider and spirits, during a selection of farm-to-table dinners by local chefs. The San Juan Island Farmers Market, Farm Parade and Harvest Chili Cook-off will keep the streets of Friday Harbor and the new historic Brickworks community center buzzing.

Special all-day Farm Tours on Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Islands will feature sheep shearing demonstrations, a fermentation workshop, a sheep dog demonstration, a cider pressing and great snacks such as fruit and cheese sampling and goodies from an outdoor wood-fired baking house.

Grab your spirit of adventure and discover a month-long movable feast for the senses.

Savor the San Juans pulls together all the elements of a memorable post-summer vacation getaway, including harvest festivals, art & music events and lodging specials at the island’s inns.

Check out these Savor the San Juans events, with updates at        

Savor photos:

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

[email protected]


For Immediate Release

July 5, 2016

The Whale Museum’s Lecture Series:
Author Talk & Book Signing: Sea Otter Conservation Presented by Shawn Larson

Friday Harbor, WA ‐‐ The Whale Museum is pleased to welcome our new Research Curator Shawn Larson as part of the 2016 Summer Lecture Series on Wednesday, July 13th at 6:30 p.m. Shawn will present her book Sea Otter Conservation, discussing the sea otters unique biology and ecology and highlight its fascinating history with people. Sea otters and people share the same nearshore Pacific ecosystem with documented interactions between the two dating
back thousands of years starting with important relationships with native people, followed by the widespread serial extinctions during the fur trade, and culminating in over 100 years of conservation actions to ensure the survival of this iconic species.

Shawn has a PhD from the school of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. She is the Research Curator at The Whale Museum on a part‐time basis. Shawn is also the Curator of Research at the Seattle Aquarium where she conducts conservation research on sea otters, sixgill sharks, Giant Pacific Octopus, rockfish and Hawaii fish. When she’s not at work or commuting to San Juan Island, she enjoys sharing her small farm in Hansville with her 2 horses, 9 chickens, 1 dog, 2 cats, 2 kids and 1 husband. 

The July 13th lecture event is free and open to the public. 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, Soundwatch Boater Education, San Juan Islands Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and the Whale Hotline.

The Whale Museum can be found on‐line at

Jenny Atkinson
(360) 378‐4710 ext. 26


For Immediate Release

June 29, 2016

San Juan Islands Fall Film Season Offers Three Engaging Festivals
Orcas Island and Friday Harbor are alluring destinations for diverse film experiences

Friday Harbor, WA … This fall, three young festivals are establishing the San Juan Islands as a cinema-lover’s paradise for fall film watching. Each festival—the Orcas Island Film Festival and the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, both on Orcas Island, and the Friday Harbor Film Festival on San Juan Island—celebrates a sense of place and our connection to nature. Opportunities to meet directors and actors, Q & As with filmmakers, discussion about important cultural and environmental issues and the chance to explore the autumnal beauty of the San Juan Islands are just part of the appeal.

October 7-10, 2016 - The 3rd annual Orcas Island Film Festival - Off the Edge (OIFF) (, takes place in the arts-rich village of Eastsound. Venues include the Orcas Center, the newly upgraded Sea View Theater, and a beloved Eastsound music venue, Random Howse. The festival includes a short film contest (see the 2015 winners here), awarding three grants to filmmakers to use the islands as a canvas to create short inspirational works. These shorts will be shown at the festival in addition to a curated selection of feature length and short films.

The festival focuses on films of the avant-garde, art house, trans-media and emerging edge film culture from around the world. OIFF curators work with the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) to choose the lineup.

November 4-6, 2015- On San Juan Island on the 1st weekend in November, the fourth annual Friday Harbor Film Festival – Stories from the Pacific Rim & Beyond (, carries forward the momentum of the past three years’ successes. In addition to award-winning documentary films, several premiers and special events, Q & A periods with the filmmakers will enrich and engage participants. Several venues within easy walking distance of the ferry terminal, airport and float plane dock, present the opportunity to discover the historic waterfront town’s galleries, museums and shops without a car.

