While partners report that the majority of Near Term Actions are making favorable progress, many priority actions continue to face serious constraints. Lack of funding is our partners’ leading barrier to implementing Puget Sound recovery actions.

About the Action Agenda

The Action Agenda is a prioritized set of actions and programs for directing resources for Puget Sound recovery in an efficient and effective way. Hundreds of partners come together to plan, prioritize, and implement the actions needed to recover and sustain Puget Sound.

The biennial State of the Sound report looks at the progress partners are making to implement the Action Agenda as well as the funding needed to advance the three Strategic Initiatives:

  • Preventing pollution from urban stormwater runoff
  • Protecting and restoring habitat
  • Recovering shellfish beds


Near Term Actions comprise the core of the Action Agenda and help bring together a wide range of regional partners to find and advance critical solutions to some of the major factors affecting Puget Sound recovery. Although NTAs alone will not deliver recovery, they complement ongoing work by focusing efforts within a framework of agreed-upon priorities. Assessment of NTA implementation, as reported by parties responsible for the actions, is one way the Partnership monitors Action Agenda progress.

Status of 2012 Action Agenda NTAs

This table shows 2012 Action Agenda NTAs and their implementation status, sorted by all NTAs, Strategic Initiatives, and NTAs not related to Strategic Initiatives.

IN PROGRESS: Status of 2014 Action Agenda NTAs

While the 2012 Action Agenda NTAs reflect a complete cycle, the 2014 Action Agenda NTAs are still in progress. Completion rates for these actions are expected to increase by the end of the 2-year cycle. The 2012 and 2014 results cannot be directly compared.


In preparation for the 2015 State of the Sound, the Partnership undertook a variety of in-depth analyses to better understand NTA types, implementation status, funding, and the relationships that these factors might have to the overall outcome of the Puget Sound Vital Signs.

Status of NTAs associated with Strategic Initiatives compared to NTAs that are not

NTAs associated with Strategic Initiatives are more likely to be either Completed or On Plan than NTAs not associated with Strategic Initiatives in both the 2012 and 2014 Action Agendas.

Strategic Initiative NTAs
NTAs not associated with Strategic Initiatives

2012 Action Agenda
June 2012 – June 2014

31 of 41 are Completed or On Plan

130 of 185 are Completed or On Plan

2014 Action Agenda (in progress)
June 2014 – June 2016

50 of 74 are Completed or On Plan*

127 of 216 are Completed or On Plan*

*The time period for Near Term Actions included in the 2014 Action Agenda runs through June 2016. A complete evaluation of progress related to 2014 NTAs will be included in the 2017 State of the Sound.

2012 & 2014 Action Agendas: NTA funding gaps

This chart shows the percentage of the different types of actions in the 2012 and 2014 Action Agenda that were funded. The chart demonstrates that we continue to experience significant shortfalls in funding that limit the region’s ability to implement important recovery actions (see Barriers to Implementation and Recovery for other priority challenges to implementing key actions and advancing recovery).

* The funding gap is calculated as the difference between the estimated cost and the actual expenditure or appropriated budget. The funding gap for the 2014 Action Agenda is based on a sample of NTAs.

An analysis of implementation progress by activity type, Strategic Initiative association, and Vital Sign links.

An analysis of NTA costs, expenditures, and funding gaps.

2014 Ecosystem Coordination Board Funding Strategy

This Strategic Initiative funding strategy was commissioned by the Ecosystem Coordination Board, the Partnership’s policy advisory body. Learn more …

Linking Strategies and Actions to the Partnership’s Goals for Recovery of Puget Sound

This project is the first step in evaluating the relationships between the recovery effort—NTA implementation and financial investments—and progress toward ecosystem recovery goals, by connecting those pieces of information that were previously evaluated separately. Learn more …

Report Card forums

As a science-based organization, the process of inquiry, learning, and adaptively managing to ensure better results is infused throughout the Partnership’s practices. One such practice involves the Report Card forums held periodically at Leadership Council meetings. These forums are designed with an emphasis on the oversight roles envisioned in RCW 90.71.350(2), focusing on providing the support for any necessary course adjustments rather than assessments of noncompliance. Learn more …


By analyzing progress in implementing Near Term Actions, the Partnership is able to identify what worked, what didn’t, and make improvements based on these lessons learned. Partnership staff use these observations to improve the strategic planning of recovery efforts, especially in the development of the 2016 revision of the Action Agenda. Learn more …


A wide range of partners across Puget Sound help to implement the Action Agenda. The 2015 State of the Sound: Report to the Governor and Legislature features three examples of success in state funded programs that are critical to Puget Sound recovery:

  • Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) helps to implement the most important, science-based salmon habitat protection and restoration priorities for Puget Sound.
  • Floodplains by Design is a public-private partnership is working to reduce flood risks and restore habitat along Washington’s major rivers.
  • An Oil Transport Study provided data and analysis of statewide risks and gaps, identifying options for increasing public safety, and improving spill prevention and response readiness.

In addition, there have been considerable successes in a range of different projects funded by the federal EPA National Estuary Program, as well as many specific Near Term Actions implemented by Action Agenda partners at the local level. The following pages provide more detail on the latter examples.

National Estuary Program achievements

Designated state, local, and tribal governments in Puget Sound (Lead Organizations) received federal funding from the EPA to administer the Puget Sound National Estuary Program (NEP) that helps advance Puget Sound recovery. The following pages describe some of the accomplishments of the Lead Organizations for shellfish recovery, watershed protection and restoration, toxics prevention, reduction and control, Marine and nearshore protection and restoration, and tribal priorities. Learn more ...

Local Integrating Organization achievements

Local Integrating Organizations bolster consensus and provide momentum around locally relevant Puget Sound recovery actions, from a range of different local entities. These actors include, but are not limited to, local governments, tribes, private sector entities, watershed planning units, watershed councils, shellfish protection districts, conservation districts, regional fishery enhancement groups, marine resource committees (including those working with the Northwest Straits Commission) nearshore groups, and watershed lead entities, all working to implement the Action Agenda. Learn about Local Integrating Organization accomplishments …


Assessment of effectiveness of specific action or projects is another way the Partnership is able to measure Action Agenda implementation. This work answers a deeper question about how effective actions are and what the successes, challenges, or barriers are rather than simply whether they have been implemented or not. To date, the Partnership has evaluated several restoration projects for each of the three Strategic Initiatives: Shellfish Restoration in the Samish Basin; Estuary Restoration in the Nisqually, Snohomish, Skagit, and Skokomish river deltas; and Stormwater Pollution Reduction in the City of Seattle. Learn more …