Topic: San Juan Island Restrictions

Beginning May 1, 2010, boaters will need to obtain a permit and attend a brief training session before launching any boat from San Juan County Park on the west coast of San Juan Island. The training, which covers laws protecting marine wildlife and responsible boating guidelines within the San Juan County Marine Stewardship Area, was developed in association with the Whale Museum's Soundwatch program.

The training and permit requirements will be in force for anyone launching a motor, wind or human powered vessel between May 1 and September 30, the season when orcas frequent those waters. The program was instituted as an interim solution after the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposed regulations that would effectively close San Juan County Park's boat ramp and prohibit most boating activities along a large percentage of San Juan Island's west side during summer.

For more information, contact the San Juan County Parks & Recreation office at 360-378-8420.