November 12, 2015 - The 4rd-annual one-day Wild & Scenic Film Festival at Orcas Center features short films made by change makers that are rethinking how we inhabit our planet. This year’s short documentary films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling with the festival theme “A Change of Course,” which embodies issues surrounding water that are timely and warrant special attention worldwide.

Hosted by Orcas Center and the San Juan Preservation Trust.

Dropbox of film festival logos & photos upon request.

Media Contacts:

Friday Harbor Film Festival
Karen Palmer, Producer
[email protected], 360-298-2240
Lynn Danaher, Director
[email protected], 360-472-1050 

Orcas Island Film Festival
Shannon Borg, Media Coordinator
[email protected], 360-317-6563

Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Craig Canine, Communications Manager
[email protected], 360-378-2461

Barbara Marrett
Communications Manager
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
Lopez, Orcas & San Juan Islands
PO Box 1330, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 360.378.6822 ext. 6
Economic Development & Stewardship Education Through Tourism

TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice "10 Best Islands in the U.S." 2013-2015
Huffington Post & Trekaroo "Top 10 Island Destinations for Families" 2015
Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards, #4 Top Islands "Continental U.S. & Canada" 2015


For Immediate Release

June 18, 2016

San Juan Community Theatre Summer Film Series

The curtain is going up for the Tuesday Night Film Series at the Community Theatre. Beginning June 21st and for ten Tuesdays, we will screen a special movie beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Whittier. The films have been selected to be both enjoyable and thought provoking. There is no particular theme. All are from independent filmmakers and none have been shown on the island. Many have received awards from international festivals and at least one was awarded  an Oscar.

Each week we will send you an email with a preview of upcoming shows. Here is the schedule:


Film Title

June 21, 2016


June 28, 2016

        Meet the Patels

July 5, 2016


July 12, 2016

       Heart of a Dog

July 19, 2016

       Everything Is Copy

July 26, 2016


August 2, 2016

       Embrace of the Serpent

August 23, 2016

       The Wonders

August 30, 2016

       Landfill Harmonic

September 6, 2016


Admission will either be by punch card or cash at the door.  Punch cards good for 10 admissions are on sale at the Theatre for $55.  As a special inducement, folks under 25 can purchase a 10 admission card for only $35.  Single admissions will be available for $8 the night of the show.  Punch cards can be shared.  We are negotiating with island restaurants and hope to announce a pre-theatre special each week and we encourage you to invite friends to dinner and a movie.

We are sending this announcement to everyone who expressed interest.  If you no longer wish to receive these notices, please email us at [email protected] and we will remove you from the list.

See you at the movies!


Larry Soll
Film Series Coordinator
San Juan Community Theatre


For Immediate Release    

June 17, 2016

Roche Harbor Resort Trails honored with National Recreation Trail Status

Roche Harbor, San Juan Island … One of six new trails nationwide to be designated a National Recreation Trail by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and National Park Director Jonathon B. Jarvis, Roche Harbor Resort Trails have long been known to locals as a quiet and rejuvenating way to enjoy the natural beauty of the San Juan Islands.

Recently, a further step was taken by local volunteers and the San Juan Islands Trails Committee to connect Roche Harbor Trails to English Camp in the San Juan Island National Historical Park on Mitchell Bay on San Juan Island’s north side.

Now, locals and visitors alike can enjoy the 9.1 miles of trails featuring natural and cultural resources including open pastures, Northwest forests, water views, wildlife habitats, pond-filled quarries, restored nineteenth-century lime kilns, and the historic hotel.

“By designating these new National Trails, we recognize the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone,” said Jewell in an announcement June 3. “Our world-class network of national trails provides easily accessible places to enjoy exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas while also boosting tourism and supporting economic opportunities in local communities across the country.”

