Washington’s Puget Sound has more than 2,000 miles of shoreline, forming a complex system of estuaries, channels, open water, and islands that harbor several species of endangered salmon. The Sound has three major seaports: Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia. Declining fisheries are tied to the loss of ecosystem functions, the result of a degraded coastal habitat.
The Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership was formed to identify significant ecosystem problems in the basin, evaluate potential solutions, and develop a comprehensive plan to restore the health of Puget Sound while supporting the region’s economy. One of the largest ecosystem restoration projects attempted in the region, the partnership involves government organizations, tribes, industries, and environmental organizations. Individuals and organizations contribute their time, leadership, monetary and in-kind services, data and expertise to help implement the scientific and restoration aspects of the project.
Federal, state, and local government scientists and resource managers are working together to address the effects of urbanization on fragile coastal environments. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides scientific expertise and leadership, technology development, and information to guide coastal restoration and to adaptively manage and conserve unique coastal resources.
Nearshore Partnership organizations implement restoration activities and collaboratively identify the science and information necessary to make informed decisions on priority restoration projects. Collaboration promotes common understanding and commitment to restoration priorities, ensuring better coordination of Federal, state and local activities and greater operating efficiency.
Examples of Key PartnersPuget Sound Nearshore Partnership includes the USGS, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, Washington State agencies, Puget Sound Action Team, Salmon Recovery Funding Board, King and Pierce Counties, City of Seattle, NW Indian Fisheries Commission, The Nature Conservancy, The National Wildlife Federation, People for Puget Sound, Universities, and others.
Results and AccomplishmentsThe Partnership is producing scientific and technical documents and reports to guide the restoration planning process, including:
• Application of “Best Available Science” in Ecosystem Restoration.
• Lessons Learned from Large-Scale Restoration Efforts in the USA.
• Guidance for Protection and Restoration of the Nearshore Ecosystem of Puget Sound.
• Guiding Restoration Principles.
• Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound: A Research Plan in Support of the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Program.
The information in these documents helps guide multi-disciplinary research into ecosystem processes, and guidance to promote
process-based ecosystem restoration.