The University of Washington owns and maintains a series of biological preserves totaling over 1,600 acres in the San Juan Islands. Almost one third of that acreage comprises the Friday Harbor Laboratories Biological Preserve, on which the FHL campus is situated. The other UW preserves are 1) Cedar Rock Preserve (Shaw Island), 2) Fred and Marilyn Ellis Biological Preserves (Shaw Island), 3) False Bay Biological Preserve (San Juan Island), and 4) Argyle Lagoon Biological Preserve (San Juan Island).
The overarching goals for these properties are to maintain and restore native biodiversity and ecosystem function and to facilitate education and research that is consistent with these goals; a secondary goal is to maintain important parts of the cultural landscape.
Some of the preserves acreage includes tidelands. Management policies for these and associated waters can be found here:
The descriptions below are based on a document by Dr. Claudia E. Mills. Original page here.
Friday Harbor Laboratories Biological Preserve, San Juan Island
This is a 476 acre property, a former U.S. Military Reserve that was transferred to the University of Washington in 1921 by the federal government for the purpose of a biological station and for general university research purpose. The southern portion is developed as a residential teaching and research campus, including 12 separate laboratory buildings, 2 lecture halls, the Whiteley study center, a library, computer lab, administrative offices, stockroom, dining hall, dormitories and other housing units.
Fred and Marilyn Ellis Biological Preserve, Shaw Island
This Preserve consists of 496 acres in three large, non-contiguous properties composed of thirteen parcels that were given to the University of Washington by Fred and Marilyn Ellis of Shaw Island.
False Bay Biological Preserve, San Juan Island
Purchased by the University of Washington in 1974 this preserve includes most of the approximately 300 acres of tidelands in False Bay and a 23.3 acre upland property. The False Bay purchase resulted in the University of Washington owning all tidelands in False Bay from shoreline to mean low water except from high tide line out.
Argyle Lagoon Biological Preserve, San Juan Island
This is a 14 acre property that includes all of the Argyle Lagoon tidelands (12.3 acres classified as oysterlands by the State) including part of a tidal creek, and a 1.7 acre upland parcel.
Argyle Creek and Argyle Lagoon are frequently visited by UW Friday Harbor Labs biology classes and are usually the site of several ongoing research projects.