Puget Sound Recovery Plan
Puget Sound used to home a much more diverse and robust population of Chinook Salmon. Current levels of Chinook are around 10% of historic numbers. Some of the salmon populations are at less than 1% of their historic numbers. 15 of the 37 Chinook populations have disappeared and their steep decline is strongly correlated with the deterioration of Puget Sound as a whole.
In 1999, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed the Chinook salmon, summer chum and bull trout in the Puget Sound. As a result the National Oceans and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) working in collaboration with Shared Strategies, and the Puget Sound Technical Recovery team to combine recovery efforts to produce a single plan of the region. This was the beginning of the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Project.
In 2005, Shared Strategies presented a regional plan for the recovery of ESA listed Chinook salmon in the Puget Sound. After two years of clarifying, finalizing and expanding the proposal making sure it complied with all ESA requirements, NOAA finally adopted the final Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan. However, the cost of this recovery plan is enormous, according to the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office this recovery plan has an estimated cost of 1.42 billion dollars for the first ten years.
What the Puget Sound Partnership is Doing to Recover Salmon
The Puget Sound Partnership was designated to serve as the regional recovery organization on January 1, 2008. The rigorous recovery plan was built through a multi-year stakeholder process. The partnership is working with various communities, tribes, businesses, and state and federal agencies to implement programs that will hopefully help recover salmon. These programs include protecting and restoring habitat, raising public awareness, reforming hatchery management, assuring integration of harvest practices, and developing a monitoring and adaptive management strategy to help track and assess efforts to recover salmon in the Puget Sound. To ensure the recovery goes well, salmon recovery and Sound recovery must go hand in hand. The Partnership is working with watersheds to implement lasting solutions to the challenges facing the Puget Sound and Salmon.
Read more about this topic: Puget Sound Salmon
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