The award recognizes a Cortes Islander who has made significant contributions to the environmental well being of the community.
Congratulations to Sonya for all of her fabulous work over the years and dedication to Cortes and its environment. Here is her nomination in full.
Sonya Friesen’s tireless involvement in the environmental movement on Cortes Island spans 3 decades, and is evidence of her firm commitment to forest and climate protection to this day. She actively protested unsustainable practices by McMillan Bloedel in 1990, and participated in several other similar actions on the west coast.
While Sonya has always been a strong forest advocate, this was informed by her knowledge and respect for loggers like her dad, who was a west coast logger for most of his life. Sonya’s recent work with the Cortes Community Forest Coop has included ground truthing government forest data on Cortes.
She has passionately pursued transportation alternatives for Cortes Island, spearheading the Cortes Rideshare website, carshare coops, and community bus initiatives as a climate activist. Sonya accomplished all of this as an oyster farmer and dedicated mom. It is difficult to overstate her work and commitment to a better world.