Implementation Strategies (referred to here as "Strategies") are plans for achieving the 2020 Ecosystem Recovery Targets for the Puget Sound Vital Signs.

Each plan accomplishes the following:

  • Identifies priority approaches for achieving a specific recovery target
  • 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.
  • Identifies priority pressures affecting the Vital Sign and key barriers to achieving the recovery target
  • Identifies monitoring activities and needs, research priorities, and adaptive management elements and processes
  • Identifies key geographic areas associated with the recovery target
  • Estimates costs of achieving the recovery target


Work began in early 2015 to develop the three test-case, or pilot, Strategies. The test-case Strategies address recovery targets for Estuaries, Shellfish beds and Chinook Vital Signs.

The Estuaries and Chinook Vital Signs are also primarily linked to theHabitat Strategic Initiative in the Puget Sound Action Agenda while the Shellfish Beds Strategy is linked to the Shellfish Strategic Initiative.

The Estuary and Shellfish Bed Strategies are being used to establish priorities for action within the Habitat and Shellfish Strategic Initiatives for the 2016 Action Agenda update, currently under development.

These pilot Strategies are testing approaches and generating findings that are contributing to a guidance document for development of future Strategies.

We anticipate that the Estuaries and Shellfish Beds Strategies will be finished in January 2016. We expect the Chinook Strategy to be completed in December 2016.


In October 2015, the Leadership Council identified the following six Vital Signs on which to focus for upcoming Strategy development:

  • Land Development and Cover
  • Floodplains
  • Summer Stream Flows
  • Shoreline Armoring
  • Freshwater Quality
  • Marine Water Quality

Current and planned Strategies are intended to inform the 2018 Action Agenda.


Draft Strategies have been refined through multiple rounds of technical and stakeholder review. The materials used to develop the test-case Strategies are available in the links below:

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. The Miradi Share project files for the test-case Strategies are available in the links below. A user account for Miradi Share is required to view projects. Request a free account at


What are the elements of an Implementation Strategy?

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

  • narrative to describe in detail the component pieces of the Strategy.
  • Detailed results chains representing the sequenced steps necessary to achieve the goal.
  • schematic that is based on detailed results chains and summarizes the approaches, desired results, and performance measures.
  • An updated Interim Target Table for 2016–2020 (if applicable). In some cases, Implementation Strategies may identify new, or updated, short-term outcomes or outputs that are not currently included in an interim target table. When this happens, the material may be submitted for approval to the Puget Sound Management Conference.

How do Implementation Strategies relate to the Action Agenda?

The Strategies will support decisionmaking and provide guidance on the types of priority actions needed to meet the Vital Sign targets.

Priorities for Near Term Actions in the 2016 Action Agenda update are informed by the Estuaries and Shellfish Beds Strategies. The 2018 Action Agenda will be informed by the Chinook Strategy plus any additional Strategies completed in time for that update planning cycle. Currently, six new Strategies are anticipated. Partners, using process and content guidance, may contribute additional Strategies.

How do Implementation Strategies differ from Strategic Initiatives?

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.

How is the order of Implementation Strategies determined?

Sequencing of the Strategies by the Partnership includes 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

To select the next six Vital Signs for which Strategies would be developed, the selection criteria were applied to all the remaining Vital Sign indicator targets.

Will Implementation Strategies be developed for all Vital Signs?

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: Todd Hass, Implementation Manager,