Puget Sound Partnership
The Washington Association of Counties (WSAC) facilitates collaboration and communication between the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) and city and county governments to address Puget Sound restoration priorities and implement the Action Agenda. Coordination between the state and local governments is critical because of the role cities and counties play as local implementers of the Action Agenda.
The Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) was created in 2007 as a state agency to lead the cleanup and restoration of Puget Sound. The Partnership is governed by a seven-member Leadership Council representing various interests including business, agriculture, and tribes, among others. The first Chair of the Leadership Council was William Ruckelshaus; the current chair is Martha Kongsgaard. PSP also utilizes the Ecosystem Coordination Board (ECB), whose main role is to advise the Leadership Council in carrying out its responsibilities. The ECB is made up of 27 individuals representing specific interests around the Sound. Counties have direct representation and several Action Area representatives on the ECB
Another significant regional body that informs salmon recovery in the Puget Sound is the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council. The role of the Council is to advise the Leadership Council on decisions relating to salmon recovery and the implementation of the Puget Sound Chinook Recovery Plan. Recovery Council decisions accomplish the following:
- Set policy direction for implementation of the Puget Sound Chinook Recovery Plan
- Develop and direct strategic approaches to near‐term issues and actions
- Establish allocation policies and recommendations for capital funding
- Hold others and itself accountable for the implementation of the Recovery Plan
The ultimate goal is to restore the entire Puget Sound ecosystem and relies heavily on regional and local efforts to achieve that goal. Similar to the ECB, the SRC has a direct seat for County representation and some County elected officials are represented through their local watershed
PSP AND WSAC COORDINATION
Since the initiation of the Partnership, WSAC has received funding to WSAC to hire a part-time program consultant to work with Puget Sound counties in participating in Action Agenda development and implementation. For the past several years, WSAC has shared these resources to support work in conjunction with the Association of Washington cities. The general duties of the program are:
- To the greatest extent possible, ensure Counties and Cities are actively engaged and informed regarding activities of the Puget Sound Partnership;
- To the greatest extent possible, monitor PSP activities to ensure County and City perspectives are represented during discussions;
- Work with PSP staff to identify discussion topics and provide venues for counties and cities to collaboratively address those issues; and
- Build, maintain, and cultivate collaborative and cooperative relationships between the PSP and Counties/cities.
Using the Coastal Counties Caucus (Caucus) as the venue, information related to PSP activities is distributed and County input is sought to help identify local government priorities. Counties and Cities help to identify what the PSP can do to assist local government with accomplishing identified priorities and how the PSP can assist local governments in implementing priority actions. County feedback is shared with PSP staff and presented to the Leadership Council and Ecosystem Coordination Board.
More information about the Puget Sound Partnership can be found at http://www.psp.wa.gov.