With several parking areas and access trailheads, the Roche Harbor Trails are now nationally recognized for the community asset they have become. The combination of public access and private ownership is enhanced by volunteer stewardship from local residents who improve and maintain the trails. It is a rare model of cooperation and partnership that has grown for many years.

National Recreation Trail designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the Nation. Each of the newly designated trails will receive a certificate of designation, a set of trail markers and a letter of congratulations from Secretary Jewell.

The designation is timed perfectly to highlight the newly refurbished Hotel de Haro at Roche Harbor which is on the National Historic Register. The circa 1886 hotel celebrates 130 years of continuous lodging this year. Famed for its protected marina, formal gardens, mausoleum and other historic structures, Roche Harbor is a popular wedding and family travel destination

Maps and information about the Roche Harbor Trails are available at or,

San Juan Island Trails Committee of Island Rec: (360) 378-4953 (weekdays from 1:00-5:00).

Dropbox to Roche Harbor Trails Photos:      

National Contact: Jessica Kershaw (DOI) [email protected]
Jeff Olson (NPS) 202-208-4988

Northwest Contact: Barbara Marrett
Communications Manager
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
(360) 378-6822 ext. 6

[email protected]


For Immediate Release

May 23, 2016

Hike Young Hill on National Trails Day!

San Juan Island, Wash. ... June 4th is National Trails Day, a Saturday to celebrate being outdoors on a trail. The American Hiking Society started this annual celebration to honor the many ways trails connect Americans to the land and to each other. Whether one is on foot, on a bicycle, on horseback, or in a kayak or canoe, June 4th is the day to commemorate our unique heritage of preserving natural areas and beautiful parks, and the plants and animals living in them.

Residents and visitors of San Juan Island are invited to celebrate with a hike up Young Hill at English Camp on Saturday, June 4th, starting at 9:00 a.m. National Historical Park Service staff and Island Rec Trails Committee volunteers will lead a walk up the newest trail to the top at 650 ft. elevation. The two mile hike up the south side of Young Hill is fairly steep in places, climbing through meadows laced with Garry oaks, as well as Maples and Firs, especially coming back down on the main trail past the cemetery. Wildflowers will be open still for everyone to enjoy as well as well as the frequent raptors and circling vultures. Meet at the parking lot at English Camp and try to ride share if possible.

Children will enjoy this hike with its grand views westward from the top, but please leave dogs at home.

Happy Trails to you all, and we hope to see you on June 4th to celebrate with a walk together on this special day for honoring trails.

Where: English Camp Parking lot - hike up Young Hill and back 

When: Saturday, June 4th from 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Distance and difficult: 2 miles - moderate but fairly steep at times 

No dogs please. Children should be accompanied by a guardian or parent.

Media Contact:

San Juan Island Trails Committee of Island Rec
580 Guard St., Friday Harbor, WA  98250
(360) 378-4953


For Immediate Release

May 17, 2016

TEDxSanJuanIsland Returns with "Quality of Life"

Friday Harbor, WA ... Fans of TEDxSanJuanIsland can mark their calendars for Saturday, September 17th, as the ground-breaking program returns to Friday Harbor for a second instalment of inspiration, collaboration, and ideas worth spreading.

This year’s theme – ‘Quality of Life’ – focuses on ideas that have made a lasting contribution to the betterment of society.   Featured speakers at the forefront of fields such as science, health, technology, art and education will present ideas that influence the wellbeing of groups or individuals and discuss how these insights lead to new projects, perspectives and innovations.  

Held at the San Juan Community Theatre, the event will feature multiple live speakers, TED Talk videos, and musical performances. Audience members and speakers will enjoy the opportunity to network and exchange ideas during conversation breaks and a fully catered lunch session. 

“TEDxSanJuanIsland is designed as a platform for ideas, where the local community can engage with world-class speakers and thought leaders,” said Megan Mulhall, curator of TEDxSanJuanIsland and member of the organizing committee. “We are excited to build on last year’s success, which showcased our local talks to over 40,000 viewers in 57 countries.”

