News from the Puget Sound Partnership

Alicia Lawver
(360) 464-2011


New human wellbeing indicators will help define Puget Sound health

What’s good for salmon is good for people, too – and now we’ll be able to monitor the conditions that make this true. On Wednesday, July 29, the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council clarified how the region measures ecosystem health by unanimously voting to add nine new indicators of human wellbeing to the Puget Sound Vital Signs. The Vital Signs are designed to monitor the bio-physical condition of Puget Sound.

“Explicitly including considerations about the quality of life humans enjoy in relation to Puget Sound will change the way we talk about and make decisions about Puget Sound recovery,” said Sheida R. Sahandy, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership. “This change will help us and our partners understand the full and real spectrum of the tradeoffs involved in our decisions as we continue to work toward a shared vision of a vibrant, enduring ecological, economic and social system that can thrive as one integrated system.”

New measurements address human health and human quality of life. Indicators related to a healthy human population encompass air quality, outdoor activity, local food availability, and clean drinking water. Indicators for human quality of life include Sound-healthy behaviors, cultural wellbeing, economic vitality, good governance, and sense of place. The indicators will join an existing suite of measurements that include estuary and floodplain restoration, water quality and quantity measurements, tracking the health of bird and orca populations, and many others.

“I want to commend our science community for the work they’ve done to create a robust, meaningful set of measures that reflect the human element in our ecosystem,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “This is not easy work. Many don’t even try. But in the long-run it’s this kind of thoughtful, methodical, science-based focus that will help us save Puget Sound for everyone.”

Learn more about these human-centric measurements and the work that went into creating them.

About the Puget Sound Partnership
The Puget Sound Partnership is the state agency formed to lead the region’s collective effort to restore and protect Puget Sound. Working with more than 750 governments, tribes, scientists, businesses, and nonprofits, the Partnership mobilizes partner action around a common agenda, advances Sound investments, and tracks progress to optimize recovery.

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Puget Sound Partnership
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