Fresh winds moving in from the Pacific Ocean and mingling with the air in the Strait of Juan de Fuca create a high level of air quality in the San Juan Islands. These air currents reduce the amount of air pollutants settling over the islands.
The park’s air quality is evident in the plants that grow here. Lichens thrive in the forests of English Camp and Jakle’s Lagoon, as well as on glacial erratics on the American Camp prairie. These sensitive plants act as bioindicators, which give tips on the condition of the environment. The lichens absorb moisture, nutrients and other airborne substances through their entire surface area. As pollutant levels increase, lichens suck more pollutants into their systems, weaken and die.
Did You Know?
The English Camp barracks was originally used as the privates' mess until extended in 1867. During the restoration process in the early 1970's a pot of gold coins and currency was found in the attic. The treasure belonged to the Crook family, who settled on the site in 1875.