Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Photo by Carl Davis

This past month marked the end my 5th and final year of service on the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee. Being on the MRC was a fantastic experience, and I learned a lot-- collaborating with bright, committed activists, looking to fulfill the MRC’s mission of advising the county council on marine issues, and managing a broad swath of restoration projects. 

One of my accomplishments while serving on the MRC was making a series of films for the Plastic Free Salish Sea initiative, ones that warned of the destructive impact of plastic on the marine ecosystem of the San Juans, and offered solutions to help reduce that negative effect. 


My favorite moment in the film is an answer given by Pete Moe-- director of Orcas  Recycling’s The Exchange-- to the question “What gives you hope?”

I love this idea-- that the San Juan Islands can serve as models of positive change to the larger world.  For-- in truth-- not just us, but everyone lives on an island, right?   Nations and continents are all surrounded by water, and this concept extends all the way to our tiny, little blue marble of a planet floating in an immense universe-- islands we be, all.   And what we learn and practice here may just someday help the world to better adapt and heal. 

Thinking about the many non-profit organizations who work alongside the MRC to help our island waters and wildlife healthier and vibrant-- the Seadoc Society, Friends of the San Juans, Long Live the Kings, the San Juan Preservation Trust, and many, many others-- all staffed with hard-working, committed environmental heroes-- we can justly be proud of what we and all these dedicated citizens have accomplished, and can truly have hope for the future. 

For me, post-MRC, my plan is to recommit to and deepen my work as a documentary filmmaker/storyteller, and also to do some traveling and cultural exchange while my wife and I are still able.  We will also indulge our passion for cruising on our small sailboat--  and yes, a sailboat is very much another version of a small island-- a small, self-sufficient “spaceship”,  in the midst of a very large sea-- an experience that continues to teach us new lessons with every voyage. 

Photo by Carl Davis

Down the road, when asked about our San Juan Islands home, what stories will I tell?   

I will say that we live in a beautiful place, one that contains an active community of people committed to keeping its land, waters and wildlife clean, healthy and vibrant, and that we are beginning a wave-- a wave of positive change that will someday help make the world a better place. 

How wonderful to be able to say that!   

I would like to close with a deep bow of gratitude to you all, for your dedication and hard work.

Let’s keep in touch! 


        Carl Davis, Orcas Island, January, 2023

Looking Back, Looking Forward