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  • Julie Curtis

2023: A Year in Review for the SJICD

The board and staff of the San Juan Islands Conservation District (SJICD) would like to thank our community members, partners, and donors for their support and participation as we look back on a successful year of programming in 2023. Together we implemented dozens of restoration projects across the landscape that are improving local agriculture, forest health, wildfire resilience, fish and wildlife habitat, stream conditions, water quality and more - all right here in the San Juan Islands. 

 

As Zach Chan, owner of New Hannah Farm, explains, “Without SJICD’s proactive team and amazing cost-share program, my farm would have been forced to invest our limited capital to implement an underwhelming ‘Band-Aid’ solution to our irrigation woes. Instead, we are now installing an extensive and cutting-edge irrigation system that we expect to double our water efficiency, increase crop yields 20%, and collect valuable data to inform our future plans. The project will be essential as we navigate the challenges of climate change, such as longer droughts and other weather extremes. We are absolutely thrilled and incredibly grateful for the SJICD’s work and look forward to working together again to protect our shared natural resources.”

 

Like in Chan’s case, much of the work is accomplished by landowners themselves, with technical assistance and funding support from the SJICD. In 2023, 35 landowners received technical assistance, with $80,000 in cost share dollars expended to support projects to protect the natural resources on their land. Simultaneously, 87 passionate conservation corps crew members, ages 12 and up, were equipped with the tools, skills, and knowledge to tackle climate change and natural resource concerns on the ground through our Youth Conservation Corps and Island Conservation Corps programs. We partnered with tribes, private landowners, and agencies at the local, state, and federal level to get this work done with over 90% of the funding coming from competitive grants and less than 7% from local taxpayers.

 

SJICD has been dedicated to serving our community’s natural resource needs in a non-regulatory, no-cost manner since 1947. Over the past five years our services and resources have grown substantially in response to a changing climate and the growing needs of landowners. Your support allows us to continue this vital work. Please visit our website at sanjuanislandscd.org to learn more about our programs and consider making a tax-deductible donation. Together, we can ensure a healthy and vibrant future for the San Juan Islands.  



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