San Juan Island National Historic Park
About the Park
San Juan Island is the second largest island in the archipelago of the same name, which is located north of Puget Sound, between Canada’s Vancouver Island, the Strait of Georgia, the inland coast of northwest Washington State, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. With 1752 acres and 6.1 miles of shoreline, San Juan Island National Historical Park protects the most extensive public saltwater access in the San Juan Archipelago, which includes more than 800 islands, islets, rocks, and reefs, and 370 miles of tidelands. The environmentally sensitive coastal areas of the San Juan Islands are regarded as among the most diverse—and fragile—marine ecosystems in the world, and are especially significant given the rich terrestrial and water resources.
Climate change presents significant risks and challenges to the National Park Service and specifically to San Juan Island National Historical Park. Scientists cannot predict with certainty the general severity of climate change nor its impacts. At San Juan Island National Historical Park, increasing temperatures, and changing precipitation patterns may alter park ecosystems, changing vegetation communities, habitats available for species, and the experience of park visitors. Much of English Camp, one of two units that make up San Juan Island National Historical Park, lies three to six feet above sea level. One of the historical buildings there already gets hit by high tides at the base of the building. Also affected would be the six miles of shoreline within park boundaries.
This Action Plan identifies steps that San Juan Island National Historical Park can undertake to reduce GHG emissions to mitigate its impact on climate change. The plan presents the Park’s emission reduction goals, and associated reduction actions to achieve the Park’s goals. While the plan provides a framework needed to meet the park’s emission reduction, it is not intended to provide detailed instructions on how to implement each of the proposed measures. The park’s Environmental Management System will describe priorities and details to implement these actions and already contains objectives of reducing or eliminating pesticide use, hazardous material, and solid waste and calls for increasing the use of environmentally-friendly products and recycling.
GHG emissions result from the combustion of fossil fuels for transportation and energy (e.g., boilers, electricity generation), the decomposition of waste and other organic matter, and the volatilization or release of gases from various other sources (e.g., fertilizers and refrigerants). San Juan Island National Historical Park is relatively small with few sources of greenhouse gases besides those resulting from transportation.
In 2007, GHG emissions within San Juan Island National Historical Park totaled 289 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCO2E). This includes emissions from park and concessioner operations and visitor activities, including vehicle use within the park. The largest emission sector for San Juan Island National Historic Park is transportation, totaling 253 MTCO2E.
The graph below, taken from our Climate Action Plan, shows our baseline emissions in 2007 broken down into sectors, including visitor travel.
San Juan Island National Historical Park intends to:
- Reduce 2007 energy GHG emissions from park operations by 10 percent by 2016.
- Reduce 2007 transportation GHG emissions from park operations by 20 percent by 2016.
- Reduce 2007 waste GHG emissions from park operations through waste diversion and reduction by 10 percent by 2016.
- Reduce total 2007 park GHG emissions, including concessioners, by 5 percent by 2016.
To read more about what we are doing at the San Juan Island National Historical Park about climate change, check out our Action Plan!