Tickets for the live event will be available at from mid-May. Be sure to register online and follow TEDxSanJuanIsland on Facebook ( ) and Twitter (@TEDxSJI) for exclusive previews and event announcements, including when tickets go on sale!

Barbara Marrett
Communications Manager
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
Lopez, Orcas & San Juan Islands

PO Box 1330, Friday Harbor, WA 98250  360.378.3277 ext. 6

Economic Development & Stewardship Education Through Tourism


For Immediate Release

May 11, 2016     

The National Parks BioBlitz is Coming to San Juan Island!

FRIDAY HARBOR, WA – Grab your magnifying glass and explore nature in San Juan Island National Historical Park, like never before! On May 20-21, national parks across the country, including San Juan Island, will participate in the National Parks BioBlitz. BioBlitz is a fun, fast-paced biological survey of a park’s creepers and crawlers, plants and pollinators, mammals and more! The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday with more than 100 BioBlitzes across the country.

During this free event, teams of scientists, naturalists, students and volunteers will discover and document the living creatures in the park. Get pumped for the BioBlitz starting Friday evening, May 20, at Drive-in at the Fairgrounds: The Big Year with parking beginning at 7:30pm This film is FREE OF CHARGE and brought to you by San Juan Island National Historical Park and San Juan County Parks and Fair as part of the BioBlitz weekend extravaganza! For more information about Drive-In at the Fairgrounds, visit their website.

Then join us on Saturday, May 21 for inventories and our Biodiversity and Cultural Festival from 10am to 3pm on the English Camp Parade Ground. Here’s a snap-shot of our schedule of events:

8am Bird Inventory and Workshop

10am BioBlitz Dance Flash Mob

10:30am Pollinator Workshop

11am Pollinator Inventory

11am Storytime with the Library

12pm Native Plant Workshop

12:30pm Plant Inventory

1pm Storytime with the Library

10am-3pm Reef-net Fishing Demonstration and Canoe Rides

10am-3pm San Juan Island Wildlife

10am-3pm Willow Weaving Demonstration

12pm-3pm-Marine Invertebrate Touch Tank

2:15-2:45pm Tales from the Field

2:45-3pm Closing Ceremony

Visit our website for a detailed list of events and to register,

American Express is the national sponsor of the 2016 National Parks BioBlitz.

Explorers of all ages are needed. All events are free and open to the public. Whether you have a couple of hours or a full day, there are activities to engage the whole family. To learn more about the National Parks BioBlitz and activities go to:

Contact: Raena Parsons


For Immediate Release

May 5, 2016


San Juan Island’s premier “glampground” expands with six new luxe cottages in May, just in time for anticipated gourmet glamping series

Friday Harbor, Wash. ... The much anticipated Gourmet Glamping series returns this summer to Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes on San Juan Island, featuring two nights of gourmet campfire cookouts led by top Pacific Northwest chefs Brian Clevenger of Vendemmia and Ericka Burke of Volunteer Park Café and Chop Shop. More guests can participate than ever before, as the property expands its “glampground” with six new canvas cottages, available May to September.

Taking place on June 11 and July 16, each intimate and fun-filled evening combines camping in style with the great outdoors featuring accommodations in one of Lakedale’s fully furnished, lavish canvas cabins and cottages.

Glampers will spend a memorable Saturday evening drinking Washington state wine outside the canvas cabins, complete with pillow-top beds, linens and Lakedale’s signature Toasty Toes turndown service. Each featured chef will share a brief overview of the dinner, engage the diners in a hands-on cooking experience, and serve a multicourse menu with wine parings selected by regional winemakers.

