What is the State of the Sound report? As a national and tribal treasure, Puget Sound is worthy of our every effort for protection. Such effort requires the coordination and collaboration of hundreds of partners in planning, prioritizing, and undertaking the actions needed to recover and sustain Puget Sound.
WHAT’S INSIDE THE STATE OF THE SOUND?
The State of the Sound answers the following questions:
- How is the ecosystem doing?
- What are the outstanding examples of recovery projects?
- How is management of recovery going?
- Who funds Puget Sound recovery?
- What is needed to see more progress in Puget Sound recovery?
HOW IS THE RECOVERY EFFORT GOING?
- While always learning, we now better understand what needs to be done to ensure a thriving and sustainable Puget Sound ecosystem. And we see how to achieve our goals in ever smarter, and more efficient and effective ways.
- Meaningful and innovative work has been—and continues to be—accomplished. It is the daily hard work of our partners that moves the region toward a sustainable ecosystem. The Partnership supports these partners in planning, funding, and learning.
- The pressures on our ecosystem are great―an investment that is many times above past commitments, and from a larger portion of society, must be secured to safeguard what we treasure. Broader support for improved policies that protect and sustain Puget Sound is also needed. As it now stands, the 2020 goals will not be met.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2017 STATE OF THE SOUND REPORT
• Ten Vital Sign indicators are getting better, 9 have mixed results, 6 are not improving, and 4 are getting worse. (See pages 12-13 of the report.)
• The Puget Sound recovery community has made progress in restoring habitat, but marine water quality continues to deteriorate, and some species, like Chinook salmon and Southern Resident orcas, are dangerously below federal recovery goals and are not improving. (See page 12.)
What are some examples of innovative and effective approaches?
• New understanding of how beaches are formed guided the removal of a long seawall at Seahurst Park, near Burien. The science predicted correctly where the sand would go so property was protected, small fish could lay eggs on the beach, and birds and salmon could find food. (See page 20.)
• Through determination, hard work, and innovative partnerships, sources of water pollution were identified and corrected in the communities of Drayton Harbor, near Blaine. After 22 years of mandatory closure, the area’s shellfish beds were reopened for commercial harvest. (See page 26.)
• A local property developer in Seattle used new technology to build their own rain garden, and then increased its size to treat polluted stormwater coming off the Aurora Bridge so that salmon swimming through the Ship Canal were better protected. (See page 38.)
What is needed to see more progress in Puget Sound recovery?
• Of the 290 Near Term Actions included in the 2014-2016 Action Agenda, just 41 percent got underway and were completed; to date, only 19 percent of the 362 Near Term Actions in the 2016-2018 Action Agenda are completed or on track. Lack of funding is the biggest barrier. (See page 53.)
• Historical actions and investments, although effective, are far below what is needed to meet the collective goals and targets for recovery.