Copy
From the desk of Anthony Wright, Executive Director
of the Puget Sound Partnership. 
Executive Director's Update, from the desk of Anthony Wright
January 17, 2013
Dear Puget Sound partner,

With the new year and a new governor come other changes here at the Puget Sound Partnership. Last summer when I took a leave of absence from my company, Normandeau Associates, to lead the Partnership into a season of action, I made a commitment that I would return. That time is near. Over the next few weeks I will be transitioning the helm of the Partnership to a new leader while continuing to position the region for increased action on large-scale, high-impact restoration projects.

While a change in leadership is never easy, this transition will provide yet another opportunity for the Partnership to evolve. Over the years, each of the Partnership’s executive directors has brought a different talent and provided enduring contributions that continue to propel the Partnership and its mission forward. David Dicks created a nonpartisan state organization that began the work of bringing together the region with a common mission. Under Gerry O’Keefe’s guidance the Partnership launched a performance management program and improved the Action Agenda. During my time here, I have pushed to reorganize the Partnership for action and implementation with the goal of tangible progress for Puget Sound recovery. The Partnership’s next leader inherits a solid foundation for action and I look forward to seeing this essential work continue to build momentum.
 
The Puget Sound Partnership is on the right path, and we are marching forward and gathering momentum each day. I am confident that the vision, the talent and the skills that exist within the Partnership staff and our hundreds of partners will continue to move this mission forward with success.
 
Respectfully,
Anthony Wright
 

PARTNERS IN ACTION

Puget Sound Champions honored
Puget Sound Champion awards recognize outstanding local partners for their contributions to the ecosystem recovery effort. These individuals and organizations are chosen by their peers for their exceptional work protecting and restoring habitat, cleaning up polluted water, and engaging the community in implementing the Action Agenda – the Partnership’s regional plan to clean up Puget Sound. Please join us in congratulating the following recipients.

Snohomish/Stillaguamish watersheds (presented Jan. 7): http://1.usa.gov/UTkoOv
  • King County and the City of Seattle, for the Tolt River Floodplain Reconnection Project
  • The Nature Conservancy, for the Port Susan Bay Restoration Project
  • Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee, for the Port Susan Marine Stewardship Area
  • City of Everett, for its rain gardens program
  • City of Arlington, for its Old Town Wetland Project
  • Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, for its Pollution Prevention Program
  • Kit Rawson, for his nearly 30 years of advocating for salmon and Puget Sound
For more information on other Puget Sound Champions, visit http://1.usa.gov/SrE49m.
 
2012 State of Salmon in the Watershed website goes live, highlights regional issues
Thanks to the many partners who have been gathering and analyzing data for the recently released 2012 biennial State of Salmon in the Watershed website. Rather than a standard printed report to legislators, this year’s update includes a new, interactive website that allows anyone in the state to learn how salmon are doing in their region’s streams and rivers. Washington is starting to see salmon populations increase in some areas, but we still have a long way to go until all listed species of salmon can removed from the federal Endangered Species Act list. For the Puget Sound region, the report shows major factors limiting fish recovery include degraded floodplain and channel structure; degraded near-shore, marine and estuarine conditions; shoreline degradation and loss of in-river woody material; degraded water quality and temperature; impaired stream flows; excessive sediment; and barriers to fish passage.
State of Salmon in the Watershed website: http://stateofsalmon.wa.gov/
State of Salmon in the Watershed news release: http://1.usa.gov/13IBJ3m 
 
