Advocacy and Research

San Juan County Charter Review Commission: We have two members who are candidates for the upcoming charter review commission for 2021. If elected, they will work to ensure protections for the Salish Sea are incorporated into the revised charter language.

County Comprehensive Plan: Our Comp Plan team is working with community members to ensure language envisioning a healthy, thriving Salish Sea bioregion is reflected in the vision for San Juan County’s Comprehensive Plan going forward.

Local organizations: We work regularly with local organizations including Friends of the San Juans, SeaDoc Society, Transitions, and more to learn how Rights of Nature thinking and language can help these organizations in the work they do to protect the Salish Sea.

Research Project: We are participating in an ongoing research project with the community, to discover community perspectives on Rights of Nature and Community Rights.

Rights of the Salish Sea: The Rights of the Salish Sea is an initiative to recognize in our County charter that the Salish Sea and all natural communities who depend on the Salish Sea ecosystem have the right to exist, thrive, regenerate and evolve. Recognizing these rights means that we, as humans, recognize that these natural communities — communities of forests, rivers, shorelines, orcas, salmon, and more — are not merely property but are living beings, and that we must consider the impacts of every decision we make on the health and well-being of these natural communities, as well as that of our own community.

Community Rights San Juan Islands (CRSJI) is working to advance the rights of the Salish Sea ecosystems, and the rights of San Juan County residents to protect and defend those ecosystems. CRSJI is developing an initiative to recognize the Rights of the Salish Sea to formally recognize the Rights of the Salish Sea in San Juan County law. This initiative uses the approach of ‘community rights’, the right to local, community self-government, which will empower the voices of San Juan County residents to protect the lands and sea they depend upon.