San Juan Island
2009 Stewardship Award Winner – Shoreline Category

Mike, through his own efforts, started testing stormwater outfalls in Friday Harbor and, as manager of the Spring Street Aquarium, has used it as his “canary in the coal mine” to gauge the health of the harbor.

After noticing a significant die-off in the animals within the aquarium (who live in water pulled straight from the Harbor), Mike used his own money to purchase an EPA-approved water testing kit to determine the cause of the problem. After determining that the cause of the die-offs were high concentrations of soaps and detergents (surfactants), Mike began a tireless campaign to bring attention to the issue. He has encouraged the Town of Friday Harbor to look at their stormwater controls, and has encouraged businesses to not use storm-water drains for water loaded with soaps and detergents.