Puget Sound Nearshore Project Priorities: Assessing Consistency between Local and Regional Strategies of the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan
 
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Puget Sound Nearshore Project Priorities: Assessing Consistency between Local and Regional Strategies of the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan

Category: Habitat - Nearshore

Date Published: December 2007

Number of Pages: 134

INTRODUCTION:
In 2006 the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) funded three Puget Sound Lead Entities (King County [WRIA 9], San Juan County, and Kitsap County [West Sound Watersheds Council] to form a work group to evaluate salmon recovery actions in the nearshore. Specifically, the group was asked to analyze consistency between nearshore recovery strategies developed at two different scales of analysis in the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan: fine-scale actions developed at the watershed scale, and broad strategies developed at the regional scale. WDFW hopes that this analysis will lay the foundation for the ultimate goal of developing an interim work schedule for salmon recovery actions in the Puget Sound nearshore. This analysis will be vital for the new Puget Sound Partnership in developing the 2020 Action Agenda, which will provide a “roadmap to a healthy Puget Sound.” This analysis will also aid future project and funding prioritization efforts undertaken by federal, tribal, and state resource managers, funding entities, and local watershed restoration groups. This project grew out of needs identified during recent nearshore project funding and prioritization efforts, and because of data obtained from ongoing research on restoration science of the nearshore. The Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership is currently engaged in a soundwide nearshore ecosystem analysis known as the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP), or General Investigation Study, which is scheduled for completion in 2009. However, there is a need for guidance on early action investments in the interim. Our analysis provides guidance to resource managers and lead entities to better illuminate how individual nearshore projects align with regional nearshore priorities. Currently, lead entities and resource managers are compiling a collection of potential nearshore projects that can be implemented through various funding programs such as the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program (ESRP). Having interim guidance on how to develop an appropriate portfolio will ensure that projects funded by ESRP and other such programs have Sound-wide strategic significance. Overall, it is hoped that by viewing local projects in the context of Soundwide priorities and strategies we can begin to see beyond the boundaries of individual watersheds and work to restore the whole of Puget Sound.

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