Boat Tour: Explore Stuart Island (for students in grades 9-12)

07/19/2017 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM PT


Depart Friday Harbor


  • Free


Students in grades 9-12 are invited to join us on this fun and informative boat trip. Participants will learn about how the San Juan Islands were formed, the area’s natural history, connections between land and marine habitats, outer island off-the-grid lifestyle, and current environmental issues.


Students will also collaborate to create a short video about the voyage to share through social media. Friends will organize a follow-up session to finalize this media project with the students. This is a great showcase project to help bring awareness to our islands while immersed in a place-based, hands-on project.


The trip will leave from Friday Harbor at 9 am and travel along the geologically diverse shores to Stuart Island, learning about how the islands were formed, why they look the way they do, and how they are still changing. Students will disembark for a hike to the Turn Point Lighthouse (5 miles RT) where they can witness and learn about shipping traffic, strong currents, and, with luck, orcas passing by. Along the hike, students will learn about how people on Stuart Island live off the grid using alternative sources of energy. In Reed Harbor, they will sample a known spawning beach for forage fish eggs and learn about why this connection between land and sea is critical to the marine environment. The return trip will focus on the connections between all that was seen and learned and planning for the collaborative video.


The boat captain, Greg Hertel, is a retired science teacher and will provide expertise on geology and natural history. Friends’ Science Director, Tina Whitman, will teach about forage fish, salmon, and their connection to the health of endangered orca. Friends’ Community Engagement Director, Katie Fleming, will provide information on threats from increasing shipping traffic and information on alternative energy options.


We have applied for grant funding to help pay the fees for this trip. Please click here to add your name to the list of interested participants. We will be back in touch with an application and more details as soon as possible. Contact Katie at 360-378-2319 or if you have questions in the meantime.


Click here to learn more about Captain Greg Hertel and his boat, The Bee.



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