Press release reprinted from The Puget Sound Partnership
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approves the 2022-2026 Action Agenda
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEAugust 24, 2022
MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Hyde, 360.819.3045, firstname.lastname@example.org
OLYMPIA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the 2022-2026 Action Agenda as the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the Puget Sound National Estuary Program (NEP). Each NEP develops a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan that establishes priorities for activities, research, and funding for the estuary. These plans serve as a blueprint to guide decisions about a wide range of environmental protection issues.
The Action Agenda is our community’s shared four-year plan for recovering Puget Sound. It is a bold plan, based on robust science and collaborative problem-solving, that includes strategies and actions to achieve long-term Puget Sound recovery. The Partnership works with members of the Management Conference, which includes sovereign tribal nations, governments, organizations, businesses, and individuals, to develop the Action Agenda.
“EPA congratulates the Puget Sound Partnership and the Management Conference partners for the substantial effort that has gone into the 2022-2026 Action Agenda,” said Peter Murchie, manager of geographic programs, EPA Region 10. “We encourage the continued building of the Partnership’s collaborative approach with all Management Conference partners and the work to increase equity in new voices and perspectives, to both clearly exercise diverse leadership roles in this regional effort to protect and restore Puget Sound—as a functional, productive, and sustainable ecosystem.”
“We are thankful to EPA for their partnership, and this approval is an important milestone,” said Dennis McLerran, chair of the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council. “The 2022-2026 Action Agenda update is a comprehensive approach to Puget Sound restoration and is dependent on all of us taking the necessary actions to support the hard work to save our iconic salmon, orca, and other wildlife.”
The 2022-2026 Action Agenda confronts the challenges we face in recovering Puget Sound, including dwindling orca and salmon populations; habitat loss in forests and shorelines; a failure to honor tribal treaty and sovereign rights and protect communities from health risks, economic pressures, and a loss of traditions; and the growing threat of climate change and population growth to species, infrastructure, and our livelihoods.
“We’re so pleased to receive EPA’s full approval of the 2022-2026 Action Agenda,” said Laura Blackmore, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership. “We’re grateful to our many partners who took the time to develop and refine this Action Agenda update and we look forward to working with the Puget Sound recovery community to implement this plan. We know what we need to do, and now is the time to act.”
The 2022-2026 Action Agenda charts the course for the science-based recovery of Puget Sound. It also guides funding for Puget Sound recovery, serves as the funding authority for the Clean Water Act’s National Estuary Program investments, and helps align other restoration and infrastructure investments. The Action Agenda ensures accountability by describing what we must achieve, how we will achieve it, and how we will measure our progress. It is structured around 31 collaboratively developed and science-informed strategies, which describe effective approaches for advancing progress toward desired outcomes, Vital Signs, and overall recovery.
The 2022-2026 Action Agenda sets targets for six Puget Sound Vital Sign indicators, our measures of ecosystem health. These six targets represent iconic and valued components of the Puget Sound ecosystem, and they are strongly linked to the work proposed in the Action Agenda. In addition to the new Vital Sign indicator targets, the 2022-2026 Action Agenda integrates human wellbeing, our responsibility to tribal treaty and sovereign rights, equity, and environmental justice. It sets 11 short-term targets which describe how the recovery community will make progress toward one or more desired outcomes in the next four years.
Visit our webpage to learn more about the 2022-2026 Action Agenda and how we all can contribute to Puget Sound recovery. The 2022-2026 Action Agenda is now available to read in Spanish, and the Action Agenda brochure is available to read in Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Russian, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese.
You can also visit the Action Agenda Explorer, the online companion tool of the 2022-2026 Action Agenda. It includes dynamic search functions, 31 strategy profiles, linkages to existing ecosystem data, and downloadable content.
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 hundreds of government agencies, tribes, scientists, businesses, and nonprofits, the Partnership mobilizes partner action around a common agenda, advances Sound investments, and tracks progress to optimize recovery.
For more information, go to www.psp.wa.gov.