UPDATED 4.25.18 Shoreline Armoring Implementation Strategy available

A new Shoreline Armoring Implementation Strategy that aims to reduce shoreline armoring in Puget Sound is now final following public comment and external review. The Habitat Strategic Initiative team developed the strategy in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Puget Sound Partnership, Puget Sound Institute, and an Interdisciplinary Team of experts.

Learn more about the Implementation Strategy:

·         Check out our poster presented at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

·         Read our fact sheet

·         Read the executive summary and narrative

·         Find links to all supporting materials


Implementation Strategies (Strategies) are plans for accelerating progress toward the 2020 ecosystem recovery targets for the Puget Sound Vital Signs. The Strategies are developed collaboratively with technical, professional, and policy experts and with local and regional input. An overview of the Strategies is available at the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound website.

Each Strategy accomplishes the following

  • Identifies priority near-term (4-6 years) approaches—including strategies, actions, and program and policy changes—for achieving a specific recovery target
  • Identifies priority pressures affecting the associated Vital Sign and key barriers to achieving the recovery target
  • Identifies key uncertainties and associated research and monitoring priorities
  • Identifies adaptive management elements, processes, and decision makers
  • Identifies benefits or trade-offs to human wellbeing
  • Identifies key geographic areas associated with the recovery target
  • Estimates the costs of putting recovery priorities into practice
  • Assesses and combines elements of local and regional recovery efforts, ongoing programs, Near Term Actions from the Puget Sound Action Agenda, and results from the Puget Sound Pressure Assessment
  • Builds on existing knowledge and lessons learned from previous and current recovery efforts

Implementation Strategies are developed by use of a results-based (adaptive) management framework for Puget Sound recovery. This framework is founded on the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation. LEARN MORE

The following Strategies, though not fully complete, are available for use:

  • Estuaries
  • Shellfish beds
  • Floodplains
  • Land development and cover
  • Eelgrass
  • Chinook salmon

The following Strategies are currently under development and expected to be completed in 2017:

  • Shoreline armoring
  • Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity (B-IBI) (one of three indicators for the Freshwater Quality Vital Sign)
  • Toxics in fish


The first five Strategies were developed under the leadership of the Partnership with support from the EPA and the Puget Sound Institute (PSI). Following lessons learned from the first Implementation Strategy pilot project, which addressed the recovery target for the Eelgrass Vital Sign, the Partnership convened interdisciplinary teams (IDTs) of partners from 2015-2016 to develop four more Implementation Strategies addressing recovery targets for estuaries, shellfish beds, floodplains, and land development and cover. This Partnership-led team also produced common guidelines for developing new Strategies.

As the EPA’s Puget Sound National Estuary Program has shifted to relying more heavily on Implementation Strategies to guide investments in Puget Sound recovery, the Habitat, Shellfish, and Stormwater Strategic Initiative (SI) Leads have taken on greater responsibility for managing Implementation Strategies. SI Lead duties include:

  • Developing new Strategies
  • Completing existing Strategies
  • Adaptively managing all Strategies within the purview of the SI Leads.

As the regional recovery organization for salmon, the Partnership continues to lead and manage development of the Chinook Salmon Implementation Strategy.

The SI Leads are supported by the Partnership, the Puget Sound Institute (PSI), the EPA and many other partners in developing, reviewing, and updating the Strategies. The Partnership and PSI ensure that Strategy development is consistent enough to support cross-Strategy integration and that Strategies are grounded in sound science.

Additional information on the Implementation Strategies and Strategic Initiatives is coming soon from the SI Leads.

How are Lead Integrating Organizations involved in Strategy development?

The Local Integrating Organizations (LIOs) provide important content to the Strategies in the following ways:

  • Participate in Strategy development, which is a collaborative undertaking.
  • Provide LIO ecosystem recovery plans. The plans are instrumental in providing watershed-specific context to the developing Strategy.


Four new Strategies are planned for completion in 2017 so that they can be used to inform development of the 2018 Action Agenda and the 2018 Science Work Plan.

Shoreline Armoring

The Habitat SI Lead is guiding development of a Strategy to address the 2020 indicator target for the Shoreline Armoring Vital Sign.

For more information: please contact Jennifer Griffiths,, Technical Lead for the Habitat Strategic Initiative at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Fresh Water Quality and Toxics in Fish

The Stormwater SI Lead is guiding development of Strategies to address the Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity (B-IBI) indicator for the Freshwater Quality Vital Sign, as well as the 2020 indicator target for Toxics in Fish Vital Sign.