The 2016 Gourmet Glamping lineup includes:

  • Saturday, June 11: Executive Chef Brian Clevenger, Vendemmia  Desert Wind Winery and Duck Pond Cellars

Growing up in the coastal town of Anacortes, Wash., Chef Brian’s appreciation for local seafood and produce came early. This certainly shows in his approach to achieving refined simplicity in both food and service. Clevenger received an A.A. in culinary arts and his bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. Prior to opening Vendemmia, he had worked and learned in a Two Michelin Star restaurant in France, the James Beard Award-winning Delfina in San Francisco and most recently as chef at two Ethan Stowell Restaurants: Staple & Fancy Mercantile and Tavolàta.

  • Saturday, July 16: Chef Ericka Burke, Volunteer Park Café and Chop Shop and Cougar Crest Winery

For Chef Ericka Burke, cooking has always been about creating community, providing simple, fresh, seasonal food and a place to replenish, relax and converse. And that is exactly what she’s done at her beloved Volunteer Park Café, which opened in Seattle in 2007, and more recently at Chop Shop Cafe & Bar. Burke is committed to supporting local farmers and artisans and creating seasonal comfort food, house-made pastries and mercantile goodies that have earned her devoted fans and acclaim both locally and nationally.

All Lakedale guests are invited to enjoy the Gourmet Glamping series. Each gourmet glamping guest is invited to participate in the hands-on cooking experience along with one-on-one interaction with top chefs in the Northwest. Tickets include a multi-course meal with wine pairings. Gourmet Glamping tickets are $75 per person (must be 21 and over) in addition to your accommodation rate. For more information or to make a reservation, please call 800-617-2267 or visit

About Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes

Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes is located just outside of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island in Washington state, accessible by passenger and auto ferry or air. Situated on 82 wooded acres, Lakedale Resort offers five accommodation options: the Lodge, with cozy, romantic guestrooms; family and dog-friendly log cabins; Canvas Cabins with pillow-top beds and soft linens; campsites for the nature lover; and a refurbished retro Airstream trailer with its own lakeside deck. The resort’s setting — surrounded by Neva Lake, Dream Lake and Fish Hook Lake — provides an abundance of outdoor activities: fishing, biking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and boating. This range of opportunities makes the resort an ideal destination for memorable vacations, intimate weddings, dynamic meetings, family reunions and other events. For more information or to make a reservation, please call 800-617-2267 or visit

Photos available on request.

Media Contact:       

Chelsea Asplund

Public Relations, GreenRubino for Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes

P: 206-452-8172

E: [email protected]



For Immediate Release

April 20, 2016

“History Lives Here”
Explore the storied past of the San Juan Islands during Historic Preservation Month in May

Friday Harbor, WA ... Every May the Town of Friday Harbor, the Islands’ historical museums, organizations and local businesses pull out the stops to celebrate local history. This year the month-long calendar of events kicks off with some great events you won’t want to miss!

  • Experience early island life through a one-act play about the Boede family, and other one-act plays, Friday-Sunday, May 6, 7, and 8th at the Grange on Orcas Island.
  • Broaden your culinary knowledge of early island foods with a field talk about ancient island agriculture lead by Kwiaht on Lopez Island, Sunday, May 8th, write for times [email protected].
  • Journey back to a time when mariners relied on charts to navigate the waters of the San Juans with Mike Vouri’s “Coast Survey” history talk at the San Juan Island Library, Wednesday, May 11th, 7pm.
  • Get to know the historic buildings of the Friday Harbor Labs on a self-guided tour of the grounds, and talk to the Lab’s researchers and students during the spring Open House, 11am-4pm, Saturday, May 14th.
  • Bring your party hat to the Orcas Island Museum’s 60th birthday party and community picnic, Saturday, May 14th, 11am.
  • Discover the history of smuggling in the San Juans and explore smuggler's haunts on a cruise sponsored by the Orcas Museum and Eclipse Charters. $99+tax includes lunch, cruise and history talk. Sunday, May 15th, 12:30-5:30pm. Space is limited.

