Puget Sound Partnership still generates optimism

We haven’t heard much from the Puget Sound Partnership for a while — unless you count the state auditor’s report last year. I thought it was about time to provide a progress report, including a discussion about whether this relatively new agency still holds support among legislators and other officials.

This was the concept behind my rather lengthy report in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun.

Frankly, I expected to hear more people express opposition to the concept of creating an agency with three distinct branches yet no regulatory authority. In establishing the partnership, the Legislature expected the agency to stand above the fray and wield the power of persuasion and scientific reasoning in promoting projects to restore the Puget Sound ecosystem.

Several people I interviewed mentioned “growing pains” in reference to the partnership, and many expressed optimism that the organization has been learning and is prepared to lead the way.

In the end, it seemed that the people who best understood the functions of the Puget Sound Partnership were the strongest supporters — although many supporters were disappointed that the partnership hadn’t moved faster in issuing some of its reports. But there was also recognition that the management systems being set up were not required by the enabling legislation and were taking time to develop. Many believed that these decision-making tools would provide a solid foundation for future decisions.

I also wanted to write this story so that people would have a better understanding of the partnership as it begins to deliver some important reports later this year — including “targets” for ecosystem indicators and an updated Action Agenda. It will also be interesting to see how the partnership fares in a performance audit to be delivered before the end of the year by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee.

My story included brief quotes and snippits of information from a whole lot of people. Unfortunately, huge portions of lengthy interviews were left on the cutting room floor, as they say in the film-production business. Consequently, I’ve decided to bring out more information from these interviews in this blog, so please look for upcoming Water Ways entries titled “The PSP Interviews:.”

Puget Sound Partnership Indicators

2 thoughts on “Puget Sound Partnership still generates optimism

  1. It would have been helpful if the article had mentioned the public media campaign and the tagline “Puget Sound Starts Here”. I’m not sure this brand is recognizable to many of the public. We’re going to be measuring the tagline recognition on an upcoming web survey.

  2. You make a good point. I did not get into environmental education in this story, but I have reported about the media campaign called “Puget Sound Starts Here.”

    I would like to cover the results of your survey when it is done. Also, I have heard that a new round of commercials from the Puget Sound Partnership is scheduled, including some new TV spots.

    Getting the word out about what people can do to help Puget Sound is important, of course. Talking about the problems and offering solutions to average people is among the partnership’s responsibilities.

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