For more information, contact Gary Myers,, Implementation Strategy Lead for the Stormwater Strategic Initiative at the Department of Ecology.

Chinook Salmon

The Partnership is guiding development of the Implementation Strategy for the 2020 indicator target to address the Chinook Salmon Vital Sign, to be completed in the spring of 2017. For more information please contact Amber Moore at

Partially complete Strategies

The following four partially complete Strategies will be further developed in coming years to inform Action Agenda, Science Work Plan and other planning and funding decisions.

Contact the leads for these Strategies for more information:


Strategies associated with the Habitat Strategic Initiative:

Strategies associated with the Shellfish Strategic Initiative:

Strategies associated with the Stormwater Strategic Initiative:

Strategies managed by the Puget Sound Partnership

Additional information about the Strategies and related Puget Sound recovery efforts is managed and publicly available in Miradi Share™, an online database that supports development, monitoring, and sharing of information among conservation practitioners, project and program managers, and funders. Miradi project files for all completed Strategies are available in the links below. A free user account for Miradi Share is required to view projects. Request a free account at, and contact Kari Stiles at for access to Puget Sound content.



Complete Implementation Strategies include the following elements, generated with input from partners and reviewed by technical experts:

  • A narrative with supporting appendices (tables, diagrams, references, and other materials) to describe in detail the component pieces of the Strategy
  • A situation analysis (and conceptual model) that evaluates and documents assumptions about the recovery context, priority pressures, and the current conditions of the Vital Sign
  • Detailed results chains, or theories of change, representing the sequenced steps resulting from strategy implementation and measures to track progress toward recovery
  • A schematic diagram identifying priority recovery pathways to recovery and key outcomes needed to make progress toward the 2020 targets
  • Lists of priority approaches including strategies, actions, programs and policy changes, and research and monitoring needs
  • Estimated costs of implementing priority approaches
  • Key decision points, processes, responsibilities and needs related to adaptive management of the Strategy


The Strategies will support decision making and provide guidance on the types of priority actions needed to make progress toward the Vital Sign targets.

Priorities for Near Term Actions in the 2016 Action Agenda update were informed by the Strategies for the Estuaries and Shellfish Beds Vital Sign indicators. The 2018 Action Agenda will be informed by the following:

  • Updates to the Strategies for estuaries and shellfish beds
  • New Strategies addressing Floodplains and Land Development and Cover Vital Sign targets
  • Any additional Strategies completed in time for the Action Agenda update planning cycle. These could include Strategies addressing shoreline armoring, Chinook salmon, B-IBI, and toxics in fish.

Information from nine recently completed LIO Ecosystem Recovery Plans is also informing Strategy development and updates and will be used for 2018 Acton Agenda priority-setting.


Strategic Initiatives (prevent pollution from urban stormwater, protect and restore habitat, and protect and recover shellfish beds) are regional priorities that have been emphasized in the Action Agenda since 2012. The Strategic Initiatives help direct spending and resources and guide the Partnership’s work with partners to increase funding, seek policy changes, report successes and challenges, and educate and engage people in the recovery effort. By contrast, an Implementation Strategy is a strategic plan designed to help meet a specific 2020 Vital Sign indicator target. Each Strategy is nested within one or more Strategic Initiatives.


Sequencing of Strategy development has included the application of criteria selected with feedback from partners, stakeholders, tribal natural resource directors, and the Partnership’s Leadership Council, Science Panel, Salmon Recovery Board, and Ecosystem Coordination Board. The criteria consider the following:

  • Ecosystem benefits
  • Alignment with funding and planning cycles
  • Applicability at the regional and local scale
  • Urgency for addressing the topic
  • Feasibility
  • Confidence in the targets set for Vital Sign indicators

A process for selecting the next set of Strategies for development and identifying opportunities for grouping Strategies to improve strategy effectiveness and management efficiency is currently under development. The Partnership and PSI will work with the SI Leads and other partners to build and improve on the above criteria for future decision making about IS sequencing and management.


We anticipate that, over time, at least one Strategy, and possibly more, will address each Vital Sign that has a defined recovery target. It remains to be seen whether there will need to be a separate planning effort for each Vital Sign, given that many Vital Signs usually benefit from actions focused on related Vital Signs.

Contact: Mike Johnson, Environmental Planner and Implementation Strategy Manager,