For event information and a complete calendar, go to or

Contact: Sandy Strehlou [email protected]


For Immediate Release

March 24, 2016


FRAGILE WATERS:  Ansel Adams, Ernest H. Brooks II, and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly

Friday Harbor, WA ... FRAGILE WATERS, a traveling fine art photography exhibition, opens Saturday, April 23, Earth Day weekend, and will run through September 5, Labor Day, 2016 at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA), Friday Harbor, Washington.

Opening events on Earth Day weekend in and around Friday Harbor:

Landscape Photography Walk: “Seeing with the Inner Eye”, Dorothy Kerper Monnelly
      Saturday, April 23, 10 am, location TBA, Tickets: $30 available at SJIMA

Museum Gallery Walk, Ernest H. Brooks II. Sat., April 23, 2 pm, SJIMA, Free to ticket holders and members

Book Signing, Dorothy Kerper Monnelly, Sat., April 23, 3 pm, SJIMA

Art As A Voice Lecture “Ansel Adams: Artist and Conservationist” Michael Adams, MD (Ansel Adams’ son)
Sat., April 23, 7:30 pm, Brickworks, Tickets: $20 non-members, $15 members, $10 students, available at SJIMA or online at Remaining tickets will be available at the door.

The exhibition is further supported by educational programs focused on relevant global as well as Salish Sea issues. The exhibition and its related programs will provide learning opportunities for a wide audience of all ages through Labor Day.

FRAGILE WATERS is a powerful aesthetic and environmental statement, blending inspiring black-and-white photography by three renowned photographers; Ansel Adams, Ernest H. Brooks II, and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly, who feel a deep reverence for the marine environment and understand the integrity of place.

Water is essential to all life we know. Yet our oceans, rivers, lakes and other sources of water are in crisis. Extreme weather events, aquifer depletion, toxic contaminants, fracking, pollution, spills, ocean acidification, floods, desertification, and the impact of rising seawater, are just a few of the urgent issues that confront us. The FRAGILE WATERS exhibition was born out of these concerns.

The 117 black-and-white photographs present a powerful collective statement. In technique and time these photographers span a century. These artists communicate the beauty and vitality of water, focusing on nature and engage the viewer in affirming the intrinsic aesthetic, emotional and essential life value of water.  

Ansel Adams laid a foundation for his legendary technical mastery, as he traveled burdened with a cumbersome 8 x 10 camera and glass plate negatives, in pursuit of unspoiled nature. Adams pre-visualized images, expertly crafting elegant iconic landscapes where he intensified and purified the experience of natural beauty, capturing the sublime magnificence of wilderness. His work has been used to persuade lawmakers time and time again to preserve special environments, and create parks for a permanent public legacy.

Ernest H. Brooks II is one of the foremost underwater photographers and a trailblazer in the development of underwater photographic equipment and technique. Brooks has chronicled a wilderness unknown to most of us, including more recently, capturing infrared images of light on eerily calving Antarctica icebergs. He remains a tremendous voice for oceanic exploration, and an advocate for the preservation of critical marine environments.

Dorothy Kerper Monnelly’s intimate portrayal of the beauty of conserved marshland in Massachusetts takes on greater importance as swamps and marshes increasingly vanish in the face of urban development. She has played a key role in the protection of these vulnerable wetlands. Monnelly still forays through the marshes to catch the magic of dawn, but also explores coastal landscapes across the continent in all seasons.

These three artists demonstrate the beauty of and reverence for the nature that inspires them.

FRAGILE WATERS was curated by Jeanne Falk Adams, former CEO of the Ansel Adams Gallery, and daughter-in-law of Ansel. Her expertise in the field has made her a much-sought-after reviewer, juror, and lecturer.  Adams’ long involvement in environmental issues has convinced her that aesthetics, and black-and-white photography in particular, can alert, inspire, communicate, and motivate. Her goal was to inspire and engage visitors in dialogue and offer direct opportunities for advocacy and involvement.

