Evergreen Islands

Protecting the saltwater islands of Skagit County now and forever

Evergreen Islands is a non-profit, membership organization, incorporated in Washington State. We’re a 501(c)(3) organization; thus, donations are tax-deductible. Citizen input and participation in local land use planning and development can have a real impact, which has been amply proven by the active group of citizens who work together to help protect the fragile environment of Skagit County’s saltwater islands.

In 1969, a group of Fidalgo Island residents organized to successfully oppose construction of a nuclear power plant on Kiket Island. Once owned by Seattle City Light, Kiket Island is now co‑owned by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.

In 1977, the group officially incorporated as “Evergreen Islands.” In 1993, Evergreen Islands became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Evergreen Islands’ focus since then has been “monitoring and supporting the responsible enforcement of local, state, and national laws that protect the environment, specifically the environmental protections contained in municipal comprehensive plans and policies, municipal and county shoreline programs, the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA), the Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), the Washington State Shoreline Management Act (SMA), Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).”

Tesoro Xylene Facility

In 2016, Evergreen Islands requested Skagit County to issue a Determination of Significance (DS) for Tesoro’s proposed xylene plant and its requisite marine oil export terminal. As a result, Skagit County issued a DS, which requires Tesoro to conduct an Environmental Impact Study before the project is approved.

Shell Crude-by-Rail

In 2015, Evergreen Islands with Earthjustice, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, FRIENDS of the San Juans, ForestEthics (now STAND), Washington Environmental Council, and Friends of the Earth to successfully overturn Skagit County’s administrative decision that would have allowed Shell Puget Sound Refinery to build a crude-by-rail train terminal without completing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In 2016, Shell suspended its permit application for its ‘Crude-by-Rail’ rail terminal to receive Bakken crude oil trains carrying Bakken crude oil to the refinery 6 days a week.

Opposing Rural Commercial Uses

In 2015, joined with South Fidalgo Island residents to oppose Rockpile Dojo, a martial arts/fitness and firearm safety training facility. While the project was approved, the Hearing Examiner imposed 12 conditions on the project. The conditions included: 1) “No discharge of firearms in association with the will be permitted on site”, and 2) “the property shall have no exterior indication of the business (except for a small unilluminated sign). Any apparatus or equipment for outside activities on the site shall be stored indoors when not in use.”

Planning for Water Use

In 2014, Evergreen Islands introduced a new goal to the Anacortes Comprehensive Plan in response to the Tethys water bottling plant controversy and the ongoing Skagit River water wars over the Skagit River Instream Flow Rule. In 2016, the City of Anacortes adopted “Goal U‑8. Sustainable Water Policy. Ensure availability of water for future generations.” Correspondingly, five million gallons of water a day is available to help Skagit farmers survive the late summer dry spells.

Opposing Water Sales

In 2013, Evergreen Islands joined with local organizations to successfully oppose the Tethys Enterprises’ plans to build a water bottling plant that would have shipped 5 million-gallons-per-day of water out‑of-state despite the fact that Skagit farmers desperately need for the water in late summer.

Anacortes Comprehensive Plan

In 2011, Evergreen Islands introduced two new goals to the Anacortes Comprehensive Plan. Our “Physically Active Community” goal included Complete Streets policy, which enables safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Our other goal, “Increased Public Participation,” was a goal to increase public participation in the permitting process for Conditional Use permit applications.

Protecting Rural Character

In 2007, Evergreen Islands with Friends of Skagit County successfully appealed the Skagit County Comprehensive Plan amendments that would have allowed 1) new more intensive commercial and industrial uses in the Skagit County’s rural areas; 2) the establishment of new Rural Centers; 3) the expansion of Rural Marine Industrial lands; 4) inappropriate growth on resource lands.

Protecting Critical Areas

In 2005, Evergreen Islands joined with Futurewise and Skagit Audubon in a Growth Management Act (GMA) appeal regarding the absence of a Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) in the Anacortes Municipal Code that’s required by the GMA. The coalition prevailed and Evergreen Islands subsequently identified many Anacortes environmentally sensitive areas that are now protected by the CAO. In 2006 and again in 2010, we successfully protected the Anaco Bourn, a natural stream that flows from the Anacortes Forest Lands to Burrows Bay.

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