The Island Local Integrating Organization (ILIO) FY2014 NTA development process increased collaboration and alignment on shared priorities in the watershed. This proved to be a successful approach to local Action Agenda planning and implementation by enabling integration of local watershed recovery and protection plans (e.g. the Shoreline Master Plan) and fostering effective, cross-jurisdictional partnerships to apply grant dollars to the highest-priority recovery projects in the watershed. Through this process, ILIO partners developed a refined list of priority actions to address ecosystem protection and recovery gaps in existing watershed projects and programs. Twelve NTAs were included in the 2014 Action Agenda update, and sixteen projects were implemented to address these priority local ecosystem recovery efforts and in support of the three Action Agenda strategic initiatives. Of the 16 projects implemented, seven were linked directly to strategic initiative sub-strategies.
Just over $2 million in competitive grant funding was awarded to FY 2014 NTAs with more than $300,000 of local dollars leveraged as match. Local recovery efforts that were funded as a result of ILIO planning efforts included:
- Assessing fish passage barriers in culverts located in high-priority geographical areas.
- Developing an implementation strategy for the newly adopted Shoreline Master Plan compliance, including streamlining permitting to be consistent with protection and recovery targets.
- Restoring tidal inundation in valuable salmon rearing habitat.
- Removing shoreline armoring (bulkhead) to improve nearshore habitat for salmon and forage fish.
- Developing water quality improvement projects.
- Managing invasive species in the nearshore and inland.
Looking ahead to the upcoming biennium, the ILIO will build on existing successes and established partnerships to develop a more comprehensive watershed plan focused on the 2020 Action Agenda Vital Sign targets.