Photokunst LLC in Friday Harbor, developed FRAGILE WATERS, and is honored to represent and travel this vitally important exhibition.

Press Photos:  Select FRAGILE WATERS images by each of the three photographers are available by request for press use, please specify the intended use (i.e. print, online media, social media). Images may not be cropped, and photo credits must be included with all use.


Anne Sheridan / photokunst, SJIMA PR Coordinator

mailto:[email protected]  • Ph: +1.360.378-1028


The San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA)

540 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 •  •  +1.360.370.5050


For Immediate Release
March 14, 2016

Celebrate Voluntourism in the San Juan Islands
Come out and Play for Earth Day!

Have fun and give back with nature photography at the SJIMA, beach clean-ups and National Park BioBlitz

Friday Harbor, WA … Did you know that April is National Volunteer Month? Spend a day or more giving back to the natural places we all love during April & May—in the San Juan Islands. Work with locals to maintain trails in beautiful Moran State Park on Orcas Island, clean up a beach on San Juan, Orcas, or Lopez Islands, ride your bike in the Tour de Lopez, and then enjoy the All-Species Parade in Lopez Village.

Other Earth Day stewardship events throughout April make a springtime visit to the San Juans not only a relaxing getaway, but a great learning opportunity for families with children. The San Juan Island National Historical Park Bio-Blitz, May 20-21, is a family oriented species inventory in which teams of volunteers, each led by an expert scientist, find, identify, and photograph as many species as possible within a defined amount of time. This snapshot view helps scientists understand what lives in this national treasure of a park, and help conserve it for future generations.

“Inspired by the incredible jewel of the San Juan Islands,” and in celebration of Earth Day, San Juan Islands Museum of Art new director, Ian Boyden, welcomes you to “Fragile Waters,” April 23 through September 5, an exhibit of black-and-white photography by Ansel Adams, Dorothy Kerper Monnelly, and Ernest Brooks, all world renowned photographers and lifelong environmentalists. Find out more at, along with information about quiet-season lodging, dining specials and more. Additional events and opportunities will be added to the website as available.

April & May Voluntourism Opportunities

Check out our Spring Break Packages for lodging and dining specials while volunteering.

Lopez Island Volunteer Opportunities

The Great Lopez Island Clean-up Earth Day Event, April 23, BLM, San Juan Islands National Monument, San Juan County Land Bank. Clean up a beach and then enjoy the Annual All-Species Parade in Lopez Village.

Orcas Island Volunteer Opportunities

Moran State Park Annual Clean-up, April 9, Orcas Island

Great Islands Cleanup , April 23, Orcas Island

San Juan Island Volunteer Opportunities

Earth Day Beach Clean-up, April 22, Henry Island

Great Islands Cleanup, April 23, San Juan Island

Nature and Stewardship Events

Fragile Waters: Ansel Adams, Ernest H. Brooks II & Dorothy Kerper Monnelly, April 23 to September 5, Friday Harbor. Special events involving the photographers will take place opening weekend.

Tour de Lopez, April 23, Lopez Island

Orcas Island BirdFest, April 30, Orcas Island

National Parks BioBlitz, May 20-21, San Juan Island/Friday Harbor

Experience Ancient Agriculture, May 8, Lopez Island

YMCA Camp Orkila - Volunteer Work Weekend, May 20-22, Orcas Island


Dropbox file of photos for Voluntourism:

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The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for San Juan County, Washington. The SJIVB's mission is to promote the San Juan Islands as a preferred, year-round travel destination, while respecting and sustaining the Islands' unique and diverse ecosystems, environments, lifestyles and cultures. If you would like more information, or would like to receive a brochure and map, please email us at [email protected] or call our friendly staff at (888) 468-3701 x1.

Media Contact:
Barbara Marrett
San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
(360) 378-6822 ext. 6

[email protected]
[email protected]