Friday Harbor Marine Health Observatory

Friday Harbor Marine Health Observatory (San Juan Island) monitors San Juan County's busiest urban waterfront including its largest marina and ferry terminal in cooperation with the Port of Friday Harbor. Abundance of key indicator species (starfish, sea anemones, tunicates, crabs) is recorded seasonally at fixed locations on the docks including fresh floats and pilings. Plankton samples are also collected and analyzed for changes in species composition and biomass, and water quality is evaluated using Kwiáht's specially designed polypropylene oil collectors attached to the docks.  Sediment grabs are collected every 2-3 years and tested for petroleum residues and toxic metals.  Volunteers conduct educational activities for boaters and visitors, print and distribute special field guides to marine life under Friday Harbor's docks (and coloring books illustrated by local elementary students), and give the Port an annual monitoring "report card." A complementary volunteer monitoring program on wetlands (focusing on amphibians, reptiles, bats) was launched in 2014. 

Friday Harbor school dock walk

See also: Friday Harbor Annual report 2013

Local students sampling sediment

Crassadoma gigantea Rock scallop