Land Trust purchase will link critical Ohop River project to Nisqually River
Congratulations to the Nisqually Land Trust for making headway on one of its most important and complex projects ever. The 114 acres purchased in the Ohop Valley are essential to Ohop Creek, the second-largest salmon-producing tributary to the Nisqually River. Restoration work on this property includes rebuilding three-quarters of a mile of Ohop Creek and will connect the existing restoration project with the Nisqually River. The $750,000 purchase was made possible through Pierce County Conservation Futures, Puget Sound Restoration and Acquisition funds allocated by the Partnership through the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, and other generous donors. The Ohop River project brings the Nisqually Land Trust to 696 protected acres in 2012 for a total of 4,557 acres of permanently protected land. Large-scale restoration projects like this one are what is needed to restore and protect Puget Sound, and are included in the Partnership’s Strategic Initiatives.
Read more about Nisqually Land Trust projects: www.nisquallylandtrust.org
 
Check out the updated Low Impact Development Technical Guidance Manual
The 2012 Low Impact Development (LID) Technical Guidance Manual is now available. The manual, first produced in 2005, is the region’s primary technical guidance for siting, designing, installing and maintaining LID practices and projects. The manual covers site assessment, site planning, vegetation protection and restoration, precision site clearing, integrated management practices, research and performance, modeling techniques in approved runoff models, bioretention plants, street trees, bioretention soil testing and maintenance of LID techniques. The new manual is the result of a collaborative effort among WSU Puyallup, Ecology, dozens of regional professionals, and the Puget Sound Partnership.
For more about the manual or to download it: http://1.usa.gov/W9kDFt
 
Ocean acidification acknowledged as area of concern for Puget Sound waters
This month, with the EPA’s approval, Ecology categorized Puget Sound as a “waters of concern” for potential harm to fish and shellfish habitat from human activities, including conditions that make the waters more vulnerable, such as climate change, urbanization and ocean acidification. There is currently no federal guidance to list waters for ocean acidification impacts, but based on recommendations from the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, Ecology has asked the EPA to begin an assessment of water quality criteria relevant to ocean acidification.
To read the news release: http://1.usa.gov/11CoPEz
To learn more about direction on ocean acidification efforts: http://1.usa.gov/10hSNgB
 
Ecology’s latest chemical action plan supports Puget Sound Action Agenda priorities
Ecology and the Department of Health’s latest chemical action plan addresses uses and releases of PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, by supporting existing programs such as removing creosote-treated pilings and education and outreach campaigns about wood burning, vehicle drips, engine idling and smoking. These programs support priorities outlined in the Partnership’s Puget Sound Action Agenda – the plan for prioritizing and focusing recovery and protection efforts across the 12-county region. PAHs are a group of more than 100 different chemicals that are toxic to organisms, including humans. They are found in natural substances like oil and coal, and are formed during incomplete burning of organic material such as coal, oil, gas, wood, garbage, tobacco and meat. Studies have linked PAHs to cancer, reproductive problems and weakened immune systems.
To read the news release: http://1.usa.gov/V8BpWE
 
Large-scale watershed projects will get more PSAR funding focus in 2013-2015
Since its inception in 2007, the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration (PSAR) program has helped bring restoration and acquisition projects throughout the region to reality. In 2012, PSAR-funded projects included the removal of shoreline armoring along 1,500 feet of private property on Bainbridge Island, the restoration of 150 acres of estuary in Port Susan Bay that also increased flood protection for adjacent farmers and a culvert removal in Woodinville that had sockeye salmon returning to spawn even before the native vegetation could be planted. As we move forward, there is a need for larger-scale, more complex projects in order to increase the Puget Sound recovery rate. So for 2013-2015, the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration fund will expand to fund large capital projects beyond the scope of past PSAR funding. The Partnership and Salmon Recovery Council have worked together to develop a prioritized list of projects. Rankings consider a project’s impact to Chinook salmon, benefits to other listed salmonid species, as well as an analysis of how the project advances the Partnership’s 2020 habitat recovery targets such as estuary recovery, floodplains and eelgrass. Thirty projects have been ranked and the top 12 will be funded under the current PSAR funding request.
PSAR 2013-2015 Budget Request Fact Sheet (PDF): http://1.usa.gov/UxDCLt
PSAR 2013-2015 Project list (PDF): http://1.usa.gov/W35OHF
 
 
 
 

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