Monitoring to Accelerate Recovery


The Puget Sound Partnership (Partnership) funds projects every biennium that address priority monitoring information needs to inform and accelerate the recovery of Puget Sound. Projects are funded via a formal project solicitation process. Priority is given to projects that support the objectives of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP) Strategic Plan to increase collaboration, support adaptive management, and improve communication.

Successful projects also address cross-cutting principles of integrating biophysical and social sciences, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI), and climate change.

See 2021-2023 Monitoring to Accelerate Recovery solicitation for reference.

Projects funded in 2021-2023

Project descriptions and more information coming soon. See the 2021-2023 award announcement.

Projects funded in 2019-2021:

The Partnership funded the following projects using funding allocated to support PSEMP work groups and reporting of the Vital Signs during the 2019-21 biennium:

Project title Description Project leads
Nearshore Summit and Synthesis

This virtual nearshore summit, held from March 10-25, 2021, included about 80 speakers representing over 50 institutions and over 500 registrants. The goal is to connect restoration scientists and practitioners to synthesize nearshore science and restoration actions in Puget Sound to create a durable roadmap that updates restoration conceptual models and identifies key uncertainties for future research and management to address. You can find more information about the summit here. You can find a video overview here.

Tish Conway-Cranos, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Jason Toft, University of Washington; David Trimbach, Oregon State University

Fundamental Environmental Contextual Metrics Dashboard

Climate change poses a serious threat to Puget Sound recovery efforts. To adapt recovery efforts to these changes, we need metrics that show why change is occurring. The project will use data from ongoing oceanographic and atmospheric measurement programs to develop six fundamental environmental metrics and compare current status updates to historical values. When finished, the metrics will be available to the public via a web-based dashboard that will concisely summarize current conditions. This project is still in development, but please find the latest update from the Marine Waters Work Group February Meeting slides linked here. You can find a video overview here.

John Mickett, University of Washington

Marine Waters Annual Overview

The Marine Waters Overview Report and annual workshop communicates the results from regional monitoring programs through a virtual workshop and published report of technical summaries and high-level information synthesis across monitoring programs and scientific disciplines. The annual workshop and report provided an integrative understanding of current trends in Puget Sound marine water quality and impacts through the food web, link to the Puget Sound Vital Signs and goals for ecosystem recovery, and share critical information for making evidence-based decisions about recovery efforts. The link to the full report can be found here and you can find a video overview here.

Jude Apple, Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve; Rachel Wold, University of Washington

Avian Habitat Suitability Models for Puget Sound Estuary Birds

Puget Sound and the Salish Sea support hemispherically significant concentrations of shorebirds, waterfowl, and other marine bird species. Despite this importance, birds have received little attention by state and federal recovery efforts. This project develops science products that support the management needs of estuary birds, including end-user stakeholder engagement, avian-habitat suitability models, and the initiation of a regional avian monitoring framework for river delta estuaries. A monitoring framework will facilitate targeted data collection that allows for avian conservation planning and management at local and regional scales and supports integration of birds in estuary recovery efforts. This project produced an executive summary and storymap. You can find a video overview here.

Amanda Summers, Stillaguamish Tribes of Indians; Trina Bayard, Audubon Washington

Prioritization of Contaminants of Emerging Concern

This project will identify and prioritize a suite of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), based on biological relevance, to focus future monitoring efforts and provide the information necessary for a management response. Hundreds of CECs such as pharmaceuticals, plasticizers, pesticides, and others have been detected in Puget Sound. We must prioritize limited funding to address the chemicals of greatest concern and for future regulatory requirements. This project has finished its first phase and the report is linked here. You can find a video overview here.

Andy James, University of Washington Tacoma; Ruth Sofield, Western Washington University

Juvenile Salmonid Monitoring in Large Puget Sound Rivers

Juvenile salmonid monitoring is a critical component of understanding both freshwater productivity and marine survival. The project worked with a network of tribal and state smolt trap operators to identify shared trends in Chinook salmon abundance and productivity metrics through time across 11 rivers throughout the Puget Sound region. Results from this project indicate that Puget Sound Chinook salmon retain signs of resilience, both in terms of asynchronous survival trends among populations and recent periods of increased survival for some populations. In a changing climate, salmon recovery can further bolster resilience by fostering life history diversity and adopting management strategies robust to periods of both high and low survival. Additionally, this project showed the value of a cohesive network of juvenile salmonid monitoring in the region for informing recovery efforts. The project will also derive some preliminary information from data collected across the network. The project has developed a one-page overview and report. You can find a video overview here.

Joe Anderson and Peter Lisi, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Dawn Pucci, Island County

Birds Vital Sign, Abundance of marine birds indicator

Process annual mid-winter WDFW PSAMP seabird and waterfowl survey flight data; marine and terrestrial bird indicator updates; winter birds web map; Pigeon Guillemot citizen science data gathering, storage and summary tools.

Scott Pearson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Drinking Water Vital Sign, Index of vulnerability for elevated nitrates in groundwater indicator

Model for index of vulnerability to nitrates in groundwater; first Vital Sign indicator report for the vulnerability index indicator.

Rick Dinicola, United States Geological Survey.

Economic Vitality Vital Sign, Employment, output and percent employment in natural resource industries indicator

Data compilation and analysis; annual update for three economic indicators in 2022. Vital Sign key messages.

Katrina Wellman, Northern Economics Inc; Susan Burke, EcoResource Group and Green Economics.

Outdoor Activities Vital Sign, Condition of swimming beaches indicator

Maintain monitoring, data compilation, analyses and reporting at high-use, high-risk Puget Sound marine beaches for fecal indicator bacteria and communicate to the public when a risk of disease is identified. Indicator update in PS Info.

Julianne Ruffner, Washington Department of Ecology.

Shoreline Armor Vital Sign, HPA based indicator of new and removed armor

HPA-based data compilation; Vital Sign indicator reporting for 2019 and 2020; Vital Sign decadal summary report and final data product.

Doris Small, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Cultural Wellbeing, Good Governance, Sense of Place, Sound Stewardship, Local Foods and Outdoor Activity Vital Signs, subjective human wellbeing indicators

Second general survey (in 2020) and report in support of the subjective human wellbeing indicators to report on. Survey of Latinx communities. Draft and final updates to each Vital Sign indicator reports, submitted via PS Info, based on general subjective HWB VS survey; Draft and final updates to each Vital Sign indicator reports via PS Info, based on Latinx survey; Key messages for Sense of Place submitted via PS Info; Presentations to Social Sciences Advisory Group; Inputs to State of the Sound report. Indicators: Participation in cultural practices; Good Governance Index; Locally harvestable foods; Nature-based recreation; Nature-based work; Overall life satisfaction; Psychological Wellbeing Index; Sense of Place Index; Engagement in stewardship activities).

Kelly Biedenweg, Oregon State University.

Toxics in Fish Vital Sign, Contaminants in juvenile salmon indicator

Assess compatibility of historical data; assess time trends; indicator update for contaminants in juvenile salmon; draft manuscript and communication product.

Last updated: 2/3/22


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