EVALUATING THE HEALTH OF PUGET SOUND
A healthy Puget Sound means having a healthy human population, a vibrant human quality of life, thriving species and food webs, protected and restored habitat, healthy water quality, and abundant water quantity. Efforts to recover Puget Sound to health must be guided by reliable, high-quality scientific information about the health of Puget Sound and progress toward recovery.
With data provided by our partners, the Partnership uses monitoring information to:
- Track ecosystem conditions and progress toward recovery, measured via the Vital Sign and indicators
- Assess human wellbeing as a part of the ecosystem and the recovery effort
- Assess the effectiveness of restoration and protection actions
- Support adaptive management processes and decision making at many scales
The Partnership coordinates these activities through the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP).
THE PUGET SOUND ECOSYSTEM MONITORING PROGRAM (PSEMP)
Monitoring in Puget Sound is conducted by many state and federal agencies, local governments, tribes, citizen groups, and others. While every monitoring organization has its unique mandates and objectives, the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program, or PSEMP, serves as an overarching, voluntary body of representatives sharing a common goal to coordinate, improve, and focus these many efforts in support of our common desire to protect and recover Puget Sound. PSEMP does this by providing a venue for discussion, collaboration, coordination, collective guidance, and communication among monitoring agencies and organizations operating at a variety of scales. LEARN MORE
PUGET SOUND VITAL SIGNS
The Vital Signs gauge the health of Puget Sound in a way that is scientifically valid and also resonates with the public. The Partnership tracks 25 Vital Signs to report on progress toward the six recovery goals. The Vital Signs represent overarching measures for determining the health of Puget Sound. LEARN MORE
The Human Wellbeing Vital Signs address the recovery goals for healthy human population and vibrant human quality of life, particularly as these goals relate to how people engage with the natural environment of Puget Sound. The Human Wellbeing Vital Signs include familiar topics such as physical and psychological health, as well as governance, social, cultural, and economic wellbeing. LEARN MORE
Many restoration and management actions have been effective in restoring ecosystem components and processes in Puget Sound, but much of the evidence of success is found in technical documents that are not easy to access. Partnership staff finds and reviews these documents to collect information about what’s working to restore Puget Sound. This information, once vetted by regional experts, is presented in fact sheets and narrative summaries that can be used to help develop effective recovery programs and projects. LEARN MORE
ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK
The Partnership uses a results-based—or adaptive—approach to managing ecosystem recovery. This approach helps to ensure that decisions about ecosystem recovery priorities are based on the best available information about the effectiveness of management investments. This approach also helps accommodate the profound uncertainties about how Puget Sound responds to stresses and to different management efforts. LEARN MORE