2022-2026 Action Agenda

On June 8, 2022, the Leadership Council unanimously voted to adopt the 2022-2026 Action Agenda. As a next step, the Partnership will submit the Action Agenda to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval as the Puget Sound National Estuary Program's (NEP) Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. Learn more about the 2022-2026 Action Agenda below or visit the interactive 2022-2026 Action Agenda Explorer.

What is the Action Agenda?

The 2022-2026 Action Agenda charts the course for Puget Sound recovery as our community's shared plan for advancing protection and restoration efforts across the region.

VISIT THE ONLINE ACTION AGENDA EXPLORER

Visit the 2022-2026 Action Agenda Explorer – the online companion tool to the Action Agenda. The Explorer allows for dynamic searchability of content relating to each one of the 31 strategies in the Action Agenda. Content will be updated regularly through 2026.

Why do we need an Action Agenda?

Our region is facing significant changes, and we know Puget Sound is not doing well. We have updated the Action Agenda to confront these challenges. The Action Agenda includes a vision of a healthy and resilient Puget Sound and describes what we must achieve, how we will achieve it, and how we will hold ourselves accountable to ensure we make progress.

The 2022-2026 Action Agenda includes the work of hundreds of partners to describe strategies and actions needed to recover a healthy and resilient Puget Sound. These strategies and actions enable us to achieve our desired outcomes:

  • Protect and restore habitat and habitat-forming processes
  • Protect and improve water quality
  • Protect the food web and imperiled species
  • Prevent the worst effects of climate change
  • Ensure human wellbeing

The strategies and actions in the Action Agenda provide opportunities for federal, tribal, state, local, and private partners to better invest resources and coordinate action. The Action Agenda fulfills the Partnership's statutory mandate and purpose of the Clean Water Act's National Estuary Program (NEP), which guides millions of dollars of federal funding to the most beneficial projects and programs.

How does the 2022-2026 Action Agenda advance recovery?

The 2022-2026 Action Agenda is informed by science and guides effective investment in Puget Sound protection and restoration. This Action Agenda update improves over past versions by increasing the focus on what is needed to recover Puget Sound, based on an assessment of our Vital Signs and consultation with partners.

To meet the challenges we face, the Action Agenda outlines approaches with multiple benefits that help us make progress towards recovery goals. The Action Agenda incorporates human wellbeing, tribal nations' treaty rights, environmental justice, and climate justice. It identifies ways to avoid the worst effects of climate change and focuses on the importance of everyone benefiting from recovery.

The Action Agenda:

  • Charts the course – The Action Agenda charts the course to science-based recovery, telling us the actions we need to take now to achieve our long-term targets in coming decades.
  • Guides funding – The Action Agenda guides funding for Puget Sound recovery. It guides the ranking of state budget proposals related to Puget Sound, serves as the funding authority for the federal Clean Water Act’s National Estuary Program (NEP) investments, and provides guidance to align a broad array of other restoration and infrastructure investments.
  • Ensures accountability– The Action Agenda describes what we must achieve, how we will achieve it, and how we will hold ourselves accountable to ensure that progress is made. 

The Action Agenda consists of:

  • The Comprehensive Plan, which charts the course for long-term Puget Sound recovery and describes how the broader recovery system and framework functions. The Comprehensive Plan summarizes the risks of Puget Sound, articulates our recovery vision, and provides the framework to work towards that vision.
  • The Implementation Plan, which is the action component of the Action Agenda, provides the shared focus and implementation guidance for recovery over the next four years. Organized by strategies, it describes how we will make progress toward the Action Agenda desired outcomes, the Puget Sound Vital Signs, and statutory recovery goals. The Implementation Plan is the product of the collective recovery community effort to focus on the most important actions to achieve the desired outcomes.

2022-2026 Action Agenda Update Process

The Action Agenda represents the collective work of federal, tribal, state, local, nongovernmental, and private organizations to recover Puget Sound. Hundreds of partners from across Puget Sound invested their leadership and resources to create a bold and effective 2022-2026 Action Agenda to accelerate Puget Sound recovery. Partners participated in every phase of the Action Agenda update process, detailed in the Action Agenda development summary (link coming soon) and described below.

The Action Agenda update began in 2020 and included five phases. For the first phase, the Leadership Council—the governing body of the Partnership—approved a concept and vision for the 2022-2026 Action Agenda in June 2020.

In phase 2, a set of desired outcomes was identified, which the Leadership Council approved in April 2021. Desired outcomes describe what we as the recovery community intend to accomplish and guided the identification of strategies and actions needed to make progress toward Puget Sound recovery goals and Vital Signs. Desired outcomes also helped us identify an initial set of progress measures to track, report on, and ensure accountability.

In phase 3, the Partnership worked with partners to identify strategies that help advance progress toward desired outcomes, Vital Signs, and overall recovery. Where desired outcomes describe what we intend to accomplish, the strategies and actions describe how to best achieve those outcomes. Each strategy is expected to advance one or more desired outcomes by addressing the underlying conditions that give rise to sources of stress on the ecosystem, or by enhancing capacity to address a stressor. Learn more about strategies.

The phase 4 process focused on co-generation of actions. These actions describe the activities that will be a shared focus for implementing each strategy from 2022-2026. Actions will guide partner implementation and innovation. They will also inform the focus of public and private funding and implementation support by the boards and regional partners. We identified actions through public workshops in 2021 and utilized Implementation Strategies, other existing plans, and the approved desired outcomes and strategies. This phase concluded with the development and review of the draft Action Agenda.

In March 2022, the Leadership Council approved a draft 2022-2026 Action Agenda for public review, initiating phase 5. The Partnership revised the draft Action Agenda in response to over 500 comments received during the public review period. Public comments and responses are detailed in the Public Comment Summary.

The Partnership will conduct an after-action review of the 2022-2026 Action Agenda in the coming year. The goal of after-action review is to seek feedback on the 2022-2026 Action Agenda and update process. This will help inform the collective approach and process to updating the 2026-2030 Action Agenda.

Last updated: 06/15/22

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