My name is Max Gordon, I’m an Oil Spill Preparedness Planner with Ecology, and I am happy to announce that the San Juan Islands (SJI) Geographic Response Plan (GRP) is now open for public comment!

GRPs aim to protect the sensitive natural, cultural, and economic resources in a specified geographic area. A key part of this process is gathering input from the people who work, live, and play in this community. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts over the next several weeks (November 9– December 9).

Ecology last fully updated the San Juan Islands GRP in 2011, and obviously much has changed since then. That version of the plan was tied to the North Puget Sound planning area.  It was decided in this planning cycle to divide the joint plan into two separate plans.

Description of the Planning Area

The San Juan Islands is bounded by the Strait of Georgia to the north, Rosario Strait to the east, the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the south, and Haro Strait to the west.  The marine waters surrounding the San Juan Islands are among the most biologically rich and sensitive areas of the State.  A wide diversity of shoreline and marine habitats (rocks, reefs, and islands), abundant food resources, and exceptional water quality all contribute to making this area especially valuable to wildlife.  The communities of Friday Harbor, Eastsound, and Lopez are located within the boundaries of this planning area, as well as all of San Juan County.

Requesting comments during a pandemic

I am excited to report that this plan is available for review, but not that it is happening during a pandemic.  To make sure that everyone has a full opportunity to contribute, comments will be requested again in 2021.

GRPs are vital to our state’s preparedness in the event of an oil spill. Please follow the links below to review the draft of the updated GRP or provide comments. You may also submit comments by mail or email. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns at max.gordon@ecy.wa.gov or 360-972-4890.

Review the draft GRP: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/ezshare/sppr/Preparedness/SJICoverPage.pdf

Comment online:

Use our online comment form: http://cs.ecology.commentinput.com/?id=buTBa

Comment by mail:

Max Gordon
Department of Ecology, Spills Program
PO Box 47600
Olympia, WA 98504-7600