The Nature Conservancy is urging support of the Puget Sound Partnership’s Action Agenda, which was released today (Nov. 6) for public comment.
The Action Agenda lays out crucial steps that should be taken in the next two years for the recovery of Puget Sound, said Jacques White, marine program director for the Conservancy’s Washington Program. White serves on the Ecosystem Coordination Board, which reviewed the Agenda and made recommendations to the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council.
The Leadership Council used the best available science and significant involvement by stakeholders to develop this agenda. The tasks identified here are crucial, and represent critical first steps toward the recovery of Puget Sound.
The stakes are high. “We have two fixed constraints,” White said. “If we continue to degrade Puget Sound, everything in it is going to die. And we’re going to have at least 1.4 million more people living here in the next 20 years. The plan that we develop has to bring these into balance.”
Among the first actions are developing goals and measures to define what we mean by a healthy Puget Sound, White said. “How clean is clean enough? How much healthy habitat is enough for fish and wildlife?” There are also important actions identified for protection and restoration of habitat, improved water quality, and better and more efficient management.
The review process so far has included representatives from a wide variety of interests, including tribes, timber, fishing, farmers, city and county governments, large and small business, and environmental organizations. Now it’s time for the public to weigh in—the public comment period is from Nov. 6 to Nov. 20. The Leadership Council will weigh comments and present a revised Action Agenda to state legislative leaders in December. The Action Agenda can be found online at www.psp.wa.gov/