The 580,000-Pound Marine Debris Problem in the San Juans

The effort, led by the Samish tribe, is generating interest and winning awards on its way to cleaning up the San Juan archipelago

By Megan Toal April 23, 2018

Cleanup

This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the April 2018 issueClick here to subscribe.

580,090. That’s the number of pounds of marine debris, beach litter and chemically treated wood (creosote) removed over the past four years from Samish traditional territory in the San Juan archipelago in a joint project between the Samish Indian Nation Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

The effort has been so productive that a map to track its progress (samishtribe.nsn.us) has won a barrel of awards.

“When it started, I didn’t know it would be such a powerful tool,” says map creator and Samish DNR geographic information systems analyst, Casey Palmer-McGee, who uses the data “to prioritize our clean up efforts and remove debris from the largest contaminated areas.”

The cleanup project continues into 2018. 

An interactive map at samishtribe.nsn.us is color coded by year to show the pounds of debris collected since 2014 

 

Spaces Belltown Reception

IWG Flexible Workspaces Foster Transformational Change | Sponsored

IWG’s hybrid model boost productivity, profits and employee happiness.

IWG is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace, with 3,500 locations operating under brands including Regus, Spaces and HQ across 120 countries. Its network is unrivaled in its reach, which extends beyond central business districts to suburban and rural areas, where employees have an unparalleled choice of locations in the heart of their local…

Colleges5

Sponsored | How COVID-19 Changed College Admissions

What Every High School Parent and Student Should Know

After last year’s unusual college admission season, parents of high school juniors and seniors have more questions than ever about applying to college during COVID-19. The global pandemic has created a new landscape for students currently applying for college, says college counselor Kelly Herrington.  “When people ask me how COVID-19 has changed college admissions, I…

UNIVERSITY-OF-WASHINGTON

All Eyes on Seattle

A note from the editor

The new Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington.

WestSeattleBridgeresized

News Round Up: The West Seattle Bridge is Falling Down, Falling Down…

Plus: Some farmers markets are reopening and Pride weekend is going virtual

The West Seattle Bridge is closed until further notice.

HayleyFavLAYERS_Cloned_P5A1299-NEW

How Climate Activist Jamie Margolin Plans to Save the World (and Graduate High School)

"There’s no pride in doing the bare minimum, and there’s no pride in standing in the center when there are two clear sides: life or death.”

Climate activist Jamie Margolin in the Naneum Ridge State Forest, at the site of the Snag Canyon Fire. Started by lightning in 2014, the wildfire burned approximately 12,660 acres and 22 structures, including homes and cabins

_P5A9041

Meet a Local Activist Fighting for Justice for Sexual Assault Survivors

Leah Griffin helps guide the creation of laws that intimately impact rape survivors in Washington state

This article appears in print in the March 2020 issue. Click here to subscribe.Sitting in the window of a café on a rainy Saturday, wearing a sweater with rainbow trim, Leah Griffin greets me with a hug and a smile. It’s a day off from her full-time job as a school librarian in North Seattle, but Griffin has…