About the 2022-2026 Action Agenda Explorer

Puget Sound is a complex ecosystem of rivers and streams, forests and prairies, farmlands, estuaries, beaches, marine waters, cities, towns, ports, and roads. The ecosystem is under pressure from harmful human actions including climate change and is constantly responding to investments in protection and restoration. The Action Agenda uses a planning framework that articulates what we must achieve, how we will achieve it, and how we will hold ourselves accountable to ensure that progress is made. Targets are a key component of this framework and can be set for different timeframes depending on their purpose. When targets are developed collectively and with justification, they serve as a tool to hold ourselves accountable and deliver results. This planning framework includes these six elements, each described in the following sections:   

  • Puget Sound Vital Signs - Vital Signs are the measures of ecosystem health that guide the assessment of progress toward Puget Sound recovery goals. Each of the Puget Sound recovery goals are expressed with one or more Vital Signs that represent important components of the ecosystem (e.g., marine water, economic vitality). The Puget Sound Vital Signs are important ecosystem signs that the Puget Sound recovery community values and wants to protect and restore. 

  • Puget Sound Indicators - These indicators help monitor our progress, evaluate success of strategies and actions, and learn and inform planning and implementation. The Puget Sound Indicators are a suite of measures comprised of Puget Sound Vital Sign Indicators and Action Agenda Progress Indicators. Vital Sign Indicators – monitored and reported on by a diversity of partners – are the specific measures to help us evaluate the status and trends for each Vital Sign.  

  • Vital Sign Indicator targets - Targets for six Vital Sign Indicators help articulate our long-term goals for Puget Sound. They represent iconic and valued components of the Puget Sound ecosystem and are strongly linked to the work proposed in this Action Agenda. These six Vital Sign Indicators were selected for targets based primarily on two criteria. First, they are influenceable by the work suggested in the Action Agenda. Second, they are feasible for measurement given known or envisioned metrics and datasets. An additional consideration in selecting indicators was whether they represent priorities for the Governor or Legislature.

  • Desired outcomes - these outcomes show us how we get from Vital Signs to strategies and actions on the ground. They describe the reductions in adverse effects on the ecosystem (example: reducing toxic pollution in stormwater runoff) and the changes in human activities that create them (example: reducing impervious surfaces from development) that are necessary to make progress toward the Vital Signs and statutory goals. The five overarching categories of desired outcomes are:  

    • Protect and restore habitat and habitat-forming processes
    • Protect and improve water quality  
    • Protect the food web and imperiled species  
    • Prevent the worst effects of climate change  
    • Ensure human wellbeing
  • Strategies - Action Agenda strategies describe effective approaches for advancing progress toward desired outcomes, Vital Signs, and overall recovery. Each strategy is expected to advance one or more desired outcome by addressing the underlying conditions that give rise to sources of stress on the ecosystem or enhance capacity to address a stressor. Strategies address a 5- to 30-year time horizon and describe the kinds of policies, actions, or approaches that could be applied by many groups in many different areas.

  • Actions and commitments - An action describes the activities that are a shared focus for implementing each strategy from 2022-2026. This could include restoration and acquisition; program development, improvement, or implementation; education; outreach; research; legislative or policy improvements; or other types of activities. Actions are intended to guide partner implementation and innovation and inform the focus of public and private funding and implementation support by the boards and regional partners.

    Eight of the Action Agenda strategies also have one or more program targets affiliated with it. Program targets are commitments about the results a Puget Sound recovery-related program will aim to achieve in the next four years. They are measurable, bold, yet achievable program accomplishments. The targets are a definition of success for accelerating progress toward one or more of the desired recovery outcomes. They will be monitored and evaluated to provide the recovery community a transparent way to assess and address program needs, remove barriers, and promote increased support for programs that help achieve targets.